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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about swapping out my 16" wheels on my Road King with some 18" custom wheels, and have read here that some of you all have done that already. I really like the look, but did you use the same size pulley (same number of teeth) or go with a larger one to maintain the same gearing? Also, was there a need to recalibrate the speedometer?

You know that (using the same size pulley) the larger the diameter of the rear wheel, the larger the gearing. I was thinking that may be a good thing, though, for a touring bike: it wouldn't get off the line as fast, but it would definetly take less rpm to maintain the same speed as with the 16" wheels.

Comments? :unsure:
 

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XLIII
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Just because the wheel is a larger diameter doesn't mean the tire will be. Lower aspect ratio (low profile) tires can be the same diameter on larger wheels. That's usually why folks change to a larger wheel anyway, so they can use lower profile tires for either looks or more responsive handling...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Point taken. Yeah, I did consider that folks were running low profile tires on the larger rims, but could the 18" tires really be anywhere close to the same diameter as the 16" Dunlops? That just seemed like a big jump.

Also, how do the lower profile tires ride in comparasion to the regular stock Dunlop tires?
 

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thrasher said:
Point taken. Yeah, I did consider that folks were running low profile tires on the larger rims, but could the 18" tires really be anywhere close to the same diameter as the 16" Dunlops? That just seemed like a big jump.

Also, how do the lower profile tires ride in comparasion to the regular stock Dunlop tires?
I have 18" on my Fatboy. I like the look a lot as it shows much more of the "custom" wheels I went with - from sponsor Hogpro by the way. There's very little difference in circumference of correctly matching tires, I went with Metzlers. Generally speaking, lower profile tires have to use a stiffer sidewall and therefore ride a little harder.
 

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Ghetto Blaster
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just do it

Two of my last three bikes have had 18" wheels and i'll probably never stick w' stock 16's ever again. Bike rides better...Looks better...and isn't what practically every harley has on it. Harley now puts on 17" wheels...maybe in another 5 years they'll put 18" wheels on. Until then...
I used Evolution Industries wheels (w/ Metzeler ME880's) in Walnut CA
 

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View attachment 29659 Go for the 18"... They look great, and ride even better. I went for the 18" rear and 21" on the front and love it. This bike handles great!!! Make sure if you run spokes, that you get the rims sealed on the inside regardless of running a tube or not.
 

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rdking2005 said:
View attachment 29659 Go for the 18"... They look great, and ride even better. I went for the 18" rear and 21" on the front and love it. This bike handles great!!! Make sure if you run spokes, that you get the rims sealed on the inside regardless of running a tube or not.

can you say more about who you bought your rims from, did you go tubeless and how much. i really think the 21 in the front looks pretty cool. RDking2005, very nice looking ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all your replies.

Slick02, you've got my interest up on the 18"s again. It sure would be nice to be able to show off more of the wheels. I will be putting these custom billet wheels on a loaded down FLHRI (w/King Tour-Pak) which I will be riding on a 6000+ mile trip this coming summer. I'm strongly considering a pair of Weld Wheels. Given that, a couple of more questions come up about the 16" vs 18" wheel/tire issue:

How does the availability of 18" Metz 140 rate with say,... the 16" Dunlop when travelling cross country if a tire happens to get screwed up (sidewall damage, etc) along the way? Every HD dealer probably stocks the 16" Dunlop, but what about the 18" Metz?

I will be riding some 600+ mile days. Is the quality of the ride really as good or better than the 16" Dunlop? I've done 600+ miles before on the stock 16" Dunlops and they were fairly comfortable. I run 40psi rear and 38psi front to help avoid punctures.
 

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JohnyRRR said:
can you say more about who you bought your rims from, did you go tubeless and how much. i really think the 21 in the front looks pretty cool. RDking2005, very nice looking ride.
Thanks for the compliment. They are Landmark 80-spoke diamond cut spoke. They are sealed and have tubes in them. Can never be too careful with spokes. The package is around 1850.00 for wheels and tires. Metzler's of course...
 

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I to have been thinking along the same lines you are
availability of the 18" over the 16"...
I thought since I cant see the rear wheel as much on a bagger that staying with a 16" for the comfort, being more air volume in the rear tire that this would be the better way and run a 18" on the front where it can be appriciated...
Also tossed the option of perhaps a 17" on the rear but there again I run into the availability senarior again
My thoughts are If I was doing alot of 1 up riding 90% of the time I would go 18" al the way around
But with the wife I feel the 16" might be a wiser choice however the jury is still out...
 

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How does the availability of 18" Metz 140 rate with say,... the 16" Dunlop when travelling cross country if a tire happens to get screwed up (sidewall damage, etc) along the way?
I too run 18" Metzlers front and rear. As far as availability goes almost all of the independent shops stock some kind of 18" tire, be it Metz or Avon and I beleive in the worst case scenario a H-D dealer would either stock them or could get one overnited. So you'd have to stay in a motel for a nite. Hell, they might even have a good :boobies: bar near by while you wait!!:beer4u: And if you run tubes you should be able to get it fixed or fix it yourself. Just my -2$en#e-
:woohoo:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
1bdBagr said:
Two of my last three bikes have had 18" wheels and i'll probably never stick w' stock 16's ever again. Bike rides better...Looks better...and isn't what practically every harley has on it. Harley now puts on 17" wheels...maybe in another 5 years they'll put 18" wheels on. Until then...
I used Evolution Industries wheels (w/ Metzeler ME880's) in Walnut CA
No doubt it looks better and probably handles better, and that's most likely what I'm going to get (and with the ME880). But, what model is Harley putting 17" wheels on (or was this a typo)? Am I missing something here? Looks like all the baggers still have 16" in 2006.

[Edit]
My mistake,... the '06 Dyna has the 17's. Wonder when the baggers will get resized....
 

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Gunslinger said:
I dunno, I kind of disagree...I think a 21" on an FL looks good...to each his own I guess. Been thinking of doing it to mine but am still running the 16's until I decide between the 18's or 18/21 combo. Anymore pics of FL's running a 21" front???
I'm with you... The 21 looks [email protected]:
 

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21"

RoadKingCurley said:
I think it looks good if you narrow the fender:thumbsup:
No need to narrow the fender if you use the "new" fat 21" wheel & tire. It's not the shinny 21" er it's on a 21 x 4.25" rim (Metzeler ME880 120/70/21). A buddy just put the Evolution Ind. 60 spokers on his FL softail Deluxe 18 rear/21 front. I still like the 18' er on front but my buddy digs his 21. It definitely changes the look of the bike...
 
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