Torque - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Question Torque

When I see/hear people reference torque when it pertains to nuts and bolts, what does that mean? How would I measure it without special tools?

For example, I saw a clip where the mechanic says "tighten down the axle nut to the torque listed in your owner's manual..."

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jF
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jFozztino View Post
When I see/hear people reference torque when it pertains to nuts and bolts, what does that mean? How would I measure it without special tools?

For example, I saw a clip where the mechanic says "tighten down the axle nut to the torque listed in your owner's manual..."

Thanks,
jF
You need the proper torque wrench to torque fasteners.

Typically, a 1/4" torque wrench is used for smaller bolts like case bolts and bolts with 8 and 10mm heads.

A larger, 3/8" torque wrench is used for larger fasteners like the axle nut you mentioned.

When you get into torquing things like auto lug nuts, a 1/2" torque wrench is used.

I own all 3, and just bought another one, that looks like a big screwdriver, for tiny bolts that need critical torque values.

Here's a video that will give you some background -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=3v3hLvuO_KU
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:35 PM
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Yup, jlv45's info was spot on.

Here you can see it used on the axle nut like you mentioned in the question, as an example of real world motorcycle maintenance.

If I had to choose only one size to get first I'd go with 3/8". You can use cheap adapters to 1/4" or 1/2".
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jFozztino View Post
When I see/hear people reference torque when it pertains to nuts and bolts, what does that mean? How would I measure it without special tools?

Thanks,
jF
Torque is the force or strength with which you tighten a bolt or a nut. Each bolt and nut on the bike has a specific torque which is indicated in the service manual.

And yes, you need a special tool as mentioned above.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 08:55 PM
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A torque wrench can also get you into trouble.

Plenty of people have snapped or stripped bolts/threads by trying to torque to the "proper" spec.

Small bolts (8mm/10mm heads) usually need to be "snug", and some times trying to hit a certain number will snap them. A dab of blue loctite is often a good idea if the fastener is critical.

The quality of the fastener is also a factor. Some CBR250R owners have found out the hard way that the smaller bolts on the CBR can't reach the "spec" torque before snapping.

My youngest boy was replacing the rear sprocket on his R6 a while ago, and wanted to torque the nuts. He asked me about it, and looked up the spec. When he told me what it was I told him I thought that was too much for a nut that size. He went with the spec, and stripped out numerous nuts before stopping (I wasn't home at the time...stop after the first...).

He used the published spec. Numerous other R6 owners have found out the hard way it's too much.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 10:54 PM
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^^ Good tips!

Also, don't use the torque wrench to loosen bolts or nuts, and when tightening, don't keep tighten after the click.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
A torque wrench can also get you into trouble.

Plenty of people have snapped or stripped bolts/threads by trying to torque to the "proper" spec.
I'm not sure I agree with that as a generalized statement. As with all things in life, you gotta use reason (if not, what statement doesn't have some form of caveat?), but snapping a bolt using OEM torque recommendations in normal conditions isn't normal. Rather, I'd imagine it's more often than not a case of Dunning Kruger. Getting units right is a big PITA in the US between N*m, ft*lb and in*lb - mixing them up is far from uncommon. Also, bolts stretch over time. And probably the most common error, torque specs are given dry (unless stated otherwise). Many home mechanics that just bought their torque wrench at Harbor Freight slobber the bolt in Loctite not realizing threadlocker is technically considered a lubricant, and as such torque values should decrease by 30% or so to maintain the same force under the bolt head. Same goes for oiling them.

In other words, I'm not saying using a torque wrench can't get you in trouble, but I am saying that an educated diyer is probably more likely to get in trouble by disregarding torque values than by trying to respect them. ETCG1's recent video on YouTube "Are mistakes the best teachers" is a good example why following instructs is generally smart.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 07:55 AM
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Never thought I'd see such extensive explanations of "torque" on this forum.....nor references to the Dunning-Kruger effect!


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Gables_Ninja View Post
I'm not sure I agree with that as a generalized statement. As with all things in life, you gotta use reason (if not, what statement doesn't have some form of caveat?), but snapping a bolt using OEM torque recommendations in normal conditions isn't normal. Rather, I'd imagine it's more often than not a case of Dunning Kruger. Getting units right is a big PITA in the US between N*m, ft*lb and in*lb - mixing them up is far from uncommon. Also, bolts stretch over time. And probably the most common error, torque specs are given dry (unless stated otherwise). Many home mechanics that just bought their torque wrench at Harbor Freight slobber the bolt in Loctite not realizing threadlocker is technically considered a lubricant, and as such torque values should decrease by 30% or so to maintain the same force under the bolt head. Same goes for oiling them.

In other words, I'm not saying using a torque wrench can't get you in trouble, but I am saying that an educated diyer is probably more likely to get in trouble by disregarding torque values than by trying to respect them. ETCG1's recent video on YouTube "Are mistakes the best teachers" is a good example why following instructs is generally smart.
I've seen it happen more than a few times, but in the case of our rear sprocket nuts, I didn't feel the factory Yamaha torque spec was correct.

Really, for most smaller non-critical nuts and bolts, "snug" is adequate. Using blue threadlocker and tightening M5/M6/M8 bolts "snug" with a 1/4" drive ratchet is generally safe.

Cycles are being made in many countries these days, and the quality of fasteners isn't consistent. That's an area that goes to the lowest bidder most likely.

I torque all critical fasteners, but for the most part learning how tight is tight enough works better for me.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Cycles are being made in many countries these days, and the quality of fasteners isn't consistent. That's an area that goes to the lowest bidder most likely.
(bolding mine)


Not so sure that is factually correct.
Specifications for bolts are pretty well and narrowly defined (and pretty easily checked through QC).
We buy Chinese made metric bolts at my Chinese place of work, and they are INDISTINGUISHABLE in quality to their foreign counterparts.
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Last edited by MAL; 06-26-2019 at 07:33 AM.
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