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

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Members Birthdays
BH1218 (72), 1974iron (54), 2PSYCHO SPORTSTER (52), mhayek, sthomakos (42), Heian (26)
View Poll Results: Which ones?
Spokes 646 57.02%
Mags 487 42.98%
Voters: 1133. You may not vote on this poll

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  #321  
Old 4th August 2018
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Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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The way it looks now I think you'd give that new Streetfighter a run for it's money!

Last edited by Toejam503; 18th August 2018 at 22:37..
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  #322  
Old 4th August 2018
tomaso tomaso is offline
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The streetfighter looks indeed very interesting; but I wouldn't trade...
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  #323  
Old 31st August 2018
Four Speed Four Speed is offline
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Quote:
I believe they're lighter than mags also. (unsprung weight)
That wasn't my experience. When I swapped to HD mags my Sportster lost 2.5KG (5.5lb US) from the front wheel alone! Overall
the unsprung weight lost was 3.4 kgs (7.5ibs US) font and rear inc tubes. That's a huge amount of unsprung weight lost by fitting
mags; which is a good thing! And no more rust! I never understood why HD would fit chrome steel rims that rot when it gets wet
and not alloy. I prefer the look of wire wheels but in terms of function I much prefer the mags.
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  #324  
Old 31st August 2018
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My experience has been that a spoked wheel is lighter than a comparably priced mag. Sure these days you can buy solid wheels that are lighter than spoked but get ready to pay for it or shop around and hope to get lucky.

I have always preferred the looks of spoked wheels and have done tubeless conversions since the 80s. You can indeed have your cake and eat it too.
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  #325  
Old 31st August 2018
Four Speed Four Speed is offline
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Diogenes, what spoked wheels are you running? Mine were the original 1988 HD spoked wheels with steel rims that were really heavy (compared to original 1990 HD alloys).
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  #326  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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The original question seems simple enough to me,
Quote:
"spokes or mags" Not what you have, but what you think LOOKS better.
Just wondering, but I think spokes look the best on a sporty.
For classic motorcycle looks and old style adventure/scrambler/tracker/off -road, etc. look, you usually need spokes, some aftermarket forged aluminum wheels look good on those styles, but IMO very few.

Very few Harley OE cast aluminum alloy wheels look good to me (the 1200 Roadster looks very nice, though). Aftermarket, I see plenty of forged aluminum alloy wheels, forged magnesium alloy and carbon fiber wheels that look good and some of the forged aluminum alloy are about the same price or just a little more as one can find people selling the stock cast aluminum wheels. Forged is much better than cast as well, lighter and stronger generally speaking. When casting, the alloys tend to settle and you can have small voids, etc, and so forth, you can look all of that up, I'm no going into details on all of that, so to make up for those possibilities, they err on the side of more metal and generally thicker than a comparable forged alloy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Speed View Post
Diogenes, what spoked wheels are you running? Mine were the original 1988 HD spoked wheels with steel rims that were really heavy (compared to original 1990 HD alloys).
Which mags did you go to?

Most on here seem to be confusing Mag Wheels (magnesium alloy) with Cast Aluminum (aluminum alloy). I do not recall Harley ever supplying Mag Alloy Wheels (cast or forged) or forged aluminum, though Aluminum Alloy could contain magnesium. And yes I know lots of unknowing people call all non-steel non-spoke wheels Mags, but they aren't.

Spokes can be made to run tubeless or even purchased already designed to run tubeless for most motorcycles. I see tube or tubeless debate a non-issue concerning spoke wheel or not.

Constant maintenance on spokes? Maybe, in theory, I have many miles on spokes, from motorcycles and bicycles, never had any maintenance problems even on mountain bikes or dirt bikes and can't recall any single issue on a street bike. I am sure everybody has different results, I pretty much just make sure they are tight and get them checked for true on tire changes, YMMV.

Cleaning? A pain in the butt on chromed steel, just because of the rusting you get, but not extremely bad, if you know what you are doing, it does take practice and experimenting with what works for you, aluminum rims and SS spokes not so bad. Face it, most wheels are a pain to really keep clean, most without the spokes just don't bother cleaning as well and/or as much and most factory cast alloy wheels look horrid when dirty, IMO.

Cast alloys (even forged) can get cracks, so in reality, they really need to be cleaned and inspected as much if not more so than spokes, particularly painted, anodized and powder coated. I have seen the OEM on cars that have had problems (cares have a lot of wheel that can't be inspected without removal), though can't personally say I have seen a problem with any OEM motorcycles cast alloy rims, they seem to occur. I still inspect carefully for cracks, etc.

Weight? Forged alloys are generally stronger and lighter, Carbon is usually lighter still as far as what I have seen, might be an exception or two. Cast alloy is generally heavier and particularly at the outer most area from the hub (rim)where you do not want to add any weight. Same with steel rim spokes, vs aluminum forged rims and SS spokes, aluminum forged is lighter farther from the hub.

So, except for $$$$, you should have no reason not get the style you prefer.
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  #327  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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ive always preferred spokes for the look, im lucky though as I can build them and maintain them.
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  #328  
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Grew up with bikes that all ya had were spokes. Rare if any bike had mag wheels other than race bikes.
So when mags started on the scene, I thought they were so great looking and functioning.
That black Bonnie with the Lester’s, man that was the holy grail.
For me it is mags on the street and spokes on the dirt.
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  #329  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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I started riding in the 50s, so spokes are all Ive ever known.
My XLC came with a big front spoke wheel, and a solid rear.
Still looking to trade that rear wheel for a spoked one. Yuk
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  #330  
Old 5 Days Ago
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This may have been covered, but I don't have the attention span to read 33 pages. Also, I may piss some people off, so I apologize in advance.

I see a lot of street trackers with cast wheels, one of them being a 16" rear (out of necessity). I think it looks very wrong, though I understand most of us have to work with what we've got. With spokes, you can lace any rim to your hub. You can run 19/19 to be the most authentic, if you can find tires in the right size. You can go 18/18, like on my under construction '81. You can even be closer to stock and do 18/19. I've just never seen a flattrack racer with a 16" rear.
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