Harleydavidson Wheel Removal

Harley-Davidson Wheel Removal

With the popularity of motorcycle riding reaching levels never before seen, more and more Harley-Davidson riders are seeking to lower their costs by performing their own maintenance. Removing your own wheels for tire change, repair and the like is an excellent way to keep more money in your pocket while ensuring that quality and workmanship are maintained at factory levels. In this matter, tools, preparation and a good working knowledge of the process are a must.


Invest in a good hydraulic lift. They can be found online and in stores for under $100 and are worth the investment. Nothing will put a damper on a motorcycle project quicker that seeing your Harley laying over on its side on the garage floor. Also, acquire a torque wrench. Most Harley fasteners have a torque value specified for their application. These values should be closely adhered to. Obtain the shop manual for your particular make and model from the local Harley dealer. Finally, a good mechanic’s tool set is a must.


Clear out a working space within the garage for the wheel removal. Make sure that you move any clutter out of the immediate work area to avoid slips and trips. Gather up all needed tools for easy access. Finally, jack up the cycle and chalk the bike and/or the jack to avoid movement.

Front Tire

The front tire is generally the easiest to remove, so start there. Remove the brake caliper with an appropriately sized Allen wrench. Remove the axle nut and slider cap nuts with a standard wrench and pull out the axle. The tire should now come free. It may be necessary to let air out of the tire before removing to allow the tire to fit out of the forks.

Rear Tire

With the addition of a belt drive and sprocket, the rear wheel is slightly more difficult to remove than the front wheel. Start by removing the cotter pin and axle nut from the rear wheel. Tap out the axle and let the wheel fall forward toward the front of the motorcycle. Slip the drive belt off of its pulley and pull the tire back and away from the bike. It may be necessary to jack the bike up slightly higher than when removing the front wheel. If unable to do so, then work the tire down and to the side.