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Old 04-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
One Less Harley OP
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G/S rear wheel clearance to swingarm??

I had recently installed a Mefo Explorer 120-90x18 and had issues with the tire rubbing on the swing arm, just a small amount hardly noticeable spinning the wheel. Ian mentioned he runs a Mefo 130-90x18 with no problems. I assume my rear wheel is stock, it the Akront rim. But what I'd like to know is what some other G/S have for clearance from the outer edge of the rim to the swing arm. Ths is the widest portion of the rim. I can just fit an 8mm deep well craftsman socket between the rim and swing arm. this measures 11.14mm.

So if any of you Old Schoolers would be so kind to get me some measurements...
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Earlier G/Ss have a 2.15x18 rim which will squeeze a tire a little bit narrower. I believe '83 and later have a 2.5x18 rim. Take your wheel to any wheel guy and they should be able to dish it out to the left just enough to give you some breathing room without having to use different spokes. I've fit a 120-90-18 Mefo Explorer on without any rubbing.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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It's a 1984 G/S. 2.5" rim, if putting a straight edge on the outer rim on the left side of the rim there is about 1/4 inch space between the straight edge and brake drum.

If dishing a wheel off to one side will it cause the bike to ride differently, like pulling or in this case pushing to one side???
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
If dishing a wheel off to one side will it cause the bike to ride differently, like pulling or in this case pushing to one side???
The answer would have to be yes, but judging by how wonky a G/S handles as-is with the torque reaction of a longitudinal crank, the "shaft jacking" reaction, and a really flexy frame, I doubt you'd notice anything at all if you just dished 5mm or so out to the left.

Here's a photo that Roadsacallin took for me to show the amount of dish on his rear wheel which he runs 140s on. He's got an HPN swingarm though, so that buys him a little bit of clearance. He used an Excel 2.5"x18 rim, so it might not look exactly the same with an Akront.

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Old 04-02-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the photo AW- the rear tire is already out of line with the center of the frame anyway, at least the rear fender as a reference. I'll see where mine lines up.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
Thanks for the photo AW- the rear tire is already out of line with the center of the frame anyway, at least the rear fender as a reference. I'll see where mine lines up.
I'm pretty sure all airheads' wheel centerlines are offset by 1-1.5 cm or thereabouts from the factory. I'm sure someone will chime in with the exact amount for each different swingarm / final drive combo.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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I just checked mine like your photo AW, the straight edge is just inside the lip inder 1/8". That much ofset would give me clearance to fun the 120-90x18 Mefo. My extra rim has the same offset. I'm sure Woody could offer good advise on a change in offset. I just can't afford to even do that right now
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
I just checked mine like your photo AW, the straight edge is just inside the lip inder 1/8". That much ofset would give me clearance to fun the 120-90x18 Mefo. My extra rim has the same offset. I'm sure Woody could offer good advise on a change in offset. I just can't afford to even do that right now
Any wheel builder should be able to do it for you for less than $100. If your spokes and nipples are in decent enough shape and not seized up, it should be a breeze for someone who knows what they're doing.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #9
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Ah the things we'll buy after graduation....
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:39 PM   #10
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If you have a spoke wrench, you can loosen the right side spokes 1 turn and then tighten the left side 1 turn until you get your clearance.

As long as you make sure you tighten/loosen equal amounts you should be fine. Let the air out of the tube before you start.

If it makes it easier, put a dot on each spoke with a sharpie facing out. Start at the valve stem and work your way around.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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well that's one way to do it. I'm pretty good truing up bicycle rims, never built a wheel though. Could temporarily build a truing stand using the Marc Parn's wheel balancer....The spokes are pretty old so loosening/ tightening could be an issue.

$100 to balance and shipping both ways...$$$$ I shouldn't spend right now. No one here in BG KY I'd trust. Of course I could learn, just get a spoke torque wrench. Oh well i can put the Mefo back until a later date. Got a K60 110-80x18 on it now. I like the tread of the mefo seems like it should grip a little better than the heidenua. K60's have been my 1st choice thus far, about $200 for the set. Just hard to get the rear.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #12
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anyone care to get me that clearance measurement??? I'm still curious.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
anyone care to get me that clearance measurement??? I'm still curious.

I just went out and a quick measurement showed 12.5mm
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #14
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I'm putting on a set of 606's this weekend, 120 rear. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:10 PM   #15
One Less Harley OP
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well that 1.5 mm more than mine and that would have been enough to fit the Mefo 120-90x18, still might rub under low pressures though.

Thanks
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