Camchain and tensioner seen up close in a cutaway bike engine

Home Repair And Restoration

Tip For Replacing The Rear Wheel

Tip Date - 08 January 2016

By Ren Withnell

Putting a rear wheel back on the bike between the swingarm legs can be a fiddly job. There's the spacers to get in, there's the brake bits to line up and the damn spindle needs to be greased but remain clean....ARGH! To make matters worse it's likely the rear sprocket is on a separate carrier and this likes to fall out of place too. Well here's my tip to relieve just one of those issues...

A zip tie through the sprocket of a motorcycle rear wheelUse 2 zip ties on opposite sides, like this...

Zip tie the sprocket carrier in place before you attempt to put everything else back together. Use 2 zip ties on opposite sides of the sprocket. That way there's one less thing to do battle with. I use zip ties but you don't need to go out and spend a fortune on a pack of them. Use your imagination. Some string will do just as well. Garden wire? Maybe an old bungee or two? 

When I first started doing this I'd go through the hole in the sprocket then back outside the sprocket, where the teeth are. This makes life a little awkward because this will interfere with putting the chain on. So, as in the picture below go through the holes and not over the teeth. 

The zip tie can be seen though the sprocket and around one of the spokesI hope you find this helpful

Reader's Comments

Ian Soady said :-
Good tip Ren.

It helps on some bikes to put the spindle in from the brake side then you don't have so many spacers to line up while you're wiggling it all around. There's no functional reason why it should go in just one way. At least for most bikes....

I also sometimes put a 1/2" diameter or so bar (ie smaller than spindle diameter) through before the spindle as you can get everything on it and in line - then push the bar out (gently) with the spindle.

Finally for those of us losing our strength, I have a long wooden wedge in the garage (can't remember where it came from) that I can put under the tyre to hold the wheel in the right vertical position.

Of course the best is a proper QD wheel like on my Commando - undo the spindle from the RHS, pull it out, drop the spacer out then the wheel just slides to the right and drops out leaving brake drum, sprocket and chain all in place........
09/01/2016 14:48:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Ian. I have a selection of short wooden planks to bring the wheel up to about the right height, give or take a little. I'd never thought to use a smaller diameter rod to hold things in place though, top tip thank you.

I sure do miss the single sided swingarms of both the NT400 Bros and NTV650 Revere. Taking the rear wheel off was a 2 minute job, as long as you can find a way of holding the rear wheel still as you undo the massive nut that holds the wheel on. A big piece of wood through the spokes usually did the trick.

09/01/2016 16:15:14 UTC

Post Your Comment Posts/Links Rules



Add a RELEVANT link (not required)

Upload an image (not required) -

No uploaded image
Real Person Number
Please enter the above number below

Home Repair And Restoration

Admin -- -- Service Records Ren's Nerding Blog