- Do I have to cut my frame to correct my rake and trail?
If you are choosing our bolt-on tree kit for a 21” conversion, NO. All you need is our “Bolt-On” 7 Degree Raked Triple Tree Kit + One of our 21” Replacement steel fenders or to enlarge the rear mounting holes on your OEM fender to prevent tire contact at speed. If you are choosing our 23”, 26” or New SRT Kit then you will need to add rake to your frame with our patented Rake Neck Block and correct your trail by adding our corresponding Raked Triple Tree Kit. These kits come with step by step instructions and we also have a comprehensive video to walk you through the process. Watch the tutorial HERE.
- What about the Bolt-On tree kits I see advertised
If you’re ok sacrificing both the handling and look of your bike that’s your choice. According to Paul’s research and actual cross country touring experiences there’s only one correct way to modify your bagger to accept a larger front wheel, improve its cosmetic stance and attitude AND maintain a great ride with proper handling characteristics. That correct way is to add rake to your frame and then correct trail with a raked triple tree! If there was an easier way to accomplish this we would certainly offer it to you! The fact is there just isn’t.
- What are the problems with bolt-on tree kits for 23” or larger wheels?
We’ll start with bolt-on 23” kits. The guys who offer these are settling for a final trail number that is NOT 6.5” (6.5” is correct) anything else will sacrifice handling at speed. Furthermore, our 23” kit adds 14 degrees of rake to your bagger, the other bolt-on tree kits add only 6-9 degrees. This means that one, your bike is shorter in wheelbase which takes away the “stretched” look that you crave. Two, your frame has to stay level to the ground no matter what rake and size wheel you choose (this is critical to proper handling). To accomplish this with only 6-9 degrees of rake and a larger 23” wheel you will lose 2” of fender to fairing clearance which means your new larger front fender will hit your fairing when you hit a bump, go up a driveway, speed humps etc… To try and prevent this, the bolt-on guys will either ask you to increase your fork spring preload (stiffness) which will ruin your comfortable ride or they will include travel limiters which will make your forks bottom out when you hit a bump, driveway, speed hump etc… Are you starting to get the picture? The ease of not raking your frame is not worth ruining your ride! It’s that simple…
Now let’s talk about the 26” and larger bolt-on kits. These are even worse! How these kits work is they have a double neck feature which is scary to say the least! I’ve ridden them and they track horribly and require a constant overcorrection to overcome the tracking issue. Again, ask them what the trail numbers are, most won’t even know and none of them will be 6.5”… That’s not the worst of it though, the only way to make room for the bolt-on double neck feature is they actually move the front of your bagger (everything in front of the tank) at least 3” forward and 2-3” up!!! This fact alone will completely ruin the cosmetic appeal of your bagger which is what started you down this road to begin with! It will also make you reach 3” farther forward to grab your bars and make them 2-3” taller! Talk about uncomfortable! Hold on, I’m not done yet… By moving your front end up and away from your bike it creates a horrible cosmetic disconnect between the fairing and the rest of the bike. It destroys the “flow” which is the entire point of customizing your bagger, to improve the flow! This is completely counterproductive to any accomplished builders vision. Your eye is supposed to flow seamlessly from front to rear of a well thought out custom. Just sayin…
- How difficult is raking my frame?
That really depends on mechanical aptitude however, we provide step by step instructions and a comprehensive video that you can watch that really walk you through the process. Basically you’ll need to remove the front fork and fuel tank, cut the neck off and reattach it with our precision CNC machined and patented neck block. I like to say that an accomplished TIG welder and a weekend is all that’s really required. Our kit provides the rest. You don’t need to be an ace mechanic to do it. We also can refer you to a shop in your area via our vast dealer network to perform the rake job. Watch the video, you decide.
- What all will I need to Rake My Bagger?
Well, start by choosing a front wheel. You’ll probably want a matching rotor or two. You’ll need a tire and front fender. Depending on size you’ll need our tree kit or our Rake Your Bagger kit. There are some model specific items as well. Road Glides require the fairing position to be corrected and internally supported (kits vary by year). Batwing Fairing models require a raked and stylized Swoop Fairing or our Rake Ring headlight correction bezel. Road Kings will require one of our Raked Nacelles (model varies by wheel size and year). You’ll need a painter to repair the paint on your frame after the rake procedure and to paint the fender and possibly fairing. Lots of guys will do some other items while everything is apart like Swoop Chin Scoop, Monkey Bars, Single 15” Disc Conversion, Chrome or powder coated forks, Slider Covers etc…
- What expense is involved with doing a big wheel conversion?
We usually tell our customers to budget $6-$7,000 + paint for a rake conversion. Sometimes overlooked expenses are labor, paint and additional add-on’s. But basically our Rake Neck Kit is $995, Wheel $1595-$1999, Rotors x 2 $550, Steel Fender $330, Labor $2000, Fairing correction varies between $79.95 and $1200 depending on choice and model.