How the rim lock works on your dirt bike

Rim lock, yea or nay?

"Fairly high speed about 65mph, I had the rear tire on my 650 BSA suddenly go flat. It had picked up a nail and as soon as it lost some pressure it spun inside the rim and torn the valve stem out. The rear end went to the left and then snapped back the right and dumped on the pavement."

It's a good reason to have rim locks on your wire wheels.


If I don't use a rim lock

In a flat asphalt road, rim lock is not an urgent need for the wheels. But it's a MUST have for off-road riding, because when you're riding on loose terrain, soft clay, mud, or rocks, you may consider using a lower tire pressure to get a better grip.

This will increase your traction by increasing the tire to dirt contact area, but bear in mind that your inner tube is at a higher risk of a being pinched. Without a rim lock, it will spin the tire on the rim easily while the tire is trying to grip on loose terrain and it will cause the inner tube move till the valve stem torn away from the tube.

The tire roll when no rim lock installed



What is a rim lock?

Rim lock is merely a clamp that holds your tire in place on the rim, it is designed to fit between the tire and the tube, with metal cleats on the bottom to grip the inside of the tire bead.
When your rim lock is in good shape and seated correctly on the rim, your tire WILL NOT MOVE.

The tire roll when installed rim lock



What kind of motorcycles need a rim lock?

Dirt, enduro, trail, supermoto, dual-purpose, adventure, even street motorcycles come with wire wheels should install rim locks.

Off road motorcycles
motorcycles come with wire wheels


How do I choose a rim lock?


Check the spec of your rims from the manufacturer, or use a ruler to measure the rim. To get a CORRECT rim width, you must measure from the bead seat (where the tire rests and seals on the inside of the rim).

If you measure from the rim flange (the outermost edge of the rim), that is wrong.

Get a correct rim width

The traditional aluminum/rubber rim-lock look; or half weight and size, one-piece molded design made from special high-strength nylon composite material.

Get a correct rim width
The traditional aluminum/rubber rim-lock look
Get a correct rim width
The special high-strength nylon composite


How to install a rim lock in a rim?

You need to find a suitable rim at first. There are so many choices of wheel rims on the market, some of the rims have a pre-drilled hole to install a rim lock, some of the rims don't--in that case, you have to drill a hole on your own.

The tire tube and rim lock

"Where to drill a hole for rim lock?" you may be concerned. People believed that just go directly drill a hole on the wall of rims opposite the valve stem.

Mount the rim lock on the rim with the nut just hand tightened. Put the tube into the tire before mounting the tire on the rim.

How about wheel balance? For dirtbike, the rim is gonna be unbalanced no matter what you do. Especially when mud on it and that would be fine. Other motorcycles ride on the road need to ensure your wheels are correctly balanced.



Shop the KiWAV Rim Locks

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Sunday, 16 June 2024