MXA TEAM TESTED: WORKS CONNECTION BILLET STEM NUT

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24-380 on black triple clamp

WHAT IS IT? Even though it is called a “stem nut,” it is really a bolt. The MXA test crew was most interested in Works Connection’s KTM stem nut—even though works Connection makes them for all brands. On KTM clamps, the stem nut is just a fail-safe since the KTM triple clamps are attached to the stem via a pinch bolt (much like the fork-leg clamps). So, why would Works Connection go to the trouble to make a new KTM stem nut? To save weight, to allow the gas-tank vent hose to route down into it, to accept safety-wire holes, and to be able to anodize them either black or orange.

WHAT’S IT COST? $29.95.

CONTACT? www.worksconnection.com or (800) 349-1475.

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WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Works Connection’s stem nut.

(1) Vent hose. On a stock KTM, the gas-tank vent hose is routed to a plastic elbow on the side of the head tube gusset. When KTM was still using its quarter-turn gas cap, there were no problems with this routing method. But, when KTM returned to a conventional twist-on gas cap, the vent hose would get twisted up if the rider put the gas cap on without counter-rotating the gas cap before installing it. The twist could actually pinch the vent hose enough to close it off. Savvy KTM owners took the stock stem nut and drilled a hole in the center of it so that the vent hose could be slipped into the stem. With this method, the vent hose could spin with the gas cap, eliminating the twisted hose. Works Connection’s KTM stem nut comes with the hole machined in it. All you have to do is remove the stock stem nut (with a 27mm wrench) and install theWorks Connection stem nut (with a 17mm wrench).

(2) Size. The stock 2014 KTM stem nut is enormous. To allow for more room to get a wrench on it, Works Connection downsized the hex head from 27mm to 17mm, which is exactly what KTM did on the 2015 models. The 2061-T6 aluminum nut is lighter and easier to access.

(3) Overlap. The 30mm-wide Works Connection stem nut has the same overlap on the top clamp as the 2014 Factory Edition III and 2015 KTMs, which is 4mm less than on the stock 34mm-wide stem nut. The Works Connection stem nut is only tightened to 9 foot-pounds.

(4) Safety wire. Every factory bike is equipped with safety-wire holes. Works Connection added them to their stem nuts just in case you want to channel your inner factory mechanic.

(5) Fitment. Although MXA focused on the KTM stem nut, they are available for every brand of bike (shown below).

WC_SteeringStemNuts_Engraved - Copy

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two quibbles: (1) The vent hose might be tough to push into the stem hole at first, but that is just because it was bulged out by being wedged over the plastic elbow. It will fit easily after a few uses. (2) Often the bottom of the steerer tube is blocked by the front fender. If it is, drill a hole to vent it.

4-STARS

The Works Connection stem nut solves a minor problem, but one that rears its ugly head every time you put gas in your bike. The frequency of the irritation makes the Works Connection stem nut a four-star product.

 

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