Spokes loose, replace?

So, I've had this WR450 for about 2 months.

I've only ridden it with the Supermoto wheels so far.


On the weekend I put the dirt wheels on for the first time, and overlooked checking the spokes.


When I put the Supermoto wheels back on, I discovered the rear dirt wheel has a bunch of loose spokes.


I bought a spoke wrench, and started working on the wheel, and I've got 2 seized spokes.


Now, I've built hundreds of bicycle wheels in my time, but never worked on a spoked motorcycle wheel before.

My concern is, will the hub be damaged from riding it with loose spokes already, on a bicycle the hub would be fine, but the weight of a motorcycle maybe not so good for the hub?

If the hub "should" be OK, I will order a new set of spokes and rebuild the wheel so I don't continue to have problems.


But if the hub is toast? I'll save up over the winter and just buy a new or used rear wheel?


I've got to borrow a set of vice-grips and see if I can un-seize those 2 spokes to get the wheel perfectly straight and even out the tension.


Basically I want to know what your guys opinion is on my loose spoke situation...


Buy new spokes?


Cut my losses and get new spokes and a hub, or a whole wheel?


You guys think it will be OK to ride this weekend? Some were 2-3 turns before the spoke had any tension at all.

Replace the spokes.

When you remove them inspect the hole in the hub

You can tell if it's damaged

If you are not sure, remove a 'good' spoke too, to have a hole to compare too.


Unless you had 10 spokes right next to each other, all loose, the hub will probably be fine.


Unless it is ovaled out, or the hub is cracked, it should be fine, but those spokes will get loose easier.


When you re-install the new spokes use ANTI-SIEZE on the the threads, not grease or lube.


It takes less than 10 seconds before each ride to do a 'tap and pitch' test to the spokes while the bike is up on the stand.....which I forget to do about half the time...

.....which I forget to do most of the time...

Let's be honest here...

Let's be honest here...


No, I am being honest.

Check the tire pressue, ping the spokes. Same motion.


My bikes, all three, are alwasy on their respective stands, and are clean, so they can be inspected and maintained without any excuses.


I don't neglect my bikes at all, and they are pampered and last hunderds of hours and go through multiple pistons.


...accept the KTM's, they are worn out enough soon enough to dump them off on someone else...

I'll ding them with a screw driver or something once in awhile, but usually only when I'm removing a wheel. I honestly could be better about that. Otherwise, I'm with you - bikes are always clean. Putting them away dirty is really bad for them.

Well I got the seized ones free now.


Tension and trued the wheel to within 2mm side to side, rim has a couple little dents in it, so didn't remove all the hop.


All the heads of the spokes sit roughly the same depth into the hub, would that be a good way to tell if the spoke holes are damaged?


Trucking the bike out to a ride spot this weekend, hopefully the spokes survive this one ride at least.


Got in on the Enduro Cross Training guys ride from Australia, should be fun.


Now that I have a spoke wrench, it will be a pre-ride inspection for sure. Just like checking the oil every time I put gas in the tank, and checking chain tension every time I remove my lock.


For the $15 the spoke wrench cost.. it came with like 8 different sized tips... a bicycle spoke wrench is about $10, and only fits one size... and I own like 4 or 5 sizes of those... sometimes Motorcycles are cheaper than Bicycles.

Its the rim that gets damaged from loose spokes and or the aluminium nipple not the hub

Look at the nipples on the spokes which were loose to see if the the clearance between the nipple and the rim hole is bigger than the others.

Worst case is the head gets pulled of the nipple if the nipple was excessively worn and or the nipple pulls through the rim

Either way if they are tight now, ride it and check them every ride for a while

Most likely they'll be fine...I,ve had a few come loose and bought spare wheels with loose spokes which I just tightened and never have another issue with

The 450's do seem prone to this..must be the torque or the power

Edited by GuyGraham

I had a Husky TE610 before, rode for 2 years with a broken spoke in the rear wheel.


None of the other spokes ever came loose in the 6k KM I rode the bike with that wheel on it.

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