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Home of the 31 & 32 Tooth Pulley!!

Southwest Marketing & Sales  Copyright 2012-2019
Which Sportster Front Pulley Works Best for Me?
Sportster Front Pulleys

Why Change Your Front, Rear or Both Drive Pulleys?

The reason to change the pulley is because you do not like the existing "Road Performance"  (Interstate) of your bike. Harley chooses pulley combinations for the average way they feel the bike will be ridden. Harley looks at the 883 as a "Town Bike" (60 mph) The 1200's are geared for the interstate (70 mph). You can change the gearing of the bike for the way you want to ride by changing the front and/or rear pulley.

  • For more "pick-up off the line", decrease the front pulley size, and/or increase the size of the rear pulley. This is quick between stop lights, but increases throttle position and engine rpm at interstate speeds. 

  • For interstate riding, increase the front pulley size, and or decrease the rear pulley size. This increases the throttle position for quick launch, but decreases the throttle position at interstate speeds.

The pulleys we offer are larger than "stock". We offer front and rear pulleys and kits for better "Road Performance", 70 mph and higher.

Sportsters are long stroke engines, plenty of torque. Both 883's and 1200's can handle taller than factory gearing. Both engines have the same stroke, the 1200 piston is 1/2" larger diameter. So, the pulley of choice goes to the riding style of the owner rather than the bike. Pulley size depends on what mph you want to cruise. With stock cams Sportsters work well at 2900-3200 rpm for interstate cruising, flat land, solo rider.

  • The 1200's are "geared" to run about 3140 engine rpm at 70 mph (1991-2003) and increased in 2004 to about 3250.

  • The 883's are geared lower than the 1200's, especially since 2004. The 883's at 70 mph run about 3380 (1991-2003) up to 3780 (2004-2009) and lowered in 2010 to about 3650.

  • If you change the cams for performance at higher rpm, the 2900 rpm reference may be too low; the cam mfg. will have recommendation.

  • We strongly recommend a tachometer; it's the only way to really judge your driving style.​

Sportster Front Pulley
Against The Wind - Bob Seger
00:00 / 00:00

The year is important. The engine to transmission sprockets, and front and rear pulleys are not the same in all years and models.

1991-2003, (Primary ratio is the same for 883 & 1200):


  • The 27 tooth is great for wheelies and racing 1200's! The original 27 tooth 883 pulley is not easy or economical on the interstate. The 27 is fine around town, traffic and two-up riding because launch is easy.

  • The 29 tooth is comfortable around town, traffic is okay because road speed at idle is about 6. Two-up riding is fine with this pulley. The "sweet spot" for fuel economy is 65 mph, about 3000 rpm. This is the stock 1200 pulley and it works great for 883's.

  • The 30 tooth is fine around town, traffic requires more frequent clutching because road speed at idle is about 10. The "sweet spot" for fuel economy is 70 mph, about 3100 rpm. Not recommended for 883, 2-Up.

  • Neither the 29 or 30 requires a belt change or any modifications.

  • The 32 pulley is not recommended for 883's.


  • The 30 tooth is fine around town, traffic requires more frequent clutching because road speed at idle is about 10. The "sweet spot" for fuel economy is 70 mph, about 3100 rpm.

  • The 30 does not require a belt change or any modifications.

  • The 32 pulley is compatible with the 1200's. However, not recommended unless you are usually solo, ride primarily flat ground over 75 mph.

  • This is the same final ratio as changing the rear 61 pulley to the European 55 rear pulley.

2004-UP, (Primary ratio, engine to transmission, is lower for 883 than 1200):


  • The 883's are comfortable cruising 55-60 mph. When you hit 70 mph the mpg is drastically reduced and the engine RPM is a bit "Buzzy", about 3750. The 1200 is about 3250 at 70 mph, comfortable.

  • For 883's both the 28 (2004-2009) and 29 (2010-up) pulleys are a lower final ratio than the 1200 because of the Primary. Harley decided that the 28 was too low, and switched the 2010-UP 883’s to 29. The 29 at 70 mph is about 3650 rpm, still can be considered uncomfortable when riding more than an hour.

  • For 883's any tooth pulley is nice around town, traffic is easy, two-up riding is still fine even with the 32 tooth ratio. The "sweet spot" for fuel economy is about 3200 rpm so you pick the pulley based on your desired cruise mph.

  • The 32 tooth compensates for the lowered primary ratio of the 883 and gets it to about the same gearing as a 1200. Cruising at 70 mph is about 3250 rpm, Very nice for the interstate.

  • If you are a solo rider, and want "more gear", there is a rear 66 tooth kit to replace the original 68 tooth. This is like putting a 30 on a 1200.

  • None of these require a belt change, but the 32 requires some modification to the Pulley Cover and exhaust mounting, the 31 pulley does not require modifications.


  • The 1200 is a good cruiser at 70 mph with a 29 tooth, original pulley.

  • Cruising at ~75 mph is better with the 30 tooth. The 1200 still handles 2-up just fine.

  • For sustained cruise over 75 mph the 32 is a good choice. But if you are not a 75+ rider most of the time the 30 or 31 is a better choice.


  • The XR's final drive ratio is the same as 2004+ 883's, but the rear tire was changed to the low profile "50" series so the engine runs higher rpm than the 883, about 3920 rpm at 70 mph.

  • The XR can take a 30 tooth and use the same belt. Our 30 tooth pulleys do not require modification. The stock Harley pulley requires some modification to the Pulley Cover ribs.

  • The 31 and 32 tooth pulleys require a longer belt or a 66 rear pulley to use the original belt. The Rear 66 tooth instead of the original 68 tooth compensates for the larger diameter 31 and 32 tooth pulley so you can use your original belt. 

  • The Pulley Cover of the XR is different than the XL's and requires some modification for the 31 & 32 pulley. Our XR Kits include a Rotary File to be used with your drill motor or die grinder to complete these modifications.

Putting An Early ('95-'03) Front Pulley On A Late ('04-up) Sportster

Mechanically it fits (early to late), the transmission splines are the same (33) and the belt teeth are the same pitch, 14mm. However, if you put the two pulleys side by side you'll notice the late model is wider, has the belt guide on the inboard side and the mounting flange that butts to the transmission shaft spacer (or bearing on '06-up) is flush with the belt guide. The early pulley mounting flange is inset from the actual edge of the pulley. The tooth area of the rear pulley were also moved outboard. All these modifications were required to allow the tire change made in '04 to 150/80 from 130..

In '04 we got the wider tire, HD moved the belt outboard to achieve belt clearance for the tire. Because the early pulley has the belt guide outboard the belt doesn't come off when mounted to an '04+, but it does not run straight either. The belt "wants" to run straight so it constantly "pushes" against the belt guide. This is verified by belt wear into the guide ring. If the belt guide separates from the pulley the belt moves outboard to straighten itself and about 1/8" is off the pulley. If the guide is lost, and the belt is partially unsupported the belt will shred; oh, unhappy day.

Comment on Front Pulley & Kit Choices

For 1991-2003 Sportster, we offer 29, 30 & 32 tooth front overdrive pulleys to replace the 27 tooth (883) or 29 tooth (1200). We recommend a 29 or 30 for 883's, the 32 is a bit much for the 883. The 1200 can easily handle the 32, but is only useful if the bike is typically 75+ mph on the interstate. It gives you the same final ratio as the European bikes that had a 55 tooth rear pulley.

For 2004+ we offer 29, 30, 31 & 32 tooth front and a 66 tooth rear.

The 1200 Sportster final drive is almost the same as the 1991-2003. 

The 883's got a change to an extremely "low" final ratio. Harley did this by changing the engine sprocket in the primary, engine to transmission drive. 

The XR1200 got the same 883 primary and front pulley, 28 tooth, but also the rear tire changed to a "50" Series low-profile.


This is the reason we offer complete front & rear pulley kits; 30/66, 31/66 & 32/66. The 31/66 is almost the same final ratio as a stock 1200, and doesn't require any modifications or belt change. The 32/66 does require some modification for the 32, and is a small "overdrive" for the 883 compared with the "stock" 1200 ratio; like running a 30 tooth on the 1200 bikes. The rear just bolts on, the 32 requires some modification to the sides of the pulley cover mounting posts and the exhaust bracket, see pictures. We include a rotary file with the 32's so all you need is a drill motor.

Sportster Pulley Tools

32 tooth

29 tooth

28 tooth

XR1200 Pulleys

Modifications for 32 Tooth, 2004-Up 

Sportster 32 Pulley
Sportster 32 Pulley