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Thread: Safety Wiring - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Unacceptable

  1. #1
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    Safety Wiring - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Unacceptable

    I've been asked many times how to safety wire a motorcycle for roadracing. It's really not that difficult, and many folks do it right and well. However, many do not. So I'd like to put together a little pictorial of the goods and bads. I'll be taking pix of crap safety wire jobs at MSR and posting them up, so don't be one of those guys. In the meantime, some pix now, some pix later.

    And remember - the rule book says that .032" wire is the minimum diameter for wire that can be used. You can use bigger, but smaller is no longer allowed.

    Oil filter. This is a biggie and I point it out at every race while in the tech barn. Most people wrap wire around the clamp and wire it off to some place else on the bike. So...if the worm screw were to back out, what's holding the filter on? Not the clamp - it's being held on by the wire but now it's loose so the filter is free to move around and possibly loosen up and fall off. Catastrophe. Here's the right way to do it (from a wire job on a BMW S1000RR).

    Notice the wire is wrapped around the worm screw's housing on the clamp, and a piece of the wire runs through the mouth of the screw. This will prevent the screw from coming loose and letting the clamp come loose as well. Worm screws and worm gears, when properly torqued are pretty stout, but they can still come loose and fall out. I've seen it. Also notice the clamp and wire are pulling in the tight direction. This is critical for all fasteners.






    Front axle and pinch bolt. Notice that in this case the axle has two holes in it, 180 degrees apart from each other. This is so no matter where you end up with the axle after tightening, you'll always have a hole to choose from that will pull in the tight direction. The rear hole in this case is being used to secure the axle to the fork leg so the axle doesn't come loose. I drilled a hole in the axle and in the fork leg in an convenient and inconspicuous spot. Using the other hole in the axle, the front safety wire is wired to an axle pinch bolt. You have to have at least one pinch bolt wired, and here's a way to do it. This won't be universal to all bikes, but can work on most.






    Not all bikes have a cotter pin or castle nut. BMW doesn't. For those that don't, I support the KISS rule. Simply drill two holes 180 degrees apart into the flats of the rear axle nut and find a place on the swingarm to wire off to. Two holes, again, allows you to always be able to choose a hole that will be in the tightening direction. Additionally, many times a hole will have to be drilled in the swingarm, as this one was, but it doesn't affect strength or structural integrity of the swing arm. No need to get all fancy back here - just some properly located holes and some wire and everything is fine.





    Front caliper. Pretty simple. Two holes in each bolt 180 degrees apart and simply wire so that the bolts are always being tightened. Easy.





    This is the exhaust hanger. It's always a good idea to wire this fastener so that it doesn't come loose and let your exhaust pipe dangle...or fall off. This is easy to do: one hole in the front of the fastener, and one in the rear of the fastener (or nut that the fastener threads into), and wire together. The parts won't be free to get loose and fall off this way. A lot of people don't wire these parts, but they should and I always recommend it in tech.

    Last edited by Linz Leard; 07-31-2013 at 10:35 AM.
    Linz
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  2. #2
    Where are the clips? :D

  3. #3
    Uh oh. lol

  4. #4
    Nice pics and explanation. Six to eight turns per inch with a half inch pigtail (4 turns min) at the end of the run for .032 wire. That's the FAA spec which has been adapted by the AMA.

    After looking at your pics I have to go rewire my oil filter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Delaney View Post
    Where are the clips? :D
    Hello! I said "In the meantime, some pix now, some pix later."

    I haven't gotten to the point where I condemn the clips, yet. But know that they suck.
    Linz
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    Senior Member Jeremy Harvey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip on the oil filter. I never gave any though to the worm screw potentially backing loose!
    CMRA #75
    TipToes and Tonka Trucks Endurance #75
    Special thanks to R&R Tool and Die, G-Baby Racing, Cafe Racer

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    The oil filter on my 09 zx6 is terribly hard to access. I will try my best to make sure the screw itself is wired as well.
    -Cody

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Cody Stewart View Post
    The oil filter on my 09 zx6 is terribly hard to access. I will try my best to make sure the screw itself is wired as well.
    -Cody
    That has to be the dumbest oil filter placement ever. Absolute mess every time and no way around it.


    This should be sticky post. I wish I had something as clear as this when I first started wrestling with this. Would have saved me a lot of time. Thanks Linz!

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    single paper towel and a 'foil funnel' under the oil catcher thing and no mess. But still a pita. Just regular safety wiring is a big PITA...I'm going to attempt the screw though. That, along with all the stupid alan head bolts instead of hex head makes wiring/drilling fun on it. I have the engine out now. I'm going to wire it before I put it back in...lmao.

    Having wrecked on someone else's coolant before (not racing, at a TD), I certainly understand the importance of safety wiring. As well as having a friend go down because someone lost an oil drain plug (ON A BIKE THAT WAS DRILLED FOR SAFETY WIRE BUT NOT WIRED NO LESS!!) - and having to clean up a 1/4 mile of oil in the Texas sun...I'm a huge fan of safety wiring.
    -Cody

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    Senior Member Sean Gurevich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael De Simone View Post
    That has to be the dumbest oil filter placement ever. Absolute mess every time and no way around it.
    If you tilt the bike over to the right prior to removing the filter, then it won't pour whatever oil that was trapped in the filter down the side of the engine.
    Last edited by Sean Gurevich; 07-31-2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: quote

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