#298 With your tail draggin’

Big front hoops have become the new fat rubber in the post-extreme chopper era. Got a problem with that? Quit being such a sourpuss.

Honestly, did anyone think draggin’ baggers with big front hoops would become such a predominant trend in this post-extreme chopper era? Even good old Metzler jumped in with both feet earlier this year in the presentation of its ME888 tire for 23-inch wheels. You can see the result on this page in the custom Harley-Davidson Breakout built as a Triple Eight-themed PR tool specifically for Metzler by German customizer Thunderbike. Even with the 888 product logo on the tank, it’s a stunning treatment of the Softail.
No, it’s not a draggin’ bagger but the 23-inch wheel is from that general environment. Harley intended for the Breakout as a factory custom that would lend itself to further personalization by owners and Thunderbike has shown the way with subtle but elegant styling elements including drilled components and Night Rod Special headlamp.
The big front wheel look may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying its predominance now on the pro custom scene, and in the work of private bikers craving a fresh look for their rides. When you stop to think, there are few changes you can make to any bike that make such an immediate impact as a wheel change. That goes for any genre.
Is it any wonder then that tall front hoops have become the new fat rubber? Rake the frame, mount a 23-incher and presto! You’ve just gone from mild to wild. Maybe not all that wild in an era when you can get 32-inch front wheels, but it’s still a fun look. Some say it’s not practical, and look forward to the end of the trend. But there will always be a sourpuss in any crowd, and they’ll always have that to say about any trend. Of course it’s not practical. Then again, what motorcycle is? Forget practical and focus on what YOU want. If it makes you happy to go extreme with your ride, then go for it! Freedom of choice and personal expression is what it’s all about. Right?