Factory suspension greasing? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-21-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Factory suspension greasing?

OK so my 2012 model has nearly 2500km (1500mi) on it and as it is winter here the bike has seen a bit of moisture.

What is the suspension linkage greasing like when the KLR’s leave the factory?

I ask this because of experience with my Yamaha WR and the fact that they are notorious for under greasing their linkages, even though they have seals some moisture still penetrates resulting in corroded bearings and pivot shafts. It is standard practice among WR owners in the know to strip the linkages and grease the hell out of them with good moisture resistant grease such as used for boat trailers etc.

Could not be bothered doing this on the KLR if not really necessary but if they also tend to under grease from factory then for piece of mind I will do the job.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-21-2012, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 270win View Post
OK so my 2012 model has nearly 2500km (1500mi) on it and as it is winter here the bike has seen a bit of moisture.

What is the suspension linkage greasing like when the KLR’s leave the factory?

I ask this because of experience with my Yamaha WR and the fact that they are notorious for under greasing their linkages, even though they have seals some moisture still penetrates resulting in corroded bearings and pivot shafts. It is standard practice among WR owners in the know to strip the linkages and grease the hell out of them with good moisture resistant grease such as used for boat trailers etc.

Could not be bothered doing this on the KLR if not really necessary but if they also tend to under grease from factory then for piece of mind I will do the job.

Thanks in advance!

My linkage had a thin layer of something resembling grease, same with the steering stem bearings.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-23-2012, 05:21 AM
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Mate, I bought 2008 with 7000klm on the clock and decided to have a look at the swingarm bolts and bearings. Talk about a struggle! It took my biggest FBH to shift the main swing arm bolt and that was after a day of soaking with penetrating lubricant. I'm pretty sure they had never been serviced and anecdotal evidence on this and other sites suggests that they come out of the factory with the barest minimum of grease.
It's really really worth it to check them and keep them greased!
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-23-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I suspected as much, cheers guys.

Next time I have a bit of spare time I will grease em up.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-23-2012, 06:53 PM
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Mate, I bought 2008 with 7000klm on the clock and decided to have a look at the swingarm bolts and bearings. Talk about a struggle! It took my biggest FBH to shift the main swing arm bolt and that was after a day of soaking with penetrating lubricant. I'm pretty sure they had never been serviced and anecdotal evidence on this and other sites suggests that they come out of the factory with the barest minimum of grease.
It's really really worth it to check them and keep them greased!

It was hard to get my swing arm bolt out and I did it soon after I got the bike new.

A good coating of anti-seaze on the bolt is better than grease in this application IMHO. "Anti-seize resists galvanic attack by sacrificing the metals in the anti-seize in preference to the metal parts under protection."

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-30-2012, 10:47 AM
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I knocked my swingarm bolt out today and it was a bear to get out. I couldn't believe how frozen it was. On all my other bikes I've just knocked them out half way and lubed both sides. I've had good luck doing it the easy way. Knocked it back in, still stiff, so knocked it in and out 2 more times lubing it each time. You could tell how much easier it got. It was MUCH more stiff than my old 98 KLX bolt when I did it last winter.

Lube your swinger bolt fellas!

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post #7 of 10 Old 09-30-2012, 02:17 PM
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It's not only the swing arm bolt but the whole rear suspension you should grease up. The dog bone bolts also have little grease.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-30-2012, 02:45 PM
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Really? I've never touched those on any bike I've owned. Not saying you're wrong, just never thought to do it. I tend to lube any little part that moves though. I've got an old oil can that I like to squirt some oil on the seals a few times a year in the hopes that it will permeate in and help lube and keep out H2O.

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-30-2012, 03:41 PM
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The swing arm and suspension pivots are assembled with rusty grease right at the factory in Thailand. The Thai recipe for grease is 95 parts rust and 5 parts grease. That way you don't have to wait for the pivot bolts to rust - they come that way.

They make a cup of this concoction each year for the KLR assembly line. There's usually a bit left over.

The real fix is to install zerk fittings.

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-30-2012, 06:11 PM
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Take a look at the suspension drawing. Everywhere there is a pivot there is a needle bearing cage with little or no grease. The dog bone pivots are just miniature versions of the swing arm pivot. Squirting oil on there isn't going to do much, probably nothing. Seals are there to keep water out so I doubt oil will get in.

Best approach is to take the swing arm out, clean all the bearings and grease them up with waterproof grease. Doesn't really take that long.


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"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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Last edited by klr4evr; 09-30-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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