Inspecting the wheels on your bike is a job that should be performed regularly. They should at least get a glance every time you ride, to check for any damage or unusual wear, but they need to get a really close inspection at least once a year.
Inspections should happen more often if the wheels are spoked, they require more maintenance than a cast or machined wheel.
Luckily, Motion Pro has all the tools necessary to help you take care of these inspections and maintenance, all you need to supply are some basic mechanical skills to be able to safely remove and replace wheels.
All wheels, regardless of type, need to be inspected for potential damage. On the road, potholes or road debris can dent a wheel, and off road wheels get pounded by rocks, jumps and more. A dent in a rim could mean a leak or a possible tire bead failure if it is bad enough. A dent or other damage could also lead to cracks and possibly wheel failure. Anything of this sort needs to be reviewed by a professional to determine the extent of damage. Sometimes it is repairable, sometimes not, but this is always a job for the experts.
Cracks in wheels or rims can also occur just from normal use and age, so this is something to keep an eye out for as well.
Once we get beyond simple visual inspections, it’s time to remove the wheels from your bike to be able to do a thorough job.
The Tire Station makes tire changes and wheel maintenance a much easier task
One option is the Motion Pro Tire Station, which is a handy stand for not only changing tires, but also to securely hold wheels of all kinds while you are inspecting or working on them. With a wheel on the Tire Station™, you can inspect or change bearings, check cush drives, check or change sprockets and brake rotors, check spokes for tension, and many other jobs. Bearings are particularly important here, as worn bearings can be very dangerous. Simply spin the bearings while feeling for smoothness and lack of play and you are good to go. If a bearing feels rough, or if the inner race is loose in the bearing, it’s time to replace it. Motion Pro has a several bearing tools to cover removal and installation.
When it comes to changing tires, or just removing them to be able to inspect inside the rim, the Motion Pro Bead Pro™ tire levers will make short work of removing nearly any tire, including tubeless tires. The forked lever design of the Bead Pros make it easy to break the bead on any tire, and the rounded spoon type levers on the other side make dismounting a tire easy, while being gentle on the wheel rim.
The RimShield™ II prevents rim damage from tire levers during tire changes
To fully protect your wheel rims, use a set of RimShield IIs, the innovative rim protector that not only protects the rim from damage, but also gives you a platform to work on when dismounting or mounting tires. Finally, to make the job even easier, use a Bead Buddy® II to help keep the tire in the drop center of the rim. Motion Pro has many more tire tools available for any situation, check them all out here.
Amor Rim Strip Tape protect inner tube like no other rim strip
Once the tires are off the rims, it is possible to complete the inspections you started. At this point, with spoked wheels, it is a good idea to remove the rim strip, and also clean inside the rim, particularly with off road wheels. Dirt and water can make their way into off road wheels, and not only make a mess, but corrode the rim, spoke nipples, and spokes. Cleaning here regularly will ensure that your wheels will remain in good condition. Motion Pro Armor Rim Strip Tape™ is a great product to replace those old rubber rim strips, and will help keep the inside of the wheel cleaner and protect both the rim and tube. Speaking of great products for your off-road wheels, check out our LiteLoc™ Rim Locks, which weigh almost half of what a standard rim lock weighs, with a better grip on the tire for better performance and control.
Superlight LiteLoc Rim Locks offer better grip on the tire, improved performance and control
Another super handy tool available from Motion Pro is the Axis Truing Stand™. The Axis stand will help you check and adjust true on spoked wheels, with the easy-to-use indicator arm that is part of the stand. Grab one of our comfortable and easy to use Ergo Spoke Wrenches™, including the newest Spline Drive Ergo Spoke Wrench™, and get your wheels and spokes tuned up in a flash. The Axis Stand is also super handy as a balance stand for wheels that need balancing. The bearings built into the stand are sensitive enough to detect 1/8 oz changes in wheel balance.
Axis Truing-Balance Stand™ is a precision built tool for building, truing and balancing wheels (adjustable pointer for truing shown)
Ergo Spoke Wrenches™ specifically designed ergonomic handle allows a larger turning radius and excellent grip/feel
Lastly, when it comes time to put it all back together, don’t forget about your tire pressures. Correct pressures are a huge part of the performance, reliability, and life span of your tires. Motion Pro tire gauges will help you ensure that you have your pressures right for the kind of riding you are doing. For those of you with sport or performance street bikes with huge front brake rotors, check out the Pro Fill Chuck as an accessory to one of our tire gauges to more easily access the hard to reach valve stems on this kind of bike.
Bet you never thought there was so much to be done on wheels! There is, but it all pays dividends in performance, safety and reliability. Take the time to go through these steps, and it will be one less thing you have to worry about on your motorcycle. And Motion Pro helps you make it easy!
Article by: Chris Van Andel