Missing rear spoke! - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Missing rear spoke!

Been riding my bike back and fourth to work a few days last week plus all the weekend cruising and noticed today that I am missing a rear spoke!
The tire on the back still had a ton of tread on it.
Does not seem to have slop in the wheel / hub.

Is this safe?

Looks like it has been missing for a while.

I guess I am pulling wheel off and going to take it down to get trued and another spoke installed.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 05:50 PM
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I would definitely get the spoke replace and wheel retrued before continuing riding.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 07:14 PM
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ditto - do not ride a bike with a missing spoke, except to get to the nearest safe place to call for your rescue vehicle.

Once one spoke breaks the load on the adjacent spokes goes up significantly. If the normal load was enough to break a spoke, the extra load will break more spokes. You need all of them.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I am going to call a motorsport place tomorrow and will take the wheel in.
Are they going to have to relace the whole wheel or just replace the spoke, retighten and true?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 07:36 PM
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as long as the "nut" part that is inside the tire did not pull through the wheel, the wheel should be ok.

On a bicycle if the nut is alright and the spoke broke in the middle somewhere, you could replace the spoke without even taking the wheel off the bike, as long as you let the air out of the tire first. If you spin the nut with pressure on the tube, the nut will cut through the tube, and then you have a flat. I have to assume you have tubes if you have spokes.

You can tell if the wheel has been pulled out of alignment by spinning it in neutral off the ground. If you are going to have the shop replace the spoke they will know the best way to have at it.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah the nut is gone.
I can see the liner in there.
I am going to assume that the last person that replaced the tire let it fall out and did not bother replacing it.
Either way, I am calling tomorrow and getting an estimated cost.
Might even call Yamaha dealer and see what their price is.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:07 AM
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Definitely have the spoke replaced but I personally wouldn't freak out about it and would still ride it. A wide small diameter steel rim won't go out of true with one missing spoke nor will the wheel's strength be compromised too much if 1 out of 36 spokes is missing. It would be a different story if we were talking about a 700c X 20 aluminum rim radially laced with 14 gauge triple butted spokes to an 18 hole hub where one missing spoke will adversely affect the rim's true and tension of the remaining spokes however something along the lines of a steel 15 X MT3.50 with 4" 4 gauge straight spokes laced 2-across isn't going to be dangerous to ride with one spoke gone... the tension on the remaining spokes will hardly be affected.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:18 AM
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I agree with you in theory, but the thing is: if the bike is ok to ride with 35 out of 36 spokes and none of the 35 will break or distort...

then why did one of the 36 spokes break when there were 36 on the bike?! Something happened to the bike to break that spoke, and the present owner does not know what happened.

Some of the remaining spokes may be stressed, the wheel may be bent. He doesnt know at this point.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 01:35 PM
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True, the spoke could have broken but the cynic in me doesn't think the spoke is gone because of metallurgical or stress failure rather user negligence. No matter how jaded and curmudgeonly I get with age it never ceases to amaze me the extent of user stupidity and it seems to be getting worse the more and more we become a disposable-minded society. I see people driving on nearly flat tires because heaven forbid you make a quick visual check of your tires before getting into a vehicle or making sure your lights and turn signals function properly... as a whole we're becoming a mechanically ignorant society. So how does that tie in with a broken spoke? Just as an example I was on a DRZ400 forum and a guy wrote in with a question... what could be causing his transmission to slip it's gears when trying to accelerate? After many questions we asked for photos of his drive train from the engine back. Someone suggested that his chain is slipping on the sprocket and I thought that was ludicrous... how can anyone possibly let their drive train wear that badly and not notice it? This was one of the pictures he posted... the owner didn't have the common sense to know that the sprockets aren't supposed to look like circular saw blades with teeth broken off and the chain shouldn't be so loose that it would eat through his swing arm. It's instances like that that have slowly changed my opinion to the point where I wouldn't put it past a previous owner to not see a loosened spoke nipple drop out during a tire change or notice the loose spoke that eventually jumped ship.

So although I agree that there is a possibility the spoke may have broken, my experience with building wheels yet seeing what people are capable of I tend to give a face-palm salute to the people.


Last edited by Diogenes415; 10-09-2017 at 01:46 PM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Dang that sprocket is toast.
I usually inspect the heck out of my bike before and after rides.
Found a broken bolt on the shift shaft last weekend and fixed that.
I missed the broken spoke when I bought the bike. I had the rear end apart yesterday replacing the driveshaft seal and lubing coupler and splines again.
Took it for a couple mile test ride and went to check all the bolt torque when i spotted the hole in the rim where spoke nut was.
Then looked on the hub and yep, it is missing.

I am not going to chance it.
Just going to take the wheel in and get all spokes replaced, trued and balanced.
The local motorsport place told me they will charge 60 for labor alone plus parts.

Going to call Yamaha dealer tomorrow to get another estimate and see how much they will charge.

I am going to have them put in a new tube too. Not going to chance it.

If I have to pay 250 for everything to fix it and be safe, its better than going down, wrecking my bike and possibly getting killed.
Small price to pay.

All I can say is check your spokes!
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