Motocross bikes very often suffer with a lack of maintenance. Neglected maintenance can lead to unpleasant situations and often ended with ugly falls. Have you ever seen an twisted wheel? You can probably imagine what happens, when the spokes breaks at landing of the jump and front wheel stuck between the forks. Nothing pleasant. Therefore, we should have pay attention to the controlling of wheels. In today's article, we focus on the most important chapter, and that is spokes inspection.
The frequency of spokes tightening depends on the riding style. Some riders are gentle on the landing and some hits the ground very hard. So wire inspection cannot be prescribed after a certain number of operating hours. It is good to check them once every few tranings. The fastest way how to identify a cracked or completely loose wire is a sound test. By simply knocking the spoke with a metal object. If they all sound the same, none is cracked. The cracked wire can be identified very clearly in this way, because it begins to resonate significantly.
If we detect cracked spoke, we must replace it before training. It is very difficult to center a well after break-in, but if you will change only one wire, you probably don't need to deal with centering. When you’ll be replacing, it is a good idea to lubricate the thread on the spoke with graphite grease so that it can be easily tightened. And grease prevents thread before dirt.
Spokes tightening must always be done one by one. If one side is tightened first and then the other, it could lead to off axis rim position or rim can be deformed. So we start tightening from the valve and tighten each no more than half a turn. Do this several times until the wheel is fully tightened.
The new bikes has spokes tighten around 4 Nm and a little more for the enduro. However, when the wheels are already break-in, there is dirt in the threads and the force is greater. So before tightening it’s smart to spray the threads with a release agent - such as a WD. The correct tightening force is difficult to determine, as the wires can be rusted. It’s up on your feelings, just like tightening any other screw. As a check of correct tightening, you can try to press the two wires against each other in their crossing, and if they stretch a lot, they should be retighten a little more.