Advice Please - How Bad Is This???

Hi All,

Before I go into the detail - what I want to know is should this ever happen???

I know I am responsible for checking all of my nuts & bolts etc…

I have a 4.5 month old Honda CBF125 that I have put 5,500 miles on from new - it’s had 3 services in that time.

I just got back from Portsmouth and on the way back, I noticed I was getting some funny feedback through the footpegs and a slight wobble upon engine braking.

I tracked it down to the swingarm axle nut - had not only shaken loose, but had shaken loose and gone, so I was riding it without one (Alex Gold - if you’re reading - this was the source of the problem we were talking about).

My brother in law lives 3 doors down and is an extremely competent mechanic (I don’t like to call on him too often, but he sorted me out on this one) so he’s banged a nut on there for now until I can get to the Dealer and get the proper nut, but WTF?!?!

This nut doesn’t have a through pin and I’m assuming it wasn’t a Nylock either if it has worked itself free (is that assumption right???)

My Oxford tax have tax disc holder has better nuts than this - is this a reasonable complaint to be sorted under warranty or is it just one of those things that I should have been more aware of???

Whatever, i know I’ll be checking me nuts’n’bolts a lot more thoroughly from now on!

Would appreciate some comments just to gauge opinion on this.



I can only think that whoever put the nut on last didn’t torque it up properly Stevie - that should not happen if the nut was put on properly.It’s always a good idea to have a look at your nuts/bolts every week :wink:

calipers, sump, axle etc, shock etc.

If it’s only been serviced by the dealer I think you have a genuine beef about their workshop quality.

Very few wheel nuts have cross pins now (except competition machines and look alikes) as they are a pain in the arris. Some are Nylock type, some have spring washers (both of which should be replaced after every use) but most are just torqued up. Or in your case, not.

Put it this way. I’ve been riding for 46 years on lord knows how many bikes from knackered old nails to brand new stuff and I’ve never lost, or even heard of someone losing, a rear axle nut.

Yeah I know I should but, in all honesty, who does?

Hmmm… that what I thought… it’s a pretty important nut to lose - um, swing arm falling off whilst doing 70? that ain’t gonna be good in anybody’s book…

Cheers Oldguy - always appreciate your opinion :slight_smile:

Jeez you should buy a lottery ticket this week;)

You were lucky you noticed it when you did as that could have become quite nasty indeed as I’m sure you can imagine:doze:

Older bikes used to have a split pin and castellated nuts to prevent them undoing but today’s bikes just use a plain flanged nut and rely on correct torque to keep it in place.

As you say, it’s your responsibility to check all nuts and bolts for tightness, but bearing in mind you bought this bike new recently and have not had cause to remove the wheel nut for any reason*, it could be argued that the dealer should have ensured it was tightened correctly as part of the PDI inspection.

*(I’m guessing you haven’t)

Tough call really, but I can’t see a grumble to the dealer doing any harm and they might order you a free nut as a gesture of good faith:cool:

Just give the bike a good visual check plus the odd feel - I do this quite regularly because it is important - losing a serious bolt at high speed could result in an appointment with the hooded reaper bloke.i don’t mean checking everything with a spanner and torque wrench - just keep an eye on stuff - I put on a rubber glove and give the sump bolt a quick twiddle every now and again to check it’s not about to come unscrewed - e.g. imagine that coming lose and spraying your rear tyre with oil at 100 mph? I do the same with the caaiper bolts - it was only a couple of months ago when a guy on here saw his caliper swinging on the end of the brake line after it had become unbolted from the fork - and he had been tanking it - that could have resulted in a horrible accident/crash.Bikes are different from cars - things do come unbolted and fall off due to the extra vibration - two of the three bolts felll out of the exhaust on my Yam last week - I only realised after visually checking the bike.

£50 for a torque wrench from Halfords might seem a lot, but it is one of the best investments any motorcyclist can make. No biker can afford to be without one, for the reasons outlined above.

Glad to hear you survived this incident, Stevie. All part of the Great Biking Learning Curve.

I’ve gone over the nuts & bolts twice in the 4.5 months I’ve had the bike - the first time it was gong in for a service a couple of days late - two days after the service one of the exhaust shield bolts worked loose and fell off.The second time was after I arrived in Portsmouth only to find the nut had disappeared during the return journey…It kinda seems like to be sure, I’d have to check every time I rode the bike… :frowning:BTW - All - I should point out - it wasn’t the nut at the wheel end of the swing arm - it was the other end - the nut on the axle that runs straight through the centre of the bike that holds the swingarm to the frame.

yeah man - tell me about it - I learnt a serious lesson on this one…I’m looking at Torque Wrenches as I type…

As Eezyrider - said - invest in a torque wrench - make a list of all the major bolts and their torque settings and check they are all on properly - once you have established that you’ll know that nothing is about to come undone and you will have peace of mind - then you can check things every few weeks - the fact that all your major bolts are on at the right torque will mean that they should still be on there nice and tight when you check again.Get into practie now - then when you get your first really fast machine you won’t experience having things fall off at 130 mph *. . . :wink:

*on a private road/track natch. . .

when fishface had her 125 there were so many nuts coming loose through vibration i loctited every single external nut and screw…no more bits fell off to my knowledge , i have seen m14 bolts that i personally torqued to 135 Nm come loose thro; vibration…ok not on a bike but them single cylinder engines are pretty good at workin things loose.
Must admit i have never known it on a swingarm as they are pretty immune from vibes.

That really is shocking - I have never heard of a swingarm pivot nut disappearing.
Like the chaps said, it’s always worth checking the bike over periodically (although I never do - I usually have either the front or rear wheel out on a weekly basis though)
I rarely use a torque wrench - mainly for engine internals and stuff like sprocket nuts - I rely on experience to tell me when something’s tight enough, and have never had anything I’ve tightened myself either work loose or strip a thread.

I’m with Gurninman on the don’t bother with the torque wrench except where it’s critical, except…

That’s o.k. when you’ve got experience. It can be an expensive pain if your new to this fooling around with mechanical thingies.

“Good enough for most jobs” torque wrenches are available on line for half of Halfords price. Just dont use them for engine rebuild work where things are a bit more serious.

Yeah, cheap torque wrenches aren’t really worth bothering with - even if they’re ok on day one, they quickly go out of calubration.

I have a small Norbar one for the low torque stuff and a 4" Teng beastie for proper tight bits.

I used to have a big old snap on wrench and a torque multiplier for tightening flanges on pipework for oil refineries… M42 nuts need to be nipped up fairly tight :slight_smile:

How often do you clean your bike & lube the chain?

I’m pretty sure I’d notice something was missing whilst I cleaned every weekend.

one day i was riding the CBF and tried to shift down a gear but couldnt, look down and saw what i thought was a rod! :ermm:

turns out it was the bolt that is underneath the engine!! it had come undone from the vibes and started to come out!! :crazy:

thankfully i noticed an MOT place a couple meters before so turned back and got it fixed!!

I put it down to the garage not screwing the bolt properly!! and didnt go back there again. :angry:

Bikes are preety vibey things (is this why girls like riding?? :stuck_out_tongue: ) but still!

I used to have an SV1000 which being a V-Twin vibrated a lot - I noticed that it was leaking oil and tried to locate the leak - on closer inspection I realised that a lot of the small 8 mm bolts which hold various bits of the engine outer casing were coming loose - which was causing oil to seep past the gaskets - had to check their tightness every few thousand miles or so.

yer my gamma’s axel’s don’t have pins they are lock nut’s but they have never come lose like that. you sure it was done up properly to start with? welcome to the oh **** i am losing bit’s single cylinder club;) the only thing that has worked it’s way off mine is a few bolts here and there AND THE RIDER:hehe:

Don’t think I have EVER checked the swingarm pivot nut - how the hell could that come loose??? I am generally a bit paranoid about checking anything that’s part of the running gear, but I never thought about that.

However, I do check the torque on my front and rear axle nuts every week using a torque wrench. Don’t think I would be able to judge manually if something was tight enough - especially since the rear nut setting for my last bike was 65Nm and for my current bike it is 110Nm.

Chalk this down to experience and count yourself lucky you spotted it before anything nasty happened!


last time I went to the dealers withn my bike on my way home I saw my fairing flapping about… it was never pinned in place:( at least the pins were still there but WTF… my fairing coudl have flown off the bike at higher speed:)