V-Twin Forum banner

Factory H-D Wide Tire Kit, Needed or Ripoff?

5165 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  fatboytst
I'm thinking on putting some 18" rims with a 140 70 18" tire on the rear. I was told that by my local H-D dealership that they can't install this tire without the wide tire kit. I've spoken to numerous non-dealer outlets who say that I don't need it. Has anyone out there experienced any good, bad or the uglys about installing an 18" wheel(s) on thier softail.

Also, I was told that the rideability was outrageously harsh!!! True or BS? If anyone has any info, please let me know before I waste $2500.00 on some new shoes, big shoes.

Oh, the rims that I would like to put on my Heritage would be the Performance Machines- Villains. What do you think?

1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Roadhwg, I have it on my fatboy but I can't answer any of your questions because my bike came with it already on. I bought my scoot about a month ago so I havn't done any seat time(cold). I would like to see if anyone has an opinion about the reliabilty question you had. I had not herd of that and it has my interest peaked.

Now did your Fatboy come with 18" wheels or with the wide tire kit? Let me know, and if possible send me a pic of your scoot. Love to see other softails.

Hey Roadhwg, the kit was installed by the dealer prior to my purchase. It was one of those things the dealer puts on as part of the "Whole Deal" and charges you double.:mad:. Anyway, I have been so busy and its been so cold that I havn't taken any pix yet. Will do as soon as I can.

Not sure that this will help you out since you're looking at a larger diameter rim, but I just had a 150 Dunlop D401 rear tire put on my bike without the wide tire kit. (This is the tire that comes in the Wide Tire Kit.) It is a close fit - especially on the left side, but the tire clears the fender enough that I am not worried. This is on an 01 Fatboy, and I do not have bags. I mention that, as some saddlebag bolts extend far enough inside the fender that a wide tire kit may make sense.

I had this put on at a HD shop who has done this to several '00 and up softails without any ill effects and I've seen other softails with the wider tire and no kit.

The ride has improved over the stock size tire - not harsh at all.

Hopefully others will chime in who can provide more feedback specific to what you're trying to do.

And the tire does not rub when you go in the corner's fathd ? Because that could save me 350.00. I do want to put a wide tire kit my 2000 fatboy.
K.Bee - I've only ridden about 300 miles since putting the 150 tire on, but no rubbing, even when two up on a twisty road scraping the floorboards. After each outing with the new tire, I've looked specifically for signs of rubbing and found nothing. The clearance between the left side tire/fender is close, but acceptable.

I have found the ride to be a little better and actually have a tiny bit more cornering clearance, due to the slight height increase of the 150.

Again, if you have saddlebags (or plan on adding them later) the kit may make sense, as it will move the tire over to the right about 10-15mm and allow clearance for the longer saddlebag bolts. Of course, you could get around that by using shorter bolts that don't extend so far inside the fender or using.

Once I get some more miles on the new tire, I'll be able to give some more feedback... right now the Fatboy's in the shop getting a big bore kit, cam, and possibly heads.

I wonder if you could put a 160 on with the wide tire kit? I think you would have to change the fender on that. I think the wider the better.
Not sure about the 160... I imagine it would fit as it's only 10mm wider which is less than 1/2 inch.

BUT, be careful with tires as wider is not always better on a bike. You need to take into consideration rim width and how the tire will conform once mounted on the wheel. If the rim is not wide enough, you may actually decrease your contact patch as the tire will have more of a 'V' shape when mounted instead of a nice rounded profile. This will also change some handling characteristics of the bike, as a more pronounced 'v' shape has a tendency for quicker turn-in and is less stable when going straight - not exactly traits I want for the fatboy.

I spent 10 or so years riding sportbikes and experimenting with different size tires. Wider can be better, to a subjective limit. Depends on the feel and handling characteristics you want from the bike and how the tires shape is affected by rim width.

I'd recommend a little research and then define what you are trying to gain before going too far.
See less See more
In my opinion, 'wider LOOKS better'

I have been riding for over 30 years. I have run 18" Sportster Wheels on rigid frame bikes, I even laced a fat 15" Rim and ran a car radial one time. I have been riding strokers since about 1975 and have played with every type of tire that has been available.

I am currently riding a Stage IV, 1996 FatBoy, with Street Stalker Kit and a 140 Avon Venom X in the rear. I can, honestly, state that I have never washed out in a corner with the stock dunlops that came on the bike. There are quite a few people on this board who have ridden with me in many parts of the country and they'll tell you...I ride faaasst. I love the look of fat tires but the truth is the only place they really show any improvement is in hole shots. Otherwise the engineers at the factory kinda knew what they were doing.

My Venomx's are a little more sure footed because of the profile but I had no complaint with the dunlops. They got me through the twistees and the big sweepers we enjoy out here in California.


1996 FLSTF Street Stalker Stage IV @ 100 hp and loud

2000 C5 Convertible Millenium Yellow also tricked out
See less See more
manny - I know this is offtopic, but just thought I'd say hello to a fellow C5er... you ever browse the www.c5forum.com board? I'm ck98c5 over there.
I checked it out and registered over there , Thanks for the link.

There are quite a few people on this board who have ridden with me in many parts of the country and they'll tell you...I ride faaasst

Tell me about it, always takes me a couple of hours to catch up. LOL
Greetings C5'rs

fathd said:
manny - I know this is offtopic, but just thought I'd say hello to a fellow C5er... you ever browse the www.c5forum.com board? I'm ck98c5 over there.

Just put some pix in OFF TOPIC...

manny said:
Mi Sargente !

Buenas Dias !

¡Ahora que es divertido! ¿Cómo el infierno es el ya uno y dos?

Bla ha hahahah
In EnglishNow HA!
Thanks CK:

For the information. I'm getting allot of input and hopefully, I'll make a decision soon. I'll be needing some new shoes, real fast.

Damn Jimmy, sounds like you need a few more of those "proper" castilian spanish tapes, or have you been listening to the Texas politicians debating in "Rio Grande spanish".


Hate to sound like a dweeb, but what is a C5? Bueno, Dan NM
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.