Swing arm pivot end play - 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 4 Old 11-03-2017, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Swing arm pivot end play

I've been away from the forum for a while. Put about 4000 hard miles on the 2002 KLR, about 50% in the dirt, since the last post. Thank you everyone who helped me get the bike back together.

I've been into the rear suspension now and notice that the swing arm has about 1/16" play side to side with the pivot bolt properly torqued to 72ft/lb. I loosened it and re-torqued it a couple times with no change in the end play. I don't see how this can be right, but need to hear from others with experience with the swing arms. Seems to me, if the pivot spacer isn't clamped between the bushings in the engine and the frame there will be play and it's possible that the swing arm will pivot on the bolt and not on the bearing. I'm tempted to put a washer in between the frame and the swing arm.

A search didn't turn up anything for me. There was a thread posted with this question back in 2012 by Little Steve but there were no replies.

Shure hope someone can shed some light on this.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-03-2017, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Never Mind

Ok, this I think this is pretty obvious after looking at it again. I clamps tight on the pivot spacer and the spacer moves side to side, inside the bearing. I figure it's not a problem. If anyone knows otherwise please respond!

What got me on this was the "bearing inspection" described in the Clymer book saying that there should be no detectable play when leveraging the swing arm side to side. There is, of course, this play. When I hold the swing arm tightly to one side of the other there is no play detectable in the bearings.

Since I don't know how to delete a thread or post, I think this may help the newbie searching this topic at least.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-04-2017, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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If the swingarm pivot bolt is tight and there is movement of the rear wheel to the left and right, that would be a sign that the Needle Bearings, the Spacer Sleeves and the grease Seals are worn out and need replaced.

How many total miles on your 2002, in what kind of climate/terrain? I have 80,000 miles on my 1987 in dry Wyoming climate, been re-greased once. Still tight.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-04-2017, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. The Odometer reads only ~14K miles but there is evidence that the bike has had a very hard life before and certainly after I purchased it. The speedo may have been changed. I have put ~4K miles on it, most bordering on abusive.

The swing arm is off the bike and the pivot bearings are full of clean grease. They look and feel like new. The seals feel and look good but I will replace them anyway since I'm already there.
The play is along the axis of the pivot bearing and the bearing sleeve as described above. The sleeve is 47.5mm long and the swing arm bearing housing including seals is 45.75 mm wide. The play is the difference between theses measurements (about 1/16 inch) as the swing arm slides from side to side between the frame and engine bushings along the bearings.
The bushings in the motor look good as does the frame. I can't figure what could be damaged to cause this if it isn't normal. There are only so many parts in the assembly.

I should mention that I didn't check for the play until after the shock and linkage were removed. It's possible that the play will be reduced or less detectable after the suspension is re-assembled ???. Waiting on parts, I should have it back together next week.

I took photos and a video but dinner is waiting so no time to post them right now. I'll post them later if there is interest.

Last edited by beltdrive; 11-04-2017 at 09:50 PM.
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