Since releasing our Spoke Torque wrench in 1999 we continually review and evaluate proper torque spec for motorcycle spokes. The OEM manuals offer varying torques from as low as 23in.lbs. to as high as 55in.lbs. Take into consideration bike cc's, spoke gauge, nipple size, the quality of the components, and it's easy to get into a tail spin about what will work best for your motorcycle.
When we were initially developing the Spoke Torque Wrench we worked closely alongside Factory Honda, and more specifically, the wrench turning legend himself, Mike Gosselaar. Factory Honda spec'd 60in.lbs. for the front wheel and 65in.lbs. for the rear. This torque worked great for the demands of the worlds best riders, especially with the constant pounding of SX whoops, but was very abusive to the components which showed a lot of strain from the high torque. Today, most factory teams run 48in.lbs., which is our standard wrench setting, some have opted to go lower, with a few still running 60in.lbs.
When testing the call outs from OEMs, which is typically between 27 to 36in.lbs., spokes would loosen up quite a bit throughout a moto for an average rider. Through continued testing, 48in.lbs. proved to be an exceptional torque, as the nipples didn't loosen up throughout a single moto, and wheel components are not abused. We tested 48in.lbs. with a variety of riders and bike sizes; From beginners to pros 48in.lbs. did the job it was intended to do, which is lengthen the life of your wheels and help keep them as straight as possible. We recommend 48in.lbs. on motocross quality bikes from 85cc+. In house, though, we've ran 48in.lbs. on our KTM 50 and 65 SXs with great success. Typically for less than 85cc, trail or vintage bikes we recommend 36in.lbs.
Most of our Pre-Set Spoke Torque Wrenches ship at 48in.lbs. We can set the Preset Spoke Torque Wrench to whatever torque spec you prefer before it ships, or you can send it in to be recalibrated. The exact torque is not as important as the consistency of having the same torque on each spoke for an even pull over the entire wheel.
Don't hesitate to holler with any added questions or concerns, we're always happy to help however we can.