Swing Arm Conversion 101!

harley swing arm

There are two main configurations for swing arms. The most common is the conventional double arm swing arm which supports the rear tire on both sides of the axle.

However, the single swing arm configuration is becoming quite popular and is available on some motorcycles straight from the dealership.

There are benefits to doing a swing arm conversion from the conventional double swing arm to the single swing arm configuration. 

One is that the single swing arm reduces the weight since there is only one piece of hardware going from the frame to the rear tire.

Another benefit is that maintenance of the rear tire, chain or drive belt, and other parts normally difficult to reach with a traditional swing arm will require far less time when you need to do your maintenance or even some parts change out. This is because you have better access. 

The weight reduction can also get you an extra mile per hour or two. Many riders like the feel of the single swing arm better than the traditional configuration.  Which configuration you choose is really a matter of taste. It's up to you how you want your bike to look and feel. 

Why Converting From A Rectangular Double Side Swing Arm To A Single Side Is Not That Difficult.

You can purchase a kit for your specific make, model, and year. The kit should contain the single side swing arm, all mounting hardware, and a clear instruction manual on exactly how to tackle the project on your specific bike. It is best to select a conversion kit that provides photos and pictures.  

That helps you know exactly which parts are being discussed. If you happen to lose your instruction manual, you can often locate another online from the manufacturer that produced your conversion kit.


If you happen to get stuck with a problem that you can't solve, there are online forums where riders have walked others through the steps they took for their conversion. You'll likely location posts that fit your exact make and model.

Realize that when doing any swing arm conversion, whether single or double side swing arms, It is crucial that you follow the instruction exactly because installing suspension parts and parts that hold your tire onto your bike. 

Failure to follow the correct procedure can result in finding your motorcycle less than safe to ride. Remember, the swing arm is the only thing holding your rear tire onto your motorcycle. After installing your swing arm kit, you'll want to show off the new look of your bike.

Riders who convert to super wide rear tires like to do the swing arm conversion when they install the new fat tires. Once the kit is correctly installed and the rear tire of your choice installed, you'll want to polish up your bike and take it out to show off. The new look will get lots of attention and you'll have fun showing others what you've done.