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Sportster Motorcycle Tires, Wheels, and Brakes Discuss issues with Sportster motorcycle tires, wheels and brakes.

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  #1  
Old 20th June 2011
pingpang750's Avatar
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Default Rear Wheel Removal/Installation

I wanted to see what the easiest way to get the rear wheel back on would be without having to mess with the belt to much and or how to effectively adjust it. Basically, I am going to chop the rear fender bar and obviously can't do it with the rear wheel still on it. Im not to worried about removing it, its installing it that worries me. Any help would be great.
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  #2  
Old 20th June 2011
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i searched all the web for this but can not find it mate.Maybe a member can make us a detailed video.
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  #3  
Old 20th June 2011
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Service manual and motorcycle jack or lift
is going to make it a whole lot easier.
I took my rear wheel into a shop to have
a new tire mounted and put it back on the bike
myself. Lining everything up for a first timer
can be a pita but do able. Racerwill told
me the easiest way is to jack it up so the
tire is slightly off the ground, and sit on
the ground behind the bike to line it all up.
Felt like I needed another set of hands
but I got it on and adjusted everything
per the manual and it worked out.
Made the coat hanger measuring tool
(per the manual). Get out your manual
and give it a shot and come back on
here if you get stuck.
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  #4  
Old 20th June 2011
ColinB ColinB is offline
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First time I tried it took me three hours to get it back in!

Three things I specifically remember;
  • The rear brake caliper needs to be slid across as described in the service manual - don't just remove it and then expect to put it back on after. You can't!
  • Slip the belt over the pulley as soon as you can before you try and get the spacers back in. Otherwise you can't!!
  • Put the right side spacers in first, then the left spacer and brake mounting arm. A long and hefty screwdriver was useful to slightly lever the swinging arm out while fitting the right side spacer. Because otherwise, you can't!!!
If I'd have known these three things then I reckon it would've been at least twice as quick and ten times easier!
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Old 20th June 2011
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You should be able to remove/install the rear tire without touching the belt adjusters.

If you HAVE to, then just be sure to turn them equal amounts on both sides and you will preserve alignment.

Same goes for any adjustment.

I think the easiest method to assure that is to paint a line on a deep socket that fits the adjuster nuts. Place the socket on the nut with the line facing straight up - make all turns one full or one half turn - same amount on each side - and you'll be fine.

Using this method I've not ever needed an alighment tool.
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Old 20th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xena View Post
Racerwill told
me the easiest way is to jack it up so the
tire is slightly off the ground, and sit on
the ground behind the bike to line it all up.
Felt like I needed another set of hands
but I got it on and adjusted everything
per the manual and it worked out.
Right on except for the second set of hands. First time I had my neighbor come over to help out. What a cluster!! dropped spacers, wrestling with the wheel, cursing, grey antiseize all over everything.

Learned from that, and since then I've been able to put the wheel back on much faster and easier by myself.
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Old 20th June 2011
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WOW, hmm, this is making me a bit nervous now seeing everyone's responses. @Bone, I really don't intend to adjust the belt at all, I just want to be able to remove the rear wheel, hack what I need to hack, re-wire and just plop the rear wheel back on. Though as easy as it sounds it may take a few tries before I get used to it.
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If you're not gonna touch the adjusters, then this is pretty damn simple.

Like people said - jack it up, make sure it is secure.

Sit on the ground behind it.

Remove the circlip and loosen the nut.

Pull the axle out (might take some gentle persuasion).

*** on some models the lower exhaust pipe blocks the axle, if this happens either remove the pipe or unbolt the shocks at one end and drop the swingarm until you have clearance ***

Watch the positions of the spacers so you are sure to put them back in the correct locations.

Push wheel forward slightly and push belt off pulley.

Remove wheel.

Installation is the opposite. It can help to place the tire on a small block or on your feet (that way you can lift or slide it slightly to align the axle.

COAT AXLE lightly with anti-seize or water-proof grease where it will contact the bearings to make sure the inner bearing race doesn't seize to the axle.

Push tire forward, slip belt on pulley, then pull tire back into position.

Start axle into position, placing the spacers as it goes.

Torque nut to proper spec (to make sure you don't damage the bearings).

Install circlip.

You're golden.
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Old 20th June 2011
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Bone, you make it sound so easy! Its the slipping the belt back on part that is a bit confusing. I won't have to worry about belt tension or anything right? I figure I can use the indentation marks on the swing arm so I know how far to go with the rear wheel.

I have a set of sport bike stands so I may utilize those on the rear swing arm so I can lift the bike up (im sure im not the first to have done that)
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Old 20th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingpang750 View Post
Bone, you make it sound so easy! Its the slipping the belt back on part that is a bit confusing. I won't have to worry about belt tension or anything right? I figure I can use the indentation marks on the swing arm so I know how far to go with the rear wheel.
Honestly I don't know why you sound so apprehensive about the belt tension.

Checking/adjusting belt tension is REALLY simple on a Harley (I think easier than adjusting most rear drive bike chains).

You just need an inexpensive 10 lbs pressure gauge, you press on the center run of the belt and measure how far it deflects. If it's too far, you turn the 2 adjusters to pull the axle back a little. If it's too little, you turn the 2 adjusters the other way to push the axle forward a little.

That said, yes, in a normal tire R&R you shouldn't have to touch the tension adjustment.

Once the axle is removed, you can push the tire forward which gives you enough play to slip the belt off the rear pulley.

When you reinstall the tire, you start by placing it under the fender, forward, tight against the swingarm. with the tire in that position there should be plenty of play to slip the belt off the pulley. Then you pull the tire back (the belt will tighten up to normal tension as you do that) and install tire with the axle and spacers.

The axle passes through the adjusters, which were locked in position by the locknuts you didn't disturb, so it all winds up in the same position. (Just make sure the adjusters are seated properly in the swingarm, on some models they can pop out once the axle is removed and the tension is off them.

Again, no big deal really.
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