Trendy Again. Invader Steel Wheel

I never been fond of motorcycle wheels looking like Christmas ornaments. They are for (some) SUV’s. I am minimalist, and with the retro trend making bikes looking like reideable bikes again, I bet that a lot of builders are going to get back to the basics. The Invader wheels are made in America since 1975, and they almost never changed. They are chromed steel wheels, the ultimate in strength and durability.
Steel wheels are stronger than billet aluminum and this strength allows the steel material to be thinner creating a wheel approximately the same weight or less than billet aluminum. The wheels are hand assembled and TIG welded, enabling the wheels to run true at or better than factory specifications. All the Invader wheels wheels are made to run tubless tires. They are so simple that they are trendy again for any Chopper or Bobber. Visit Wheels 4 Choppers.


17 Responses to “Trendy Again. Invader Steel Wheel”

  1. 1 Big Dave Nov 8th, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    We at Blevins-Jones USA have been big fans of, (and users of) the “Invader” wheel for years. Now the manufacturer offers a lot more styles to choose from, and many different spoke configurations also. Heck, they even make them to your specs if you want them to! You don’t have to buy billet wheels to get a custom look as long these guys keep making the quality steel wheels they are known for. Go retro, and you’ll remember why you started loving choppers in the first place! Ride hard, Dave.

  2. 2 Cheesydoesit May 23rd, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    How can you say that a TIG weld is stronger than solid billet aluminum? These wheels are only as strong as the welds are…or am I wrong?

  3. 3 Johny May 23rd, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    You are wrong. Tig welding is a process to weld. The comparason is between steel wheels & aluminum wheels.

  4. 4 Cheesydoesit May 24th, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Johny, I understand what we are comparing here. But the spokes are TIG welded to the outer rings of the wheel…meaning the wheel is only as strong as the welds. Do you understand now?? These are not solid one peice wheels here.

  5. 5 Cheesydoesit May 24th, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    ^ “piece”…I also understand what TIG welding is…but thank you. Each spoke looks to be a separate piece that is welded on each end…1 mating it to the center hub and another at the opposite end mating it to the lip or ring. Now do you understand my question? What happens if you have a shitty weld on there? There is no way the weld is stronger than a solid billet aluminum wheel???

  6. 6 FXR May 24th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    By definition, a steel wheel is always stronger (and heavier) than an aluminum wheel. Why do you talk about bad welds? It’s only supposition. One-piece aluminum wheels break too, but not at the spokes. I have seen some with rim deformed and collapsed. In both types, quality of the manufacturer makes the differennce.

  7. 7 Scotty May 24th, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Ok guys, let’s try to compare apples and apples. If you made an aluminum Invader style wheel with the style and configuration of the Invader steel wheels, which one would be stronger? The Invaders have been manufactured basically the same way since 1974. The standard Invader 5 spoke front 21″ x 2.15 size wheel is made with a current steel rim thickness of .090″, welded to 1018 steel 3/4″ square tubing with a .120″ wall, and these spokes are welded to a steel hub with a .250″ wall. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that an aluminum wheel manufactured with the same dimensions would fail rather dramatically. Let’s see…Aluminum has a basic density of 2.70 (kg/m3)…steel has a density of 7.80 (kg/m3). And steel is again basically 3 – 4 times stronger than aluminum. So…an aluminum Invader spoke would have to be about 2-3/16″ square to equal a steel 3/4″ spoke. I see a lot of 1/2″ to 3/4″ spoke or web thickness on those billet wheels. Hmmmmm. By the way, the joints on the Invader wheels made by wheels4choppers are the same joint design that is used on NASCAR roll cases. Ever wonder why NASCAR uses steel in their roll cages and not aluminum? Ever wonder why an Invader wheel is TIG welded and not MIG or STICK welded? The latter two processes are cheaper to use. So why not use those processes? Well…Invader wheels that are to be chromed, are polished BEFORE welding. Anyone who knows a little bit about welding knows that there is a little bit of weld spatter with MIG and STICK. These two processes would damage the nicely polished rim, spokes, and hub. TIG welding is the only process that can safely join the parts and maintain the high polish required for chroming. Why polish before welding you ask? Ever try polishing a 21″ twenty five pound wheel. It takes about 20 times longer to polish a steel wheel after it is welded. ‘Nuf said…….OOPS…One more thing. The Invader is a popular wheel in third world countries because of the steel properties. Ever try to pound out a dent in a rim from a pot hole with a torch on an aluminum rim? Think about that for a minute? I know hat wheels4choppers gets quite a few orders from those high end custom bike customers that want to replace their “leaking” and “peeling chrome” billet wheels. Adios… P.S. math and density numbers are approximate and used for illustration purposes only.

  8. 8 Cheesydoesit May 29th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Scotty, thanks for the detailed. Obviously the steel is stronger than an aluminum one…but I was still asking about the weld…talk to me about the strengths of a weld…I already know about steel and aluminum. I’m just saying, again, that I have seen “good” welds crack under pressure. FXR, I talk about shitty welds because I have seen them…”only supposition”…you better believe it, and when I’m putting my life in the hands of a welder…you better friggen believe I’m going to ask about it. I’m sure they have great liability insurance too, but I sure as f*%k don’t want to test it out!! Think about the fu… question before you start spewing bullshit.

  9. 9 Nicker May 29th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    “…wheels are only as strong as the welds are…”

    Well, that might depend on what type of failure you find acceptable.

    I’m looking at that wheel and think-n the rim will bend (badly!) before the TIG welds fail. Try jumping off a retaining wall and keeping your knees locked on landing.

    I’m think there’s a reason why performance OEM wheels have bends in their supports, in order to flex when the wheel hits the inevitable chuck hole.

    But then, that may not be a consideration for scooters that don’t get “driven” (not ridden) much…?

    “…Anyone who knows a little bit about welding knows…”
    I thought i knew all i needed to know about welding (after some formal schooling even) to know when to use TIG or MIG. Turnes out i was wrong. MIG does not do well with certain steels….!!

  10. 10 franklin Sep 18th, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Talking about wheels and welds. Seems to me that if some of the guys out there are so worried about the quality of welds compared to solid aluminum and do not want to risk riding on something welded by who knows who then don’t complain about it and stick to riding in your car made by and welded by who knows who!!! I am a certified welding inspector and would trust my children to ride on invader wheels, JF.

  11. 11 Sic-man Nov 1st, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Just been reading some of the stuff you guy’s have written on weld’s and steel v billet. Some of you guy’s must only polish.Hit a crater with your cycle and I know which wheel I want on. Steel,at least you can take a hammer to it after. Do the same with any alloy,you might get away doing it once. Second pothole,start saving for a new wheel and make it steel this time. Love the Harley but we got road’s here in Ireland you could lose a horse in so steel it is. Some of you guy’s should get a penpal if you want to bullshit,cos then it does’nt matter if you don’t know what you are talking about.

  12. 12 Dennis M Randolph Jan 26th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Looking for 1960 or70’s ,5,7,or 9 spoke wheels. Invader,Morris,american or major wheel.

  13. 13 Holmboy Aug 9th, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Ok guys I can answer all the?s I recently had my 5″x16″ invader break at the heat line on all 5 spokes where it was “welded” to the hub. Luckly I was only hitting second gear when she let loose. In my opinion it was a total failure of the weld. I don’t belive that with out a little luck that this incident could of been real bad! You think a tire blowing out is bad well a wheel lettin go at the hub FN sucks! I have the pics to show the failure I hope I get some satsfaction out of the manufacturer. The wheels look great and I love the simplicity of them. I’ve had been running them for about 5-6000 miles when the sh#! hit the fan. These wheels came from a specific well known Invader builder not some fly by night backstreet shop. Will I use them again? If they send me new wheels maybe, but this incident will be in the back of my mind can I live with that I don’t know. I trust in “american” made products but with my life I can’t say!

  14. 14 Holmboy Oct 30th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Update from my post on Aug. 9th. Scotty at Invader Wheels fixed me up with a brand new Invader to replace the one that broke. Like I was hoping, he stood behind the wheel even though he did not build it. As I understand it the company has changed hands and he is now building a far superior wheel compared to the old style wheel. The wheel I had bought was for a show bike application, and should of never been sold to me. This was something that happened that was out of control of the new owner Scotty. I feel he would never build a wheel that would fail like the one I recived. I belive now looking back that a Invader is superior in strength to any C.N.C type wheel. The wheel I had that broke had tubing walls near half the thicknees of how Scotty builds them. He now also now adds a gusset between the spokes. I will have no reservations about running this new Invader, I have total respect for the way Scotty treated me. Invaders are still best choice for rigid application considering all the abuse the can take. I say this because the wheel I had that broke was not half the wheel Scott built to replace it and it still ran over 5000 rigid miles!!!!!

  15. 15 bythesword Apr 4th, 2009 at 7:19 am

    I’ve got an old invader wheel, 21 inch but it’s six spoke. Was going to use it on a bike I’m working on. Anyone know anything about these particular wheels? Is it a “real” invader? How do I tell if it’s fit to use?

  16. 16 Sic-man Feb 19th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Here is an update on my piece from (Nov 1st, 2007 at 11:17 am). I have 285 miles on my repaired 6-spoke rear invader after busting it on one of Irelands fine roads. 3″ split outside weld at one spoke and weld cracked at two more(one each side). Beat the dent out of the rim,got all the damage tig welded gave it a bit of paint was good to go. Sounds easier than it was but it proves that they are a durable wheel. Did’nt lose it but it was close while my buddy on the same road loosened all his spokes and had to get his cycle trailered home. West of Ireland, great scenery and roads you could swim in.

  17. 17 chris desocio May 2nd, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    i’m looking for a 19″ five spoke invader wheel, single disc for fxe superglide. can you help and give me info to locate one?

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