Spoke tightening procedure

10 replies to this topic
  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted February 21, 2001 - 12:21 PM


Guys, I have a new YZF and the front spokes are a little loose. I need to know the best/easiest procedure to use to tighten spokes. I remember back in the day guys used tone as a guide. Just don't want to cause more harm than good.


  • DaveJ

Posted February 21, 2001 - 01:29 PM



The quick way is to just tighten them as tight as the other spokes are. You can tap them for a tone test as well, but it's really not that accurate.

Another option is to remove the wheel and use an inch-pound torque wrench with a phillips adapter on the nipple of the spoke. There's a spec in the manual. Make sure that there's no corrision on the threads or any binding between nipple and rim since this will throw the reading off.

I've learned in building bike wheels that the only way to measure spoke tension is with a tool that measures just that. It applies a slight bend to the spoke which is then guaged. But, I've never seen such a tool for the spokes used on motos.

When I rebuilt my rear wheel I did it by hand and feel, then followed up with the torgue spec. That did the job quite well.

Best of luck.


  • flyinguitars

Posted February 21, 2001 - 03:14 PM


Hey, I had the same question a while back, check it out out http://www.thumperta...TML/000742.html
the spoke torque wrench looks pretty cool...maybe I'll get lucky for fathers day.

  • Boit

Posted February 21, 2001 - 04:08 PM


I have one of those spoke torque wrenches from Fasst. While it is very handy, it definitely WILL NOT aid much in truing your wheel. I thought I was being a big shot when I received this wrench and went about truing my wheels. the next thing I knew, my front wheel was wobbling badly. I even went to the trouble of using penetrating oil to lube all the spoke threads at the nipples. That still didn't account for inconsistent torque values caused by the nipple-to-rim resisistance. I ended up loosening all the spokes to where just the top of the threads were barely showing at the nipples and then carefully went through the truing process. The wrench was handy to keep from overtightening them at the end of truing. It took me a couple of hours but I DID learn how to true the wheel.

  • forloop

Posted February 21, 2001 - 06:17 PM


What I found that works pretty well is to start tighting them just a little at a time. Try to apply the same force on all the spokes. The ones that will not turn back them off and the re-tighten. I work my way around the wheel sometimes I go around ten times. Take your time and don't over tighen.

01 YZ426F #85 Vet C

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  • Boit

Posted February 21, 2001 - 09:23 PM


forloop: That's excellent advice. I might add that when it comes to trying to get an even tension, you must use a little "feel". Any wheel builder will tell you to "relieve" the spokes. What this involves is tightening the nipples a little past what is intended, and then backing off about 60 degrees. This means overtightening and then backing off a little. Once you've finished truing the wheel, you go thru the wheel and squeeze the spokes where they cross each other with your fingers. It's not unusual to hear pops and crackles as you do this. This is good. Now, go thru your spokes again and snug them equally...pattern wise.

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 02-21-2001).]

  • mike_dean

Posted February 22, 2001 - 03:52 AM


I have found that tightening the spokes a little at a time and doing every third spoke helps to keep the hop out of the wheel, and make several passes around the wheel.

[This message has been edited by mike dean (edited 02-22-2001).]

  • forloop

Posted February 22, 2001 - 06:40 AM


Thanks Boit.

I was going to add what mike dean said. Do not try to tighten them on the first pass just a little at a time. I have never tried the thrid spoke idea. But, it makes since.

01 YZ426F #85 Vet C

  • YZ426FJH

Posted April 09, 2001 - 03:45 PM


How do you true a wheel anyways ???
What order do you start etc ?

Thanks for any help provided !

  • Boit

Posted April 09, 2001 - 05:16 PM


There is a web site that gives excellent detailed instruction on truing the wheel. While the instructions are top-notch, there is no substitute for being patient and sensitive. Give yourself at least 3 hours the first time and try your best not to get frustrated. Trying to get a spoked wheel true in the same plane as the hub and then keeping it true side-to-side is not an easy task at first. It TRULY does get easier the more you do it. If you really give some thought to what happens to the wheel as you tighten any given spoke, you will begin to see what effect any spoke has on the opposite side of the wheel. For instance, tightening ONE spoke pushes the opposite side of the wheel further away from the hub and tightening the opposite side spokes a little...plus has the effect of pulling the side of the rim toward the edge of the hub it is anchored to. Like the other guys have said, making small turns per spoke is what is called for. The first time I attempted this, I thought I was going to have to swallow my pride and take it to an expert, but I started all over and finally got it right. Patience...patience...patience!

By the way, whatever you do, ALWAYS start with a spoke next to either the valve stem or rim lock. This gives you an index for a starting point. I also use a water based marker to make a mark on the spokes that I have already tightened the first time around so that I don't lose my place as I work around the wheel. Since I constantly move to the opposite side of the rim, it would be easy to lose touch with which spoke I had just adjusted. I can adjust my spokes and true the front wheel in about 20-30 minutes now.

[This message has been edited by Boit (edited 04-09-2001).]

  • jj

Posted April 10, 2001 - 06:09 AM


Thought these might help

I've been fighting spending $300 for a good wheel truing stand to do my wheels myself....we'll see :)


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