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If you are a motorcycle enthusiast or even someone who is just getting started learning about motorcycles, you probably know that safety is key when it comes to riding motorcycles.
There are a variety of safety measures you can take to feel the most secure when you are out on the open road.
While the people in the vehicles around you are surrounded by pounds of steel, airbags, and seatbelts, you have nothing but yourself (and hopefully a helmet) to protect you. There are many precautions you can take to be sure that your motorcycle itself is as safe as possible before taking it out for a spin.
Part of the joy of owning and riding a motorcycle is that they are more economically efficient than automobiles. The upfront cost of a motorcycle is cheaper, and typically so are parts and repairs. Not to mention the money you save on gasoline.
Many motorcycle owners like to stretch their dollar even further by doing their own repairs or even building their own motorcycles. Not only can this save money, but it allows them to customize and control every aspect of the motorcycle.
If you are a motorcycle owner, one of the safety measures you can take it to be sure that you are purchasing and using the correct tools on your motorcycle if you do your own repairs. Using the correct size and type of tool could make the difference between life and death while you are out on the road. The last thing you want while making a sharp turn at 60 miles per hour is for a bolt to come loose.
A torque wrench is an absolute necessity for motorcycle owners. No matter your level of experience with motorcycle building or repairing, you will want to use a torque wrench to be sure that your bolts and nuts are properly tightened. Over tightening can cause strain, making the bolt wear down faster or break, and can damage the pieces being fastened together. Under tightening can allow the pieces being fastened to fall apart more easily. While you may not need the precision a torque wrench provides for basic DIY projects around the home, you will definitely want to own at least one torque wrench for working on your motorcycle.
A torque wrench will help you tighten bolts to the correct torque level without the guesswork of a traditional wrench, making getting the correct torque not only easier but more precise and therefore safe. Torque wrenches will vary in price by style, size, and brand, but investing in a high-quality torque wrench, or even a set of torque wrenches, will allow you to do more repairs on your own. You will also be able to use torque wrenches on other equipment, such as cars, trucks, ATVs, lawn mowers, and more. Torque wrenches are used in the manufacturing and repairs of automobiles, airplanes, trains, and other transportation vehicles because of the level of precision and safety that they provide.
What Do I Need in a Torque Wrench for My Motorcycle?
Before setting out to buy a torque wrench for your motorcycle, it is helpful to know how torque wrenches work. Torque wrenches are used to tighten fasteners like nuts and bolts. When using a torque wrench, you will want to start by setting it to the manufacturer’s recommended torque for your specific motorcycle. The wrench will work by calculating the pressure as you go, and letting you know when you have reached the correct torque level.
Think of it as the display on some air filling machines that allow you to enter the correct level of air to put in your tires, and then beeps when your tires are full. Depending on the type of torque wrench you buy, it should either click or beep when you need to stop turning the wrench. It is important not to keep allowing it to click or beep as this means you are over tightening.
Here are some of the attributes you will want to look for in a torque wrench for working on a motorcycle.
Torque wrenches will have displays that show torque levels in either feet-pounds (ft.-lb.), inch-pounds (in.-lbs.), or the universal unit of torque, the Newton meter (Nm). Any of these will work for a motorcycle.
Torque wrenches with ⅜ inch, ½ inch, and ¼ inch drives are all commonly used on automobiles and motorcycles. You may want a set of all three to be able to do the most repairs yourself.
For maximum safety, your torque wrench must be calibrated to an accuracy of ± 5%. You can buy a torque wrench already calibrated, and learn how to recalibrate it yourself. All torque wrenches will eventually need recalibration after some use.
Like any tool, you want a product that is strong and reliable. Look for a torque wrench made of steel and without plastic pieces.