Motorcycle Spokes Maintenance
Motorcycle Spokes, do more than just go round and round.
- How often do you check your spokes?
- Have you ever checked your spokes?
- How do you check your spokes?
- What if I find a problem..is it an easy fix?
Spokes are an integral component to any wheel, yet the majority of people never give them a second thought, except when they clean them and and polish them.
What exactly is a spokes job? Well it supports the outer rim ring that your tire is mounted to, then your wheel assembly is mounted to a swingarm or forks that hold up the motorcycle. Therefore the wheels go round and round, propelling us down the highway or dirt trail… simple enough right?…. Yeah easy stuff, no need to worry about them……well let us have a deeper look into this simple little component.
We all have seen a spokes wheel, popular spoke configurations are 36 and 40 spokes per wheel.
Spokes server a couple of purposes. As a group they form a strong connection from the center hub to the outer ring, and they also are used to keep the center and outer ring aligned, both in a left to right and an up and down, about as simple as I can refer it as. Each spoke needs to have its specific connection aligned and tight so the wheel assembly runs in a proper circle and not elongated or out of round. Get the picture… here is a picture of a wheel that is just been assembled (I will upload when I get back from the garage) none of the spokes are tightened yet, they will be to make the wheel run true and straight. If this was put on your bike your wheel would not last long and it would be dangerous to ride, causing the motorcycle to wobble even at lower speeds and cause some serious injuries.
Does a spoke seem more important now? Check them see if you can wiggle or move them on your wheels. If so have someone who is qualified and has the proper tools to align and tighten your spokes, this can be done with a proper sized wrench or a special spoke wrench if you just need a minor tightening go ahead but be aware over tightening can cause your rim to be out of round and your spokes could end up breaking if over tightened.
What if you find broken or even missing spokes in your wheel?
My advice.. do not ride the motorcycle …remove the wheel and have the spokes replaced and your wheel trued. It is far easier doling out some cash rather than getting a sever case of road rash when the wheel decides to let go.
It takes 5 minutes to check both wheels. The best time to check is when your washing your motorcycle, it only takes a minute to check the spokes see if you can wiggle them.
As with anything mechanical take the time to check your motorcycle over. Tractor trailer drivers have to by law conduct a pre trip inspection every 24 hours…. if you had to put on a harness and go over the side of a cliff or a building top, would you take the time to inspect your safety equipment… Yes RIGHT.. so why not take the time and do a inspection on your wheels, spokes, rims and tires… might just save you hide!!!
Upon inspecting one of our KLR wheels, I came across this crack, which at first glance I thought it was a bit of road grime… with all the mud on the rim at the time. I took a rag and found that the rim had actually been cracked in 3 places….
Guess what cracked it? A mechanic who used a newer style air powered tire changer, the cracks are almost a perfect 90 degrees from each other, the previous owner had no idea the rim was in such condition I noticed it after I bought the bike and got it home and took the time to wash is and inspect it. I replaced the rim with a new one.. any guesses on how long this would have lasted being pounded on by highway use and off road use in rocky terrain…. my guess not long.[phpbay keywords=”motorcycle wheel rim” num=”1″ siteid=”1″ sortorder=”BestMatch” templatename=”default” paging=”true”] [phpzon keywords=”motorcycle wheel rim” num=”1″ country=”US” trackingid=”stinsoadvent-20″ templatename=”default” paging=”true”]
Would any of you guys put your wife or child on a machine that wasn’t in tip top shape and safe to ride? I know I wouldn’t.
So do your self a favour.. check your spokes!