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9,150 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted anyone interested in a wider rear tire for late model touring bikes that the METZELER 150/80B-16 71H fits with no mods (at least on an '05 RKC). The belt guard took a little initial rubbing from the tire but is clearing now. Fender clearance is minimal on the right side.

My understanding is that some changes occurred in '04, including a narrower belt which makes this tire a possibility.

I run the tire at 40 psi solo and 42 2-up with no clearance issues at 4 or 8 lbs in the shocks.

The ride is far more comfortable with the fatter tire!

The tire fills up the fender and now when I look at an RK with the stock tire, especially '03 and older, the tires just look look anemic and skinny.

Premium octane member
7,381 Posts
Same here I have put a bunch on now and all have fit with no rubbing issues. I am a beliver in metz's. The look is great and it fill out the fender perfectly. The only problem i had was one bike that was an 05 FLHTC. I had installed the chrome rear bumber eliminator and the tire at the same time, when it all went back together it pulled the fender slightly to the right side. I ended up being no big deal as i cut,welded and then had it powdercoated. It ended up being a little more work but looks and rides amazing now.....I recommend it to anyone who needs a new tire on 04 later touring bikes......

Premium Member
2,067 Posts
All it takes is a slight modification of a spacer in between the pulley and hub and a section of the inner rubber belt guard trimmed to run a 150 on pre 04 bikes as well.

This is from a post I made well over a year ago...

I bought a kit off of Ebay (haven't installed it yet) [of course I have since this post was made] then this other guy emailed me with directions for doing it better here they are:

150 tire kit on a Road King. this is what i came up with. here it is short and simple: H-D makes a shim part # 40932-81 for about $17. Custom Chrome makes the same shim part # 19722 for $11. take the shim and cut the inside of it (were it mounts on the hub) and machine it out to 2.216 inches. this will let you slip it on the hub. the shim will make for a flat and safe mounting surface for the pulley instead of a hand full of washers. to align the pulley, shim and hub i used three 7/16th (i think) drill bits for centering. then put in two bolts and snugged them up. pulled one of the drill bits out at a time and put the next bolt in and snugged it up. do that with the rest of the drills and bits. the holes in the pulley are 7/16 (.4375). the holes in the shim are about .010 inch larger (.4475) then the pulley. when you center the pulley and shim to the holes in the hub you split the differance in the shim holes. that way the maxamum the pulley can be off center is .005 inch. this is very little. not enough to worry about. also the aluminum pulley holes were slightly crushed. i had to clean them up first with the 7/16 drill bit. follow all other directions that i sent. the info is free. if you want me to sent you a cut shim it will be double the cost of a new one plus shipping. for me to get it done it is a pain in the ass. that is why i give you all the info at this time for free. let me know what you think.

I would not install this kit. it is dangerous. i am working on a kit that will add a $20 part that will make it safe. if you are interested let me know. if not that is fine also. he shims the pulley out toward the swing arm. their is just under a 1/4 inch before the pulley hits the swing arm so shim it close enough that it doesn't hit. something less then 1/4 inch with washers. THIS IS UNSAFE!! you can read this for yourself.

Captain Marco’s Wide Tire Kit

For Road King & Road Glide

2000 - up

Installation InstructionsThank you for purchasing my wide tire kit. I came up with this after a lengthy discussion with a "service technician" at one of the local Harley dealers. He puts wider tires on Road Kings, and charges 4-5hrs labor + the cost of the new tire. He was trying to tell me how complex all this was and that he was the only one around who does this. At some point in the conversation I began to fart smoke, and decided that I was going to go figure this out myself. So I went home and tore my bike apart, and this is what I came up with. I’ve ridden about 500 miles on this setup so far, and I’m pretty happy with the results. I hope you will be as well.

You will notice that this kit just contains a few shims (machine washers) that I purchased from a local fastener supply house. Amazingly…this is all that is required. In addition, you must modify the belt guard, as the tire will scrape on it if you don’t. This modification takes about 5 minutes.

The tire I used is a 150/80HB-16 Metzeler ME880. This tire is available thru Discount Motorcycle Tire at: http://www.discountmotorcycletire.com/ for $113 + shipping.

Or Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse (MAW) for $110 + shipping. http://www.accwhse.com/metzeler.htm#Tires street

So…now that you’ve got your tire (and a new tube)…let’s get it on your bike. Step By Step:


A. Jack up the bike and secure it to the bike lift.

B. Remove the bags and side covers and mufflers if necessary.

C. Remove the C-clip from the axle on the right side, then remove the big axle nut.

D. Put your wrench on the other (left) side of the axle and twist it to loosen the belt adjustment. Note the position of the clamshell adjusters on BOTH sides…they will need to be reinstalled the same way.

E. Place the end of a large screwdriver on the right end of the axle and smack it with your hand (not a hammer) until the axle slides out and the wheel drops.

F. Stand over the back fender, reach down and lift the wheel up a little, then slip the belt off over the edge of the pulley. Now roll the brake caliper up and outward until it clears the wheel, then drop the wheel down and remove it from the bike.

G. Go get your new tire mounted on it.


A. Remove the belt guard by removing the two 3/8" screws in the aft end of it, then loosen the front screw just so you can slip the guard forward a little and drop it off.

B. See the metal strap that’s holding the rubber flap? This has three rivets that fastens the metal band to the plastic belt guard. Using a hacksaw, cut the metal band right behind the second rivet. Pry the third rivet out with a screwdriver and discard that section of metal band

C. Cut the rubber flap off even with the remaining metal band, and re-install the belt guard back on the bike.


A. Remove the drive pulley from the rear wheel (5 bolts).

B. Lay the wheel on a flat surface, or on a garbage can with the lid removed. Re-install the pulley with two of the yellow (cad-plated) shims on each pulley bolt underneath the pulley. This will space the pulley over to the left far enough for the belt to clear the edge of the tire. (The FRONT pulley is wider that the rear and will accommodate this change) Put some LOCTITE on the bolts, and tighten them just snug, then loosen them a hair so you can move the pulley a bit.

C. With the wheel on a flat surface (or on a garbage can,) stand directly over the center of the wheel and eyeball the pulley to center it on the hub. This will get it close enough…just as close as those bozos at my local Harley shop do when they sell you their $100 custom-machined pulley spacer. Snug up the bolts so the pulley can’t move, then stand the wheel up and torque these bolts 55-65 ft lbs.

D. Loosen the left side shock absorber bolts, then remove one at a time and slip two of the stainless shims onto each shock bolt between the shock and frame. This will space the shock far enough outboard to clear the edge of the tire. Re-torque the shock bolts.


A. Installation is just the opposite of removal…although there isn’t as much room in there now with the wider tire. Get the belt on the pulley first. You might have to twist it sideways to get the wheel up into the fender. Lift the wheel and roll the caliper back in, then slide the brake rotor up into it.

Note: Watch out for the little rubber nub in the caliper where it contacts the swingarm…if it gets cockeyed the caliper won’t seat correctly and will bind up the axle when you try to reinstall it.

B. Install the axle and spacers. This can be kind of a pain in the ass, so having a friend around might be helpful.

C. Install the clamshell adjusters and big nut on the right side. Snug the big nut up somewhat. With the wrench on the left side, twist the axle to obtain the proper belt tension. (5/16" deflection with 10lbs pressure on the belt at the midpoint) Make sure that the belt is tight enough or it’ll squeak like hell and you’ll think something’s wrong. Now torque the big nut on the right side to 95-105ft/lbs, and install the c-clip.

D. Spin the wheel by hand and check for clearance. The pulley shouldn’t scrape on the swingarm or the shock, and the belt shouldn’t scrape on the tire. Clearances will be tight, but nothing should scrape. The important thing is that there is no contact when the bike is going down the road.

Note: these pulleys are CAST, and aren’t cast very precisely either. There is usually a certain amount of runout (wobble) in the pulley from the factory. So don’t be alarmed if you see some now. The wheel will also have some runout in it as well. On my bike the wheel wobbles over and the tire just barely touches the belt at one point in its revolution. Hasn’t caused any problems that I can see in 500+ miles of riding, but I plan to get the wheels trued up in order to eliminate this.

E. Install the bags and pipes and you’re done. Looks like it ought to now…doesn’t it??? Give the rear brake pedal a few pumps to re-seat the pads onto the rotor…otherwise you’ll have no rear brake the first time you try to use it.

1,672 Posts
I'm interested in putting the 150/80/16 on my 04' Ultra. I did notice that when I went from the stock rear Dunlop ( MU 85-16) and went to the Metzeler 140/90/16 that the Metzeler is a taller tire. So the 150/80/16 Metzeler shouldn't be as tall of a tire as the 140/90/16, just wider. Am I correct?


9,150 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

That is the way I understand it. The 90 number deals with the profile height... 80 gives a lower profile/lower overall stance.

I thought the '04 Ultra Dunlop OEM was a 140 equivalent. You just went taller, not wider with the 140/90 Met.

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