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  1. #1
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    Default shovelhead rear wheel sizes

    Ok I'm starting my first venture into big twins with a 1980 FXWG shovelhead. I had built a Triumph in the past and loved the way the wm3x19 rear wheel looked on my bike and want to run something similar on my shovelhead. Currently I have the stock 16 rear wheel, I ultimately want to run a 19 x 4 rear tire. What are my options here, I found a V-twin 19x3 rim on ebay that seems like it would work but looks like it only comes in black. What 19 inch rims are you guys using to lace up to the stock shovelhead hubs?? Thanks

  2. #2

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    I have laced the aluminum 19" XL front rim from the seventies to the HD steel spool. Custom spokes are needed. Because of the layout of the holes in the rim, the spokes on one side must be bent around each other. This is less than optimal, but does work. It's hard to explain unless you have spoked a lot of wheels and run into the problem yourself.
    A good choice in rims would be a Sun rim and custom spokes from Buchanan's. Top shelf all the way, and they will drill the rim to fit the hub. I've got a 19 3.5 rim from them that is really nice.

    Jim

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    Well. I got an original Firestone 4"x19" rear tire and tube in great shape if you go that route. One good burnout and your back in business.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47str8leg View Post
    Well. I got an original Firestone 4"x19" rear tire and tube in great shape if you go that route. One good burnout and your back in business.
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    That is the rear tire I use to run on my triumph and would like to run on this shovel!

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    Well, never shipped a tire before but , if it works out, let me know and we'll figure it out.

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    OK, so it's on the back of a pan and not a shovel, but the rim is a WM3-19 (2.15) Borrani from an XR750 , and the tire is an NOS Goodyear DT in the popular 4.00 x 19 size.

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    Buchanan sells a special set of spokes for the 2.50-19" aluminum rim that JBinNC mentions and was on the front of '73-'79 Sportsters laced to your hub. The Buchanan spokes lace it cross 4 on one side and cross 3 on the other. (stock is cross 4 on both sides.) They call it double staggered because of the 2 x 2 dimple pattern, Check their website. It does away (I think) with the problem he mentions.

    If you decide to pick up a used on of these rims, it'll probably need a good cleaning, a little filing and sanding on some dings and dangs, and a good polish, or you can skip the polish and have it powder coated mirror silver. I just put a set of that style rims on a '96 Sportster with the powder coat, and people are surprised when I tell them. They wouldn't have known the difference if I hadn't, except for the guy who laced and trued them. He had a really close look.

    And, it's easy to ship a tire. Just wrap tape around an 8" section of it, slap a mailing label on that, and add more clear tape over the label. Doesn't really need a box. I've shipped and received quite a few tires that way.

    Finally, just for inspiration, here's a pic of Dick Hirschberg and his '69 Shovel, featured in (I think) Hot Rod magazine, before there was Easyriders. This bike has 4.00 x 19 tires front and rear.

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    love that shovel his pan was nice never got the sporty he did. kinda ugly i thought

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    I didn't much care for the Sportster either, it didn't have the clean and simple of the knuck, the pan, and this one. Interestingly enough, that shovelhead was topnotch in 1969 when it got put together with the cooperation of Dick and the dealer where he bought it . If you showed up on that shovelhead today someone would yell you how "uncool" it is to have a sprung seat on a swingarm, or to not have a kickstart along with the electric one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 47str8leg View Post
    Well, never shipped a tire before but , if it works out, let me know and we'll figure it out.
    sent you a message, thanks everyone for their input

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    Quote Originally Posted by beerslave View Post
    sent you a message, thanks everyone for their input
    Messaged back. Any Questions , send me your number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTher View Post
    OK, so it's on the back of a pan and not a shovel, but the rim is a WM3-19 (2.15) Borrani from an XR750 , and the tire is an NOS Goodyear DT in the popular 4.00 x 19 size.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC04435.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	295.7 KB 
ID:	99048

    Buchanan sells a special set of spokes for the 2.50-19" aluminum rim that JBinNC mentions and was on the front of '73-'79 Sportsters laced to your hub. The Buchanan spokes lace it cross 4 on one side and cross 3 on the other. (stock is cross 4 on both sides.) They call it double staggered because of the 2 x 2 dimple pattern, Check their website. It does away (I think) with the problem he mentions.

    If you decide to pick up a used on of these rims, it'll probably need a good cleaning, a little filing and sanding on some dings and dangs, and a good polish, or you can skip the polish and have it powder coated mirror silver. I just put a set of that style rims on a '96 Sportster with the powder coat, and people are surprised when I tell them. They wouldn't have known the difference if I hadn't, except for the guy who laced and trued them. He had a really close look.

    And, it's easy to ship a tire. Just wrap tape around an 8" section of it, slap a mailing label on that, and add more clear tape over the label. Doesn't really need a box. I've shipped and received quite a few tires that way.

    Finally, just for inspiration, here's a pic of Dick Hirschberg and his '69 Shovel, featured in (I think) Hot Rod magazine, before there was Easyriders. This bike has 4.00 x 19 tires front and rear.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	99049
    so you're running a 4x19 tire on a 2.15x19 rim? i've got my eye on a 2.50x19 rim and wondering my tire options....would like to run a 3.5 or 4x19 tire but wasn't sure it was possible/safe? this is for a rear wheel, btw.

  12. #12

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    Those vintage size tires were made for the narrower rims. There were no wide rims in the old days. Even the HD 16" rims are only 3" wide (even into the early '00s.) Your 2.5 rim would be fine for a 4.00 tire.

    Jim

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    Rim width is measured at the bead seat on the inside, so a 2.15 rim is probably closer to 3.5" total width. Also, WM is a rim profile, and the number after it indicates width WM0 = 1.4", WM1 = 1.6", WM2 = 1.85", WM3 = 2.15.

    The Harley 2.50" rims are a CM profile, originally designed for the Goodyear taper bead base tire and is .075" smaller in dia. at the bead seat. It's usually not a problem unless you use something that stays slippery to mount your tires, or you run really low air pressure. Just keep and eye on the valve stem,and if it starts to tilt, take the wheel off and straighten it out. Some guys use screws through the rim to make sure. HD did the rim screw thing on XLCH Sportsters with rear WM3 x 18" rims during the '60's.

    Here's a link to a rim to tire chart. The middle rim widths are usually the preferred rim size, but the others are permitted and considered safe. https://dropbears.com/motorcycles/utilities/tyrerim.htm

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