Replacing spokes on GS wheel

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by GB, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    I keep reading how the design of the GS wheel allows you to replace spokes on the go, without remvoing the rubber. My questions are:

    Is it possible to break or damage a spoke without also damaging the rim? If my spoke is broken or damaged, won't I have bigger things to worry about?

    Is it really realistic to damage only a spoke, without damaging the rim? If so, how?

    I'm not being flip here, I'm just trying to learn.
    #1
  2. Pugnacious

    Pugnacious Life is good at 4,200'

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    I had one rear spoke break on my 2002 R1150GS with no other damage and it was replaced in the matter of just a few minutes.
    #2
  3. MikeB

    MikeB Retired bureaucrat

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    I broke a rear spoke, too, just snapped off at the flanged head. No rim damage. Screwed a new one in in seconds. Now I always carry a spare.
    #3
  4. inyang

    inyang 5secs away

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    Could you describe how to tighten up the spokes?
    What tool do you use? (plier on spoke body and torx at head?)
    #4
  5. mitch

    mitch Long timer

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    With a spoke spanner :thumb most bike shops will have them :nod
    #5
  6. MikeB

    MikeB Retired bureaucrat

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    Just a torx. You might have to hold the spoke shaft with pliers until there's enough tension to keep it from turning, but I just held it with my fingers. Once it snugs a little it won't turn.
    #6
  7. Mully

    Mully Kineticist

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    Not so fast, boys. There's a set screw in each 'nipple' - 2mm hex key as I recall. There's a torque spec for the nipple and once it's seated, the set screw is locked-down to prevent loosening.

    [​IMG]

    mully
    #7
  8. rtrider

    rtrider Lost

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    why is it not permitted to replace more than one spoke?:scratch
    #8
  9. MikeB

    MikeB Retired bureaucrat

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    Well then, my 02 1150GS must be a one-off model, because I don't know what you are talking about and neither do my spokes. Maybe the 650s have a different system.
    #9
  10. inyang

    inyang 5secs away

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    No set screw in my wheels either (12GS), just the torx head.
    #10
  11. BajaJim

    BajaJim Dirt Research

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    My '01 1150GS has the set screws. They are tiny and hard to see. I read about them somewhere, maybe the booklet that came with the bike. Otherwise, I would never have guessed they were there.
    #11
  12. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    There's no set-screws on my 2003 1150 GS. I bought extra spokes and nipples, too, and no set screws there, either.

    I don't see the need for the "spoke spanner" either. You just put the spoke into the nipple and tighten -- the tension stops the other end from spinning.
    #12
  13. Bronco Billy

    Bronco Billy Adventurer

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    Rode off with a "D" lock still in my front wheel. Bent Two spokes but sprung the Oxford lock open. Replaced the spokes (with grub screws in). Use an old spoke as a tuning fork with other spokes to get spot on tension.

    yee haaa!
    #13
  14. inyang

    inyang 5secs away

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    Checked, there is a set screw in the nipple (05 12GS wheel).
    #14
  15. Args

    Args I was going to but didn't

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    Coz at 2+ you start to get into issues with tension and dish on the wheel, and you need to get them set up properly, or you risk damage to the wheel.
    #15
  16. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    are the spokes on the 12GS or 1150GS stainless steel?
    #16
  17. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    AFAIK they're plain chromed steel. Stainless is okay on the road because they won't rust but not so good for off road as their brittle nature could cause them to snap or bend on hard landings, assuming you're brave/skilful/stupid/unlucky* enough (delete as appropriate :D ) to do so.
    #17
  18. woody's wheel works

    woody's wheel works Built to Last

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    hi,,,am trying to fiqure out a way of answering all the questions raised in these forums/threads and/or sent my way via e-mail,,,perhaps you regulars out there can forward the questions to my vendor forum thread,,titled debunking the myth re GS wheels,,,here's some more answers to various questions raised recently,,,,

    ...sooo it's June 2011,,,noticed this thread in my search for some good FAQ material....FYI, years ago the moderators suggested a new thread called ''Ask woody about your wheels'' in order to get ya solid information,,, hence:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145899..
    250,000 views ,2,000+ replies to your questions,,,going strong,,,,,thanks,,, woody

    the mystique regarding repairing /re-building/truing the GS series wheel is WELL deserved....ricardo kuhn and john mc donald wrote a 15 page thesis chronicling their adventures at trying to true/rebuild these wheels...i can save ya the read by warning you ahead of time that ya are entering a territory that is akin to the giant whirlpools of our oceans...the ones that will suck you down and leave you wandering into ever murkier corners,,,a labyrinth of confusing effects in unexpected locations for every twist of your wrist....CAVEAT EMPTOR!!!

    .....AND that's with a straight rim!!!!!!.....you WILL NOT stand a GHOST OF A CHANCE with an even slightly warped/bent rim!!!!!!

    yesterday,,,i straightened the front rim of a GS .120" major flat-spot and .090" lateral runout,,,,needless to say his symptoms of shaking handlebars were well founded....6 hours of R&D time at trying various /alternative ways to dealing with the one major and 5 minor (.080-.020)flat spots on his rim yielded several new techniques at saving your rims and your money,,,,net result....the wheel ran true way under BMW's allowable +/- .060" specs

    another item FYI,,,whoever is grinding out the excess material at the weld joint is excessively removing the material at the joint yielding a .030 - .080" divot on the bead seating surface..this customers divot measured .050" !!! and left a tell-tale mark where the tire was seriously trying to fill the divot,,,you could actually see a slight deformation in the sidewalls of the tire in that location,,,, Rx,,some Scotchbrite, J&B WELD and judicious filing had the bead back where it should have been from the factory,,,,

    YES,,,we can make wire wheels tubeless,,,,HOWEVER we have to start with a rim that has the safety bead on it...all the old rims pre -tubeless had much looser specs since the tube was counted on to hold the tire against beads,,, tubeless tire and rim/wheel manufactures agreed to a new international standard including the addition of the safety bead,,,tires have to really pop up and over this bead,,hence the extra energy required at dismounting tubeless tires as many of you may have experienced....PLEASE do not drive over your tires to dismount them,,,,you will only add to my work-load...

    YES!!! that is the BMW GS wire wheel assembly machine and its technician that i referred to in my article,,,,
    http://photos.woodyswheelworks.com/displayimage.php?album=6&pos=11

    stainless or chrome spokes????,,,,i only use stainless spokes made by buchannans or the factory BMW versions,,,,for any serious rebuilds,,,the chromed ones are only used for rebuilding street versions or low budget patching of the older GS wheels which came with chromed spokes,,,,if ya need shiny,,,we show polish ss spokes for 75 cents each,,,,,main differences,,,chrome has a cold look to it ,,,polished ss looks warm,,,ss spokes won't rust like chrome and the shine remains a long time without much maintenance,,,,NEXT,,,the ss pokes are less brittle than their chromed counterparts,,,something in the chroming process makes them more brittle than the original bare steel ,,,FYIBMW used chrome sokes on all their wheels til circa '98,,that's when they started phasing in ss spokes on everything,,,,many bikes showed up with one of each style during these years as they burned up old stock,,,,same goes for getting a new wheel during that time period...it was a crap shoot which one you'd get.

    REPLACING spokes,,preferably do no more than one at a time as advised in your service manual,,,,you MUST take a punch and tap the head of the spoke in order to seat the spoke and then re-torque it or tighten to match the ring of the adjacent spokes,,,your old rim will already have a notch that you should be able to feel when you spin the spoke,,,ALL new rims installed by us have the heads seated in an additional process that is reflected in the higher cost of re'building these wheels

    SET/GRUB screws,,,ALL the wheels and parts diagrams i've seen have these little set screws installed,,,,it's these little screws that i didn't know about til about 5 years ago that thwarted all my earliest attempts at truing these wheels,,,i would bang up against these grub screws and there was no more tightening available to me frustrated i threw in the towel after 4 days of monkeying around,,once the epiphany hit me that these set screws where there i revisited these wheels and figured out the rest,,,,these screws are so tiny ,,require a 2mm allen,,,and if ya don't want to add to your woes,,,CLEAN out all the dirt embedded in their heads,,i personally think that the wheels can survive without them IF all the spokes are tight and the heads seated in,,,,,once the spokes get loose however,,,the nipples could start unwinding,,hence BMWs pro-active insurance policy of over engineering thus adding to your safety

    looks like this

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. woody's wheel works

    woody's wheel works Built to Last

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    NOTE...this reply is giving answers to several questions raised in this thread

    1..BMW recommends the 'one spoke at a time' rule because you stand a ghost of a chance at not messing up the trueness of your wheel,,,by carefully installing the new spoke with a little oil on the threads of spoke (we use chainsaw bar oil..it doesn't fling/wash out as easy)....spin spoke til ya feel it drop into the notch formed by the previous spoke,,,hold it there and snug up the nipple lightly,,,then ya get a starter punch and tap the head of the spoke to make sure it is seated in the lip,,,and now ya can snug up the nipple so that it has a similar pitch/ring as it neighboring spokes...this is a simple and effective way of replacing your spoke..NOTE..all of the rest your spokes should ALL sound the same..and your wheel should be within BMW's run-out specs for this technique to work,,,,if not you've got more than that one spoke to deal with

    2..GS series nipples do NOT use spanner wrenches,,,,the older series GS used a 5mm allen wrench the newer bikes use a T-40torx head wrench,,,torque should read 5Nm/84in/lbs

    3..and yes all the BMW GS wheels have a little tiny set/grub screw that is essentially a 'lock' screw to keep the nipples from unwinding...takes a 2mm allen wrench,,,torqued at 1Nm/7in/lbs

    once again look like this before n after cleaning..


    [​IMG]

    ps,,,please pass the word and check the other half-dozen threads for added info as well as the vendors forum thread if ya enjoy the read,,,and vote!!!
    #19
  20. JelloLee

    JelloLee Been here awhile

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    ahhhhh...credibility...

    so refreshing.
    #20