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Swing Arm Maintenance

COG Digest 1963 Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000
From: "Bob Johnson" <

There is no way you should have to spend $300 to do the 6000 mile maintenance, most of which is simply inspection. If you have basic mechanical experience you should be able to do everything required. If you purchase a factory service manual you will have all the information you really need.

"Dropping the rear end" on a Concours takes about 20 minutes - it's done every time the rear wheel is removed (following the service manual procedure at least) and consists of the removal of four nuts after preparing the wheel for removal.

Removal and installation of the swing arm should take no more than two hours if you've never done it before and work very slowly - an experienced mechanic (which dealers are supposed to have...) should be able to do it in an hour flat. There are only two unusual things about swing arm R and R:

  1. You will need to improvise a tool to pull the swing arm mounting plates - a piece of ABS tubing from a building supply, a flat metal plate (about 4" x 4"), and a long Allen bolt with some washers will do, so you're total expense should be less than $25.
  2. When installing the mounting plates it's easy to catch the seals on the swing arm bearings, which can damage the seals. Don't worry too much about this however, because Kawasaki can't seem to do it right, my bike came that way at no extra charge...I would imagine that your dealer would do no better either, even with a four-hour billing... You will need a torque wrench to properly tighten the mounting bolt on the right side, but these days many auto parts stores have them for rent.

The Uni-track bearings are lubed with a grease gun - total time should be about 5 minutes. At 6000 miles I would suggest that you do not attempt to remove them and clean them - let the grease push out any dirt that might be on the outside of them. The rule of thumb with needle bearings is that if they have any internal dirt they should be replaced - cleaning them is very difficult as even the smallest dirt particle can ruin them - frequently more dirt is introduced by "cleaning" than by just leaving them alone.


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