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FLH Raked Kewl Metal and 26

Just wanted to see if anyone else that has done this or something using just trees, if you have any issues. Finishing up a refit build on a 2001 FLHT with 16 inch rear. The front was running a 21 with factory trees, legs. Changed out the trees for a Kewlmetal 13.5 kit, 26inch wheel, still waiting on the fender but the rest is complete. Used everything Kewlmetal sent, their bearing / races and such, double checked the race seating, Neck nut torques, their fork tube extension, made sure the shop balanced the wheel.

The bike rides OK but once you get up to around 70-75 it has what feels like the bike is on ice, at 75 it starts to have a very slight side wobble, if you just let off the throttle then it will wobble a touch worse for a moment then stop as long as the bike is below 70. Take it back up to 75 and it starts you can just tap rear brake and the mild wobble goes away as it goes down past 70

As wobbles can turn nasty in the blink of an eye, have not pushed it past 75, Chances are rare one would really want to hammer on it but someday might need to hammer it slightly for passing or something. Plus would be nice to be able to run 75 on the interstate without the wobble.

Just mostly trying to figure out what I might be missing here on the install. The few shops around me dont care for the tree kits only, and most push the neck cut tree combo. Thought would try one one this build to see.


Extreme Vendor
did the bike have a wobble before the u put the trees on. also vee rubber's leak air, so it sounds stupid but did u check air in front tire right before u rode it. my vee rubber will go flat in 1 day unless to put slime in it. i also prefer cutting neck, but i have never tried just trees so im not gonna knock it
Nothing sounds stupid right now, trust me. Yes funny how you don't find out about those 26 going flat everyday until after you get them as was told that when another shop mounted it for me.

But Yes the tire had good air pressure, tried running 35 ( tire has 36 on it ) and 30 and 25, but all the same. The tire has only been mount 24 hours, but have checked it before and after each test ride.

When running the 21 before the change it rode out fine, got it up to around 100 a couple of brief times figure that was plenty fast enough. Thought would try a 26 makes it interesting that is for sure.


Well-Known Member
Did you do any thing to the rear swing arm.check bearings and bushings make sure there not worn. Make sure it is torque down also. Is there any slop in the fork and the bearing races on the frame.

Do you know how to measure the trail off the front end. I would be curious to know what that dimension is also
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Site Supporter
bad wheel bearing? you have the right size axle for the wheel bearing? are the bearing pressed in all the way?, is your hub tight, is the tire balanced right?
Wheel bearings are new, hub is tight, nothing on the swing-arm or rear end. Will have to get it back on the lift to try and measure on the trail if get a chance.

The bike was perfectly fine and rode out fine with the 21, had no issues with anything, the only thing done was the Kewl Metal Tree kit and a new 26 inch wheel.

I am not new to the scooter world and maybe over reacting here, I got a few others from old school to choppers and other touring and trikes.

This things just felt really weird once got up to 75 with a shimmy or wobble, it just started feeling really light and almost like being on ice. Seems there was always and will always be the debate on whether the tree only versus the cut weld is the route. I was trying the tree kit as it was simple just some change out. Wanted to see if anyone else had experienced this.


Extreme Vendor
Sounds like the trees only is not the way to go, or at least kewl metal trees, hard to say. Is there anyone else on this forumn that has used them


Well-Known Member
Gotta check the trail.so you can eliminate half of these.To little trail high speed wobble..to much low speed flop on turning.
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OK as the Kewl Metal tree set has a 5/16-24 threaded hole in the center of the neck, I machined out a 1/2 aluminum rod ( ensuring it was true / straight in my lathe ) with the thread on the end in order to check the angle with my angle gauge. With the bike sitting normal, I measure the axle center height, using my scissor lifts under it, removed the front wheel and then lowered it back to the height measured at 15-1/2 inch. Now using my angle gauge and machined rod check the neck angle which is now 28 degree, which with running the 16 inch rear wheel would cause it to change from the 26 factory as now running nose frame up.

With the machined neck rod in place and running a string plumb from the center of the axle to the table ensuring it is plump with another angle gauge. Then measuring then distance.

It appears the trail is right at around 3.5 inches. Which if you go by the Kewl Metal tree / wheel chart they have it stated it at 3.0 running the 13.5 tree with a 26.

So this setup is actually a 1/2 inch better trail than stated. So know we know.


I used to own some shit!
Is the frame level?

Nautical and Native have both used these trees with success. I know Native had it WAY over the speed limit with no problems.

You should be able to get it, have you called Joe from Kewl Metal??? He is also a Vendor so you could send him a PM or email.

Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
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Here is a couple first is the 26 inch setup and just for grins what the 21 looks like, However the 21 is un-rideable as the trail is only like 2 inch.

Bagger 26 small rev.jpg
Kewl Metal 13.5 Raked Tree and 26 Inch Wheel

Bagger 21 small rev.JPG
Kewl Metal 13.5 Raked Tree with 21 Inch Wheel and Stock FL Fender


I used to own some shit!
Looks kinda high in the front...

Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
The frame is not level, and have had some brief emails with Kewl Metal as was trying to discuss some things, but nothing really in the outcome so far, have called a few times but am sure those folks are really business out there and figure will get it figured out eventually.


Well-Known Member
So you had the frame perfectly level correct?
You ran a line down the center line of your neck then you made a mark. After that you put a framing square to the centerline of your axel and marked it. You following. Then distance between these points where three inches?

You need 4-6 inches for proper handling
To much slow speed flop
To little high speed wobble
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No was not running the frame level, was running it with the front up to help with the trail figures. To show the difference

I have gone and lowered the front so that the frame is level, measure the neck angle to and showing 26 degree on angle gauge. This is off the machined rod installed in the neck shaft of the tree.


With frame level the trail is now gone down to only 1.5 inch

With the Front raised back up the trail is at 3.5 inches. If a lower kit were installed in the front it would be worse with the short trail

By all things talked about Kewl Metal states and shows that with there kit and a 26 inch wheel the trail would be 3.0 inches, so with what has been mentioned that you need 4-6 inches then these kits would not work right off the bat. But since some are having good luck with them or say is being said, just wanted to see what was doing different.

Now if the kits that are doing good are only on newer bikes 09 & up, then could make sense as the frames and bits were all changed with the newer bikes and the numbers may work better.
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