How to change rear tire on harley ultra classic

Removing and Installing the Rear Wheel on a Harley Touring Bike

by Ride It Wrench It 4 Comments

Removing and installing the rear wheel of your Harley can save you hundreds of dollars in labor fees. The process can be intimidating at first glance. Once you walk through the steps you will find it more doable than you might have expected.

Many Riders Have Performed Half The Process

Most riders have put slip-ons on their bike and have performed brake pad replacements. If you are one of those riders then you have completed almost half of the process of removing and installing your rear wheel. Once you remove the slip-ons and the brake caliper it's just a matter of pulling the axle to remove the wheel. Then you can take the wheel to a local shop to have your new tire mounted and balanced.

Many shops will do this for under $50. Once that is done just perform the operation in reverse to re-install the rear wheel. The only difficult part is going to be adjusting the drive belt tension. Just remember though, if you don’t get the deflection right on the first try, you can do it again before locking the wheel in place.

Opening The Door For Other Tasks

Learning this process will also help with other tasks on your bike should the need arise. Changing your isolator, rear fork removal for belt replacement, sprocket replacement, replacing rear wheel bearings, all of these items require the removal of the rear wheel. Knowing how to do this will open the door to many other more difficult and shop expensive repairs providing you with a way to save money and learn your motorcycle better.

Tools You May Need

You may have to purchase a couple of tools depending on your stock. As I always say, use the service manual for your specific motorcycle. You need the specifications the manual provides to do maintenance work. The processes are often closely related across a wide variety of bikes but the torque specifications can be completely different. A bike stand is necessary; you cannot do this job without a way to raise and support the rear of the bike. You will also need a torque wrench that will go up to 100-foot pounds to complete the axle installation.

Other tools include a large socket, breaker bar for the axle cone nut, a crescent wrench, or more preferably a large box-end wrench, and silver anti-seize lubricant. Even if you have to purchase some of these items, the savings of dealership labor rates for this task will cover the cost of the tools at which point you will now have the tools and be able to perform the task and other tasks related to rear-wheel removal yourself.


When it comes time to choose a tire refer to your owners or service manual sizing chart. Dunlop is the stock tire Harley is using on their newest bikes, but there are other tires you may want to use instead.

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Step-By-Step With Rabaconda – Rabaconda USA

The process of changing a motorcycle tire can be a hassle. Hard sidewall tires, stiff tires, and spoked wheels - these are the keywords for a headache for many. However, it doesn’t have to be this way: using the right tools, you can change any tire on any motorcycle, regardless of how stubborn the tire may be.

In the post and video tutorial below, we’re sharing our experience and tips on how to change a rear tire on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide. Step by step, we break the process down into easy parts, and before you know it, your bike’s got new shoes.


Tire-Changing Tools for a Cruiser Motorcycle

Changing a tire on a cruiser, tourer, or any V-twin motorcycle is no easy job if you’ve only got a pair of tire irons. Another option is to simply bring your bike to a dealership and have the tires changed there – it’s easy, but it’s time-consuming and usually, not cheap.

Then, you have tire-changing tools like the Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer aimed specifically at cruiser and touring bike riders. Being the best motorcycle tire changer on the market, the Street Bike Tire Changer works with a wide range of motorcycle brands: from Harley Davidson to just about any V-twin, touring, or cruiser motorcycle with stiff sidewall or hard tires and wheels with both cast and spoked rims.


Technique and Tips on How to Change a Rear Tire on a Harley Davidson Cruiser

In the video below, we’re testing how to change a rear tire on a Harley Davidson with Rabaconda.


We’ve chosen a Harley Davidson Electra Glide with a well-worn white wall Dunlop D402; even the HD dealers admit it’s a tough job, but we’re confident we can get it done.

First off, we’re going to break the bead. This tire is probably one of the hardest we’ve ever done: it has 12,000 miles on it, and it’s as stiff as they come.

Before you start working, don’t forget to deflate the tire. Then, using the bead breaker, slowly break the bead. It’s not as difficult as we expected, but you do need to lean into it.

Next, we dismount the tire. Always use plenty of soapy water when dismounting to minimize friction before you begin! Now, all that’s left is removing the tire off the rim using the duck head system. Instead of a pin-wheel stopper, we’re using a strap to make sure the wheel doesn’t rotate (this also works for wire-spoked wheels).

The tire comes off easily enough, but what about mounting? Mounting a brand new D402 – one of the most beloved touring tires – is no small task, and it’s crucial to grease the bead well to make the job easier. Before you start mounting, make sure to warm up the tire. It makes all the difference with stiff sidewall tires. Also see that the direction of the tire is correct, and the yellow dot on the tire marks where the valve stem should go.

Using the duck head, we pop the tire on the wheel – it’s impossible to do it by hand. Grease the duck head a little more for smoother mounting and, using the drop center tool, mount the tire.

Frankly, changing a rear tire on a Harley Davidson is much easier than we expected: the Dunlops are stiff, true, but warming up the tire and using the proper tools, the job is done within minutes.

This motorcycle tire change took just ten minutes, but we’re confident you can probably get it done faster once you’ve got the hang of it.

Now, what about balancing the wheel?

While we’re working on our own Rabaconda wheel balancer (it’ll be available in a few months), a simple tabletop manual balancer will do the work - most track day and MotoGP mechanics use those, and it takes a few minutes per wheel to balance. Other handy solutions include balancing beads, Ride-On tire balancing liquid, and Centramatic wheel balancers among others.


Harley-Davidson Tire Changing Costs

A motorcycle tire change can cost anywhere between $50-80 per tire depending on your location, the make and model of your bike, and your nearest dealer. The price goes down a little if you take the wheels off yourself and bring it to the shop; otherwise, expect to pay the full costs, and those do not include new tires. For more detailed information, see our post on how much it costs to change motorcycle tires.

Being DYI fans ourselves, we recommend riders start changing their own tires. First off, changing your own tires costs nothing except your time – which means you’ll save tons of cash in the long-run, more so if you own several bikes. But perhaps more importantly, changing your own tires means…freedom. You don’t need to book appointments or travel to dealerships anymore: you simply swap the rubber whenever you need to.

Whether it’s a cruiser motorcycle, a tourer bike, any model of a Harley Davidson or an Indian, the Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer is the #1 tool for fast and easy tire changes of your own.







Find the right tires for your motorcycle


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The choice of tires for your HARLEY DAVIDSON must be carefully considered, taking into account various factors, including the type of motorcycle, its parameters, driving style and the type of surface on which the tires will be used. To help you make this choice, Pirelli has created an extensive range of HARLEY DAVIDSON tires designed to provide excellent product performance in all conditions and absolute safety. In the expanded Pirelli catalog you will find a range of tires for HARLEY DAVIDSON designed to provide unrivaled performance on the road. Pirelli tires for HARLEY DAVIDSON are the perfect combination of technology, innovation and special rubber compounds that effectively handle all weather conditions. The tread patterns are designed to guarantee maximum straight and cornering grip, low risk of hydroplaning on wet roads, short braking distances and low fuel consumption. Special data sheets for each HARLEY DAVIDSON will allow you to better understand the characteristics of each tire and compare options. Once you've decided on your HARLEY DAVIDSON tires, please contact an authorized Pirelli dealer for more information and to complete your purchase. When it's time to change the tires on your HARLEY DAVIDSON, choose Pirelli's quality and safety.

The selected type of operating conditions will automatically display Pirelli tires based on the specified specifications and homologations; as well as a list of sizes that fit this kit.

The information provided here is for guidance only. Before buying tires, it is better to consult with the seller or a Pirelli representative for clarification of all technical characteristics and possible replacement options.


Sport Glide® | KRASNODAR Harley-Davidson®

KRASNODAR Harley-Davidson®

st. Dzerzhinsky, 80/1, Krasnodar, 350000, Russian Federation,

Map and opening hours +7(861) 258 52 20

+7(861) 258 52 20


Now you can go on a long trip, taking everything you need with you. Or you can take everything off the motorcycle and ride through the city streets. The all-new Sport Glide™ is ready for any challenge. The motorcycle features the most “advanced” frame ever created by our company, the advanced Softail.® frame. Inverted fork and fully adjustable rear suspension with monoshock allow you to find the perfect combination of comfort and “sporty” riding characteristics. And the hard-mounted Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine with balance shaft delivers breathtaking power worthy of a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. So, you can remove everything superfluous from the motorcycle or, conversely, load it to the fullest. Either way, riding the all-new Sport Glide™ will be a lifetime experience.


The motorcycles shown in the illustrations may, depending on the market, look different and differ from the motorcycles produced and supplied in the region. Their availability depends on the market. For details, contact your nearest dealership.


Length 2325mm
Seat height without load 653mm
Seat height, unladen 680mm
ground clearance 120mm
Steering column angle (deg) thirty
Fork offset 150mm
Wheel base 1625mm
Front tire specification 130/70B18 63H BW
Rear tire specification 180/70B16 77H BW
Fuel tank 18. 9l
Oil capacity (with filter) 4.7l
Dry weight 304 kg
Curb weight 317.06 kg
Trunk capacity 1.9 cu ft (0.05 m3)

Engine Milwaukee-Eight® 107
Bore 100mm
Stroke 111mm
Displacement 1746 cm 3
Compression ratio 10.0:1
Fuel system Electronic Sequential Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust system 2 in 1 exhaust system, muffler with catalytic converter

Primary gear Chain, gear ratio 34/46
Total gear ratio in 1st gear 9.311
Total gear ratio in 2nd gear 6.454
Total gear ratio in 3rd gear 4.

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