Big-Wheeled Baggers

My Two Cents

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You may have noticed the newest bagger trend where bike owners are installing gargantuan front wheels on their touring bikes. I know bagger guys have taken their stock bikes from a mild 17-inch wheel stature to wild with stretched tanks, bags and fenders, a raked frontend, or flame throwing exhaust pipes, but I’m curious to know how long the race to build the largest diameter wheels on the planet is going to last.

Big-wheel baggers immediately remind me of yesteryear when dudes were buying wide-tire kits to swap the stock 150 rear tire with a 200-, 250-, 300-, hell, even 380mm drag strip rear tire. It started with the 200, then came the 250, until it became pretty common for large aftermarket custom bike manufacturers to include a 300mm as OE equipment on its models (Big Dog). I guess that’s the nature of being a custom bike builder/manufacturer. They like to push the limits and do radical things. I’m all for pushing the limits, but how far are you going to go, 40 inches? Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the cartoonish front spinners. To each his own I guess.

Recently, I’ve asked bagger owners that have made the leap of 30-inch-front-wheel-faith why they decided to do such a thing. In almost all cases they’ve stated that their big-wheel bikes ride great since the frontend has been raked out to compensate for the extra inches. I myself have never ridden a bike with anything larger than a 23-inch front wheel, but maybe the 26s and 30s making their way onto Street Glides and Road Glides around the globe are the best handling bikes around. Maybe the large diameter wheels function like they should come from the factory that way.

I’ve always thought of myself as a whatever-makes-you-happy kinda guy, so go for it if that’s your thing. However, I foresee this trend fizzling out sooner than later. Who knows, maybe it will become the coolest thing on the planet. Maybe not.

Bye for now…


I’m all for pushing the limits, but how far are you going to go, 40 inches?