New Wheel for the Sportster

The new wheel arrived today so I spent an hour or so tonight putting it on and finishing up the project I started a few nights ago. I was surprised when it arrived because they told me it wouldn't be able to ship until mid-May. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased.

With the tire on the new wheel, I was ready to get to work.


Before I started putting things back together I applied some anti-seize to the inside of the spacers and the axle. I had some VersaChem anti-seize I had been using with the top-end rebuild of the Buell, so I used that.


I used the scissor lift to lift and adjust the fork position so I could slip the axle though fairly easy. (I think next to my hand tools, that little scissor lift is one of the most useful tools in the garage.)

Make sure you don't forget the spacers as you slip the axle through. You'll need to think ahead because the left spacer doesn't have enough clearance to go through with the right spacer in place. You'll need to get it started before you start pushing the axle through. It would have been convenient to have had three hands, but if you're careful you only need two.

You'll also need to make sure you wipe off any anti seize that gets on the threads or your torque values will be off when you torque the axle nut.


Finger tighten the axle nut on the left side then insert a screwdriver into the holes on the right side of the axle. Hold the screwdriver at something like a right angle to the fork so the axle doesn't rotate as you torque the axle nut to spec.


Snug up the pinch bolt nut finger tight and then torque to spec.

NOTE: With the front wheel off the ground, I checked to make sure the wheel looked centered and right before I let the wheel down and torqued everything to spec.


I applied a little LocTite to the caliper bolts, threaded them on and then torqued to spec.


With the caliper on and the bike down, I pumped the brakes until I could feel them grab. It probably took about a 1/2-dozen pulls on the lever before I felt the front brake engage. I then lifted the front wheel back up off the ground and spun the wheel to make sure it spun freely and then tested the brakes again.


The new wheel looks pretty good and this part of tonight's project is done.


The only thing left to do was to replace the missing air cleaner cover.

Since I was planning on keeping the stock set up (at least for now), I went online to see if I could find a used cover for a decent price. I was able to find one on eBay which is what I installed.


Tomorrow I'll get the bike safety inspected and try to get the new title and licensing taken care of so I can take her for a spin on Saturday if the weather is cooperative.