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How to Torque Bolts on a Motorcycle


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If you look in your motorcycle’s shop manual, you’ll see a big chart with torque values for almost every type of bolt on your bike. As you reassemble your motorcycle project, be sure to have this chart by your side.

The torque values – usually given as a range – will ensure that the bolts on your motorcycle won’t come loose and won’t be stripped. If your motorcycle has been taken apart many times, be extra cautious even when following torque values. Some bolts may need to be replaced after being tightened so many times.

Neglecting to follow torque specs on your motorcycle will often result in a bolt that comes loose from vibration or a bolt that gets overtightened and stripped. If you strip threads, you’re only making more work for yourself.

How to Properly Torque a Bolt on Your Motorcycle

  • Get your shop manual and refer to the proper torque range for the bolt you’re tightening.
  • If you’re reassembling the crankcases or cylinder head, pay attention to the tightening sequence as well.
  • Set your torque wrench within the torque range in the service manual.
  • Apply lubricant or anti-seize to the bolt.
  • Refer to the motorcycle’s shop manual to see which bolts may need thread locker as well.
  • Tighten the bolt slowly with partial rotations, stopping when the torque wrench indicates you’ve reached the torque setting.

Just remember to go slow and stick to the shop manual’s torque specifications, otherwise you’ll need to disassemble things and re-tap your threads. If you over-torque and strip your threads, you’ll need a tap and die set.

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