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  1. #1
    partsgone
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    Default wheel lacing spoke question

    Hi, Im looking to lace a 18 Harley drop center rim to a 8 triumph drum brake hub. Does anyone know what size spokes I would need.
    Thanks Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by partsgone View Post
    Hi, I’m looking to lace a 18” Harley drop center rim to a 8” triumph drum brake hub. Does anyone know what size spokes I would need.
    Thanks Scott
    Have you tried contacting Buchanans? They know everything about spokes.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by partsgone View Post
    Hi, I’m looking to lace a 18” Harley drop center rim to a 8” triumph drum brake hub. Does anyone know what size spokes I would need.
    Thanks Scott
    What year and style of Triumph hub you got? I see spoke sets for Triumphs to fit rear 18" rims. But not sure of the difference between Triumph rims and HD drop centre rims - might just need to research the difference and it might just be a set of standard Triumph spokes:
    see examples here:
    https://www.classicbikespares.com.au...e-nipple-sets/
    and
    a listing from BCS (using Buchanan's): http://www.britcycle.com/Products/553/553SpokePage.htm

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    Do you already have the spokes? It makes a difference. But why not just use a Triumph rim with a Triumph hub and then stuff will fit and if you dont already have the spokes you can order off the shelf from Buchanan's or Walridge and get Stainless ones while you are at it.
    The cost of a rim is not that big of a difference all things considered. I like to order from Walridge, plus there is that nice exchange rate to take advantage of (like saving 30%) But I know Kenny Buchanan and good guy, good company so either is a good resource.

    Now since the 50s people have been lacing Triumph hubs to 16" HD rims and the drop center is deeper on a HD rim than a Triumph stock steel chrome rim. (Akront, Borrani, DID, Dunlop and other alloy rims all are different as well). So there is tons of off the shelf spoke kits cheap for the 16" rims. I bought 2 sets last year from some wholesaler and like $35 for spokes and $40 for the rim which is way cheaper than the stock Triumph stuff,, but I order premium Stainless spokes and Central Wheel rims made in the UK from Walridge.
    Approx $80-90 for spokes and $125 for the new chrome British rim)

    So, not enough info to properly say do this or do that,, but I wouldnt bother cutting corners. Not worth the hassle to step over a dime to pick up a penny. **Im all for custom stuff,, I love that,, but not to just overly complicate your life and possible end up with a lessor end result.

    One caveat. I have mixed and matched rims and spokes but theres some rules you have to follow. EVERY RIM is dimpled and drilled for its application. **IF** You have to tweak, bend, or grind on the dimple hole to make the spokes line up, you are likely get yourself killed. There are percentages of bend and alignment and not much room for error. To TEST for fit, I try and use another already laced wheel that I know is right. Then I lay a hub and rim over them on the bench. I take some spokes or welding wire and start lining up holes (Cross 3 or cross 4 pattern) and see if its within tolerances. You can fudge less than 8% IMHO,, but anything more is a fracture waiting to happen. Not a question if but when.

    **** OFF topic tangent but related****
    BSA crinkle hubs are brilliant because EVERY spoke is a straight pull, No bending, That is stronger by a significant factor than a spoke with a bend in it. When playing around with Factory British Spokes there is something like 27 different variations on threads, pitch and diameters so mixing and matching spokes is hard to do. Just buy a matched set. Also, Triumph made a heavy duty and a light duty spoke and rims are dimpled and drilled to suit. 2 different diameters. Dont be an idiot like me, Not realize this and spend a bazillion dollars to rechrome a rim and then find out the holes are too small.

    This guy is the North American distributor for the UKs Central wheel. The worlds largest manufacturer of British bike rims and spokes. I usually order all my stuff from them. Here is his tech page on FAQ.
    See: https://www.walridge.com/wheels/#topic4

    In his older printed catalogs, He has a multipage tutorial on Spoke and wheel lacing tech thats very indepth. I dont know if the current catalogs have it,, But I can scan them if anyone needs them. Im not sure I can post them here as might be too large,, But if someone wants to resize the scans and post in the tech thread I am happy to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougtheinternetannoyance123 View Post
    You can fudge less than 8% IMHO,, but anything more is a fracture waiting to happen. Not a question if but when.
    I followed what you said and agree with most of it, but I don't understand this 8% part. 8% of what?

    I can see why the o.p would want to use a drop center HD 18" rim. They're a little wider than the Triumph rim at the bead seat (2.50" vs the widest Triumph at WM3 or 2.15") Plus, they're a cool looking rim. And being narrower than the D 3.00" 16" rims, you can run a 4.00 or a 4.50 tire and not run into the chain to tire interference that you get with most 16" tires (some 5.00 x 16 will clear, but a 130/90 x 16 generally won't) Also the size of the rear Sportster hub that these rims were laced too isn't far from the Triumph "cotton spool" hub

    Although Buchanon's doesn't list a pre made set of spokes for this application, I'm sure they could supply the o.p. with one with no trouble.

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    what I meant was where a spoke exits the nipple hole in a rim, Ideally it should project straight out perfectly. Its considered permissable to bend just a tad bit, but not a good idea. I have seen a few with just a little bending there and seems it worked okay, But if there is any tension there it all it will pop like a zit on a 16 year olds nose with any stress at all. 8% i suppose is an approx number but I read that in a book somewhere so it sounded legit.
    These days,,, at swap meets or online sales,, certain rims are hard to get, so people tend to want to try and use something that might not be an exact fit. I have a friend who restored a race triumph from 1949 and the racing Dunlop rim is very hard to find, He did eventually but when you run into such things, its tempting to try and bend the rules a bit.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for your response. I sorry for my delay, but i was not able to sign in for some reason. I had to start over. I am looking to put a triumph front end, 64-69 i think, on a stock Harley rigid frame. I believe i have to extend the stem, though. I have a some what long history with vintage Harleys, but none with Truimphs. I wanted to use a 18" Harley aluminum drop center racing wheel, Akfront style, in the front as it would match the rear 16" aluminum rim and it is a wider rim. I do not know if the spoke angles are the same and understand the effect of a wheel laced in a incorrect manor. In the end i may have to buy a aluminum Akfront Truimph wheel and matching spokes.
    Thanks again scott
    Last edited by partsgone; 09-01-2019 at 4:02 PM.

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    Maybe you can check out these guys if you are going British:

    Motorcycle wire wheel builders Rims & Spokes Essex U.K.

    http://www.williswheels.co.uk/rim-selection.html

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    I think we were all thinking rear, at least I was. For the years you mentioned there were 2 basic Triumph front drum brakes, the single leading shoe, used from about '58 to '67, and the double leading shoe, used '68-'70. The '68 version had the cable come in from the rear, and the other 2 had the cable run parallel to the forks, probably slightly more desirable. All of these were laced to rims that were dimpled 2 x 2. That is, there are 2 dimples for spokes on the left side of the centerline of the rim, then 2 on the right, and so on. (most rims are dimpled 1x1.) These also have a pretty wide spoke angle. As far as I know Triumph never supplied any flanged alloy (aluminum) rims on these bikes.

    However, Harley Sportsters, from '64-'72, also used a 2 x 2 dimpled rim with a wide spoke angle and did supply alloy rims for those on the XLCH models. These are for the full width drum brake sometimes referred to as a "hamburger" brake. Only 1 is an 18". It's HD part # 43009-64. That's a shallow drop center WM3 (2.15" width, at the bead seat, offered '64-'69) It was an option for guys with shorter inseams, although HD referred to it as "low ground clearance." I don't think many were sold, and it's pretty rare now, so finding one may be a problem. (not that the others are necessarily easy to find.) ( I just checked Ebay and there is one of these rims, laced into a complete wheel for the Sportster. Guy wants $400 for it.) The 19" version of that rim, also WM3 shallow drop center, is part #43010-64. Those are easier to find. In fact, I have one I'm getting ready to lace to a '69-'70 double leading shoe brake. My brake is from a BSA but in those years Triumph and BSA used the same forks and brakes. The third rim is the 19" deep square drop center rim used from '70-72, part number 43010-70. It's a CM profile and 2.50 wide at the bead seat. A guy had one on Ebay a while back that he thought was worth $300. On all three of those rims, the part number is stamped into the rim, on the inside where you can't see it with the tire mounted, near the valve stem hole.

    Here's a pic of a Hamburger drum Sportster wheel, (this particular one has the 19" XLH steel rim) laid over a '69 BSA (same as Triumph for that year) double leading shoe wheel. You can see how close the spoke angles are. The best one to look at is the ones that are right on top of each other. Doug may not approve, but I'm not above fudging the spoke holes just a touch in a case like this.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    I do have a lot of sportster rims, drop center aluminum and the early aluminum and steel, 18 & 19 conventional rims. I remember the 2x 2 rim's and have them. I believe the rim on the Truimph front end is 1X1 steel. I will have to check. Purhaps i will post a picture if i figure out how.
    thanks scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by partsgone View Post
    Purhaps i will post a picture if i figure out how.
    thanks scott

    It's very easy...........

  12. #12

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    My front wheel is the same as in MoTher's photo. I guess that is 2x2 but different than the Sportster 2x 2, it seems. I have been bitten several times by this rim. I am out of them, i see. I just sold a 64 Sportser with aluminum rims. I remember now i need a early 19" aluminum rim with the round center, like the triumph, for a 59 with the split brake hub. I guess i will have to buy the aluminum Truimph rim unless anyone has a Harley Springer for a good price. I sold all my left overs Springer parts and would prefer a Springer on this 42 over a Truimph front end. I let you know how it goes. thanks

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