'99 Fatboy rear tire rub

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by dj culver, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. dj culver

    dj culver Member

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    Hey everyone!
    I am the proud owner of a '99 Harley and it has been a great ride for us so far! When my wife or Daughter ride along and we hit any bumps, we notice a "tire rub" sound. I have inspected the rear tire and noticed that there is unusual wear on the outside of the tire. Mainly on the belt side, but some on the other as well. I inspected the belt and it seems to be VERY close to the tire when parked. I replaced the smaller custom fender that was on it (we had the problem then as well) and put the factory fender back on. The problem became more noticeable. When I installed the windshield, I REALLY heard it due to lack of wind noise. I inspected the shocks and they are adjusted out 100%. It has a lowering kit already installed. I don't want to throw $350.00 to it if it is not the shocks. I also have leather pro soft bags on it with a sissy bar and luggage rack. I have longer bolts to accommodate the extras. I don't think that it is rubbing there as we would bottom out before that happens. I believe that it could be two separate issues, but would like to address one at a time. How much distance should be between the belt and tire? I looked at the alignment and it seems the belt is shifted towards the tire off of the engine drive sprocket more than I would assume would dbe normal. Any suggestion on where to proceed? Of course the Dealership wants me to buy new shocks without even looking at it. :nosad My faith is already suspect in them, so I would trust you all more than them. I marked the tire with chalk to see if the chalk transferred to the rubbing point on the back, but so far I have seen nothing. When I ride solo, I have no issues what so ever! I am 100% open for any suggestions!

    Thanks in advance for all of your input!!

    IMG_0203.jpg IMG_0201.jpg
     
  2. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Does that bike have air shocks on the back, or mechanical adjustment to firm up the ride? Sounds like you need to adjust the shock springs or add more air when riding two up.

    Hmm. Just read a bit closer. With the lowering kit, you are sacrificing about an inch of travel. You either need stiffer springs on the shocks, or you need to go back to the higher ride.

    TQ
     
  3. dj culver

    dj culver Member

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    I spoke to the old owner and he said he had no issues wiht it when he and his wife rode. I don't see any springs on the rear. I do have the shocks all the way out. They are the springs that came with the lowering kit. My immediate concern is the unusual tire rubbing as indicated by my picture. It seems it is on the outside edge of the tire. It looks loke the belt may be causing this as it only rides about 1/2" away from the belt guard and the tire! SHould it be this close??
     
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    I would not think so is it a stock size tire and is the axle spacing correct? Food for thought?:D
     
  5. dj culver

    dj culver Member

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    That's a good point! I see the spacers on there and it looks even, but it is REALLY close to the belt. I can barley stick my pinky finger between the belt and tire. I don't know what the stock size tire is. I guess I need to look it up and find out. The manual is one for about 5 different size bikes and soes not give me a "facotry size" When looking down the belt to the drive sprokcet, it loos like the belt is not centered on the sprocket and sits to the right towards the tire. I want to replace the tire, but not before I find the problem!
     
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Correct tyre size should be MT90B16 if you have a different tyre size then the profile of the tyre may not be correct and you may get the belt fouling the tyre
    normally when the bike is going forwards then the belt should track away from the tyre and if you push the bike backwards the belt will track towards the tyre
    i had some trouble with my dyna and the belt being too close to the tyre previous owner had spaced the rear pulley out by 3mm and the belt still fouled that was with continental 130/90/16 fitted the correct tyre size removed the pulley spacer and all is now well

    Brian
     
  7. dj culver

    dj culver Member

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    Thanks for the information Brian! I will certainly check into that. As I am going to replace the tire because of tire tread depth being inadequate due to milage, I will be sure and have the correct tire size installed. I will also mention my issue to them and they can correct the travel path of the belt as needed. This certainly sounds like it could be a part of my problem with the tire wear, however, I will still need to address the bottoming out when I have a passenger. Still clueless on this one. One problem at a time!!! :)
     
  8. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

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    Other than the tire ---- Do you see any other place on the scoot where it might be rubbing in that area?
     
  9. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I would suspect that the fitting of the lowering kit would be the culprate in the bottoming out issue
    the closer the wheel is to the rear mudguard then the less travel you have in the rear suspension adding a rear seat passenger can lower the height of the bike by a fair bit depending on the overall weight on the bike as you already have reduced suspension travel through the lowering kit the bottoming out is almost bound to happen
    Fat back tyres and lowered suspension look cool but they don't always work well
    if you must have the bike lowered remove the kit and fit lower suspension units they will be firmer to allow for less potential travel

    Brian
     
  10. FLHTK2010

    FLHTK2010 Member

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    Hey DJ,
    I would think that whatever is rubbing your tire, would also show some friction damage. Is the paint worn off of any spot on your rear fender? Does the inside edge of the drive belt show wear? How about the swing-arm?
    You probably know this, but just to be sure.... your Fatboy does have shocks, but like all Softails they are under the bike. There is a special tool for adjusting those shocks. Were those shocks replaced when the bike was lowered?
    I'm no expert, but I wouldn't expect much clearance between belt and tire would be needed. It may bounce up and down, but side motion I'd think would be nill.
    I recently traded my Fatboy, or I'd go get some measurments for you.
    Good luck on figuring this out, and be safe. Let us know what you find.