How to Straighten a Motorcycle Rim

Written by justin wash
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Arguably the most important part of any motorcycle is its wheels. Without them, the bike would not move or turn. Keep your motorcycle rolling correctly and safely by straightening your rims regularly.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Motorcycle jack or stand
  • Zip ties
  • Small tape measure or ruler
  • Spoke wrench

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Instructions

    Side-to-Side Straightening

  1. 1

    The side-to-side straightening, or truing, of a wheel is essential to its efficient forward movement. To begin truing, prop your motorcycle on a jack or stand with the wheel to be trued suspended in the air.

  2. 2

    Tie two zip ties to the fork (if the wheel being trued is on the front) or swing arm (if the wheel to be trued is in the rear) and trim them evenly. Use a tape measure or ruler to be certain that the ties are at the same height and trimmed to the same length.

  3. 3

    Situate the zip ties so they are even with the rim of the motorcycle wheel. Spin the wheel by hand and make note of any spots where the rim rubs against a zip tie.

  4. 4

    Using a spoke wrench, tighten the spoke opposite the rub until the rim is centred in the zip-tie indicators. Spin the wheel again, and repeat this procedure until the rim no longer rubs the ties.

    Removing Hops

  1. 1

    A "hop" in a motorcycle wheel is an unwanted up-and-down movement relative to the wheel's hub. Hops will slow a wheel by introducing unnecessary surface resistance. Spin the wheel, and watch for any spots that look higher than others.

  2. 2

    Use the tape measure to measure from the rim at the highest point of the hop to the centre of the hub. Then measure from the centre of the hub to the point directly opposite the hop.

  3. 3

    Use a spoke wrench to tighten the spoke at the centre of the hop half a turn. Then tighten the spokes on either side of this one a quarter turn. This will pull the rim toward the hub without upsetting its side-to-side alignment.

  4. 4

    Remeasure the distance from the hop to the hub centre, and the hub centre to the rim opposite the hop. Repeat the half-turn and two quarter-turns procedure until the measurements are the same.

  5. 5

    Spin the wheel to find the next hop. If there are none, then the wheel is true. If you find another hop, repeat the vertical truing procedure until it too is true.

Tips and warnings

  • Excessive spoke tightness may lead to broken spokes, which can be very dangerous while riding. If it seems that you must excessively tighten a spoke to pull the rim straight, you may need a new wheel and should talk to a qualified motorcycle mechanic.

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