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Discussion Starter #1
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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I would definitely get the spoke replace and wheel retrued before continuing riding.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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Discussion Starter #11
So what years are compatible for a rear wheel?

I am looking at having to leave my rim at the shop for a month.

I have a cycle yard here that has some rear wheels.
 

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a month?!

unless the spoke nut ripped through the wheel: take the tire off, put new spoke and adjuster nut on, spin the wheel to see if its warped, adjust.. put the tire back on....

with the right tire mounting equipment its an hour.

If the shop is telling you a month they are going to ship it somewhere and charge you double. That is crazy!

I dont think there have been any real changes to the wheels on any given VStar model over the years. You just need to find a wheel from the same model.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah I might go that route. Just have to get to the wrecking yard and snag a few spokes.
Not sure if the hole in the rim is wallowed out or not. Looks huge like it is but not sure.
What's the difference between a classic and custom rim? Size and color?
 

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the classic 650 and custom have different size front wheels and tires. I think the rear tires/wheels are the same size- google it to be sure.

If you find a wheel in the wrecking yard it will most likely have the tire on it - it should be easy to get the spoke from yamaha dealer, or some online parts store.

BikeBandit.com has OEM parts, but not sure about spokes and the threaded adjuster nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah i just looked at it again. The hole is hogged out and its obvious.
I guess i will just bite the bullet and get a used rim.
At least i will have spare hub and spokes when this is all done.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok got the new rim yesterday. It was straight and true on the stand and all spokes tight and in tact. Radius was perfect also.
The old rim was true side to side but had a lot of weights on the spokes all over in different places and radius was out of round up and down.
I had the tire mounted and new tube installed.
Balanced the new wheel and installed.

Took a 50 mile test ride.
Big difference it has made.
Smoothed out the ride big time and not as much bounce as it had. (granted our roads are rough so it was hard to tell if it had a radius problem)

So total cost was 269 bucks for rim, tube, balance and labor.

I guess the moral to the story is,
Check your spokes. Check to make sure the rim trued,radius checked and balanced when you change your tires.
 

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I am wondering how the PO managed to break one spoke and pull it right out of the rim? Since the wheel was distorted I guess he hit something pretty hard... ?

The only other thing I can think of is the bike fell over and landed on something that hit one spoke... not very likely. Or maybe something got into the spokes while the wheel was spinning?!

One of the weird things about spoke wheels - you look at them and it seems like they are standing on the spokes on the bottom side of the wheel. In reality the bike is suspended from the spokes on the top side of the wheel, all in tension, and the spokes on the bottom side of the wheel are only holding the rest of the wheel in shape, until it is their turn to be on top and hold the weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah its a mystery. Maybe dodged a pothole and front missed it but rear wheel hit it. We do have some gnarly ones here.
I will be pulling front tire of next weekend to replace and will check that too but seems straight from what I can tell.
 
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