Wheel Works Wheel Rejuvenation

1&2. The wheels were pulled off the bike and the rims and hubs were sent to a local powdercoater and treated and prepped before being coated in a satin black finish. When they got back to Wheel Works they were laced with Buchanan polished stainless spokes and nipples for a custom, two-tone look. The Revtech Nitro 18 rotors and Ferodo pads would complete this installation and get the Sporty back on the road with plenty of stopping power. Rotors and pads are available through Custom Chrome.

3. After powdercoat, Wheel Works tech, Adam, used plenty of grease when reinstalling the bearings and center spacers in each wheel. You must pull bearings and spacers before powdercoating.

4. Starting with the front, the hub and laces were laid out on the table. Dave pulled the laces through the outside holes on the hub first, then through the inside holes.

5. The rim was then placed around the hub and spokes to be laced in a cross-four pattern. A cross-four pattern means that each spoke runs across four spokes for stability and strength. Before attaching the spokes and nipples to the rim, Dave applied anti-seize on all the threads of the spokes. The anti-seize helps protects against galling or binding when installing the nipples. Once tightened, the wheels were handed to Gary for truing.

6. Truing takes out the vertical and lateral movement in the wheel. Gary spun the wheel on the truing stand with the attached scribe indicator. The indicator tells Gary which spokes he needs to tighten and which to loosen in order to remove the runout from the rim. At 60 mph, vertical and lateral movement equals unstable wheels, which equals Big Trouble in Little China!

7. Matt ground down the excess spoke ends so the new tubes didn't receive any punishment. Once smooth, he wrapped duct tape around the outside of the rims to protect the tubes.

8. Adam slapped on the new Revtech Nitro rotors. The stainless steel discs are 11- 1/2 inches and fit a spoke wheel nicely because of their linear pattern, similar to a shrunken down version of a spoke wheel.

9. New tubes were stuffed in between the rims and the Metzeler ME 880 Marathon tires. The beads of the tires were soaped up to ease installation onto the rim. Once installed on both wheels, the tires were inflated with nitrogen. Nitrogen is more stable to temperature fluctuations and doesn't absorb water like air.

10. Matt installed the front...

11. Adam installed the rear...

12. The calipers were remounted after being fitted with the new Ferodo Platinum pads.

13&14. Done! Everything looked great from the two-tone satin black rim and hub with polished spokes and chrome rotors with the new tires. The Sporty would like to thank the Wheel Works crew from the bottom of its engine case for giving it the facelift it had been hoping for.

Living at the beach definitely has its perks-blue skies, endless waves, parties galore, and beautiful women. However, there is something that car and motorcycle enthusiasts need to be aware of: rust. And if you live, or have ever lived near the sea, you know the salty ocean air will have its way with your prized possessions.

Our '06 XLC 1200 Sportster Custom lived the first year of its life outside the walls of an enclosed garage, protected only by a motorcycle cover-granted, most garages are not climate controlled, but every little bit helps. Eventually, the Sporty found shelter in a garage, but some rust spots had already set into the spokes and rotors.

The "blacked out" look was taking shape for the bike's theme nicely (except for the unpainted tank...we're working on it), so we continued with the midnight approach for now. We called the crew at Wheel Works in Garden Grove, California, for some wheel rejuvenation. Gary and Dave, the owners, decided that powdercoating the rim and hub of the front 21x2.15 wheel in satin black finish would work well with Buchanan polished stainless steel spokes. Of course, the second recommendation was to ditch the stock cast aluminum rear wheel and replace it with a 16x3 40 spoker, and give it the same two-tone treatment as the front. We obliged. Once the wheels were built, they slapped on a new set of Metzeler ME 880 tires accompanied by Revtech Nitro 18 rotors on the front and rear. The 11 1/2-inch Revtech rotors are made from 420 stainless steel and fit multiple Harley-Davidson models. With new rotors we ordered some new pads and Ferodo's Platinum `P' pads from the Custom Chrome catalog were chosen because they are OE replacement pads, which claim cooler running temps and gentler rotor wear than stock.

Wheel Works Price Breakdown: Pricing may vary

Both Rims/Hubs Powdercoated $300
Buchanan Polished Spokes/Nipples $316
Lace and True $158
Metzeler ME880 Marathon 90/90-21 $106
Metzeler ME880 Marathon 150/80-16 $148
Two tubes $24
Approx. Labor $117
Total $1,169

Price excludes brake components (MSRP: Nitro 18 rotors $114.99 each, rear pads $39.48, front pads $44.82)