You work on your own bike to make sure things are done right and to save money. But how do you know you’re not doing things wrong and costing yourself money? Not to worry, Dunlop’s Jay Clark is here with a few tips to make sure your penny-wisery doesn’t lead to pound-foolishness.
01. “There’s not a good way to get a torque wrench on your rim lock, so you want to tighten it down firmly but not overtighten it, which can bow out the rim or actually break the rim lock. Don’t use a ratchet, use a short wrench, and only one hand. A rough guesstimate on the torque you want to put on here would be 18 to 20 foot-pounds.”
02. “Don’t drive the valve stem nut down flush with the rim. If you run low on tire pressure and your tire or tube spins on the rim, you can tear the valve stem off. Snug the nut up against the valve stem cap. Honda rims have a larger hole in the rim and come with a rubber cover. Keep that cover on or dirt can get inside your tire.”
03. “Running your tire pressure too low can flat-spot the rim. You want to check tire pressure every time you go out. Your tires can easily lose pressure sitting for a week. 13 to 13.5 psi is a good rule of thumb for most outdoor tracks or off-road areas where flats are not an issue. You probably don’t want to go any lower than 11.5 to 12 psi, especially where there are a lot of rocks or square-edged bumps.”
04. “Check your spokes. It’s a good habit to feel every spoke when you wash your bike. If they’re loose, use a pattern of going around the wheel checking and tightening every third spoke. Some won’t need tightening, just tighten the ones that are loose, but don’t overtighten. Fasst Company makes a cool spoke torque wrench for this.”
For more info on new tires or to check out Dunlop’s online magazine, roll over to www.dunlopmotorcycle.com.