Time-Sert Thread Repair Kit

The right way to unscrew your screwed-up threads.

Time-Sert Thread Repair Kit product image
Time-Alert Thread Repair KitCycle World

When I noticed the $180 steering damper I found on eBay for my Yamaha R1 had a stripped thread in the mounting bracket, the Hierarchy of Cheap Fixes began. Bore out and tap for a bigger bolt from the Christmas cookie can? No can do; the Heim joint in the damper takes an 8mm bolt, period. Loctite Form-a-Thread? Attaching a steering-related motorcycle component with liquid ingredients from tubes seems suspect, even to me. Heli-Coil! The time-honored Heli-Coil kit would've probably been okay, but then Chris Redpath at MotoGP Werks said, why not just do it right and use a Time-Sert? A who? The bolt in question is the one that attaches the damper body to the frame of the motorcycle; God knows what sort of forces might feed through there, given the first-generation R1's propensity for "liveliness"—and especially now that Evan Steel (evansteelperformance.com) has squeezed 25 more horsepower out of it. Unlike a Heli-Coil, which is like putting a Slinky into your jacked-up threads, the Time-Sert (timesert.com) is a solid steel insert that screws into the offending hole and locks solidly in place. The kit comes with a drill bit to make the messed-up hole the right size, a special tap to make new threads for the insert to screw into, a countersinking bit that leaves a lovely little flange on top to keep the insert at just the right height, and an insertion tool that screws the insert into the hole and expands it to lock it positively in place. It's all highly mechanically satisfying, and Time-Sert's website says its product is approved by a Who's Who of automobile and motorcycle manufacturers. Metric sizes 3 to 24mm are available, inch sizes, of course, as well as all sorts of special kits for Things that Commonly Go Wrong. The tough part is the cost: about $65 for my M8 x 1.25mm kit, which came with five carbon steel inserts. But sometimes, it feels good to bite the bullet and do a thing right. And once.