Lester Wheel sizes


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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sw3dl1
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Lester Wheel sizes

Post by sw3dl1 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:36 pm



I'm looking for a set of Lesters for my 1976 GL1000. I know the stock rear wheel diameter is 17 inches. The only Lesters I am finding are 16 inches in diameter. I have been told that Lester made an 18 Inch rear wheel but I have not seen any for sale.
My question is, why did Lester build a 16 inches rear wheel for these bikes and not a 17. What am I missing? I would think a 17 or an 18 inches rear would help with top end freeway riding.
Anyone have a set with a 19 front and an 18 rear?



SnoBrdr
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by SnoBrdr » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:46 pm

sw3dl1 wrote:I'm looking for a set of Lesters for my 1976 GL1000. I know the stock rear wheel diameter is 17 inches. The only Lesters I am finding are 16 inches in diameter. I have been told that Lester made an 18 Inch rear wheel but I have not seen any for sale.
My question is, why did Lester build a 16 inches rear wheel for these bikes and not a 17. What am I missing? I would think a 17 or an 18 inches rear would help with top end freeway riding.
Anyone have a set with a 19 front and an 18 rear?
Good luck finding a set.

Actually here is a set, with free shipping.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1978-78-HONDA-G ... 6b&vxp=mtr

I believe there's no 17" rears due to clearances.

sw3dl1
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by sw3dl1 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:21 am

I don't understand what clearence issues there might be, the bike came stock with a 17 inch rear wheel. I believe the stock tire size was 4.50 X 17.
I'm sure Lester Wheel had a reason for not making the 17 inch wheel and someone out there might know why. I wonder if tire size availability in 16 inch is better then is 17 inch. Maybe there is a specific 16 inch tire size that is the same diameter as a 4.50 X 17 when installed.
I know alot of the larger (650cc) dual sport bikes use 17 inch rears.

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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by SnoBrdr » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:00 pm

sw3dl1 wrote:I don't understand what clearence issues there might be, the bike came stock with a 17 inch rear wheel. I believe the stock tire size was 4.50 X 17.
I'm sure Lester Wheel had a reason for not making the 17 inch wheel and someone out there might know why. I wonder if tire size availability in 16 inch is better then is 17 inch. Maybe there is a specific 16 inch tire size that is the same diameter as a 4.50 X 17 when installed.
I know alot of the larger (650cc) dual sport bikes use 17 inch rears.
The clearance issues involve the swingarm.

sw3dl1
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by sw3dl1 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:16 am

I am not sure I understand the cleanerce issues with the swing arm, can you explain?

Old Fogey
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by Old Fogey » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:48 pm

You have to remember that when the Lesters were being made 40 years ago, there were no low profile tyres. The stock rim width is 2.50", the Lester is 3". The correct tyre for a 3" rim at that time would have had more or less the same rolling diameter as the standard 17".
Modern low profile tyres can cause a clearance issue on the right side of the swing arm. You can get a 150/80 x16 on a Lester in, but the swing arm need to be fairly severely massaged on that side and it's a total pain to get the wheel in and out.
'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

( Seriously, you haven't read all 115 pages of my http://www.wingovations.com website ?? :shock: )

sw3dl1
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by sw3dl1 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:28 am

OK, I get it.
I was unaware of the rim width difference.
I've found a couple of sets, just not the right set yet.
Thanks for taking the time to explain the difference.

sfruechte
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by sfruechte » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:38 pm

Lesters made the 16 inch for GL1000's and it replaced the 17 inch and I believe you can run tubeless, unlike the comstars. 16 inch rear tires will give you a lot more choices in tires than 17.

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Fred Camper
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by Fred Camper » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:40 pm

You can find a 18 inch Lester if you look for a long time. Not very many compared to the 16. The 16 does work pretty well. Other aftermarket rims for the early wings were 16 inch rears also, like the Abe Star.

what_the?!
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by what_the?! » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:33 am

You can get an 18" X 160 tyre/rim in there without modification. A 170 is very tight. With minor grinding you could get a 180 tyre in there. After that you need to make a modified swing arm.

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ekvh
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by ekvh » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:06 am

A 170 is quite a bit more than recommended on a three inch rim and although the swingarm might accommodate an 18" with a 170 or 180, it may hit the frame where the fender mounts. The bigger concern is the bead rolling out of its groove underway.

I have a 1200 swingarm in a 1000 frame with a 1500 final drive and a 160 width. The left side frame rail had to be altered by more than half an inch and I don't use the stock fender. Some of the issue is due to the 1200 design which moves the tire left.


I have an 18". It might be for sale soon. The 18" does fit the largest part of the swingarm opening in the 1000 swingarm.

One thing I don't think anyone mentioned is that the front rim bolt pattern is different on the 78-79 models. Make sure you get the one for a 75-77 model to fit your 76.

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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by SnoBrdr » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:45 am

ekvh wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:06 am
A 170 is quite a bit more than recommended on a three inch rim and although the swingarm might accommodate an 18" with a 170 or 180, it may hit the frame where the fender mounts. The bigger concern is the bead rolling out of its groove underway.

I have a 1200 swingarm in a 1000 frame with a 1500 final drive and a 160 width. The left side frame rail had to be altered by more than half an inch and I don't use the stock fender. Some of the issue is due to the 1200 design which moves the tire left. IMG_1864.JPG

I have an 18". It might be for sale soon. The 18" does fit the largest part of the swingarm opening in the 1000 swingarm.

One thing I don't think anyone mentioned is that the front rim bolt pattern is different on the 78-79 models. Make sure you get the one for a 75-77 model to fit your 76.
How much work and fabricating was it to get to that setup ?

what_the?!
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by what_the?! » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:41 pm

I wasn't referring to the stock rim. You can't fit a 170 on a stock rim.

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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by what_the?! » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:43 pm

And it doesn't foul on anything. I've done it myself. I have an 18" X 160 on mine. No mods.

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Fred Camper
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by Fred Camper » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:21 pm

Not to be redundant, but a 16 inch Lester takes a 130 tire without swing arm mods. A brand or two of 140's have been said to fit but most report having to grind the swing arm if you go above 130 on the 16 inch rim.

GL1000AF
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by GL1000AF » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:51 am

My GL1000 has 18 inch rear Lester with a very old 120/90 tyre that needs replacing.
The clearance didn't look very great on the current tyre...
Was going to go with a Bridgestone Battlax BT45 130/80, anyone know if that's a good option?
what_the?!...Which brand do you use at 160 ?
Thanks

Old Fogey
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by Old Fogey » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:03 am

Normal BT45 130/90 x17 is 26.2" diam, 5.2" wide, 130/80 x18 is 26.1 daim, 5.2 wide. So you should no problems.
Last edited by Old Fogey on Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by GL1000AF » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:32 pm

Thank you, appreciate reply.
Confused slightly though, can the diameter of the 18 inch be less than the 17 ?

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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by sfruechte » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:02 pm

Yes, the profile or height of the tire can more than make up the difference.

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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by Old Fogey » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:08 pm

I've edited the post to read correctly. Sorry if I confused anyone.
'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

( Seriously, you haven't read all 115 pages of my http://www.wingovations.com website ?? :shock: )

GL1000AF
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Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Post by GL1000AF » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:18 pm

That's great info, thanks. I searched but never saw anywhere that Bridgestone gave useful dimensions for actual width etc.



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