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Spokes Missing!

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Spokes Missing!

Postby manx850 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:58 pm

I was cleaning my MK3 and noticed 2 spokes missing completely from the rear wheel on the drive side about 9" apart with no signs of broken parts or any part of the spoke left in the nipple......all stainless parts on 18" rim probably around 3000 miles since fitted?...........strange!

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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby Mr. Rick » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:14 pm

Somebody bought a 38 spoke kit and just gave up when they ran out?
Hey, every little bit of weight savings counts! :roll:
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby Fast Eddie » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:50 am

The spokes have broken and thus departed. The partial spokes left in the nipple would then have nothing holding them in, so would come loose and fall out.

Personally, I'd be worried that I'd got inferior quality spokes in my wheel if this happened.
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby nortonspeed » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:13 am

Fast Eddie wrote:The spokes have broken and thus departed. The partial spokes left in the nipple would then have nothing holding them in, so would come loose and fall out.


Well in case of the MK3 rear hub the spoke heads of the departed spokes (on the disc side) will still be flying around inside the hub :roll:
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby kommando » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:25 am

And the nipples will be inside the rim hopefully still under the rim tape. If not then the nipples were the wrong size as I found out when querying one wheel builders nipple hole to nipple diameter clearance, he recommended fitting one size down to help ease the wheel-building process.
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby L.A.B. » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:47 am

Fast Eddie wrote:The spokes have broken and thus departed. The partial spokes left in the nipple would then have nothing holding them in, so would come loose and fall out.

Personally, I'd be worried that I'd got inferior quality spokes in my wheel if this happened.


Personally, I'd be more concerned the spokes were not tensioned correctly as that's more likely to be the cause of the spoke breakage.

Here's something John Healy wrote on the Britbike forum.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthrea ... Post235628

There are many reasons a spoke could fail: Catastrophic failure where someone puts a security chain trough the spokes and forgets, manufacturing flaws in material or drawing, and corrosion, but our spokes typically break because they have work hardened from cyclical stress.

If one was loose enough to work harden, are the rest of the spokes still tensioned correctly? Probably not.

Those little pieces of wire support these 500 pound motorcycles, are exposed to constant cyclical stress, and as such need to be pre-tensioned (or stretched) during wheel building. They are stretched just beyond the point where they would stretch during normal cyclical loading. The result of spokes being under tensioned is the spoke will eventually work harden, fatigue and fail.

A general rule I go by: For my personal bike (its' my hide), if one spoke failed, and all of the rest of the spokes are tensioned properly, than I would venture to change just one spoke. I would keep a close eye on the rest. If I was to do this for a customer, I feel there is only one way to do this job, and that is replace all of the spokes...

There is just too much liability, and the result is often more than an ouch. There is no practical way to know whether the spoke had a catastrophic failure from something stupid, failed from fatigue, work hardened from constant stretching because the spoke was not pre-tensioned, had internal manufacturing flaws from making of the steel or drawing the spoke, or had a crack failure induced by corrosion. The tests, while informative, would be destructive to the spoke.
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby Mr. Rick » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:29 pm

Manx850: You cetainly don't want to ride it in this condition, right? The other spokes are trying to take up the load and may fail also. The rim will fall out of round and true.
What's yer plan?
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby manx850 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:47 pm

The plan is to take it back to Buchanan's who did it in the first place and see what they think happened...............

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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby Mr. Rick » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:21 pm

Good idea, yes. If convenient for you, I'd appreciate your telling us the outcome?
I'm riding on 2 sets of Buchanan stainless spokes myself, so this breakage is not great news for me.
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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby iceteanolemon » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:11 am

I had my wheels done by Buchanan's and one spoke broke, took them back and they redid them and have not had a issue in a few years and many many miles. I think it is something you can't quite measure if it will happen or not...


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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby manx850 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:51 pm

Well, took the wheel back to Buchanan's Kenny said it was stress related......the end result is they stripped it replaced the spokes and tire and tube with a re balance at N/C.....in 2 days.......great place great service, wish all vendors were like that, recommended!...........

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Re: Spokes Missing!

Postby Mr. Rick » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:47 pm

Thanks for the follow-up, glad to hear it worked out...
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