Spokes or Mags

    • 1855 posts
    May 15, 2013 9:09 AM PDT
    Don't answer too quickly now.    Aside from "the look", what other reasons might you have for preferring one over the other?

    • 5420 posts
    May 15, 2013 9:19 AM PDT
    I love the look of spoke wheels - ON OTHER PEOPLES BIKES!  I think they look good on almost any touring bike or custom.

    However, those who know me know I DON'T like to have anything on the bike that requires any special attention when it comes to cleaning.  I have black mags so you can't see the dirt and I only clean them when there is enough dirt on them to effect the wheel balance 
    • 544 posts
    May 15, 2013 11:08 AM PDT
    Yeah, cleaning spokes does suck.
    • 1 posts
    May 16, 2013 2:42 AM PDT
    Mags... I am a low matinance kind of gal and spokes over time are more maintiance, are harder to clean and keep clean.
    I do have them on the "Mistress" It was a battle and Wooly won that one as it was the "Proper" wheel for her. I will say they do look great on her but I dont have to clean them.
    • 3006 posts
    May 16, 2013 4:43 AM PDT
    I am running spokes myself,yes they are hard to clean.their maintenance is more demanding
    as I am finding out.If I had the $ I would go with some custom rims I have seen on rides like mine.
    As for advantages I dont see spokes having any over cast rims.Yet I enjoy the spoke wheel look
    and I am willing to put up with the hassle.
    • Moderator
    • 19058 posts
    May 16, 2013 7:07 AM PDT
    Yeah...what they said.
  • May 16, 2013 8:10 AM PDT
    I hate cleaning spokes
    • 1855 posts
    May 16, 2013 12:11 PM PDT
    How about mags over spokes when it comes to having a flat tire on the road? That's my concern these days. I'm waaaaaayyyy past the days when I want to change tubes on the road.

    A bit of info.....Harley is moving their wheel manufacturing operation from Australia to China. Geesh...go figure. The HD dealer told me they are so backed up right now that I wouldn't get any until "maybe" August.

    • 5420 posts
    May 16, 2013 12:18 PM PDT
    Another good point I never thought of was that flat tire issue. I have not had a spoked wheel in over 20 years so I just took that for granted.

    Maybe you can find someone to trade you. Some people would prefer the spokes!
    • 79 posts
    May 16, 2013 3:50 PM PDT
    I have an 80 spoke up front for the look,but have a solid on the back because it's easy to clean and with saddlebags you don't see the back wheel.As for tubes KC sells a very nice 80 spoke tubeless wheel for around 350 dollars
  • May 16, 2013 10:21 PM PDT
    i'm a mag man because if you have any hp at all and ride a little ruuged spokes will break , I have to many spoke wheels laying around as evidence .
    • Moderator
    • 16849 posts
    May 17, 2013 6:25 AM PDT
    Spokes look better but can be a hassle.
    Mags have come a long way.
    Solids are the strongest.
    • 846 posts
    May 17, 2013 7:54 AM PDT
    On a custom bobber I would go spokes but on my daily ride mags. The same reason as everyone else cleaning them is a bit*h.
    Now there the option for some of the deluxes I think to have tubeless spoked wheels still go with mags.
    Through I don't like having to clean the exposed aluminum on the mags I have.
    • 48 posts
    May 18, 2013 11:12 PM PDT
    Funny you ask. Last weekend I spent 2 hours on just the Heritage spokes.....cleaning, scrubbing, tightening. But man they look good. Spent 20 minutes on the Road Glide mags 2 nights ago, they look good. More time to ride. Changing/fixing flats on the spoke monster would suck..thanks Jimmy, hadn't given that any thought really. Its function for me that typically rules any mods. I'd have to say mag.
  • June 11, 2013 9:21 AM PDT
    I'm with Ricochet... I had spokes on the back of my 96" shovel and there's no need to have all those inches if you arent gonna take it out and light it up every now and then (which I do way too often)....every time I did I had loose spokes on the rear so I ended up putting a solid rim on there.....But I do love the looks of spokes, especially the  60 & 80 large spoke rims
    • 1 posts
    June 11, 2013 9:28 AM PDT
    Mag man all the way. Spokes dirty nasty and takes too much riding time away for maintenance. I have black mags, but I do like the chrome mags, which require additional cleaning and polishing. I could deal chrome mags.
    • 1161 posts
    June 11, 2013 4:10 PM PDT
    Yep Mags are for me as well. Don't like the look of spokes my self on certain bikes but on others it looks good. They are just not my style.
    • 834 posts
    July 18, 2013 12:32 PM PDT
    Wire wheels do look good on most bikes, but I would not like to clean them and I prefer tubless tires.

    I love the solid FatBoy wheels. Easiest cleaning ever.
  • July 18, 2013 4:35 PM PDT
    I like spokes. To me [maybe just me] all cast wheels look like they were designed in Taiwan [or worse]. All of them on every Harley. No matter the actual place where they were designed they seem to radiate, in MY mind's eye, a 'rice-grinder' image. Can but wonder what a liquid cooled HD, with a horrid radiator slapped on it, will look like. It's coming; and it could only look worse if it had alloy wheels [IMHO]. Which it surely will. But maybe if they increase the size of the emblem on the tank large enough it will be possible to easily tell it is a Harley and not a Suzuki Boulevard or suchlike. Honest, I have made mistakes when, at first glance, I thought the bike near me was a ricer, due largely to the cast wheels, and then saw it was a Harley. More and more Asia Styling seems to be the goal by corporate HD.
    • 5420 posts
    July 19, 2013 4:47 AM PDT
    Personally I don't think it is "Asian" styling as much as taking advantage of modern technology. If you think back ALL bikes had spoke wheels. As the Japanese bikes began to take on a more modern look and taking advantage of modern technology the wheels on there bikes began to change also. Of course Harley has always done their best to keep their bikes with the traditional look - my Road King doesn't look that much different than the Harley's of yesteryear - so the spoke rims stayed around a lot longer and are still available for the traditionalist.

    But like you said it is really a matter of personal choice and lots of people - including myself - like the modern mag style wheel for its technology - stays true, stronger, tubeless tires, and yes because they are much easier to clean. And some of us also like the look of the mag wheel. If someone can mistake my Road King for anything other than a Harley, fine... I personally think my Road King looks damn good with the Black Mags!!!
    • 12 posts
    July 29, 2013 9:17 AM PDT
    spokes look good when clean, but take way too much time to keep them looking good, takes away from riding time. give me mags any day
    • 844 posts
    July 31, 2013 1:50 AM PDT
    Had spokes on the Dyna and mine were always the dirtiest damn spokes you could find anywhere. Oh, I took care of the ol' girl but no way was I cleaning them damn spokes. The new Street Glide has mags and I am happy for that.