Just because you put together the right race machine doesn’t mean it was put together right. How’s that?! The actual assembly-torque readings and tightening order-is critical to proper performance. To make sure your ride’s suspension and chassis are not bound up, drop the crescent and hammer, pick up the torque wrench, and follow along with GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brent “Happy Home” Presnell.
“If you have fork components misaligned you can have extra drag and some increased internal wear. With the front wheel removed, torque the fork legs in the clamps to the proper spec in your owner’s manual. I start at the top clamp and do the bottom second. Then, put the wheel on and torque the axle nut. Spin the wheel, hit the front brake, and then compress the suspension through the stroke two or three times. The axle will find its natural place in the lugs. I torque the left side lug then check the right side. You can move the fork a little bit side to side to make sure it’s not bound up and goes to a happy home. And then torque it to your manual’s specs.”
“The shock is under a load when you’re on the bike, so you don’t want to torque the linkage when the bike’s on a stand. I always tighten the bottom shock bolt first, then take the bike off the stand and put it under a load. Its own weight is enough. I start torquing with the forward linkage bolt, then the rear, and then the upper. Last is the top shock bolt.”
3. Engine. Yes, Engine!
“Even with a brand new bike-it’s been assembled on an assembly line-sometimes things can be bound up and not really in a happy home. Loosen your engine motor mounts and the swingarm pivot, then set the bike down and sit on it and compress it through the suspension stroke a few times. Things will settle into their “normal” spot-where everything wants to be. Then, torque the bolts starting with the swingarm pivot, then moving to the front motor mount, then to the bottom motor mount, then up to the head stay.”For stock torque specs, see your owner’s manual. For professional suspension service and components, check out www.factoryconnection.com.