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What Is The Widest Wheel You Can Install On The Back Of Your Motorcycle?

by | Jan 16, 2020 | Install New Wheel, Wide Wheels

There are several reasons you may want to install a wider wheel on the back of your motorcycle. Wide wheels provide more traction. Just like a drag racer, allowing the everyday rider to get off the line without the rear wheel spinning or skidding. The wider the wheel, the better the functionality, performance, and safety – especially when riding in inclement weather. Street riders also favor wide wheels for the badass, tough-as-nails look they give their bike. Considering the advantages wide wheels offer, you may be wondering, what is the widest back motorcycle wheel install available for my motorcycle?

Take Certain Factors Into Account

Every single motorcycle has a different design in the rear, even bikes that are the same model year. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to take the following factors into account for every individual bike when doing the widest back motorcycle wheel install. Clearance is everything. It is imperative to make sure you have enough space in several different areas. First, the wheel must fit with the swingarm. Second, the chain, belt or drive shaft must clear the rear tire. Third, there must be enough clearance to prevent the tire from rubbing on the wires that run to your taillight or hardware mounted beneath the fender. If any of these spacings are off, you run the risk of your motorcycle not performing properly, burning out wires, or rubbing a hole through the tire itself causing a blowout and an extremely unsafe situation. It is important to avoid these scenarios for safety reasons. For example, think about the danger you would find yourself in if your taillight went out in the middle of an evening ride due to a burnt-out wire.

Think Any Changes Through Before You Make Them

When modifying their bike to accommodate the widest wheel on the back, some people offset the primary drive to make wider wheels fit in the back. Doing so moves the front pulley out to ensure the chain will clear the tire and is centered on the sprocket. Take great care if you go this route. If the chain is not aligned, it will be off-center. This will cause the chain and the sprockets to wear out faster. Make sure the chain clears the tire straight versus at an angle. If the chain is contacting the tire, it will rub through the tire, as well.

Recommendations From An Industry Expert

Many people opt for a chain drive over a belt because it is skinnier and therefore easier to fit when performing a widest back motorcycle wheel install. Make sure you have enough clearance for the wiring under the fender whether you go with a chain or belt. In terms of size, 18X5.5” wide wheels paired with a 200 mm to 330 mm wide tire are an excellent choice. SMT Wheels has this size wheel available in every single one of its series, giving you a wide range of options. As we mentioned above, it is critical to take certain factors into account for your individual bike before you make a decision on wheel size.

Your Search For The Perfect Wide Back Wheel Ends Here

SMT Wheels designs and produces custom motorcycle wheels milled from American-manufactured, aircraft-grade, 6061-T6 billet aluminum. They’re available in contrast cut, black, polished, chrome, and unfinished if you need a color match. Our custom premier quality motorcycle wheels, rims, and parts are designed to last for decades.

As far as the widest wheel on the back, they are the best you can find on the market hands down. We carry a matching pulley and rear rotor for each rear motorcycle wheel design as well. While our products are made from solid, long-lasting materials, they are also within reach financially.

We carry wheels suited to every budget and we offer Snap financing as well. You can get our custom motorcycle wheels in the following sizes for every series we carry including fat tire bulldog sizes:

  • 16-inch
  • 17-inch
  • 18-inch
  • 19-inch
  • 20-inch
  • 21-inch
  • 23-inch
  • 26-inch
  • 30-inch
  • 32-inch

Trick out your motorcycle with the wide rear wheel of your dreams when you purchase it through SMT Wheels!

SNAP Financing


Don’t forget about your wide front wheel – What Is The Widest Wheel I Can Fit On The Front Of My Harley?