Big Wheel Baggers are Getting Bigger at Hot Metal Harley-Davidson®
You’ve seen them at bike nights, bike rallies, and all over the covers of motorcycle magazines: Big Wheel Baggers. Whether you love the look, or prefer something a little more traditional, the craze isn’t dying out any time soon.
The standard bagger front was 16” for the longest time going back to the 1980’s. Slowly over time the wheels have crept up in size to 19”, which has become the new norm.
Big Wheel Baggers started to become popular in 2010 and their popularity keeps on growing… literally. The “bigger” wheels started with 21” & 23” then 26” now Hot Metal Harley-Davidson® is working on three 30” motorcycles at the same time!
The nice thing about the 21” & 23” is that they are simply bolt-on. Sometimes you need to add a little space in the fender, but for the most part you can throw a 21” on with no issues whatsoever.
Once you get into the 26” and 30” you get into some major modifications. The neck will need to be cut and you will have to choose between a bolt-on kit and a welded kit. Hot Metal Harley-Davidson always recommends to weld your frame, as the bolt-on’s have some weak points.
Usually when customers go big, they go big and don’t go home. Meaning: when you upgrade to a 30” wheel, you are usually stretching the tank, bags, and fender and customizing everything in between. I mean, why not? You need a new front fender when you put a big wheel on, so why not go all-out?
One of the big questions is how long does it take to create one of these mammoths of the road? The answer is that it depends. Typically what customers do is sit-down with our parts and service department and sketch out the bike. Expect to spend a few hours looking through parts books, magazines and browsing magazines to create your own custom designed look.
Once the design is there and the parts list is put together, the ordering is the next phase. More often than not you are ordering from multiple sources, so delivery could take anywhere from one to two weeks. Only when all the parts are in-house can your bike begin the transformation.
While the frame is being altered, the engine work is being done. The painted parts are shipped out to a painter so that more than one thing can be worked on at a time to keep the process moving. Paint can take anywhere from a week to two weeks depending on the complexity and the painter.
As with most big jobs, the quickest part is the assembly. Once you are done waiting for the parts to come in, and the paint to come back, you are looking at about six weeks from start to finish. Some builds may be less, and some builds may be more depending on the complexity and if any motorwork is involved.
If you would like a quote on a project for your bagger, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 412-464-9453. Even if you aren’t ready to pull the trigger, he can sit down with you and show you what your bike would look like with a 30” wheel stuffed under that front fairing so nice and neat.