Wiseco Pistons: Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the highest quality pistons for an engine rebuild will have an enormous impact on the power and reliability of the motor.
Partzilla’s expert mechanics have seen too many holed or seized pistons in their time to put their faith in anything other than Wiseco pistons for rebuilding motorcycle or ATV engines. If you’re curious as to why Partzilla endorses them in our videos, here are some frequently asked questions about Wiseco pistons:
Is Wiseco a Good Piston?
Absolutely. Wiseco pistons are among the finest powersports pistons available.
Unlike most OEM or other aftermarket pistons, Wiseco pistons are forged in-house at their own manufacturing facility. Stock OEM pistons are often shared across several different engine models, while each Wiseco piston is purposely designed for a single application. This means Wiseco pistons work better within a specific motor for maximum performance.
Wiseco aftermarket parts are made at its state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facilities. From initial design through research and development, rigorous dyno testing and the final manufacturing process, everything is done to perfection.
Are Wiseco Pistons Made in the USA?
Yes. The Wiseco HQ and manufacturing plant are located in Mentor, Ohio, which means all of their pistons are designed and manufactured solely in the U.S. Wiseco makes sure nothing is subcontracted to overseas manufacturers, and makes all its tooling in the U.S. as well, so when you buy Wiseco, you’re buying American.
Are Wiseco Forged Pistons Better than Cast Pistons?
Yes. Cast pistons are made by pouring molten aluminum into a mold. As the liquid aluminum flows around, the grain structure of the metal becomes randomized, which reduces its strength and leaves it brittle.
Forged pistons are made by compressing a solid aluminum billet into shape using hydraulic pressure. The metal’s grain structure remains tighter and more uniform, thus retaining its strength and consistency. Due to the higher strength of the metal, forged pistons can be made smaller and lighter than cast pistons. The benefits of Wiseco forged pistons include reduced surface area, friction and resistance, and heat and wear within the cylinder. The more consistent grain structure also means they’re more predictable and less prone to failure.
Why Do Wiseco Pistons Look Different than OEM Pistons?
Because forged pistons can be manufactured using less metal, they’re smaller in size and appearance than OEM pistons.
Wiseco designs each piston for a particular application, creating high-performance skirt shapes and head profiles different from stock OEM pistons. Bespoke skirt shapes enhance piston stability and motion, thus reducing friction and generating more power. They also improve running clearances, which strengthens ring seal and increases power.
Stability is important for proper ring seal, reduced friction and quiet operation. Each skirt shape is designed for a specific running clearance, based on coefficient of thermal expansion of the piston alloy. Some forging alloys expand more than casting alloys, but each Wiseco piston is designed with the proper installed clearance to produce the most power, least wear, and best seal at running temperature for each application.
Are there Wiseco Pistons for Every Motorcycle or ATV?
Yes. The Wiseco catalog features thousands of pistons and piston kits for all makes and models of motorcycle and ATV.
In fact, Wiseco makes pistons for older machines that original equipment manufacturers no longer produce. So if you own an old dirt bike or early ATV, Wiseco aftermarket pistons may be the only ones available for your vehicle.
What Can I Expect From Wiseco Pistons?
Wiseco offers a choice of compression ratios. For example, the stock OEM piston in a Honda CRF450R has a compression ratio of 12.5:1, but a piston from the Wiseco Elite series has a ratio of 14.5:1.
Wiseco developed special coatings (ArmorPlating and ArmorGlide) that reduce friction for their pistons. Since pistons account for as much as 60% of the friction within an engine, these coatings help Wiseco pistons generate greater crankshaft speeds and reduced ring blow-by, which means more power produced from the motor.
Can I Get Wiseco Pistons at Partzilla?
Of course! Partzilla is a Wiseco dealer and distributor, and we carry a huge selection of their pistons and piston kits.