Torque Wrenches for Motorcycles: Which Bolts Need Them and Which Torque Range You Should Choose

Before gassing up your motorcycle and hitting the open road, it’s important to ensure that everything is assembled to the proper torque. Basic maintenance, such as oil and brake changes, requires removing nuts and bolts from your bike. For personal and mechanical safety, those fasteners must be torqued to the correct value when reinstalled. Aside from removal for maintenance, road vibrations can cause fasteners to loosen over time, so it’s a good idea to re-check the torque frequently.

The best tool for tightening these fasteners is an automotive torque wrench. A torque wrench takes all of the guesswork out of tightening, and avoids problems caused by under- or over-tightening. Leaning into a turn at 50 MPH is a bad time to find out that a bolt has worked loose or stripped out.

So, which automotive torque wrench do you need for your motorcycle? The answer really depends on the nature of the work you perform on your ride.

Basic Motorcycle Maintenance

If you leave the hard stuff to a mechanic, then a single automotive torque wrench will cover most of your needs. A torque range of 15 to 75 foot-pounds will cover things like brakes, oil plugs, and forks. It will also do spark plugs, chain and belt tightening, and a wide range of other smaller fasteners found on your bike.

Shade-Tree Motorcycle Mechanic

If you like to really dig into your motorcycle, then you’re going to need a second automotive torque wrench. For axel bolts, flywheels, and cylinder bolts, you’ll need something in the 30 to 150 foot-pound range. This torque wrench will let you safely assemble major mechanical, drive, and steering components.

automotive torque wrenchOverlapping Torque Ranges

You may be wondering why you need two automotive torque wrenches to cover a range from 15 to 150 foot-pounds. As we’ve discussed before, automotive torque wrenches are most accurate near the middle of their range. You could tighten a bolt to 70 foot-pounds using the 15 to 75 wrench. However, this is near the extremes of its range and would be less accurate than tightening the same bolt using the 30 to 150 wrench. Likewise, you could dial the 30 to 150 wrench down to 35 foot-pounds, but it would be less accurate at that setting than the 15 to 75 would be.

When it comes to torquing, accuracy is everything—the wider range you have to work with, the more accurate you can be. Using two automotive torque wrenches, you can tighten more fasteners in the “sweet spot” of the range, instead of pushing a single wrench to its limits.

Torquing for Safety

It’s hard to think of anything “good” that can go wrong while your cruising down the road on your motorcycle. Any mechanical failure, whether it’s internal or external, can jeopardize your safety and cause expensive damage to your ride. To help avoid problems, use an automotive torque wrench to ensure all of your bike’s fasteners are up to spec.

Contact MountzPro to speak to a representative about which torque wrench is right for you, or browse our inventory now.


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