Lace Up Spoke Wheels On A Harley

Lacing the spokes on your Harley is not a complicated process.

Adding a personal touch to your Harley-Davidson by hand-lacing spoke wheels will secure the tire hub to the tire rim. Lacing is necessary if you want to upgrade your Harley or maintain it if the spokes become damaged. A series of spokes are inserted into as many holes on the hub, which is located in the center of the wheel. The other ends of the spokes are then placed through the holes of the tire rim. Your tire can then be secured over the rim, and the unit can be installed on the motorcycle. Lacing the spokes can make a real difference in the appearance of your motorcycle, while saving you money.


Lace the Wheel

1. Separate the two lengths of spokes. Slide one of the longer spokes through the hub flange from the outside. These are the “leading spokes.”

2. Slide your next long spoke through. Repeat until all the hub flange holes are filled with spokes.

3. Choose an empty flange hole and slide in a spoke from the inside. These are called the “trailing spokes.”

4. Slide another one of the trailing spokes through your hub flange. Repeat until all the holes are filled. Bikers and mechanics call this a “loaded hub.”

5. Slide one of the leading spokes that were put through the inside and push it through the opposite side of the rim.

6. Thread a spoke nipple on the end of that spoke. Twist it until you can’t see the spoke threading. Repeat three rim holes later until all leading spokes are threaded.

7. Observe how your hub twists in to center itself after the leading spokes are in. Attach in the opposite direction the first trailing spoke. This spoke should fit into the opposite hole on the rim. Attach the rest.

True the Wheel

8. Level each spoke with your spoke wrench.

9. Put in place the wheel on the swing arm or motorcycle fork.

10. Attach to each fork leg or swing arm a zip-tie. Ensure identical zip-tie length.

11. Spin the wheel. Check to see if the zip-tie rubs the rim. Tighten the spoke on the opposite side of the rub until it clears the rim.

12. Remove the wheel from the motorcycle and install a tube and tire. Test ride the wheel and check to see that each spoke has an even tension. Make any necessary adjustments with a spoke wrench.