Choose the Best Torque Wrench for Motorcycles
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Torque Wrenches for Motorcycles
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If you own a motorcycle and want it to serve for many years, you can’t skip buying a torque wrench. Safety comes first that is why all bolts and screws of your motorcycle have to be tightened but not too much or less. Motorcycles do not have seatbelts and airbags – the fasteners should be stripped or loose while you are on the road.
Besides motorcycles, such tools can be used for small repair works in your garage – to tighten or loosen the screws of cars, vehicles, trucks and lawnmowers.
A torque wrench works very simply. Each time when you need to tighten any fastener, take this instrument and set it up to the desired torque range. When you tighten the fastener, the smart wrench will calculate the applied force to prevent you from pushing too hard or too weak. The torque wrench will click or beep when the set value is reached.
Other factors to consider when buying the best torque wrenches for motorcycles are listed below. You will be able to compare some of the best torque wrenches for motorcycles and check the pros/cons of each instrument.
TEKTON 1/2 Inch Wrench – the best for DIY repair!
The most obvious drawback – the spring mechanism of this instrument works only in one direction.
Like most torque wrenches, this one also comes in a plastic case. It is not just a plain box but an injection-molded case of red color. Also, the experts pick this instrument whenever they need to tire lug nuts.
ACDelco ARM601-3 Wrench – the best for convenience!
You can find the pressure and accuracy of the applied torque on the instrument’s LCD screen.
This handy and lightweight instrument can become a good choice if you occasionally do small repair jobs. Besides, it has an automatic shut-off feature if the tool is not working for 60 seconds – in a case, you forget to turn it off manually.
TACKLIFE 1/4″ Torque Wrench Set – the best for versatility!
Yes, the price is higher than the cost of a single instrument. But, in the end, your investment will buy off.
The instrument in this set is made of the durable steel alloy. However, it is still portable and relatively lightweight. The tool has a dual-range measurement scale to make the values more readable in different regions all over the world.
One of the major reasons to use this torque wrench – it can be rotated both in counter-clockwise and clockwise directions. You may use the instrument in very narrow and poorly-lit places.
EPAuto 1/2-Inch Wrench – the best for the price!
Despite the affordable cost, the instruments are made of very durable metals – the alloy of steel, vanadium and chrome.
This tool is very simple to adjust for different small repair jobs. Just follow the click sound and you will prevent the risk of over-tightening.
Tusk Spoke Torque Wrench Kit – the best for portability!
It makes the wrench comparatively lightweight but at the same time durable. Other parts are composed of forged steel. So this tool can easily last for a few years, if not decades.
Along with this instrument, the manufacturer offers 5 heads of standard sizes at the range from 6.1 mm to 6.7 mm. Also, this kit includes the spline drive head that is simple to use and make quick adjustments.
The Buyer’s Guide
A few factors to consider when buying a torque wrench for a motorcycle:
1) Construction – the manufacturers of top-notch torque wrenches pick the best materials. These instruments must be durable, strong and preferably anti-rust. Some of the best wrenches for motorcycles are made from chrome/vanadium/steel alloys.
2) Drive – the most common types for automotive torque wrenches are 1/2 and 1/4-inch drives. However, in some cases, you may need to use a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench. Buy another instrument or a multipurpose torque wrench with many drive adapters.
3) Pressure – this is one of the most important aspects. The universal measurement system is the Newton Meter (Nm). Nevertheless, most instruments have a dual-scale or even a few measurement systems (especially the digital models). These systems are inch-pounds (in.-lbs.) and feet-pound (ft.-lbs.).
4) Accuracy is what you should check first. The torque wrench manufacturer should do the calibration, according to the U.S. and international standards. The vast majority of wrenches is calibrated to the accuracy level of +/- 4%;
Tips for novice users of motorcycle torque wrenches
- To avoid errors, do not tighten the threads after hearing the clicking or beeping produced by the tool;
- Maximum torque should never be exceeded. If the tool is limited by 200 in.-lbs., your limit should never exceed 199;
- It is advisable not to drop the wrench when you use it;
- Keep the wrench clean from nasty garage liquids. Clean it with special anti-rust products with a white cloth;
- You must constantly calibrate the instrument to reduce the risk of errors;
- Before putting the wrench into a toolbox or its case, do not forget to loosen the spring mechanism that locks the tool;
- Do not store in a humid place and at high temperatures;
Motorcycle torque wrench: my buying advice
Any motorcycle has joints with different torque from very small to large values. With professional motorcycle maintenance, you won’t do just with a standard tool. The most common accuracy rates of torque wrenches for motorcycles come in the range from 8 to 40 Nm, although there are certain connections in the range from 40 to 150 Nm.
However, I strongly recommend buying torque wrenches of two or three different ranges with the overlapping torque range. For example, I own the following torque wrenches for motorcycles:
- 5-25 Nm;
- 20-110 Nm;
- 40-210 Nm;
For delicate kinds of projects pick the instruments with smaller ranges. Do not forget that in their extreme values all these tools have a greater error percentage than in the middle of the range, so you should buy torque wrenches with overlapping ranges.
How to use one of these instruments when you repair the motorcycle? The fasteners need to be twisted within 2-3 times in order to avoid the thread’s breakage and to transfer the most accurate value to the fasteners.
And, at last, check my pick of 5 best torque wrenching tools for motorbikes:
- TEKTON 24335;
- ACDelco ARM601-3;
- TACKLIFE ¼ inch drive wrench;
- EPAuto ½ tool;
- Tusk Spoke WR 150;
Each model has pros and cons that I will disclose further in this review. Please keep on reading, ask any questions that you want and subscribe to this website if you like the content here. I also uploaded the video that demonstrates the strong points of this specific tool.
Torque Wrenches for Motorcycles FAQ
What is the best torque wrench for motorcycles?
When tightening a fastener, begin by setting the torque wrench to the manufacturer’s prescribed torque. When you twist the fastener, the wrench calculates the strain while keeping the preset torque specification in mind. When you hit the pre-set torque value, the wrench can normally create a pop or click that you may hear to let you realize it’s time to quit applying force.
With that in mind, here are several features to aim for in a wrench for a motorcycle task:
- Calibration. Torque wrenches can be matched to a precision of +/- 4%, according to universal guidelines;
- Pressure. The Newton meter is the basic unit of torque (Nm). Most torque wrenches have a dual-display that shows Newton-meters as well as inch-pounds (in.-lb.) and foot-pounds (ft.-lb.);
- Construction. When it goes to tools, you want things that are sturdy, long-lasting, and anti-rust. Premium wrenches are typically made of steel and do not have any plastic components;
Most experts agree that the following torque wrenches are quite useful when you need to tighten the motorcycle fasteners:
- Tekton 24335 1/2-inch drive click wrench;
- Tacklife DIN Calibrated ¼-inch wrench;
- Neiko 03714A ¼-inch drive adjustable wrench;
- EPAuto 1/2-inch drive click wrench;
- Pro Bike Tool 1/4-inch drive wrench set;
What is the torque wrench range for motorcycles?
Torque wrenches with 12-inch and 14-inch drives are the most popular for automotive/motorcycle wrenches, but certain cases necessitate a 3/8-inch drive.
The fasteners that are large in diameter (including flywheel, axle nuts) provide the highest torque loads in motorcycle assembly. A 1/2-inch wrench would do for these. A 3/8-inch wrench is appropriate for general application – e.g. cylinder-head bolts, triple-clamp bolts.
Using a large torque tool for smaller fasteners (for example, oil-filter cover bolts, 6-mm cam-cover, engine-case bolts) is pointless. In reality, calibrating it for lighter loads may be a frustrating (or even impossible) exercise, and you can end up with snapped bits. A 1/4-inch drive can be great in this case.
As a result, for motorcycle maintenance and restoration, the perfect workshop has 3 separate torque wrenches, each with its socket or adapter.
The most popular precision ratings of wrenches for motorcycles vary from 8 to 40 Nm, but several contacts range from 40 to 150 Nm. However, most specialists highly advise purchasing wrenches of two to three separate torque sets that overlap.
Do you require a torque wrench for your motorcycle?
Any motorcycle mechanic, except the most inexperienced, should have a torque wrench – or three. Why is this so? That if you don’t torque a fastener tightly enough, it can vibrate free. If you overtighten something, you can strip the threads or snap the fastener. Torque wrenches are available in a few different sizes. A wrench with two bars is the least costly (and least useful).
The first of these is the handgrip, and the second is the pointer. When you tighten a bolt, you bend the bar with the knob, causing a gauge under the pointer to move. Don’t squander your capital on this. It is not only inaccurate, but it also allows you to look at the wrench when operating it. Motorcycles’ cramped quarters don’t often qualify for this.
If you can purchase wrenches with either Newton-meters or foot-pounds (metric or SAE) measurement scales, it is suggested that you get a torque wrench with all measurement scales.
What type of torque wrench is most accurate?
Most experienced car mechanics claim that split-beam torque wrenches are the most reliable in the terms of accuracy. The percentage of their accuracy is as high as 2 percent. While other wrenches offer accuracy range from 4 to 6 percent in different directions.
However, this type is not very convenient to use in tight spaces. That is why most motorcycle owners prefer using digital torque wrenches that are also reliable and simpler to apply.
Are Harbor Freight wrenches any good?
Harbor Freight (with the Pittsburg title as a subsidiary brand) torque wrenches were considered the great tools back in the days. Are they still worth your money? According to multiple reviews, the Harbor Freight wrenches may serve up to 9 years if you maintain them properly. Also, the brand offers a lifetime warranty. Besides, they are also quite affordable.
Some users claim that the tools are not safe for the fork clamps or important engine components. It is better to use them for the tension of lug nuts. Some people compare the basic functions to Snap On wrenches, and they are similar. Though, Snap On wrenches are manufactured in the USA while the Harbor Freight tools are made in Taiwan.
Is it safe to loosen bolts with a torque wrench?
A torque wrench is a device for tightening. This extremely sensitive and accurate tightening instrument can never be used to remove bolts. Handle the torque wrench with the same respect as you might a measuring tool.
Instead, use special torque wrenches. They tighten and remove fasteners, primarily nuts/bolts. Such wrenches are usually constructed of a chrome-plated steel alloy. Wrenches are made of plastic that is both tough and easy to clean.
What things can be bad for torque wrenches?
To avoid any damage to your expensive and accurate torque wrench, you should FOLLOW such tips:
- Before using any product, always read the instructions;
- Never apply a wrench outside of the range/capacity specified in the instructions;
- Unless specifically suggested by the manufacturer, should not use some extension such as a pipe to prevent inaccurate reading;
- Do not push. When applying torque, pull the wrench;
- Do not strike it with a hammer or use it as a substitute for a hammer;
- Still hold it in a storage case to shield it from moisture and lubricants and extend its lifespan;
- Never use it on a worn/cracked bolt or fastener, and never use it if the drive of a wrench is worn out;
- Before and after using always inspect the teeth, knurl, and socket from the inside out;
- It can’t be used in heavy rain, high humidity, or in areas where water infiltration is likely;
- If you detect an unusual noise, or if lubricant such as oil enters the machine, avoid using it and call a service center for examination/repair;
- Torque wrench testing should be done regularly;
- Use the socket that corresponds to the size of the bolt/nut;
- To stop hand slippage when using the wrench, grasp it in the middle;
- To avoid structural harm, avoid exposing it to unnecessary heat;
- Wear or use an eye protection;
- It should be cleaned before and after use;
Video Tutorial: Using a Torque Wrench for Motorcycles
Now you know how different torque wrenches for motorcycles work. Choose the basic torque wrench at an affordable price if you do occasional jobs to tighten screws and bolts now and there.
However, if you seek a multi-purpose instrument for heavy-duty jobs, consider testing one of the above-mentioned sets or digital wrenches. They are more expensive but can offer many additional options for DIY and professional motorcycle repair.