It was the vision of William S. Harley and the help he got from his best friend Arthur Davidson that we have to thank for the creation of the Harley-Davidson brand. At only 22 years old, with some additional help from Davidson’s older brother Walter, William produced the first five Harley-Davidson motorcycles back in 1905. The following year, they made 50 of them and the rest is history. Harley Davidson is one of the most well known and reputable motorcycle manufacturers to this day.
Harley-Davidson bikes can only go bad if you treat them that way, and despite the build of their engines, they are not meant to be ridden fast. Owning a Harley-Davidson is all about style and enjoying the ride. But something that clearly every bike can’t go without is the wheels. Comparing different Harley Davidson wheels is like comparing crash bars and frame sliders one is better than the other in certain situations and vice versa.
Alloy (Mag) Wheels
There are mainly two different types of Harley wheels that you’ll encounter – alloy and steel. Alloy, or also known as mag wheels, are considered more stylish. Despite not being as strong as steel wheels, alloy Harley Davidson wheels are still strong enough to last you a long time. One thing that alloy or aluminium Harley wheels do have that steel ones don’t is a naturally occurring anti-corrosive layer.
With steel wheels, you get strength and durability at a more affordable price tag, but you sacrifice style and you’ll add more weight to your bike. Steel wheels are a lot heavier than aluminium ones, and that can affect fuel efficiency. More weight means you have to burn more fuel to keep your Harley running. On the upside, steel wheels will take quite a beating before they fail you.
How to Clean Harley Mag Wheels
What You Need
To keep a Harley motorcycle wheel looking brand new, you need to get yourself more than just a hose and a sponge. Alongside the two, you’ll also need a soft-bristled brush, a towel, a gag wheel cleaner, a soft cloth, a liquid dish shop, a spray bottle and either an alloy or a mag wheel polish.
- First you need to start by spraying the wheels with a generous amount of a mag wheel cleaner. These cleaners are made so that they don’t aggravate the surface while being effective at bringing back an alloy wheel’s shine. In case you don’t have such a cleaner handy, mix some liquid dish soap and warm water in a spray bottle.
- Let the cleaner or dish soap and water mixture do its thing for about 15 minutes. After those 15 minutes have passed, check for stubborn spots. If any, let the mixture/cleaner sit for a little bit longer. After that, spray the wheels with the cleaner/mixture again (make a thin layer this time), and use the sponge to scrub the mixture/cleaner into the wheel.
- If there is residue that can’t be removed easily, use the soft-bristled brush, but be gentle as to not scratch the wheel. After that’s done, hose down the wheels to remove any residue from the cleaner/mixture. Dry the wheels using a dry towel to prevent any water spots. Next, put a drop of mag wheel polish on a soft cloth and rub it on the wheel. Do so in circles until the polish has spread over the entire surface of the wheel evenly.
- Let the polish dry on the wheel and rub in a clean soft cloth against the wheel in a circular motion to remove any residue. Next, dampen the corner of the cloth and squeeze it to remove any extra moisture. Rub the cloth until you get all of the remaining polish residue until the wheel is spotless.
How to Lace a 40 Spoke Harley Wheel?
- First, start by taking a picture of the sides of the wheel. Then, sort the spokes out into two groups by their throw. After that, lay the hub on the side and insert a short-throw spoke with the flange resting on the outside of the hub.
- Proceed to insert short-throw spokes until you reach a total of ten. Then, insert the remaining then spokes on the other side of the hub. Begin with a hole that’s opposite from a spoke on the other side. Then, place the hub in the centre of the rim with the brake shoe hole on the correct side.
- Next, begin with the spokes on the side of the hub facing upwards. In case the rim holes are offset, make sure to insert the spoke on the correct side. Take a look at the picture you took for this. Then, count 4 holes over the first spoke and insert the next spoke. Screw the spoke nipples loosely to keep them in place. Afterwards, do the same thing until you have all 10 spokes on one side mounted.
- Then, begin with the lower spokes, but don’t flip the wheel. Insert them facing the opposite way from the ones higher up. Do the same thing here with counting 4 holes over. When you have the spokes inserted, move on to the long throw spokes.
- IInsert them so that they face the same direction as the short throw spokes on the opposite side. Continue doing that and loosely tighten the long-throw spokes until 10 of them are in. Lastly, true the spoked wheel and your Harley Davidson is ready to hit the road.