Grease for wheel hub assemblies? - 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 12 Old 09-29-2016, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Grease for wheel hub assemblies?

I just pulled my front and rear wheels to replace both tires (holy cow what a royal pain removing and replacing those tires!)

Long story short, new tires are on but I ran out of time before reinstalling the wheels. Before putting it all back together, I'm wondering if there is any recommended lube for the axles and wheel assemblies? Does the speedometer cable and gear need grease? If so, what type?

Thanks one and all!
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-29-2016, 10:41 PM
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Your wheel bearings should be sealed bearings.You can only regrease them by popping their dust seals off, but you usually deform the seal doing this. They're not really designed to be regreased, nor do the hardly ever need it. Unless something happens to damage the dust seal, but that would be very rare.

You can rub a light skim of grease on the axle to keep corrosion at bay. Axles frozen inside wheel bearings is never fun.

I use standard axle grease in my speedo drives.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-29-2016, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
Your wheel bearings should be sealed bearings.You can only regrease them by popping their dust seals off, but you usually deform the seal doing this. They're not really designed to be regreased, nor do the hardly ever need it. Unless something happens to damage the dust seal, but that would be very rare.

You can rub a light skim of grease on the axle to keep corrosion at bay. Axles frozen inside wheel bearings is never fun.

I use standard axle grease in my speedo drives.
Thanks Shinyribs. That's what I was looking for. I realize that the bearings are sealed and don't need attention, but was wondering about out the axles themselves and what might be needed for the axles to keep corrosion at bay and also the speedometer drive.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
Your wheel bearings should be sealed bearings.You can only regrease them by popping their dust seals off, but you usually deform the seal doing this. They're not really designed to be regreased, nor do the hardly ever need it. Unless something happens to damage the dust seal, but that would be very rare.

You can rub a light skim of grease on the axle to keep corrosion at bay. Axles frozen inside wheel bearings is never fun.

I use standard axle grease in my speedo drives.
I get the feeling you have never looked at the wheel bearings on a KLR. Factory bearings are not sealed.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 06:37 AM
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Mobile1! I put that shit on everything!!
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Klrian View Post
I get the feeling you have never looked at the wheel bearings on a KLR. Factory bearings are not sealed.
Mine were, but you're right: I've not taken apart any new KLR's.

So, it's the 21st century and they're still installing open bearings? On a dual sport?! Are you sure about this?
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
Mine were, but you're right: I've not taken apart any new KLR's.

So, it's the 21st century and they're still installing open bearings? On a dual sport?! Are you sure about this?
I just did my rear tire a couple days ago on my 15', and I could see the small steel balls inside the bearing. I'm assuming that means open. They had plenty of grease on them already. I used maxima grease on the axle.

Edit: I just saw this thread was posted in 87'-07'.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 09:55 AM
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My '07 has open bearings as well. I just used the blue marine water-proof (resistant) grease on axles/bearings/speedo.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
Mine were, but you're right: I've not taken apart any new KLR's.

So, it's the 21st century and they're still installing open bearings? On a dual sport?! Are you sure about this?
Guys,
I confirm that all years of the KLR650 OEM wheel bearings and sprocket bearing are single side sealed.
So the back side of sprocket bearing is visible, cleanable, greaseable.

But it is not recommended to reuse a bearing which was driven out of an internal bore by hammering on the internal race. It can create roughness in the races and on the balls and cause failure.
Therefore best to replace instead of re-grease and reuse.
Most owners replace with double sealed bearings kits, like All-Balls.
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Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-30-2016, 10:53 AM
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Good point Paul; most of the time removing the bearings destroys them.

I always replace the factory single side seal bearings with high quality double side sealed bearings ( -2RS ), I don't ever take the seals off the bearings and simply replace them every so often (despite the fact they will likely last for 20-30,000 miles). I use a waterproof grease on the axle every time it comes out (Bel Ray in my case) and I use the same stuff on the speedo drive, though I've also used white lithium grease there too.

The All-Balls set I bought had a big "Made in China" stamped on the bearings so they went into my parts pile and I picked up a quality set at the local autoparts store.

2 cents,
Dave

PS; make sure you have all the spacers on the right side, present and accounted for and faced the right way! Also MAKE SURE your drive tangs on the speedo drive are lined up before tightening the front axle nut or your next post will be where to buy a front hub! (#2 on the alltime list of newbie KLR owner mistakes!)
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