Very Cool Planetary Gear Reverse for Street Glide Could Expand to Any Bagger

Harley Street Glide 1 photo
Photo: Harley-Davidson
Here’s a very neat idea Yelvington Trikes presented at the 2014 AIMExpo, a bike show which is getting underway in Florida as we write. The idea is not exactly a science breakthrough, but is a “why didn’t I think of this first” thing. Welcome the reverse pulley, a custom assembly so far available for the Harley-Davidson Street Glide baggers, but definitely an idea easy to extend to other bikes in the business.
Many bikes are heavy and shorter, less strong riders are having a hard time moving them around in the limited space of a parking lot. And if you’re thinking about loaded cruisers or baggers plus a passenger who’s not exactly a top-model, getting out of your spot may be tricky.

Making things simpler, sort of

Some of these big bikes are equipped with a dedicated reverse gear, even though this is more of a trike thing. Still, this means adding a new assembly to the transmission, which in turn, adds extra bulk and reduces the low-speed maneuverability. And electric reverse motors are not different, either.

The new system uses a special-design pulley which can be set to work in reverse with a pull of a lever. The reverse pulley is integrated in the rear wheel, and has nothing to do with the rest of the transmission, which makes adapting it to other motorcycles a fairly easy job. That is, as long as they have belt transmission. Of course, even some chain-drive bikes could be adapted with a belt final transmission to accommodate the reverse pulley system.

How the system works

First off, you’d still use your first gear to go in reverse, and this makes everything much easier. The clutch is your best friend, as always, and you’ve got complete control over the bike. The system uses planetary gears to switch the rotation direction of the wheel, and a bar-mounted switch does the trick. Manual operation is of course, a breeze.

The gears inside this special pulley are not made from metal. They are apparently crafted from composite “like a deposit” materials. Not sure how enduring these gear are, because I can almost picture crazy riders (like myself) trying to see how fast can the bike go in reverse, given the fact that the belt drive does not come with limitations. And when I say limitations I think about the electric reverse motors or so.

Even so, the system is an easy and awesome upgrade to any heavyweight bike, and it introduces a completely new level of functionality, convenience and why not, safety. Having such a complete control over the reverse movement allows the rider to make better use of his or her feet for keeping the bike upright. At the same time, this spares riders from the nasty scare they get each time their feet slip on gravel, sand and whatever, while struggling to push the bike back. Can’t wait to see this in production!

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