Replace Harley Rims

Harley owners frequently choose to install custom wheels on their ride.

Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners frequently choose to buy customized wheels for their bikes. These wheels can provide a killer look. Installing them on a Harley can be tricky, though, when you undertake the task for the first time. The best bet is to have someone present who has experience in changing out motorcycle wheels. Exercise extreme care to avoid injury to yourself or damage to your ride. The task should take one to two hours, depending upon your experience level.

Instructions

Take off the Front Wheel

1. Jack up the motorcycle so that the front wheel is completely off of the ground. Use a good quality motorcycle jack and ensure that the bike is stable.

2. Remove the front brake caliper using a hex key wrench. Do not disconnect the front brake line. Simply allow the caliper to hang free.

3. Take off the front axle nut with a ratchet wrench. Pull the axle free from the front forks.

4. Allow the front wheel to fall free from between the front forks. It may be necessary to let some air out of the front tire before the wheel will come free.

Take off the Rear Wheel

5. Jack up the motorcycle so that the rear wheel is completely off of the ground. Again, ensure that the motorcycle is stable before proceeding.

6. Loosen and remove the rear axle nut with a ratchet wrench.

7. Allow the rear wheel to roll slightly forward. Remove the Kevlar drive belt from the rear pulley. Pull the wheel back toward the rear of the motorcycle and slip it from under the rear fender.

Pull off the Tires

8. Remove the valve stem cores from each tire with a valve stem tool.

9. Place one tire on its side behind the rear bumper of a car or truck. Assemble the old-style ratchet jack. Place the base of the jack on the rubber sidewall of the motorcycle tire. Do not allow it to touch the rim. Actuate the ratchet, jacking-up the rear bumper of the car or truck so that the motorcycle tire is compressed beneath the base of the jack. Allow the motorcycle tire to completely compress so that the tire bead breaks loose. Repeat this process for the opposite side of the tire.

10. Place rim protectors around the rim on one side of the wheel. Pry the side of the tire free from the rim using tire spoons. Work your way around the wheel to free one entire side of the tire from the rim. Repeat this process on the opposite side of the tire so that the tire is completely removed from the wheel.

Mount Tires on the New Wheels

11. Lubricate the tires and new rims with soapy water.

12. Work the rim of the tire onto the new wheel using tire spoons. Repeat for the opposite side of the tire.

13. Reinstall the valve stem core into the valve stem with a valve stem tool. Work the rim of the tire onto the new wheel using tire spoons. Repeat for the opposite side of the tire. Inflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure written on the side of the tire using an air compressor. Measure the pressure with a tire gauge to ensure a proper pressure level.