Roland Sands Design’s Del Mar Wheel Swap

Lightening the Load

It’s pretty safe to say that a bike takes on a whole new identity when it’s treated to a new set of wheels. The stance is different, the style is different; it’s basically the upgrade that identifies the bike owner most. It’s no wonder why custom wheels have been a mainstay in the two-wheeled custom culture we belong to. Roland Sands Design just released its Del Mar line of wheels that will definitely help redefine your style, while simultaneously lightening the load.

Named after the Del Mar Mile, the Del Mar wheel (starting at $1,149.95 each) is unique in that it was also modeled after the iconic Performance Machine dirt track racing wheels, which were the wheels to have during the heyday of flat track racing because of their light weight. Well, being that baggers aren’t the lightest of bikes on the market, Roland Sands Design decided the Del Mar would first be outfitted on a bagger: this specific 2014 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. And especially since it’s the lightest wheel they’ve ever made. Like, ever, dude.

The Del Mar is available 16 to 23 inches in diameter and will fit a myriad of ABS and non-ABS Touring models as well as multiple mini-baggers (Dynas, Sportsters, Softails, etc.) out there. We went with a 23x3.75-inch Del Mar up front and a 16x5-inch wheel in the rear sporting a 120mm Dunlop slick in the front and a 200mm rear slick in back. We weren’t quite sure what to make of the racing slicks on a 900-pound motorcycle laden with saddlebags and a fairing. When you have the power, know-how, and machinery to do whatever you want to do to a motorcycle, you do it. Right? Slicks would work just fine. Being that a 23 is right on the cusp of needing some neck geometry tweaks to get the proper rake and trail, the RSD crew decided to test the big-wheeled waters without raking the front end first and then make changes if necessary after some test ride miles.

We headed over to the RSD facility in Los Alamitos, California, and snapped some pics of the brand-new wheels going on, even before being released to the public at the time. All for the sake of bringing you the newest of the new, the best of the best, the whole shebang, or however the hell else you care to spin it.

roland sands street glide wheel swap

Our Roland Sands wheels helped us paint a happy Street Glide

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

You can tell where the Del Mar’s DNA lies: classic PM awesomeness all the way with a little RSD flavor added to the mix.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

A Performance Machine cush-drive pulley was also pulled from the shelves in order to work with the ’14 Touring model’s cush-drive setup.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

Slicks on a bagger? What? In RSD-land this is standard operating procedure. Is that nuts? Extremely. Why else do you think they’re successful? You don’t get anywhere if you don’t take chances. Actually, Dunlop gave RSD a set of slicks—the rear is a sport bike tire, the front a 23-inch test tire for…testing purposes.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

Matching rotors are available for around $329–$439 based on whether or not you order the 11.5-inch or 13-inch rotors. We went with the dual 13-inch rotors up front and an 11.5-inch in the rear. Quick Tip: Something a lot of dudes overlook when installing wheels is 12-point stainless steel hardware, available from Performance Machine (being installed in figure 5). Front rotor bolts start at $29.95 per set and stainless bolts for the rear disc bolts are $32.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

The front and rear Del Mar wheels were placed on the tire machine, the slick were lubed with soapy water, and were then installed in place while the RSD tech dialed in the valve stem on each new wheel/tire combo.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

A new stainless steel Performance Machine 12-point axle was installed instead of the ugly stock axle.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

And then the new dual Performance Machine six-piston brake calipers were bolted up to the fork leg lowers and the brake lines hooked up. We then moved on to the rear wheel installation.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

The bags were already off, so that was just one less step in removing the rear wheel. Once we loosened the rear brake caliper and slid the factory axle out of the way, we removed the stock wheel.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

We needed to retain the cush-drive inserts that would be installed into the black Performance Machine cush-drive pulley.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

We plugged the rubber inserts in place and…

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

…installed the rear Del Mar wheel.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni

roland sands street glide wheel swap

The factory axle was reused when installing the new wheel since it won’t be seen along with factory mounting hardware.

Photo: Jordan Mastagni