Riders have been urged to check the spokes on their motorcycle wheels more frequently in the wake of one rider finding his badly handling bike had 10 loose spokes.
The result of loose spokes can be poor handling and can cause rapid tyre deflation on tubeless tyres.
Brisbane rider Mark Taylor says he had loose spokes on his four-month-old BMW R 1200 GS tightened during a tyre change at 3000km.
He had only ridden another couple of thousands kilometres before 10 spokes came loose again, causing the rear end to slide around.
“The bike nearly bucked me off coming down a mountain road and started to oversteer in the corners,” he says.
“It scared the life out of me. I thought I was going to buy the farm.
“The dealer confirmed it’s a faulty wheel with 10 loose spokes.
“BMW Motorrad Australia have no replacements, so my bike will be off the road for up to five weeks until a new wheel comes from Germany.”
Other riders on BMW internet forums have also complained of the same issue.
We contacted BMW Motorrad Australia who advised there is no safety recall on this issue.
“However, there is a service campaign and owners are encouraged to contact their dealer if there are concerns,” a spokesman says.
Mark is not happy and has contacted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission seeking a safety recall on the model.
“My main issue is that these bikes are not safe to ride and should all be recalled straight away to be checked for potential deadly faults,” Mark says.
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding says that if an owner finds a safety related problem with their motorcycle they should always alert the manufacturer and ask for it to be investigated.
“Not only is this a safeguard against continuing to ride a bike with a potential safety risk but it may also give an early warning to the manufacturer of a possible defect affecting a wider group or riders.”
Check your spokes
All riders whose bikes have spoked wheels should periodically check them for loose, broken or rusted spokes.
It’s a simple process (unless you have a BMW with spokes that thread through the rim, allowing tubeless tyres).
Just lightly tap each spoke with a screwdriver or metal object.
They should all make a similarly pitched “ping” sound. If they make a lower, dull “thud”, then they are loose.
To tighten a spoke, turn the nut or “nipple” on the end closest to the tyre in a clockwise direction. BMWs require a more complex process of unlocking the spoke first.
Like tuning a piano or guitar, you need to get the spoke to make the same tone as the surrounding spokes. Don’t over-tighten.