Rollin’ Deep | Inside Performance Machine

Tech Swap

1 While visiting PM we saw a myriad of CNC machines at work milling huge chunks of aluminum into rolling art.

2 Once the wheels, rotors, pulleys, or sprockets are done being machined, they are polished to a mirror-like finish.

3 From the polisher the Black Ops and Contrast Cut parts are sent out to be anodized. They are then chucked up into the CNC machine again and patterns are cut into them.

4 Here is the finished PM product in the form of a set of Gasser Contrast Cut wheels, rotors, and pulley waiting to be installed on our bike.

5 PM tech Jun starts the swap by pulling off the front wheel.

6 Since we went with the stock diameter of the wheels, we reused of the OEM tire.

7 It takes a skilled technician to install the tires on the new wheels without damaging them.

8 Matching dual PM rotors were then installed and tightened to factory specifications.

9 The new PM rolling stock was slid in between the fork legs and securely fastened.

10 Jun moved to the rear of the bike where he removed the brake caliper and pulled off the wheel.

11 The stock rear tire was also removed to be used on the new PM rear wheel.

12 Slow and careful is the way you install any tire on high-end wheels.

13 The matching rear pulley was installed with all new hardware that was torqued to factory specs.

14 A new Contrast Cut PM rotor was also bolted to the new wheel using factory torque specs.

15 Once the new wheel was outfitted with all of its needed parts, it was slid back into the swingarm of the bike.

16 Jun then reinstalled the brake caliper and used the OEM axle to tighten the whole thing down, finishing our wheel upgrade.

17 & 18 As you can see the PM wheels really class up this bike. We especially like all the negative space that even these smaller-diameter wheels allow due to the major machining on the wheels, rotors, and pulley.


In 1970 Performance Machine (PM) began making a few motorcycle parts here and there out of a tiny shop in Paramount, California. In 1972 PM was busy building custom aftermarket frontends and brakes for Harley-Davidsons with no end in sight, but the year of 1975 was a game changer. This is when PM upped its game by manufacturing custom wheels for Harley-Davidson motorcycles that included the iconic Morris Mag seven-spoke, the Invader six-spoke, and Mitchell Spun Aluminum Wheels.

Every year since then PM has evolved into a powerhouse of a supplier to the world of aftermarket motorcycle products. Wheel, brakes, foot and hand controls, and now even air cleaners are produced by the thousands and shipped worldwide.

We visited PM’s world headquarters in La Palma, California, to see how the magic happens and to slap a set of wheels on our project 2012 Fatbob. Here’s what we encountered. HB


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