Swing arm maintenance - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 2 Old 05-18-2011, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Virginia
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Swing arm maintenance

Anyone have any positive gains from putting off servicing their swing arm? Ever wonder about what some of the negative outcomes could be from ignoring this procedure?

Prior to this past weekend, I serviced mine three years ago. The first time around, every bearing assembly was bone dry. Most bolts needed to be beat out. I was fortunate nothing had deteriorated to those conditions again.

I did have two bearing assemblies that would not turn this time....were unable to turn due to the hard wax like remnants of the grease I had packed everything with a few years ago. Some applied heat and a thorough rinsing with acetone and Kroil freed things back up. I packed the bearings with Mobil Synthetic Grease this time round.

The prior service job, I used a product called Smitty's "Super S Red Wheel Bearing Grease".

Smitty's has performed well in all other applications I use it in. In the swing arm application, it didn't pass the test. Or my maintenance schedule needs tweaking. I think it may be the latter, according to this article that shamed me into performing the maintenance procedure:


My bike does frequent water crossings. Sometimes daily, for weeks at a time. Not swimming pool, city water clean water crossings. Muddy Appalachian creek water crossings. 40% water, 60% silt. If water can find its way in, so can the silt. Hot bearings + fast moving, gritty water= needed maintenance, I'm finding.

While I was at it, I upgraded my subframe bolts to 12.9 M8 X 1.25 X 30mm socket head bolts. Two of mine [the two lower bolts] showed wear, obviously not torqued to spec's. The two uppers were OK. Between proper torque settings and the better bolts, I may have a better chance at drama free, safer riding.

Coming up, steering head examination and service. Right after I flush the brake system, front and rear. The trips around the sun are picking up speed. Seems like I just did all this a few months ago....

“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]

Last edited by vatrader; 05-18-2011 at 10:23 AM.
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-18-2011, 10:13 AM
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I think I am going to need to create an excel spreadsheet to track it all. I am also seriously thinking about the harbor freight lift table for $299 after the coupon.
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