VT750 Front Wheel Modifications - skinny 21” wheels and fat 17” wheels
The Skinny on Skinny Tires! - ( Fat tire info below)
A lot of folks want that chopper style 21” front wheel on their Honda Shadow and a LOT of the Honda Shadows came with a 19” stock front wheel. Honda Shadow wheel hubs are all 52 spoke so this makes rim swaps very easy. It’s important to note that not all the hubs are the same width nor do they use the same bearings, otherwise just swapping a wheel out would be easy as pie.
To run a 21” “harley” style wheel, you would need to either get special bearings, make adapters, and do a good deal of fabrication to get that 21” wheel on your bike. It’s not impossible, but it’s a pain in the butt. Another option is to completely swap the entire front end, which requires adapting a Harley style front end to your Honda Shadow, with custom steering stem, bearings and some other adjustments to steering stops etc.
Generally speaking, the best solution to a problem is the most simple one, and in this case, rim swap is the easiest and cleanest method of modification.
Beginning in 2007, the Honda Shadow Spirit VT750 bikes were made with a 21” front wheel. These rims can be used to change your 19” or 17” front wheel to a sexy tall 21” wheel.
Sourcing Your Rim
You can pick up used wheels for relatively cheap on ebay, or if you want to make sure the wheel is in really good condition, get the stock rim. If buying used on ebay, you will want to make sure the rim is in good condition, and relatively round. Don’t buy a taco! You can always verify with the seller that the tire or wheel is 21” Even if the wheel has a minor dent, you can usually take it to a wheel shop who will be able to repair the wheel.
It’s worth mentioning here that in order for this modification to work, you won’t be able to run your stock fender. You can make extensions to the fender to fit the tire, or just leave the fender off in true chopper fashion.
Parts List to Put a 21 Inch Wheel on Your VT750:
- The Honda part number for the 21” front rim - 44701-MBS-013
- The Honda part number for inside spokes - qty 26 - 06440-MFE-670
- The Honda part number for outside spokes - qty 26 - 06441-MFE-670
- Spoke Wrench
- Truing Stand
Once you install your new rim you will need to make sure the wheel is true ( round, not tweaked sideways or squished into an egg shape). It will have to put it on a truing stand, use a runout gauge and using your spoke wrench, make sure the wheel is not egg shaped or curved like a plate. This is not the easiest thing to do so you may want to have a shop do this, pricing varies from shop to shop but its usually pretty affordable.
Fat Front Tire
Putting a fat front wheel your bike is the same concept as putting a skinny tire on your Honda Shadow VT750. To re-iterate, Honda Shadow wheel hubs are all 52 spoke so this makes rim swaps very easy. It’s important to note that not all the hubs are the same width nor do they use the same bearings, otherwise just swapping a wheel out would be easy as pie. The VT750 ACE and AERO have 17” stock front wheels and you can swap these rims onto your bike the same way you would with a 21" rim, except the parts are different ( duh)
Parts List to Put a 17 Inch Wheel on Your VT750:
- The Honda part number for the 21” front rim - 44701-MBA-023
- The Honda part number for inside spokes - qty 26 - 06440-MEG-000
- The Honda part number for outside spokes - qty 26 - 06441-MEG-000
- Spoke Wrench
- Truing Stand