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Rear drive needle bearing and swing arm restoration

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Hi everybody!


I'm new to the forum, I have been reading a lot since i bought my V11 Ballabio this summer. Found lots of very handy info for my new bike. It's winter time here in the Netherlands so im doing some maintenance on the bike. Previous owners did not really give it a lot of ''love'' to say the least. 


Not all is bad! went over the major things and found nothing shocking so far. Today I took off the rear wheel in order to clean, inspect and lube components such as bearings, U-joint the lot. 


I found this needle bearing located on the RH side of the rear drive housing. The axle was lubricated however the needle bearing looks shot. Its filled with red corrosion and needs replacement. Below some pictures of this needle bearing:











no. 30 = bearing inner race

no. 31. = needle bearing 


I cant really understand why there is no seal to protect this bearing? There is a steel washer mounted between the bearing and the inner surface of the swingarm, i cant imagine this protects the bearing against water and other debris.....

Secondly I cant really see the point of this bearing (please feel free to teach me). The axle is not rotating, so why is this bearing here?



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The swing arm bearings are out the first one took a bit more time due to figuring it all out. Second one was out in 15 min. Here is how I did it. First I welded the M16 bolt to the inner race. You n

Something I have done with blind hole bearings in the past was to fill the cavity with grease and then use a bolt (with the threads cut off) or steel dowel that fits as snug as possible with the ID of

Glad not to be alone . . .

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That is correct that there is no seal.  Most of us give it a good grease up whenever the rear wheel is off.  Whilst you're correct in saying the axle doesn't rotate, the drive assembly is subject to movement as the suspension rises and falls, so it does move in small increments.


I think there was thread a while back where a solid spacer had been machined to fit in place of the bearing.  Personally, I'd be inclined to replace the bearing and ensure it's well greased in future.


I don't know what thoughts others have on using silicon grease on this bearing?  I've used it in kingpin bearings on cars without ill effect (where they are subject to water ingress. i.e 4x4s etc).


This is what I use...Waterproof grease linky

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Being a cheap old git :oldgit: , I would be inclined to clean it all up and make a close inspection. It bears very little load and the arc of movement is maybe 20˚ or so. If it has suffered a bit, that section can be rotated to the forward position to give some more service as the wear typically occurs at the rear.


As Trevini says, a good dose of waterproof grease is necessary. Probably at every tire change.


See also the Wheels Off Maintenance Checklist in FAQ


Enjoy!  :luigi:


(BTW, looking back at your picture, it makes me think this would be a good time to inspect, clean and grease the shock eyes and the swingarm bearings.)

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Based on previous threads about this bearing, you'll realise that removal is a total PIA and only to be attempted if the thing is completely shot.

"Discretion is the better part of Valour" as someone (Shakespeare probably?) said

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  docc, as often as you change rear tires, i bet yours looks like new...ha,ha...

  happy new year!!

Guilty . . . :blush:

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I did find some old post regarding this subject. It looks quite difficult to get the needle bearing out with a bearing puller.....


I know this bearing is not the most critcal, but I do want to replace it. I have to admit im not to keen on dissabling the entrire gearbox to get to the bearing from the inside (and push it outwards). Does anybody know the best methode? I'm a bit worried about taking the gearbox apart due to all the other bearings and seals which are in there, and damaging them.


A bronze bussing does seem like a good alternative.

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This is after a thorough washing with petrol and a brush. The whole surface is affected/corroded. Since it is winter and i'm not in a hurry I want to make a bronze bushing to replace the bearing.


Checking the swingarm bearing is a good tip, ill look into that.

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i to have thought of using a brass bushing  BUT the steel needles are harder than the bronze will be and I would hate to have

bits of bronze floating around.

Now ....On the other hand ....If you can get a bronze bushing to replace the complete bearing assembly ...thats and even better idea

So your just not replacing the inner race of that bearing but the whole bearing. I can see this being misunderstood and someone just

replacing the inner race.

more thoughts later

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