Safe Way to tighten spokes?


I have a 04 450 with a few hours of track time on it now. I am getting worried about the spokes. I want to attempt to snug them up. However if it is not done right it can mess up the wheel. I have the wrench that comes with the bike. I have read a few posts on how to do this, they say every 3rd spoke. I would assume you mark the first spoke with some black tape. So I guess you would use the tool that comes with the bike. The turn each spoke 1/4 turn (counter clockwise if your looking at the spoke closes to the ground).. keep this up till you get back to the taped spoke? Any good website with picture on how to do this. I want to make things better not worse..


I have a 04 450

I have the wrench that comes with the bike.

I knew my dealer screwed me over, but I wasn't sure if he gave me everything or not. Now I know, &*$()!@*! What else was I suppose to get?

a couple of main jets, and a dinky owners manual.

mine on my 05 250 were really loose after the first little bit of riding around and breaking the bike in. I tightened them on 1/4 turn at a time going alternating from one side to the other until they were all tight. "Tight" is a relative term but I use the "ping/sound" test......after a while you get the feel for it.

Of course the other option is to buy a spoke "torque" wrench. I have never had one.

Get a spoke torque wrench and ask them to set it to the torque in your manual. No more guessing. The spokes on the rear losen up quickly if you jump.

a couple of main jets, and a dinky owners manual.

the manual i got with my bike was really big and a plug wrench, spoke wrench, jets, helmet, gloves, and googles and a very fast blue bike :cry: and a 15% discount on anything in the store from now on

I still wonder about the spoke torque wrench. How accurate is it going to be after the nipples corrode?

It is excellent practice to try it with an old bicycle wheel first. Once you get the hang of wheels, they are quite easy and fun to true.

Ive spent 15years building and rebuilding mtb wheels. Theres way more to it than that. You need to feel how tight it should be by finding one from the sme side and feeling how tight it is. Then take up the slack in the loose ones to the approximate correct tightness.. Once they are within the approx tension if you decide the rim needs truing then for each one you tighten half a turn loosen the one next to it half aturn. If it needs another half turn loosent the one on the other side half a turn. Only once you have the rim true and round can you tension it up using the every third spoke method..

If in doubt take it to some one and pay them to do it while watching. Its a $15 job but may cost you a $200 rebuild if you pull a spoke or twist or egg the rim.. I watched about ten rims being built and a dozen or so being fixed before i attempted my first rim.

Invest in a spoke torque wrench and eliminate all of the guesswork. Saves time in between motos! :cry:

I spin the wheel and tap each spoke on each side at a time (know what I mean?). I just make sure they are not incredibly loose and sound all about the same ding tone. I know that sounds weird but it actually works. My wheels are always tight and true.

Thats Ok on a clean rim, but when mud is on the spokes the notes dont ring true. Infact once i had just the right amount of mud on each spoke I spun the wheel and what do ya know. It played jingle bells. Ive left it alone ever since. And every christmas we get the bike out and spin the wheel to christmas carols. LOL. Sorry.

Is there any way you could help me achieve the same? Mine plays the Twelve days of Christmas...I hate that song!

I dont understand how the torque wrench compensates for oxidization and gunk on the threads of the nipples? You could get to 50 in-lbs and not be at the same spoke tension. :cry: I bet it works great on new wheels with new spokes and rims. :cry:

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now