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Discussion Starter #1
I was recently reminded about this point of view: We're all born with two buckets - one filled with luck and the other empty of experience. Our objective in life is to fill up one before the other is emptied.

Fortunately, one of my buckets still has some luck in it.

I know this because last weekend I decided to head to Wilmington, N.C., from Charlotte to pick up some shrimp for dinner (about 400 miles round trip). I was about 50 miles outside of Wilmington when I noticed a bit of a wobble from the back end of my '07 FLHRC and then really strange vibrations from my front end (engine guard and left side of my handle bars).

I pulled over, did an inspection, and found 11 broken spokes!

Just a few weeks prior I had my bike in for service. The dealer did an inspection, changed the oil and tightened up the tail light bar; no broken spokes then.

I believe this could have all ended differently, and not really in my favor, so I'm thankful for that. Also, you can bet I'll be checking my spokes religiously from now on...or at least until I get new solid wheels!

Taking it in to the dealer to get it repaired this weekend. I have the Tire & Wheel coverage, so hoping this will be handled without a big hit to my pocket.

Anyone have a similar experience? Do you run spokes? Any recos on other wheels to consider?
 

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I can't begin to say how good it is that your story ended well.

I like your bucket theory. The problem with the luck bucket is that there's no gauge on it. Some folks put themselves into situations not knowing their's is on empty!!

I have had spoke wheels on several bikes including the only two H-Ds I have owned. The concern, as you experienced, is that if one breaks, it weakens the wheel instantly and makes it VERY easy for the rest to break.You just hope you discover it before something unfortunate happens. And I am glad that you did.

My current EG Classic has the smoothie laced wheels on it. I don't really mind them. I love the way they look. IMO, a Harley demands laced wheels. I just try to remember to grab a box wrench and "ring" them all whenever I change my oil. It only takes a few minutes.

I do appreciate the ease of use and peace of mind you get with a solid wheel though. I can see the benefits for sure.
 

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Acta Non Verba
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Glad you still had some in your luck bucket!

From my motocross days I learned too loath spoke wheels. Never broke a spoke, but bent many and when you're low budget, you get to spend the next several hours trueing that wheel up. It sucked.

All my street bikes have had cast/machined wheels, never spokes. They look cool but, I don't wanna maintain them.

I did relent, a little, with my wife's super motard. It has spokes, but if one of those wheels gets out of round, I'm just buying a new one. I check and tighten her spokes, but that's it.
 

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I've read and known of countless people with Harley spoke problems.
One loose spoke starts a chain of stress that doesn't take long to get dangerous.

Now for my real reason of reply. 400 mile round trip for Shrimp? In what form (fresh,frozen,cooked,etc.)? How do you keep them in edible condition on a bike for 200 miles?
I'm guessing the shrimp, was a decoy for a nice long ride? :know
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Breeze3at: I tote a small thermal cooler on my luggage rack. The shrimp are fresh, unpeeled when I pick them up. I stop frequently on my way back to re-ice them, ensuring they are in the best condition when I get home. That's the life!
 

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Man, I'm so glad I live in "shrimp country"...only a few minutes ride to the nearest place-to-purchase.
As for the spokes, I have made it a point to avoid owning them. Also a former dirt-rider that has had bad experiences with them and will never have another spoked wheel. Really glad this ride turned out with a happy ending and shrimp dinner to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
**UPDATE**

Apparently, my extended warranty with Tire & Wheel (through Zurich) won't cover my wheel, because there wasn't a "road hazard" that caused the damage. Adjuster said no visible signs of "hazard" means no payout.

H-D wants about $1,000 parts and labor to replace the wheel with the same style.

Anyone have advice on a better route than having the dealer do the work?
 

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I believe this could have all ended differently, and not really in my favor, so I'm thankful for that. Also, you can bet I'll be checking my spokes religiously from now on...or at least until I get new solid wheels!
Sounds like time to get the solid rims. The Harley catalog has some cast wheels that you can get for about that same price. Probably be cheaper to have an indie install them. Probably get them installed for around 100$

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Try regular insurance. I don't know what your deductable is but it might be less. You did hit some sort of road debris, right? LOL.

You could learn to lace your wheels and make the repair yourself. More fun IMO and a lot cheaper.

I absolutly agree with you about the spoke look. I will have spokes one day.




"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." -Albert Einstein
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sounds like time to get the solid rims. The Harley catalog has some cast wheels that you can get for about that same price. Probably be cheaper to have an indie install them. Probably get them installed for around 100$

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Thanks - I found a factory slotted that I can have installed (bearings included) at about $550. Also, got a good beat on an Indy last night. I'm going to call him today.

Try regular insurance. I don't know what your deductable is but it might be less. You did hit some sort of road debris, right? LOL.

You could learn to lace your wheels and make the repair yourself. More fun IMO and a lot cheaper.

I absolutly agree with you about the spoke look. I will have spokes one day.
Yeah, I thought about my regular insurance, but I guess you pay for it either way - if not upfront, they raise your rates and then you pay for it slowly over time!

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
**UPDATE 2**

In the end, the dealership at which I bought the bike / extended warranty (they use Zurich) said the extended won't cover it. End of story. They offered to look at the bike if I brought it in (it was at a different location closer to home), but couldn't promise they would be able to help out (i.e. I doubt any moola was coming out of their pockets to help me).

I took my bike to a trusted Indy. He's replacing the spoke wheel with a new one. I'm also having a new tire mounted while the wheel is off, as it was down to about 3/32 in the center.

The dip in labor alone compared to HD was worth making a trip to reload my bike on a trailer at the HD dealership and take it across town to the Indy. HD wanted almost $1,000 to replace the wheel (parts and labor) alone. The woman in Service said "and that's not including the wheel I tried to sell you."

Everything was closed Thursday, so the Indy couldn't order parts right away. Probably won't get it back until this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
**UPDATE 3**

Still no bike - the stock wheel is on major back order, so I've decided to do some changing while I'm down.

I'm looking into the DNA Fat Spoke wheels. Also, going to go with an 18" rear and and a 21" up front. Metz black walls. Matching rotors. I'm going with tubes, although they say they can seal the wheels for tubeless. Figure tubes and spokes go together and, hey, they are pretty cheap insurance!

Should be another week or so until parts are in and she's done.

I'll keep you updated.
 

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Question: Would it be easier to respoke (relace) the wheel? My current bike does not have spokes, but all of my others had them. I do believe most parts are replaceable. Did a bunch of bikes and dirt bikes back in the day, but I believe the process should be the same. Might be cheap and get you back on the road quickly if you can find the spokes.
Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@redman24, I guess the wheel can't be trued up enough for it to be relaced. 14 spokes were broken and I guess the pressure put it out of shape.

Good thought, though.

Really, I'm ok with the new wheels. I've been looking for an opportunity to upgrade. The new front look (a 21 fat spoke with my hoppe fairing) should really pop on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
**update 4**

Just brought her home today (pics below).

DNA Fat Spoke 21" front and 18" rear. Went with the Metz Marathons and I think it all looks terrific.

Although it was a process, I think I came away with a new lesson (stay on top of spoke maintenance) and also a nice upgrade to The King. I'm also canceling my Tire & Wheel coverage to get a refund on the remainder of the contract and I found a new killer Indy to handle the work that I can't do from now on.

As far as the ride, it hasn't really changed at all and, in fact, may even have improved. Turns seem a bit easier / the bike feels slightly more nimble, but otherwise no real noticeable difference.

I think she looks great!

Back to riding - see you out there, all.
 

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