Torque Wrenches | Tools 101

By Karel Kramer, Photography by Karel Kramer

As modern motorcycles grow more advanced and as sporting machines continually lose weight, a quality torque wrench is an extremely important tool to have and use. There are several types, but by far the most common is the micrometer—one that has a rotating grip portion to set the desired torque. A micrometer-type torque wrench is very accurate, and since it “clicks” when you reach the desired torque it is easy to use. It is, however, also the most delicate and requires the most care to maintain calibration. Here are some tips:

» Store it in the original case, since it should not bang into other tools.

» Always store it at the lowest setting so the internal spring doesn’t take a set.

» Never use it to loosen tight bolts. Torque wrenches ratchet in both directions so you can torque left- hand-threaded fasteners.

» After storage, set it in the middle of the adjustment range and “click” the wrench a few times to free it up before tightening any critical fasteners.

» Avoid using the lower 20 percent of the specified range where it is the least accurate.

» If the wrench has been abused, dropped or stressed past the specified range, have it re-calibrated. This is, however, only practical with quality, name-brand tools.

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