How to replace a spoke on a motorbike wheel

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How to replace a spoke on a motorbike wheel

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Motor cycle wheels rely on their spokes to provide it with shape and strength. When a spoke is bent or broken, a slight bulge may form in the rim opposite the damaged spoke. This is due to tension from opposing spokes pulling on the rim. Not only has the wheel lost some shape, but the lack of spoke tension makes the rim extremely vulnerable to such hazards as potholes and sharp curbs. Spokes are removed or installed on a naked rim. A naked rim has both the tire and inner tube removed.


Remove rim tape. The tape runs around the outside length of the rim and protects the inner tube from the spoke holes and the hard surface of the rim. Removing the tape exposes the spoke holes in the rim.


Insert the hooked end of the spoke through its hole in the hub flange. The hub is the center of the wheel. The flange is the raised edge of the hub and is drilled with holes to accommodate the heads of each spoke.


Determine whether the spoke laces over or under any other spokes. There is a consistent spoke pattern around the wheel. Use the pattern as a guide for lacing the new spoke. Direct the spoke toward its hole in the rim.


Lubricate the threads of the spoke nipple with linseed oil. The nipple is separate from the spoke and is used to anchor the spoke to the rim.


Fit the tapered end of the spoke nipple through the hole in the rim. Use a flat blade screwdriver and turn the base of the spoke nipple counterclockwise to thread the nipple onto the end of the spoke.


Push gently down on the spoke where it attaches to the hub flange a couple times. This will prebend the spoke.


Fit a spoke wrench around the side of the spoke nipple. Turn the nipple counterclockwise until the spoke has the same tension as other spokes on the same side of the wheel. Spoke tension can be checked by plucking the other spokes and comparing the sound to the spoke you are tightening when it is plucked. Two spokes with similar tension will make a similar sound.


Wrap a fresh layer of rim tape around the outside length of the rim. Cut the tape so that the two ends meet.


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