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I was visiting an Indian friend recently and he unearthed a bobbed Chief w/ a 21 up front. Yesterday I dropped my trans. off at another buddies for some love and he had a survivor Knucklehead w/ a 21 up front too.

I can't be sure, but it looks as though both of these bikes were built in the mid-late 50's.

When did the 21 up front become popular?
 

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I dunno but I'd venture to guess it's because everything available back then was wider (fat) and the custom guys liked a skinny wheel. Remember in the 60's when you could buy a narrow set of trees for your FL front end to make them look narrower? Then along comes HD in 71 with their superglide...
 

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Creepinogie said:
I dunno but I'd venture to guess it's because everything available back then was wider (fat) and the custom guys liked a skinny wheel. Remember in the 60's when you could buy a narrow set of trees for your FL front end to make them look narrower? Then along comes HD in 71 with their superglide...
I remember the fitting of 18 and 19 front wheels from british bikes in the early 60's, but the 21 I don't think came into play much before middle to late 60"s.
 

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Barger or the author of Soul on Bikes thought that the 21 created less friction with the road and made them go faster.....




or something like that.


BTW--I just found out that Jerry Reed is more than the truck driver on Smokey and the Bandit....Amos Moses is the jam.
 

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You can Thank us Limeys for that, Our Off road Comp Bikes Had 20" front rims Like The Rigid trophys, Goldies what Would be mainly your class "C" type racers(limey Bobbers) and scrambles bikes the 21 came out here on our dirtbikes Here in the late sixties when dunlop & jones Switched to 21"For comp use, Still as late as 73 the TR5T Still used a 20" rim.I would still use a 20" rim on my Bobbers if i could get the tyres.:)
 

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a minor detail, mr. Baron -

but I have one late TR5T & 2/3 of another & have been helping a local guy build up another for trials/flat-track AHRMA use ..

the late TR5T's with the 500 twin lump actually did have 21" rims ..

but the big singles, even the latest oil-frame B50's & I believe the TR5MX's as well, still had the 20" rim ..

it's a shame they're so scarce, that makes for a sweet & clean front setup in a Triumph chop (did one w/the missing 1/3 above) .. the aluminum trees smoothed & polished, longer stanchions, the small conical hub polished & a 21" speedmaster rib tyre ..

Cheers ..

.

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A mate of mine had 23" on a AJS scrambler- man that was a big hoop, and a total bastard to find tyres for. it was laced to a straight spoked full width hub, it still didnt stop but with 13:1 compression 1"of the flywheels and a sidecar clad in knobbys....it didnt matter, God i love that bike.
 

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It's too bad that we don't have the great source of info that old car mags is... Finding old pics of chopped/ bobbed bikes seems damn near impossible! The guys that were into bikes in the 40-60's & might have interesting photo albums, wont be found on boards either...
 
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