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Old Rims versus Wheel Building

By Edited Sep 2, 2015 0 0

On our bike mission we preferred some sweet wheels that were unique and considered more traditional, but had sound elements and will not blow up and kill us when driven.

We looked for advice and provided our mates Gary and Dave at Wheel Works a phone call. Acquiring decades of experience in customizing wild motorcycle concepts and custom made motorbike wheels professionally since the 70's, these people have basically seen and done just about every thing regarding Harley davidson wheels. As we discussed what we imagined, Gary and Dave handed us some really good helpful tips when hunting for old and obsolete wheels.

They handed us some quick advice most people know already such as avoid using twisted or rusted rims, or ever use second hand spokes. However, these people laid some true understanding for us just like looking for un-drilled rims. Simply because every single motorbike has different width hubs and many pre-drilled vintage MX wheels won't properly work with many chopper hub offsets and sizes since the spokes are being forced into the rim as severe angles. This makes binding, which ends up in broken hub flanges and wheels.

Talking about hubs, if you discover some old ones, be sure you can get the correct bearings and the interior spacers for them or they are just as good as junk. When making rims for our projects we often opt for a quality pair of factory hubs regardless of the year simply because replacement parts are readily available. We also like using the re-pop V-Twin Mfg. hubs with regards to old look and refreshed bearings. Out front if the spool hub will likely to be used, we typically always opt for a fresh aluminum or steel unit. The fact is these parts were under serious stress for many years and not manufactured from the best alloys to begin with.

As far as spokes go, most rims need to be reconstructed making use of all new spokes, merely because even unbroken used spokes are stressed from many years of being pulled in one direction and will typically break up when being retightened through the tuning process. Another thing would be to choose polished stainless spokes. They look every bit as good as chrome, but try not to have the plating crack off and wear away after some time due to the tension they are under.

More on spoke tension; our buddies at Wheel Work told us this is probably the only biggest part of a rim build other than making it rounded. Right tightening will ensure that the rim is true in two ways: Radial (roundness) and laterally (sideways). Adequate spoke tightening is vital with motorcycle wheels, due to the twisting motion applied to the wheel by the engine or brakes. Wobbly spokes over a wheel stress quickly and bust, generally where they connect to the hub. You wouldn't like that.

As soon as the wheels are completed and perfectly aligned, many also advise covering a brand new tire around the refurbished rims. Old tires are typically burnt on the inside and basically when mounted to a fresh wheel and fixed with 40 psi or more, they are a ticking time bomb with a blowout being frequently eminent. Furthermore, the rubberized compound applied 40-50 years ago has dried up and often will produce slight to no grip at all on the road, wet or dry. Don't fret; you will not have to throw on some tires that appear to be like they came off a super bike. There are an increasing variety of re-popped vintage tires for your ride. They have all of the looks of a old classic tire, but have advancements in casing elements and work much better on our present-day road surfaces.  Accessories like tail lights, side mirrors, and harley hand grips, are the stuff that you want to wrap up this type of project

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