Tightening Valve Stem Nuts - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-23-2012, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Tightening Valve Stem Nuts

In the past, I've always just snugged my valve stem nuts down pretty good with a wrench when I change my tires/tubes.

I've heard it espoused that it's better to just snug the nut down finger-tight to allow a little play in the area where the valve stem, inner tube and wheel interact.

I decided to give that a try, but have found that every time I go to check my tire pressure (which is basically every day I ride) the nut has always backed loose a couple of turns no matter how tight I try to get it with my fingers.

What do you guys do? Maybe put some Loctite on it then snug it down finger-tight? I guess the biggest question is: does it really matter?



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post #2 of 12 Old 06-23-2012, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by planalp View Post
In the past, I've always just snugged my valve stem nuts down pretty good with a wrench when I change my tires/tubes.

I've heard it espoused that it's better to just snug the nut down finger-tight to allow a little play in the area where the valve stem, inner tube and wheel interact.

I decided to give that a try, but have found that every time I go to check my tire pressure (which is basically every day I ride) the nut has always backed loose a couple of turns no matter how tight I try to get it with my fingers.

What do you guys do? Maybe put some Loctite on it then snug it down finger-tight? I guess the biggest question is: does it really matter?

The reason not to tighten the nut is that if the tire slips on the rim and the nut is tight it will rip the valve stem off the tube. If the nut is loose the stem will be free to angle off. Mine usually ends up by the valve cap.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-23-2012, 07:13 PM
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I think if your pretty much leaving your tires at road pressure you can snub the nut down. Leaving it loose is more for when you air the tire down and have a greater chance of the tire slipping on the rim, ripping the stem out. I'm thinking that if your running 25 psi plus I can't really imagine the tire slipping on the rim. Not with just under 40 hp anyway...

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post #4 of 12 Old 06-24-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 650Stew View Post
I think if your pretty much leaving your tires at road pressure you can snub the nut down. Leaving it loose is more for when you air the tire down and have a greater chance of the tire slipping on the rim, ripping the stem out. I'm thinking that if your running 25 psi plus I can't really imagine the tire slipping on the rim. Not with just under 40 hp anyway...
Makes sense. I run mine at 28psi and never air them down for gravel or dirt roads.



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post #5 of 12 Old 06-24-2012, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spec View Post
The reason not to tighten the nut is that if the tire slips on the rim and the nut is tight it will rip the valve stem off the tube. If the nut is loose the stem will be free to angle off. Mine usually ends up by the valve cap.
Yeah, that's what I'd read about. I really don't think my kind of riding poses any chance of the tire slipping on the rim, so I think I'll go back to snugging them down with a wrench enough that they don't always work loose.



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post #6 of 12 Old 06-26-2012, 08:49 PM
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I always back the nut off and use it as a lock nut against the valve cap, stops either from going anywhere.

Its good insurance against tearing a valve especially on bike with no bead locks, I have seen many times a valve stem at 45 degrees even on bikes with double bead locks.

True, if you keep your pressures up and check religiously it’s very unlikely, but hey, it costs nothing and may save you a flat tyre one day!
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-28-2012, 12:31 PM
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Use the Nut as a Locknut

A couple of points.

Because motorcycle tires are quite stiff, the tire pressure can be very low before it is obvious. It is possible that the pressure in a tire that looks OK is below the pressure where the tire could slip under hard braking or acceleration. Religously checking the tire pressure would reduce the likelyhood of this happening, but would not eliminate it.

Valve stem tearout will result in a sudden loss of pressure. In other words, a blowout! This is not something that you want to experience on a motorcycle.

Since there is no purpose served by tightening the valve stem nut against the rim, the safest place for it is either in your toolbox or up against the valve cap as a locknut.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-28-2012, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting points which beg the question: why are the nuts even there?

I don't doubt anybody's theories, but think they're highly unlikely scenarios to experience on a KLR.

I was curious but think I'll file this in the "not worth worrying about" category.




Last edited by planalp; 06-28-2012 at 01:29 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-28-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Interesting points which beg the question: why are the nuts even there?
I use the nut to keep the stem from sucking back in the rim while mounting the second bead.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-28-2012, 02:22 PM
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Very interesting thread gang. Never heard any of this before. Thanks for the question and responses.
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