Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 KTM 350EXC — Greasing the Joints.

Swingarm first.
It's brand new, done 200 km's but the general advice out there is to rip out the swing arm and re-grease the moving bits as soon as you've picked it up. Same applies to the steering head bearings.

Waste of time? Let's take a look.



One weekend's riding and it looks old already, but that's what they're built for.


The aim was to leave the wheel in and pull the swingarm back far enough to pop out the bushes. With wheel spindle undone, the chain could be dropped off the sprocket. The lower shock mounting bolt was removed to allow it all to move back. I also took the master cylinder off and let it sit there so the brake hose wasn't stressed (just be wary of the wiring, or disconnect if concerned).


Everything seems to be made of aluminium! The spindle nut too. Built to las... wear out.


A 27mm steel nut holds the swingarm spindle.



That tapped out easily, the joys of a new bike. One year in and that'll be a sledge hammer job. So, with spindle removed, the swingarm pulls back nicely and sits quite nicely on its wheel.

The bearings consist of a needle roller and bush, with two end caps that slide off. It wasn't as bad in here as is made out. Without nipples to force grease into a joint like this, you will never get it full — a certain amount will always be pushed out by the bush.



After cleaning the factory grease off, I was surprised to see wear marks from the needle rollers already. This is a brand new bike with 200km's on it.


Turning it round and the marks are on the opposite side. Probably from the swingarm being pulled by the chain. This is the bush from the right side of the bike.


My method with needle rollers is to smear grease inside the bearings, filling any gaps in between the two, then grease the bush and refit. Turn it, push it in and out, and then redo the grease again. By this stage you will have got as much as you can into the joint. Fitting grease nipples to the swingarm pivot and drilling where necessary would get rid of this problem once and for all.


The other important bit is cleanliness. Make sure the seals are wiped clean and that any dirt on the outside is pulled away from the bearings. Once everything is good, the end caps can be pushed back over the bushes.


There will be more to follow, unfortunately an issue with the photo loader has ended this thread early. Bear with me.