Lester Wheel sizes


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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sw3dl1
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1980 GL1100 Standard
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1992 BMW R100gspd
2011 Yamaha WR250r

Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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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Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

129K Original Owner

Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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-GL1000-GOLDWING-LESTER-MAG-WHEEL-VERY-NICE-WITH-ROTORS-/121751844203?hash=item1c58f9b56b&vxp=mtr

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

sw3dl1
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:28 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1980 GL1100 Standard
1988 NX 650
1992 BMW R100gspd
2011 Yamaha WR250r

Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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.

SnoBrdr
Posts: 326
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Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

129K Original Owner

Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:28 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1980 GL1100 Standard
1988 NX 650
1992 BMW R100gspd
2011 Yamaha WR250r

Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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

Postby 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.
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sw3dl1
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:28 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1980 GL1100 Standard
1988 NX 650
1992 BMW R100gspd
2011 Yamaha WR250r

Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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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Location: La Crosse, WI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Lester Wheel sizes

Postby 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

Postby 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.




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