Spoke Wire Wheels

Spoke Wire Wheels

There were some things left out of the book, one of them is how to install spokes in spoke wheels so this months extra will cover that:


SAM_1493 For this tutorial I have purchased a stainless steel spoke kit to fit a 1978 Z1000-A2 rear wheel. The kit comes with spokes, nipples and a thick lubricant.

The Kawasaki z1000A1 and z1000A2 models feature a rear disk mounted to a different hub to the earlier drum brake models.

The disk hub features 40 spokes in total, like the earlier models but 20 spokes are longer in length while the remaining 20 spokes are shorter.

Also note that the shorter spokes are 2 distinct styles with slightly different bends in them, so the side they orient on is critical but easy to determine as they will not point in to the centre of the rim if you poke them into the wrong whole.

SAM_1496 Spokes often have two distinct styles, the slightly different bends correspond to inner or outer use.
SAM_1500 Lay the hub flat and put the rim over it, start with the long inner spokes first. You need to space then apart by 2 places on the hub and in groups of 4 on the rim (2 inner and 2 outer).

To locate the correct spot on the rim to start from, place a nipple through a hole so it is pointing in the direction of the spoke. Keep in mind the spoke is usually at an angle and the hub is centred in the middle of the rim at all times. Do one side first, don’t forget to lube the threads!

SAM_1503 Flip the rim over and do the inner spokes for the other side, don’t forget to lube the threads! make sure you get the direction correct. I have shown some outer spokes in position crossing over the inner spokes so you get the idea.
SAM_1505 Once all the inner spokes are done, do the outer spokes, they will position over the top of the inner spokes. Lube the thread and screw a nipple on it. Flip the wheel over and do the outer spokes on the other side.
SAM_1520 The z1000A1-A2 models have a steel carrier for the spokes. It has a larger hole in the middle of each pair of spokes to put the spoke through, normally you have to feed it up from underneath.
SAM_3579 This wheel is for a special project but notice the bearings are not installed! Try and press bearings in BEFORE spoking, this makes assembly easier.
SAM_4509 The wheel is positioned in the truing stand using the spools provided with the stand so it is spinning on its natural bearing arrangement . Truing is an art but the basics are to get left to right movement to within spec, maybe 1mm and out of round movement (up/down) to within specs also. You should use a dial gauge for accuracy but you can do it by eye using a fixed pointer as a reference.

For left to right truing, if the wheel is too far to the left measured at the bottom then you need to tighten the spokes on the right (opposing) side at the bottom, otherwise you can tighten the spokes on the same side at the top.

For up/down truing, if the wheel dips down you need to tighten the bottom and loosen the top. You also need to adjust the spokes spanning to the side as this will force the wheel out of round at another place.

At some point when the wheel is near perfect to specification then tighten every forth or fifth spoke using a torque wrench designed for spokes. The wheel must be torqued to the right amount or the spokes can span or come loose.

When all else fails….”YouTube” provides some good videos on truing wheels.