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When you consider buying aftermarket wheels for your Harley, you have one major choice to make: The choice between spoked wheels and one piece alloy wheels. The two might serve the same end goal, but each brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table. If you are in the market for some new Harley wheels, you are probably in the midst of making this decision right now. If that’s the case, then you are in the right place. We’ve taken our favorite new spoked and alloy wheels and compiled them right here so that we can share them with all of you wonderful people.
How long ago would you guess the spoked wheel was invented? We’re willing to bet that they are older than you thought. Spoked wheels can be found in civilizations dating back to 2000 B.C. That’s 4000 years ago! There is a reason that spoked wheels are still in use after all this time; they are incredibly durable. They are able to handle the wear and tear that adventure and off road bikes see on a regular basis. While it’s highly unlikely that you will be taking your Harley off road, a spoked rim is a great way to inject some nostalgia into your bike.
Unfortunately, no wheels are perfect. Most spoked wheels are not compatible with tubeless tires and spoked wheels are generally heavier than alloy wheels. But, for many, these issues are negligible, and spoked wheels are still extremely common on retro and classic inspired bikes.
This wheel by Paughco is a perfect example of a typical retro Harley wheel. Covered in glistening chrome, this wheel is held in durable shape with a whopping 80 spokes. It is a worthy addition to any classic Harley, a style that never disappoints.
Do you remember when we said that most spoked wheels are not compatible with tubeless tires? This rim by Drag Specialties is one of the few exceptions. Drag Specialties has put in the time and effort to make this brilliant product. Now you can have the best of both worlds with a spoked wheel and a tubeless tire.
Alloy wheels don’t have quite the long and storied history. They first appeared in the 1970’s on motorcycles and quickly took hold of the market. These wheels are cast with lightweight materials like Aluminum and Magnesium. They are known for being rigid, easy to make with computer aided machining techniques, and generally lightweight. Their rigidity makes them easy to handle and practical for wider tires. Their ease of production helps keep prices down, and their lightweight design makes them perfect for performance bikes.
But of course, they have some cons. Their rigidity also makes them less durable when thrown over bumps. Where a spoked wheel might flex to absorb the blow, an alloy wheel will bend and crumple. Of course, this is only an issue on rough terrain, which isn’t an issue for most HD riders. That’s why these wheels are used on the majority of Harleys produced today.
For those of you looking for a modern wheel for your modern bike, Coastal Moto has answered your calls. This wheel has been forged as one piece and designed with black and chrome styling, giving it a futuristic appearance.
If you want the look of a spoked wheel paired with the benefits of an alloy wheel, you’ll be excited by this perfect compromise! RC components has developed a wheel that offers both, right here in the U.S.A.. These will give your bike a vintage look with the benefits of an alloy wheel.
The four wheels we’ve mentioned are just a couple of our personal favorites in Dennis Kirk’s vast selection. If these don’t peak your interest and you would like to see what else is out there, check out our full selection of Harley Davidson Wheels. Also, hit us up in the comments iff you have any questions or comments about the products in our selection.
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