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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning to do wheels soon, and looking for opinions on rear wheel size.
I'm leaning towards keeping it at 16, but since I'm spending the money on a wheel, feel like I should do the 18.
Any pics, info, pro/cons are appreciated.

2004. Planning to drop the front about 1.5" after. Would have to drop the rear too, if I go 18. I'm 5'9.
 

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Thanks Jay!

17 is widely considered the best compromise between riding comfort and visibility of the wheel. An 18 cost s little more and isn't gonna ride as good. The 18 also rides on a 180 tire which, IMO, doesn't look as good as the 200 that a 17 usually rides on.

Your goal for lowering the bike Is to get the frame to sit level. If you go down 1.5 inches in front then go around the same amount down in the rear and account for the sag when you sit on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a great deal, but I'm going for a different look.

I'd like to get as much mileage as possible.
I don't want the seat height to go up, and was hoping to only lower the front, so 16 seemed like a solution, but made me wonder about the pros and cons of different wheel/tire combos.
 

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16 is the only choice for high mileage. That is what I run. Not lowered in the front either. I think lowering will only help with a rougher ride and less ground clearance. Baggers have a high center of gravity thus the 21" in the front is not a big deal to me.

My advice is get the 21 front and 16 rear and put them on the bike. Ride it and see what you think. If you then want to lower it go ahead but doing it all at once it is impossible to differentiate between the lowering kit and the wheels.

Drew
 

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Depends on what your idea of high mileage is. I get 12-15k on my 17"

I wouldn't waste the money to buy a custom rim in a stock size. Just send your stock wheel off to willy shiny and do a chrome exchange.

As for lowering the bike, it just plain looks cool. I'm no suspension guru so I won't get into a geometry class on this thread but I'm guessing the point of adding a 21" wheel is aesthetics. Look at a pic of a bike with a 21" wheel at stock height and compare it to a bike that's been lowered 1-2" there is no comparison. Good luck with your decision. Ride safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Definitely don't want the bike any lower.
Thinking of doing 21 up front, lowered 2 inches, and 18 in the rear, lowered 1 inch.
That should leave me right around where I am now, right??
 

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I won't mount the Michelin on a 17 rear for an 09 or newer bagger as it is wider than a Metzeler or Avon and can rub the belt. Had this happen with enough customers when this tire first came out that we decided against using this tire.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I won't mount the Michelin on a 17 rear for an 09 or newer bagger as it is wider than a Metzeler or Avon and can rub the belt. Had this happen with enough customers when this tire first came out that we decided against using this tire.

Drew


FYI: The bike I am asking about is a 2004.
 

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That changes things. On an 04 you can do an 18x4.25 with a 150/70/18 Michelin rear. There is not a good 17" rear option for an 04.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
That changes things. On an 04 you can do an 18x4.25 with a 150/70/18 Michelin rear. There is not a good 17" rear option for an 04.

Drew


Thanks, Drew.

Seems like you know a lot more about this than me (ha!), so if you have a minute, could you tell me if my thinking is correct:

Trying to keep the bike level and keep the seat height where it is or SLIGHTLY lower (retaining ground clearance for aggressive cornering is important). Thinking 21" x 3.5" with a 2 inch drop up front and 18" x 4.25" in the rear with a 1 inch drop will be the way to go. Yes? No?
Also, 1" axles for both, right?
 

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With the 18" on the rear and a 21" on the front i would think a 1" drop would be pretty close to level. The 18" in the rear sits a little higher than the stock 16. I gotta be honest, on a bike with such a high center of gravity I think it is a waste of time to try and even out the suspension like this.

I think anyone who is putting wheels on and trying to do everything all at once is missing the boat and spending more than they need to to try and get it "right" the first time. Do one thing at a time or else you will avhe no clue if it was the lowering kit or the wheel or something else.

Everyone's reactions to these types of changes vary as well. I'm fine with my 21 and 16 at stock height. Some of the guys I ride with are so scared to put a bigger wheel that I motion towards my bike and tell them to ride and they refuse.

So, there is no right way to do this but I prefer one thing at a time as I lowered the front on my softail (years after I added a 21" front wheel) and hated the way that the forks felt after that due to reduced fork travel.

But, I wanted it to look just right and that it did. Nowadays I am more concerned with ride quality than the perfection of looks when sitting still. Funny how things change as we age.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again Drew.
My motivation for doing it all at once is partly to have it "look right", but also because I do not want to sit any higher than I currently do. I took off a REALLY nice seat because it raised me up about an inch, which I didn't like.

Also, it seems like everyone says that lowering the front 2" when going to a 21" in the front balances out the change in geometry.
 

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I won't mount the Michelin on a 17 rear for an 09 or newer bagger as it is wider than a Metzeler or Avon and can rub the belt. Had this happen with enough customers when this tire first came out that we decided against using this tire.

Drew
My 13 has the Commander II mounted on a 17 wheel and I will vouch that its a tight fit with the belt. I haven't had any issues with it rubbing yet...
 
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