Hesketh Owners Club Forum

Top Tips & Handy Hints => Maintenance, Repairs, Upgrades and Improvements => Topic started by: Tig on February 10, 2014, 06:29:02 PM

Title: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Tig on February 10, 2014, 06:29:02 PM

You will probably have all seen Rob BENNETS front wheel failure photos he emailed out earlier today.

I know Les and Di suffered a rear failure a few years back as did Andy and Jeanine so this is more likely going to be a big problem now the bikes are getting on a bit.

I have sent these to Paul ALLENDER of Renstar who is building new wheels to order (unlikely to be suitable for a Hesketh).

Please see http://www.rennstar.com/index.html

I guess a collective approach is the best way forward, so I am happy to be a point of contact and will post anything as soon as I hear from Renstar.


Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Miti on February 10, 2014, 10:35:35 PM
This problem has been around for some time now and there are quite a few folk who took advantage of Mick B's "bolt and braces" (sorry) update to the wheels, involving the removal of two of the rivets at the root of each spoke and replacing them with HT bolts and Nyloc nuts...

I read Rob's tale of woe last night and considered my options today... Tonight I needed to refit my front wheel as it's not exactly centralised between the forks... So, while it was off...

First thing was to deflate the tyre and remove the valve...

PIC:  The rivets are 7.47mm in the metal, with 10.47mm heads (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139206922099614800_resized.jpg)

PIC:  After centre-punching the head of each rivet to be removed, I removed the head with a nice new 8.0mm HSS drill (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139206924426752600_resized.jpg)

Note:  Whilst drilling, I used a vacuum to suck up any stray ally chips as I certainly don't want them inside the tyre!!

PIC:  The rivet shank is still a damn tight fit in the wheel and I used the centre-punch to drift each one out, leaving a 7.47mm dia hole behind: (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139206927004668100_resized.jpg)

 PIC:  I searched everywhere, but couldn't find ANY 7.47mm buttonhead bolts or screws in my garage, so I drilled the hole to 8.0mm and then broke the sharp edge of the resulting hole with a 13.0mm bit: (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139206929444005100_resized.jpg)

PIC:  I fitted 10 nice new M8 x 20mm A2 S/S buttonhead screws.  No washers under the screw head, single plain washer under the nyloc nut.  These screws are a wee bit long and M8 x 18mm would be perfect.  After fitting all ten "hand-tight" I torqued each one to 15 ft/lbs... (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139206931947314800_resized.jpg)

Too late to fire up the compressor tonight, so I'll reinflate the tyre and refit the wheel tomorrow...

Please Note: that this is my bike and I take complete responsibility for anything that occurs after I've worked on it... The same will certainly be applicable to you and your bike...

Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Dave Snr on February 11, 2014, 03:24:39 PM
Good write up and photos Jeff.
Mick Broom did a good article in Sock 96.
The tyre pressure puts the rivets under tension and high tyre pressures are to be avoided.
Mick advises max 32 psi front 36 psi rear - he has this in the Sock article and his EN10 story.
It might be tempting to increase them two up with panniers, but this risks wheel failure.
Even long distance touring two up I stick to these pressures.

Secondly Mick advises replacing some rivets with steel bolts as per your write up.
Now steel bolts have a UTS about 8 times higher than the soft aluminium used for rivets, so these significantly strengthen the wheels.

The wheels are delicate, so the investigation that Tig is doing is well worthwhile, but if you follow Micks advice the Astralites should be OK.
Having said that the potholes in the roads and the sleeping policemen are tough on wheels and it's not only Heskeths that suffer wheel failures.
Dave H
Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Miti on February 11, 2014, 04:08:44 PM
I did copy Mick's Sock 906 write-up on this forum (different thread (http://www.heskethownersclub.org.uk/HOCSMF/index.php?topic=11.0)) and that's where I got the info to mod my own wheel...

I've used A2 SS bolts - grade 304 according to ISO 3506.  According to that spec; "the vast majority of stainless steel fasteners available are produced to Class 70 - this designates a minimum tensile strength of 700 MPa and are marked as such.  If there is no marking it should be assumed the product is Class 50 - minimum tensile strength of 500 MPa."

Mine are not marked...

I don't have enough bolts to mod the rear wheel too, so I'm contemplating buying enough A4 SS - Grade 316 bolts to do both wheels... These are usually produced to Class 80 - minimum tensile strength of 800 MPa... Those should do the trick nicely...


Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: HOCAdmin on February 11, 2014, 11:56:39 PM
Dear All:

Scott has asked me to post details of the offline discussion regarding Robert's wheel failure and the proposals for wheel testing and/or defect resolution.  The following has been transcribed from a nuber of e-mails, including Robert's original.  Consequently, the conversation doesn't "flow" as well as it might.

HOC Admin

Robert's Original E-mail:

From:  Robert Bennett

Subject:  Astralite Failure

Dear all,

Sorry to be the harbinger of doom but the photos attached (click on links below) are the remains of my VAMPIRE front wheel from this morning. I do know of several rear wheel ASTRALITE failures on the HESKETH but I’m not sure how many front wheels have failed. Yet!

Pic: Rivets on the Floor (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139216318693705100_resized.jpg)

Pic: View #1 of split Wheel Rim (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139216319635713600_resized.jpg)

Pic:  View #2 of split Wheel Rim (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139216320633125100_resized.jpg)

Pic:  View #3 of split Wheel Rim  (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139216314281211000_resized.jpg)

As a matter of interest I will be having the rivets checked at a materials laboratory in Germany that my industry uses from time to time but from my observation there was no corrosion. I believe they have simply stress fractured. I run the front wheel on the Vampire at 34psi and the rear wheel at about 40psi, depending on the amount of luggage.

Just to be clear, this failure occurred while the bike was sitting stationary in my garage since the previous ride two weeks ago. I didn’t notice it straight away and had already got kitted up ready for a swift breakfast run down to West Bay near Bridport. When I pushed the bike off the centre stand it felt as if it had a flat front tyre. When I discovered the real reason I actually felt physically ill because my trips down to West Bay are fairly regular with excellent fast roads so I tend to enjoy them. I would certainly have lost control of the Vampire if this failure had occurred during the ride.

My suspicion is that the strength and design of the ASTRALITE wheel, whilst fine for a TZ Yamaha racing a few seasons, was never a match of the hefty V1000 and certainly not for the VAMPIRE, even though they were “beefed up” specifically for the HESKETH. Drilling out the rivets at the end of the spokes and replacing them with bolts is not an answer, simply a bodge. Now the wheels are over thirty years old we have the added problem of ageing and repetitive stress fatigue.
You will all make your own minds up about your ASTRALITE wheels and whether or not they remain fit for purpose but I don’t think the fact that some have covered 70,000 miles actually means anything. I believe they never had a sufficient factor of safety for such a hefty road going motorcycle in the first place and now they are old, that factor of safety has all but disappeared.
I shall never ride another HESKETH fitted with ASTRALITE wheels.

Safe riding!

All the best,


From:  Anthony Miller

Subject:  Astralite Failure


Just looked at your photo's, sends shivers down my spine thinking of the 'what if's'.
If there is enough interest can we not band together and get a batch of suitable replacements at a block price? I would even consider going the whole way with the modern fork upgrades. Any comments gratefully received.

All the best

Anthony Miller

From:  Dave Harris

Subject:  Astralite Failure

Hi Robert;

It is a problem that has been known about and many members have put rounded head bolts , two at the bottom of struts. With no thread showing. Not perfect visually but it does the job. Possible cause age best person to speak to is Colin contact number in sock.

David Harris

From:  Garry Taylor

Subject: ASTRALITE failure

Hi Robert,
I always thought that stainless spokes looked the best but, blimey, now I'm even more glad my old banger's got them and not Astalite wheels! Hope you find suitable replacements soon.


From:  John Waltham

Subject: ASTRALITE failure

I like the idea of identifying a good quality wheel builder and getting him to quote for converting (say) 20 sets of wheels - that way the Club could drum up the trade and we could all s_ubmit our wheels as and when it suited over a defined time period. What do you think?


From:  Terry Spencer

Subject: ASTRALITE failure

Hi All

Astralite wheel/rivet failure.
I think we now have enough evidence of this type of failure to issue a general warning to all members that all wheels that have not had the spoke/bolt modification as carried out by Astralite . Not to use their bikes until some resolution is identified.
Best regards

Terry Spencer

From:  David Sharp

Subject: ASTRALITE failure


To add to the accumulated experience on this issue .....

In 2002 my rear wheel started to split on the IoM. The wheel only has 25 rivets (3 at the spoke and two in between). It opened up about 4mm between the spokes. I got home safely.

I took the wheel to Tony Dawson in Sheffield and he rebuilt it in the traditional way but also bonded to two halves together. I don't know what bonding agent he used but the key purpose was to stop ingress of moisture thereby helping to seal the components and prevent corrosion. The bonding agent can be just seen where it has oozed at the join between the two halves and looks a bit like Araldite but that's a guess.

(Irrelevant to this issue but nonetheless worth explaining. Dawson screwed up! He not only rebuilt this original wheel he added another 15 rivets to bring the wheel up to production standard. I expressly told him to keep it original. This was all resolved by finding another 25 rivet rear wheel and he rebuilt that foe me foc).

I'd add that I run this wheel at 36psi and no more (32psi on the front) as recommended by Mick. Bear in mind I never carry a pillion.

Our priority should be to examine Rob's failed rivets to determine whether it was purely stress or corrosion (or both).

Tony Dawson's experience may prove valuable too.

From:  Wim de Jagher
Subject:  Astralite Wheel Failure.

Hi Scott and all Hesketh owners,

I have seen more of these problems since I am member of the Hesketh club two years ago and I was already looking for a solution of the problem with the Astralite wheels because I am rebuilding my bike and do not want to mis the look of those wheels in the Hesketh.

The only problem with these wheels are the rivets and leaking air so you need a inner tube, for the rest they are very nice and strong enough.

My best technical solution for the rivets is to remove the rivets by hexagon socket head shoulder screws - steel from FABORY type 07111 or07117 .

These screws are the modern solution for rivet connection.

I saw that members had repairs with bolts but that is not a good idea because of the space between the bolt and the hole and the thread will damage the hole and when you do the whole wheel with normal bolts you will get movement between the two half rims !

My way of repairing will be :

You can use normal nuts with locking disc spring rings ore prevailing torque type hexagon nuts with flange and non-metallic insert and I will use Locktite
Never use stainless screws ore nuts because alloy and stainless steel gives a lot of problem with salt by rotting away! even when using the bike in summer near the coast.

The hexagon screws have a strength of 12.9 that is very strong like cylinder head bolts and much more stronger than alloy rivets and with the high quality silicone gasket between the rims you do not need inner tubes anymore if it is done secure but it need technical knowhow.

Stainless steel spokes is also not super , I had a Ariel motorbike where I had put stainless steel spokes in my wheels.

After four years of use with two people and luggage and sum times with sidecar and done +/_ 55.000 miles, when I came back from a holiday in Italy my spokes in the rear wheel start breaking in Swiss and half way Germany half of the spokes were broken and it was finished.

I hope my technical solution will help you all and you only miss the alloy look but you can paint the screws alloy .

Scott , I hope this message will go to everybody or can you sent it for me to everybody.( last year it did not work)

There are 5 pictures and I do not know how thick the rivets are so you can use M5 ore M6

(Wim included 4 PDF files and the following image.  The PDF files were generated by the Fabory website (http://www.fabory.co.uk/en/categories/fasteners/hexagon-socket-products/shoulder-screws.html?catId=fabory_0000092195_0000092251_0000092275) and cannot be reproduced here for copyright reasons. - HOC Admin)



Wim de Jagher

From:  Chris Loosmore
Subject:  Astralite Wheel Failure.

Hi Scott,

Although lab analysis should determine the failure mode of the rivets, stress corrosion, low cycle fatigue etc, the fact is that we have many wheels in service which have a high risk factor.

Unfortunately, inspection prior to each ride out will not highlight any problems as I suspect one rivet breaks then the rivets close to it ‘unzip’ due to the increased stress. This is typical of this type of fracture and occurs in a very short time frame.
Although I know Robert does not agree with the bolt up solution, I suggest that this should be viewed as a purely temporary fix, but in my view better than nothing.

In the longer term, if the original wheels are to retained in order to maintain the appearance of the bikes, then I suggest that we investigate a complete rebuild of the wheels.  Using stainless rivets instead of aluminium. The pressed panels and hubs of the wheels could be stripped, inspected and re-finished to suit individuals requirements.

In order to perform these tasks, tooling would have to be produced, to enable accurate removal of the original rivets, accurately bore new holes and install the new rivets.

am not in favour of using any sort of adhesive between the flanges as this could bring its own problems if/when the compound starts to deteriorate, resulting in a gap between the flanges, and loosening of the new rivets.

I have a few ideas on how to do this on a vertical mill, but suggest that we get our heads together and come up with a sensible engineering solution.

I know Robert has some spare new wheels, I was going to buy some from him, I would suggest that the club buys them in order for them to be used as trial units. If successful, these wheels could be offered as an exchange service in order to reduce down time of the bikes.

Your comments appreciated.

Best regards

Chris Loosemore

From:  Scott Greig

Subject: ASTRALITE failure


Many thanks for this quick response.


I would very much appreciate more replies with related experiences / suggested solutions so that I can collate the evidence, discuss with the Cttee / at the AGM (Dave H - please allocate a slot in AOB) and then come up with suitable advise / way forwards for Members.


From:  AndyGBSmith

Subject: Re: ASTRALITE failure

I have asked the same question of our inspection department and am awaiting their reply.
You can see from Roberts images that the joint is showing signs of dirt Ingress but not corrosion.

This is the same as the rear wheel failure we had a couple of years ago.

N D T testing at our place can be carried out and I will try to get a price but it will be very expensive.

Fitting spoke wheels is not straight forward as I know from experience (installing them at the moment).
In short these wheels are past their sell by date and fitting bolts at the root of the spokes is only masking the problem and will probably lead to a catastrophic failure, in my opinion.


From:  Scott Greig

Subject: ASTRALITE failure


Much appreciated – let’s see what the response is and then go from there. (Tig has contacted the new owner of Astralite Wheels for advice - HOC Admin)


I’d also wish to know if there was a way of getting individual wheels NCT tested; however, having chatted to, and shown the pictures, to some aircraft engineers (none NCT specialists), they are sceptical on whether this is would possible due to the wheel assembly [Chris Loosmore – do you have any comments?]. Their view is that, due to being no seal between the rims, it’s highly likely the main cause of the breakage is corrosion – similar issues on aircraft – especially after 30+ years of British road / weather conditions. As we all know, these wheels were designed to last one or two racing seasons on a lightweight bike, not all-year-round hard touring on a heavy motorcycle!
Potential options available to us are as follows:

• invest in new non-Astralite wheels

• (expensive) – (who has had this done recently and by whom - does Paul Sleeman conduct such a conversion?)

• convince the new owner of Astralite to remanufacture wheels in Hesketh sizes – (Tig, please can investigate when you contact the new owner?)

• get wheels re-riveted (same alloy?) and sealed – (does anyone know where this could be carried out? Tig, please can you ask the new owner?)

• get wheels tested for rivet condition - (does anyone know where this could be carried out?)

• insert bolts (as per D Harris’ email) at unifromed intervals around the wheel - who has had this done recently and by whom?)

• regular inspection of wheels (bearing in mid how much one rides the bike and in what conditions – (any suggestions on what to look for would be welcome?)

• investigate what has occurred with other Astralite users - (does anyone know what other bikes (bike clubs) that use these wheels and have they had similar problems?)

• do nothing as it might not happen to your Hesketh – you know your bike better than anyone else.
Robert’s experience is decidedly concerning and he was right to bring this the Club’s attention (thank you Robert). I feel it is now down to you as individuals (HOC Members) to whether you decide to ride your Hesketh or not. As motorcyclists we take risks, in one form or another, every time we take to the road. You have now been informed of the, non-exhaustive, mitigations that can be carried out to reduce the risk of wheel collapse. Please take into account that Robert rides many miles on his Hesketh (Vampire) all-year-round, usually loaded with kit, whereas you may not; thereby, his bike is likely to have been subject to far more corrosion/fatigue than many of the other Heskeths out there.
Personally, I will be inspecting my wheels but have every intent of riding my Hesketh as is.
You’ve been made of this potentially serious situation; however, whether you continue to ride your Hesketh is entirely your decision.

Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Miti on February 12, 2014, 10:19:39 AM
Just to add my 2p worth to this...

I think that the most pragmatic way to resolve the wheel issue on the Heskeths is to source new hubs… The rear one would need to be able to carry the existing bearing carriers, disk, cush drive, etc and would be the most problematic… The front would probably be the same as the ones Ducati used in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s.  Once the hubs were sourced, owners could fit spokes/rims to their own preference…

The wheels Mick B used on the Vulcan model were from the ’97 Triumph Tiger 955i (the last model prior to Triumph fitting cast wheels).  Fitting those involves a completely new front end (wheel, forks, yokes, guard and brakes) and won’t be palatable to everyone (on a simple cost basis, never mind originality).

IMHO, replacing the wheels with “plug and play” items would be the most popular way forward.  The Triumph wheels were made by British wheel manufacturer “Central Wheel Components (http://www.central-wheel.co.uk/)” (01675-466412) and these guys are the real deal when it comes to re-spoking wheels, for any bike… They can’t make the hubs though (Triumph supplied the hubs to CWS for the Tiger), so the development work for suitable hubs would need to be done and the hubs manufactured, prior to CWS building the wheels up…

Another UK firm “Talon” will build wheels from scratch and there are other firms who may also be able to help… The head of sale at CWS advised that we’d be able to get the wheel hubs designed and made in China at the best possible price…

I understand that the Rennstar Astralite (http://www.rennstar.com/news.html) wheels are being built to the same specification as the Hesketh originals, so going that route to replace the wheel must beg the question “Would that actually resolve the problem..?"  And as to whether or not Rennstar would be willing, or able, to test/repair original Hesketh wheels remains to be seen… I would guess that testing them alone would be cost prohibitive, let alone rebuilding them…

Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: R3SC on February 12, 2014, 01:02:01 PM

From a personal perspective, my V1000 would always have to be fitted with Astralite's as the look of the wheels forms an important part of the bikes identity and character.

However, safety is paramount and the thought of this type of catastrophic failure in use is one that I think most of us would like to avoid. The fitting of the bolts in the root of each spoke is a fairly effective way of preventing the rivet failure propagating around the rim but it is obviously an afterthought and removes some of the originality of the bike. I have yet to dismiss or apply this modification to my bike as I'm still undecided.

With this in mind, my preference would be for a correct and considered engineering solution to come from the current manufacturer of the wheels by maybe strip down and replacement of all rivets with a different material or a different grade of the existing material. I would like to understand the failure mode of the rivets, is it work hardening? Is it corrosion? Is it age hardening? If any one or a combination of any of these factors is to blame, will the same failure attributes apply to the rims themselves? if so then repair is out of the question and replacement is the only option! Maybe the the new company manufacturing the Astralite's will turn round and advise that this type of wheel is unsuitable for the load/duty that the Hesketh demands, we just don't know.

At this time I have little or no confidence in the Hesketh and having just spent every spare waking hour over the last 6 months rebuilding it, I am now considering not even putting it on the road until the wheel issue is resolved and that is a shame for me as I have never ridden a Hesketh before.

As a collective I suggest we need to work together and support TIG's investigations with the current manufacturer and if this fails to bring results then other options such as alternative wheels will need to be considered.

My opinion for what it's worth.


Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Tig on February 14, 2014, 02:42:03 PM
Hi All

I have spoken to Janice at Astralite and Paul will get back to me tonight.

The impression I got was that they would not re-rivet 30 year old wheels, so I expect we are looking at NEW Astralites.

I will update you all in the next couple of days.

Regards Tig
Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Tig on February 14, 2014, 06:13:02 PM
Ok here goes

Firstly all is by no means lost...

I have spoken to Paul ALLENDER at RENNSTAR, who was very surpirsed at Rob BENNETS failure (this is a rare occurence).

He will provide an email setting out the options in the near future, but as an interim please read on...

One option is to simply replace the two rivets on either side of the spokes (on both front and rear if needed) with the correct size and QUALITY bolts (as others have stated this was carried out a number of years ago by Mick to the rear wheel and there have been no further failures).

RENNSTAR could do this for us (cost to be confirmed).

It is NOT possible to replace the original Aluminium 7mm rivets with the new 7mm Stainless ones as when originally made and the two rims are riveted they expand into the rims hole pushing it out (making the hole nearer 7.5 mm).
He is not currently aware of anyone making slightly larger stainless rivets and unless we ordered 250 Kilos of them that is not an option.

The new wheels he makes are glued as well as using stainless bolts but this is not possible once riveted together, so we couldnt do this (unless larger rivets were found).

Another option would be to buy a NEW rear wheel costing around £500, this would be 3.5 x 18 not 3.0 x18, but Paul doubt this will make any difference.

The front is slightly more problematic in that there is little call for 19 inch wheels and he doesnt make them. We would have to have an order for say 15 to 20 items and pay the £2000 to £2500 tooling costs. This is not such a problem as it would only add another £100 odd to each wheel.

Do you get an understanding of how much it costs to develop or build a bike from scratch.

A better resonse will follow from PAUL.

I hope this has been of some help.

Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Miti on February 15, 2014, 08:43:14 PM
After discussion with a couple of learned folk, I'm reasonably assured that almost ANY M8 steel bolt and nut arrangement would have a higher tensile strenth than the original 7mm alloy rivets...

That said, the bolts and nuts I used in my V1000 front wheel are unmarked stainless steel.  I think the bolts are A4 and the nuts A2, but without markings that's pure guesswork and that's not good enough... 

I know high tensile steel bolts (8.8, 10.9, 12.9) would be best, but I'm keen to stick with stainless fasteners.  I'm also keen to keep this mod as unobtrusive as possible and in keeping with the quality of the rest of the cycle parts...

I've bought some A2-70 low-head stainless socket cap screws and matching spec nyloc nuts with serrated flanges (I'd have like a higher tensile strength, but I couldn't source the same types in A4 or A2-80...)  I've replaced the original domehead bolts and nylocs with these, adding a plain washer under the head of the cap screw... Torqued up to 15lbs/in2 they assemble in-situ with just one thread clear through the nylon locking ring.

On the side showing the cap screw head, the result is quite pleasing - sort of "industrial chic" look...  The side with the nuts is more business like, but very confidence inspiring...

So, the wheel is back on now and once I've completed the assembly and bled the brakes, I'll be removing the rear wheel and modding that too... Too late for piccies tonight, but I'll get some ASAP and post up links...

As Promised:

Pic: RHS of front wheel, showing bolt heads and washers (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139258939759221900_resized.jpg)

Pic: LHS of front wheel showing flanged nyloc nuts (http://iloapp.empressmcc.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/11/139258942339809600_resized.jpg)

Title: Re: Astralite Failure - Update From Rennstar Ltd
Post by: HOCAdmin on February 15, 2014, 10:39:38 PM
I've been asked by Tig to post up the following e-mail and documents sent to him by Paul Allender of Rennstar Ltd. (Good work Tig!)

From: PAUL ALLENDER <allender@btopenworld.com>
Date: 14 February 2014 18:37:43 GMT
To: Tig <see Sock Contact List for e-mail Details>
Subject: Re: Hesketh wheels
Reply-To: PAUL ALLENDER <allender@btopenworld.com>

Hi Tig
Attached is the information I said I would forward.
Have a look and see what you think.
Many thanks
Paul Allender
Rennstar Ltd
Phone                +44 (0) 114 2830727
Mobile              +44 (0) 7584 994 825
Email                 Allender@btopenworld.com
Web               http://www.astralitewheels.com/

Pic: Pg 1 of Letter from Paul Allender of Rennstar Ltd, detailing proposed repairs, etc to Hesketh Astralite Wheels (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139250320937211000_resized.jpg)

Pic: Pg 2 of Letter from Paul Allender of Rennstar Ltd, detailing proposed repairs, etc to Hesketh Astralite Wheels (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139250321217594700_resized.jpg)

Pic:  Conditions of Sale from Rennstar Ltd, concerning proposed repairs, etc to Hesketh Astralite Wheels. (http://iloapp.heskethownersclub.org.uk/data/_gallery/public/5/139250321614093400_resized.jpg)
Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: R3SC on February 24, 2014, 08:40:04 AM
Hi All,

After the problem Rob encountered with his wheel failure I took the decision to "Bolt" my rims and decided that to avoid propagation from the root of the spokes, I would put the bolt either side of the spoke center line leaving the central rivet intact.

I've heard tell that all Astralite's are not the same and I can certainly confirm this as my wheels have the rivet holes nearer to the outer rim of the wheel which meant that there was no way I could use M8 bolts as they would not seat flat on the face of the rim due to the head size being too big and riding into the first rim radius.

To get over this, and not wanting to go down the M6 route I chose to use M7 x 20, 8.8 grade high tensile bolts with form A thick washers and a good quality M7 nyloc nut. The pitch of the M7 bolt is the same as M6 at 1mm but the bolt is obviously 1mm larger on diameter but more importantly, M7 only has an 11mm A/F head size with washers coming in at a little under 13.5mm O/D as opposed to the approx 17mm O/D for the M8 equivalent.

I have to say that the finish looks a little industrial and purposeful but I have placed function over form on this occasion. All bolts/nuts/washers are BZP and fit nicely into the 7.4mm Dia holes.

A couple of points on rivet removal, when the heads were drilled from the rivets in the rear wheel they came out of the rim reasonably easy with a hammer and a punch but on the front rim they were much more difficult to remove and had to be drilled out. On removal the front rivets were quite corroded and covered in the white powder which is indicative of alloy corrosion - this is my rim, others may be different.

I have tried to include some images of both front and rear wheels with bolts fitted.





Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Miti on March 16, 2014, 09:44:49 PM
That's my V1000 back in service... I've always run the bike with between 32 - 36 psi in the front and 36 - 40 psi in the rear and with the wheels now firmly bolted together, I'll continue to use these pressures...

It'll be interesting to see how the bolts affect the bike, if at all... I re-balanced both wheels after fitting the bolts and neither seemed to need any weights adding at all...

Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Rob B on October 29, 2014, 05:57:08 PM

Contrary to my original email and posting, I have to admit that I am now riding both my Heskeths with ASTRALITE wheels again, but bolted up with a pair of A4 M8x16 Low Head Socket Cap Screws with A4 Nyloc nuts and no washers at the end of each spoke. Total = 10 per wheel. On removal of each rivet I have tapped M8 not quite all the way with a taper (1st) tap so the screw is a tight fit with plenty of TefGel on the threads as ant-corrosion.

I honestly don't know if my fix described above is right or wrong but it is similar to what other people are doing and most importantly, I am riding my bikes again. Big cheesy grin  :).

My pressures on the Battlax tyres:
V1000 - 34 rear and 32 front
Vampire - 36 rear and 36 front (the fairing weighs nearly 100lb!!!)

Any comments to these pressures please???

Safe riding,

Title: Re: Astralite Failure !!! Please all read
Post by: Miti on October 29, 2014, 10:51:05 PM
Those pressures are certainly in the range of what I would use Rob...

I'm a LOT heavier than your good self, so I tend to use pressures nearer those recommended for two-up riding, so mine (above) are a little higher than yours, but if the bikes are handling OK and your tyre wear is even and uniform I'd say you've got it cracked...