Tightening up Hardware

I was out riding this weekend and I had to remove one of my bark busters because on of the bolts fell out (in the muddiest area of course). I walked around and couldn't find it to save my life. At that point I decided that I sould go over the bike and tighten every thing up. Later that day I came across a kid on a KTM that looked in need of assistance. I had some tools with me and offered to help but upon seeing the problem I knew all hope was lost. His rear sprokett had only two bolts left on only one of those two had a nut on the back side. It was then that "should tighten everything" turned in to "would tighten everything".

I was just wondering how often you guys tighten the hardware on your bikes? I know the ideal answer is "I tighten everything on my bike after every ride no matter what" but lets be real, that probably isn't the case.

Lastly, what is the biggest thing you've had fall of your bike? Gotta be some good stories out there.

You are supposed to completely check your bike before you go out.

Or go over it when you get back.

I know a lot of guys that never check anything. Bent bars, broken levers, pretzel shifters, kinked chains, missing spokes, tweaked cables,...... I try to to never go riding with them as every trip is trail side repair day. I never have to do trail side repairs on my own bike. Instead, I service them in the comfort of my garage. IDK, it just seems easier that way.

Makes total sense. I go through after each ride and check my chain, lube and oil. All the basics. The one thing that has been over looked was hardware for things like my hand guards. Lesson learned though, after seeing that kid having to walk his bike to where he was and then drag it across the water (glacier run off). That is all part of my growing checklist of pre/post riding. Glad he didn't have something bad happen, the sproket was just barley haning on there.

Also, thanks for moving my post to the proper location. :thumbsup:

When I wash it I look for broken, bent, or scratched. At every oil change I put a wrench on most bolts or nuts that will get you hurt if they come off. I always check it over about a good 18" from where ever I'm working.

If you keep your bike in perfect condition, you can often tell if something needs attention just buy looking. Some racers paint a fine line on bolts. If the line has moved, so has the bolt. But unless you are pro, it is not worth it. A cool evening, the radio on, a beer and a little face to face time with your steed. Once you get used to a bike, a complete go over can be a pretty fast job, under thirty minutes.

Loctite is your friend. :thumbsup:

Good rule of thumb...

Blue for most...Red for big motor bolts.

Safety wire has some good uses. So does bailing wire, like holding the pipe on my smoker :banana:

Duct tape is...well, you know! Panduits :ride:


I check the real important stuff every ride (axles, steering stem nut, bar mounts, etc) since one of those things coming loose could end very badly. Less important stuff like fender bolts or shroud bolts get checked once every few rides.

About 10 years ago I read an article by a pro mechanic he stated that he only uses antisieze on his bikes. Since that time I have used it on every bike I work on and if it is tightened it does not come loose. The theory is bolt and nuts loosen because of corrosion between the threads antisieze prevents this corrosion. As a side benefit your torque readings will be more accurate. The problem with locktite is it looses its hold with heat especially the blue version.

I too, use anti-seize on nearly every fastener that does not call for something else.

First thing I do to a new bike, every spoke, bolt, the entire bike is gone over. It is a good way to get familiar with it too and you'll know later when something is not right.

everything is checked over, especially my sprocket bolts.

a few years ago on my kx 85 one of the bolts had come loose, but I hadn't noticed and it never really dawned on me to check (I was 13 or so at the time). Its only when my dad went to change the rear tyre that he noticed that the bolt had moved out and started grinding away at the swingarm, about half the thickness of the swingarm was completely gone, had to get it repaired and got a total asswhipping from my dad

I've learnt to check everything over since that day. That could'ave turned nasty.

I do a bolt check before bigger rides... go over the bike (or sled in the winter) pretty thoroughly and put a wrench on almost every exposed bolt before I leave for a trip.

Caught a few things before they became problems. Things like brake discs, axles, sprockets... I clean and check all that when I change tires.

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