Lace A Dirt Bike Wheel

Spoked dirt bike wheels are strong, light and look great.

Spoked motorcycle wheels are a staple of classic dirt bikes. The scrambler-style wheels possess a certain amount of class and aesthetic appeal that alloy and carbon fiber ones do not, and are a lightweight, low-cost alternative to expensive, fragile wheels. Give your dirt bike a touch of low-cost class by building your own spoked wheels.

Instructions

1. Insert a spoke into a hole on the drive side of the hub from the outside. The spoke end should be visible on the outside of the hub flange.

2. Insert a spoke into a hole one space away from the first. There should be an empty hole between each spoke. These spokes are called the “leading spokes.” Repeat this process on the non-drive side of the hub.

3. Insert a spoke into every empty hole on the hub, this time from the inside. The spoke end should not be visible from the outside of the hub flange. These spokes are called the “trailing spokes.”

4. Connect one of the drive-side leading spokes to a drive-side leading rim hole with a spoke nipple. Thread a spoke nipple onto this spoke until the spoke threading is no longer visible. Insert the non-drive-side leading spoke on the other hub flange into the next leading rim hole and thread a spoke nipple onto it. Every two rim holes should now have a leading spoke attached to it.

5. Connect a trailing spoke from the drive side of the hub to the correct trailing rim hole with a spoke nipple. Tighten the spoke nipple until the the spoke threading is no longer visible. Connect the non-drive side trailing spoke on the other hub flange into the next trailing rim hole and thread a spoke nipple onto it. When you are finished, every trailing spoke should be connected to a trailing hole on the rim, and every rim hole should be connected to the hub flange with a spoke.

6. Install a tire on the wheel and air it up to the recommended pressure on the tire sidewall. Connect the wheel to the motorcycle’s fork or swing arm. Put a zip-tie around each arm of the swing arm or fork level with the rim of the wheel. Cut the zip-ties to even lengths.

7. Watch the zip-ties in relation to the rim of the wheel as you spin the wheel slowly around the axle. At any point where the rim rubs against one zip-tie and not the other, tighten the spoke opposite the rub until the rim is even between them.

8. Take the dirt bike and the new wheel for a short test ride. Be careful to notice any unevenness or wobble in the wheel. Be sure that the wheel tracks straight on even ground.