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Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement

I've been told by wiser men than me that the rear bearings seldom if ever go bad. I had a noticeable rough kind of buzz in the foot pegs. A couple Coggers who had the same thing develop, changed their rear bearings and the problem went away. So, to avoid doing this on the roadside with a stick and a rock( © Gene ) for tools, I figured I'd give it a try.

Before you even go near the bike, go get the bearings and put them in the freezer. Some say it didn't make much difference; others say it did. You choose but I figure it can't hurt. Put 'em in with a beer and see if you can get the job done before the beer freezes.






Supplies required:

  • 2  #6304 double sealed bearings (all years) about $18 U.S. each.
  • 1 cotter pin 5/32 x 1 1/2"
  • Blue Loctite for brake disc bolts


  • Put your bike up on the center stand
  • If you don't want to removed the rear drive unit, tilt the bike and put a 1" or so board under each side of the center stand. This should give you the clearance you need to get the wheel out. I took the drive unit off so I could put some grease on the splines. ( See comments below about drive alignment)
  • Remove right muffler - 12mm
  • Remove brake caliper - 8mm Allen
  • Remove the the big mutha axle nut on the right side - 27 mm socket ( box end wrench won't fit) 1 1/8" will work in a pinch but don't make a habit of it
  • Push the axle out to the left.
  • Remove final drive unit - 14mm
  • Slide the wheel out from under the bike.

This is what your beloved scooter should now look like. But I have sinned. I've been told that I'm to be shot at dawn for leaving the caliper hang off a cheap brake line like that. So, get a piece of wire and hang it from the frame. Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail..........




  • Remove brake disk - 8mm Allen
  • Removed the grease seal from the right side. The manual says to use a hook but shows a picture doing it with a slot screwdriver; I used a screwdriver
  • Beyond the seal, is a circlip. You'll need a pair of circlip pliers to get it out. Mine was a bit rusty as you can see. I cleaned it up a bit with a wire wheel on the drill press

Drive out the right side bearing first. This can be a real pain in the ass to get the first one out. If you're not up to the job, move over and get your sister in here.
The manual says to use a steel bar to drive out the bearings. Go buy a 10" x 1/4" steel punch. It'll cost you about $8 and is the cat's ass for driving the little buggers out. 

Drive it down on an angle which helps push the spacer tube out of the way a wee bit. Give the rod a good whack and then turn the wheel and repeat until the bearing pops out. Sounds easy doesn't it. It was, after I started using the right tool and a good hammer. The second bearing is a piece of cake with that damn tube out of the way.



With both bearings and the tube out, give everything a good cleaning.
For some reason, the manual says to remove the rubber drive thingy and the big huge clip. I just do what I'm told but I still don't know why.

If you don't have a bearing driver or a reasonable facsimile, here's a trick I got from Nnnervous Herb. Take one of the old bearings and grind a couple .1000'ths off the outside. I put a drum sander in the drill press and about 5 minutes later the deed was done. This is enough material to allow the old bearing to slide right back into the wheel where you just removed it from. Now you can use it to drive in the new bearings without pounding the old bearing back in and leaving it irretrievably stuck. Since you should never, ever pound on the inner race (except to remove the old bearings), you might want to grind a thousandth or two off one side of the inner race so only the outer race makes contact with the new bearing when you're pounding away..
Go get the bearings out of the freezer. And check the beer can. This made a huge difference compared to the time I did the front bearings. This time they were in the deep freeze overnight.

Drive in the right side bearing just far enough so that the circlip will snap into its groove. You may want to put a bit of grease on the outer edge of the the bearing before driving it in. Mark Cipriano suggested that. So, when your bearings fall out let me know and I'll give you his home number.
If you found that driving the first bearing out was made extra difficult by the spacer tube, some people cut a couple of notches in it so you can get things started easier next time. Make sure the notch is big enough so that your driving tool of choice can get a grip on the edge of the bearing.

Next, put the spacer tube in. It's amazing how many people forget this. I just about did on the fronts when I did them a couple years ago.

Now drive in the left side bearing but just to the point the the tube still just barely moves around.

Reassembly of rear wheel and drive unit.
Here's a tip I learned from reading Andrew MacDonald's column in Rider a few years ago. Shaft drive bikes can get things a bit out of alignment apparently when you remove and reinstall the rear wheel. Something about forcing the axle in and binding things up with the final drive unit. The back end can start to click and bind and grind and stuff. Andy suggests  loosening the four bolts holding the rear drive unit on. Then slide the axle through the drive unit and wheel, and wiggle everything around a bit. Snug down the axle nut and then torque the nuts holding the drive unit on.

So, as the manual is so fond of say, assembly is the reverse of the above.  Put a little Locktite on the brake disk and the rear drive mounting nuts. And don't forget the new cotter pin in the axle nut... I'll be right back...

Article By: David J. Morrow

 Updated January 2005

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