Tusk Wheels - Issues?

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12/29/2015 12:32 PM

I wanted to post this up for a buddy of mine that has had a set of Tusk wheel/hubs on his RMZ450 for about a year. After reading a few magazine reviews that said they were solid wheels, especially for the price, he decided to give it a try. The wheels really do look amazing and the price is less than half what I paid for the DID/kite set from Dubya I have on my bike. The tusk wheels were a great value, or so it seemed.

Flash forward 1 year and 2 exploded rear hubs later, that opinion may have changed on the perceived good value of the wheels. Thankfully, both times it has happened hasn't been on the face of a large jump so it didn't kill him. But it did destroy his chain, chain slider, chain guide, sprocket and rear wheel both times. The issue was for whatever reason, the rear sprocket would come loose within an hour or 2 every time he rode the bike. The rear sprocket was installed with a new bolt kit (2 different brands on the 2 different rear wheels), which includes the locking type nuts and were torqued to spec. After the first hub failed, he assumed it was a fluke and got another tusk rear wheel. This time, the rear sprocket was installed again with new bolts/locking nuts, torqued to spec AND used loctite. A few months later, same thing happened. He would check the rear sprocket bolts before he rode. The sprocket loosens while being ridden and breaks the tabs off the hub...catastrophic failure follows..

I've never had a bolt on my rear sprocket come loose on any set of wheel I've had. It's hard to believe it's a fluke that this same thing happened 2x and must lend itself to some sort of manufacturing defect or tolerance issue.

Has anybody else had issues with tusk wheels?

First wheel:

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Second wheel:

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12/29/2015 12:36 PM

Are the holes for the sprocket bolts egg-shaped?

If so, it is the owners fault for not keeping up on sprocket bolt tightness.

If not, then it would probably be a bad casting..

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12/29/2015 12:43 PM

I'd file this one under if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Cheap wheels are cheap wheels. What is wrong with stock hubs?

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12/29/2015 12:50 PM

My dads had a set on it 15 RMZ 450 for over a year now and no issues. Rides 50+ expert. Always check the sprocket bolts and none are ever loose. The wheels have held up incredibly which we couldn't say about the stock excels that came on the bike. He taco'd 4 excel rims in less than 2 years so we finally tried the tusks after reading what the different mags said about them. So far no flat spots, spokes stay nice and snug and none of the sprocket bolts or rotor bolts have come loose at all. But then again that could be because we don't torque those, we've always tightened them as tight as we can possibly get them and used locktite.

If the rear sprocket is coming loose it's not because of the wheels, that's because your buddy isn't getting them tight enough or checking them enough. Crank those SOB's down and you won't have an issue.

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

12/29/2015 12:59 PM

I have 60 hours on a set and they've held up awesome. I know of a kid that broke a hub just like that on a set because he didn't check his sprocket bolts.

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12/29/2015 1:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/29/2015 1:01 PM

I've had mine for a year, haven't had any issues. The spokes have even stayed tight. The picture you posted looks exactly like my stock wheel did after I installed a new sprocket and didn't watch the bolts.

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12/29/2015 1:02 PM

Everyone I have talked to has said they are strong! Nothing negative I have heard yet. I will buy a set sometime soon!

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12/29/2015 1:11 PM

That motorcycle has the look of neglect. countershaft sprocket looks worn.

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12/29/2015 1:14 PM

wait.....how did the sprocket even come off and cause all that damage....when there is only one of the hub holes that broke? The other ones are still intact , so how could it of all come apart? The "only " way that damage could have happened is if the sprocket was so loose that the chain derailed...that isn't a hub failure.

On a side note , I always put the quality of Tusk right up there with DNA wheels. And in my opinion suck! The wheels and spokes are made out of tin foil and the hub was the only descent thing about the wheel sets I've seen. You can chase spokes forever because they'll never seat. I've seen the rims get bent on the very first day of riding.

Another side note though.....those pictures look like the sprocket bolts were neglected and were ridden a few times while they were loose.

Thank gawd nobody got hurt , is the most important thing.

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12/29/2015 1:19 PM

Brent wrote:

That motorcycle has the look of neglect. countershaft sprocket looks worn.

I was thinking that as well. Good point.

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12/29/2015 1:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/2/2018 2:49 PM

check yer sprocket bolts

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12/29/2015 1:26 PM

1. You get what you pay for

2. In 25 years I have never had an issue with rims or hubs like your "friend" has so frequently ..... I am not trying to be a dick but, I would look towards operator error or pure neglect of preventive maintenance!

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Don’t piss off the old people - the older they get the less “life in prison” is a deterrent for them!

2021 KTM 350 SXF
2020.5 KTM 450 SXF FE
2006 KX250

12/29/2015 1:27 PM

When was the last time that torque wrench was calibrated?

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12/29/2015 1:27 PM

Brent wrote:

That motorcycle has the look of neglect. countershaft sprocket looks worn.

Looks like the bolts were not properly seated and torqued. as well as the nuts not having loctite applied. Sprocket bolts and nuts should be checked regularly and if they are found to need regular tightening then the bolts, hub and sprockets need to be checked for elongation.

Classic case of lack of maintenance.

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12/29/2015 1:35 PM

If the bolts were torqued to spec and checked often then I would say the blame lies elsewhere. I've read about every review I could find on these wheels and do not recall a single hub issue like this. My guess? Your buddy over tightened the chain. It may seem right on the stand but the first jump he hit would cause the chain to tighten to the point where something has to give.

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12/29/2015 1:38 PM

Why do so many riders find it necessary to change out the stockers?

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12/29/2015 2:03 PM

Hman144 wrote:

Why do so many riders find it necessary to change out the stockers?

that's easy. when I bought excels when I was finished I spent $500 for some cool black rims and getting them laced up. guys look and see they can get a complete set of wheels that look even cooler for $480

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12/29/2015 2:07 PM

That style of rear sprocket is known to fail/ flex and destroy rear hubs and wheels. MXA did an article a while back about it. One of the editors broke his arm on a YZ450F with that sprocket.

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12/29/2015 2:37 PM

That looks strange to me. I've found a bolt loose once or twice on our bikes, but rarely. I have RAD Mfg. wheels and hubs, and in my opinion, they are the best. My question is this. One broken tab on the hub, but where are all the rest of the bolts? They're gone. Why? And what happened to them? If you look closely at the pictures, the front sprocket is worn. It has broken teeth, maybe due to the failure, but I doubt it, because if you look at he rear sprocket, it is badly worn also. I have to agree with Beast666. You need proper maintenance first, before you can say it's a parts failure.

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12/29/2015 3:10 PM

What type of rider is your buddy? Those are cheap wheels. Yea your gonna have people say their the best for the money, I've had no problems, etc. but you get what you pay for with wheel sets. Anyone that's an advanced rider should steer clear of wheels like these.

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12/29/2015 3:29 PM

i would like to have a set of spare wheels. just for the place i play ride/practice is blue groove and rocky. kills tires fast.
then just pop on good wheels for races. just cant make myself drop 800 plus.blink
i have had good luck with torque loc tite then mark the nut,so you can easily see if it moves. i do that with most bolts and nuts on my bikes.

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If I'm healthy enough to complain. I shouldn't be complaining.

12/29/2015 3:44 PM

You get what ya pay for.

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Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

12/29/2015 4:25 PM

Love the get what you pay for replies, no one really knows what failed or why, so let's just shoot from the hip and sound smart, let's go back to the cracked yzf frames, and the always popular don't wash your yzf on race day, guess spending 8k on a bike you get what you pay forsmile, almost forgot a few pros breaking chains, when a name brand part fails, you will get the, shit happens reponse. Glad yourbud did not get hurt.

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12/29/2015 4:30 PM

Not many people ride more than MXA magazine and they run Tusk wheel sets on their builds.

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MR. X wrote:

That one dog keeps winning ,I'm so bored watching the finals ,somebody , somewhere ,owes me something . They need to change the format ,that way the dog I want to win will have a chance against the much faster dogs.

12/29/2015 4:32 PM

Hman144 wrote:

Why do so many riders find it necessary to change out the stockers?

Gotta look good...bro.

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12/29/2015 4:40 PM

Well one thing is for sure that bike will not be in the All gear no idea thread

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12/29/2015 4:55 PM

Where are some of you guys coming up with the 'look at the wear on those sprockets'? They look fine, the front one has a busted tooth but it was obviously caused from the chain derailment not wear. The holes still intact in the hub look slightly oblong to me but without seeing them in person it's hard to tell. I'd say it's a little bit of blame on both sides, you get what you pay for and you need to check your sprocket bolts before every ride, not every ride day but every time you get ready to throw a leg over the seat.

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12/29/2015 5:24 PM

This is what a neglected bike looks like...?

The second time this happened, a certified mechanic installed all the components and used loctite at my request. The bike had 5 rides on a new chain, sprocket, chain guide, and rear wheel and hub. Each time the bolts were checked before riding based on what happened beforehand. And let's not get crazy, people don't, and should not have to check sprocket bolts every ride.

There was no oblong wear pattern to the sprocket or the hub once this broke. I used a different sprocket, chain, chain guide, and sprocket bolts this time. The only thing that was the same was the hub and rear wheel.

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12/29/2015 5:26 PM

I repeat, when was the torque wrench last calibrated?

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12/29/2015 5:31 PM

There are a few valuable posts here, so thank you to those serious replies. Good idea on that type of sprocket flexing, I've never heard of that before.

As you guys can see, this bike is about the farthest thing you can get from a neglected bike.

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