Tips on Truing a Motorcycle Spoked Rim

Written by evan gillespie Google
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Tips on Truing a Motorcycle Spoked Rim
Truing a motorcycle wheel is not as difficult as it seems. (Wheel of motorcycle image by AlKulon from

The process of truing a spoked motorcycle wheel is adjusting the tension of spokes so that the wheel is balanced, with no humps or twists in the rim, allowing the wheel to rotate without wobbling. Truing can seem intimidating, but with an understanding of how spokes work, it is a simple process.

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Truing Stand

A truing stand is a device used to hold the wheel and allow it to rotate freely so that any wobble in the rim can easily be seen and corrected. Commercial stands are available, but they can also be improvised (for example, by clamping the wheel's axle in a vice) or custom built. If the motorcycle is positioned so the wheel can freely turn, the wheel can be left on the bike.

Adjusting Spokes

Use a surface gauge or an improvised indicator to check for wobbles as the wheel is rotated. A spoke wrench is used to tighten or loosen spokes to even out high and low spots in the rim. To correct a vertical hump or dip, tighten spokes on one side of the hub (the top or bottom) and loosen spokes on the opposite side. To correct a horizontal wobble, make adjustments opposite each other horizontally (to the left and right of the hub). Make small adjustments (one or two turns of the spoke nipple), and check the rim's alignment between adjustments. The goal is to have the rim no more than 1/16 inch out of alignment.

Spoke Tension

When the rim is true, spokes should be checked for proper tension. All the spokes should be tight and should make a clear, ringing sound when tapped. A spoke that produces a dull vibration when tapped is too loose and should be tightened. When all the spokes are properly tightened, the alignment of the rim should be checked again.

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