Few upgrades on your bike will get you noticed like a new set of wheels and tires. As the custom market goes the big-wheel bagger route, we still find solace in a good old-fashioned wire wheel installation.
Black Bike Wheels, in Northridge, California, has been making wire wheels for Harleys and other models for years and have garnered an impressive reputation in the industry. Black Bike can produce any wheel/color/spoke combination that you can dream of with CNC-machined hubs and spokes in chrome steel or polished stainless. After mulling over the different options, we decided on 21x3.5-inch ($825) and 18x4.25-inch ($750) wheels featuring red gloss hubs and rims and 60 chrome steel spokes.
Nothing complements a red and chrome wheel combo like white wall tires and that is exactly what the guys at Vee Rubber supplied us with. Vee Rubber is not currently a brand that most Americans are familiar with; however, its quickly making a name for itself with its depth of quality tires for both two- and four-wheeled vehicles. Skinning the red powdercoated rims and hubs with steel spokes would be Vee Rubber’s Twin White Walls for nostalgia’s sake. Up front we went with Vee’s 120/70-21, and in the rear a 150/60 B18.
After all was said and done, the aging cop bike project is starting to come together. The Black Bike Wheels look top notch and have completely changed the look and attitude of the bike. The large diameter Vee Rubber White Wall tires are not something you see everyday either, and with the red rims, really off-set the rattle-can paintjob.
1. The Road King Police outside of Black Bike Wheels sporting its new spinners in Northridge, California.
2. 21x3.5 front and 18x4.25 rear Black Bike Wheels. Hot Rod gloss red hubs and rims with 60 chrome spokes lend an old-school feel. Vee Rubber Twin White Wall Twin tires in 120/70-21 and 150/60 B18 sizes keep the scoot on the road.
3. With the bike on the lift, we removed the front brake caliper from the fork leg prior to removing the wheel.
4. With the brakes and axle covers removed, we loosened the lower axle clamps and slid out the axle. We then removed the wheel and loosened the rotors from the stock wheel since they’ll be reused.
5. Blue Loctite was applied prior to reinstallation of the rotor bolts before installing the factory rotors on the Black Bike Wheels.
6. The Black Bike Wheel was slid between the fork legs and the axle was reinstalled.
7. After tightening down the axle, the front brake caliper was hooked back up and the front wheel installation was complete.
8. Before tackling the back wheel, the hard bags needed to be removed from the bike to gain access to the rear wheel axle.
9. We loosened and removed the rear axle…
10. …and loosened the final drivebelt from the stock pulley in order to remove the rear wheel.
11. The stock pulley was re-attached to the new wheel using the original hardware. Being that the pulley will be hidden behind the bags, there was no need to change it.
12. With the belt attached and tensioned and the wheel lined up, we slid the rear axle back through and finished up the installation.
13. A nice side-effect of the new 21-inch wheel is that it fills out the fender for that lowered look without modifications to the sheetmetal. A 1- to 2-inch suspension drop kit will be installed in the future to compensate for the raised frontend of the larger diameter wheel.
14. Here’ the finished product. The nostalgia of a ’50s hot rod coupled with modern machining techniques and cutting-edge rubber make for a winning combination.