The Importance of Spoke-Tightening

Spokes are so often forgotten and over looked, yet there are so many of them that there is a good chance one or two are beginning to work loose and could cause a problem.

To illustrate how important it is to check your spokes for tightness, pretty much every professional mechanic that deals with spoked wheels will check every single spoke every time the motorcycle comes in for an inspection or checkup.

But you can’t just go wrenching on your spokes willy-nilly or the wheel will come out of true. To make sure you tighten the right amount we suggest using a spoke torque wrench set at about 48 inch-pounds (5.42 Nm).

To make sure you tighten the right way, follow this pattern: Start at the valve on the rim and tighten the first spoke. Then skip two nipples and tighten the third. Follow this pattern all the way around the rim three times and you’ll have checked each spoke.

Checking the spokes is especially important after riding off-road, have more off-road knobby off-road tires, or have a new set of wheels installed.

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