When we were at Mid Ohio a few weeks ago I saw a couple of guys go by on sportbikes equipped with fat rear tires and extended swingarms. I’m not sure what kind of bikes they were, I didn’t get a good look and unfortunately, the two riders were making complete fools of themselves by blasting through traffic and generally acting like low IQ squids. Anyway, I haven’t seen much of that phat look around this part of the country though it is growing on me.
When I mentioned the fat tire trend before, it didn’t seem like it was that widespread but, either I wasn’t in the right place or things really have taken off because the huge wheel/tire and long swingarm combo is popping up a lot of places now, Trac Dynamics, for instance, seem to have some nice kits.
The early conversions were using chopper wheels and tires because there were no sportbike wheels and tires in that size available, for that matter, I’m not sure how many are available now. Most sportbikes aren’t designed for handling with 300 or 330 rear rubber and the extended swingarm is a drag inspired item anyway.
I still haven’t had the opportunity to ride one of these long and low bikes so how they work in the real world of turns and traffic I can’t say. However, if you’re going to lengthen one end of the bike, the swingarm end is the way to go. So why aren’t more of the Harley and big V twin guys doing this? The horsepower and torque of those engines is tailor made for the long drag bike swingarms and they would have to be a lot more rider friendly than the long fork extreme rake front ends they’re riding now. Just one more thing I don’t understand.