Shaft and Rear Drive -- Disassembly and Inspection

Submitted by xjcdadmin on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 13:20



Refer to "CHAPTER 3". for the middle gear.

The following special tools are not available but can be constructed for the final gear disassembly and assembly:



A. Troubleshooting

1. The following conditions may indicate damaged shaft drive components:



Possible damaged areas

1.  A pronounced hesitation or "jerky" movement during acceleration, deceleration, or sustained speed. (This must not be confused with engine surging or transmission characteristics).

2.  A "rolling rumble" noticeable at low speed; a high-pitched whine; a "clunk" from a shaft drive component or area.

A.  Damage to bearings.

B.  Improper gear lash.

C.  Gear tooth damage.

D.  Drive flange/universal joint bolts loose.

3. A locked-up condition of the shaft drive mechanism; no power transmitted from engine to rear wheel.

E.  Broken drive-shaft.

F.  Disconnected flange/universal joint connection.

G. Broken gear teeth.

H. Seizure due to lack of lubrication.

I. Small foreign object lodged between moving parts.



Damage areas A, B, and C above may be extremely difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are quite subtle and difficult to distinguish from normal motorcycle operating noise. If there is reason to believe component(s) are damaged, remove component(s) for specific inspection.

2. Inspection Notes:

a.   During coasting, accelerating or decelerating, the "rolling rumble" will increase with rear wheel speed, not engine or transmission gear speeds. However, such noise may also be due to wheel bearings.

b.   Noise that varies with acceleration and deceleration: Following incorrect reassembly, a condition of too-little gear lash may produce a whine during deceleration.


Too-little gear lash is extremely destructive to gear teeth. If a test ride following reassembly indicates this condition, stop riding immediately to minimize damage to gears.

c. A slight "thunk" must be distinguished from normal motorcycle operation. It will be most noticeable at low speed and could indicate broken gear teeth.


If broken gear teeth are suspected, stop riding immediately. This condition could lead to locking-up of the shaft drive assembly and result in harm to a rider.

d. If the drive flange/universal joint bolts are slightly loose, a "clunk" may be felt when slowly taking off, or when changing from slow acceleration to slow deceleration. At high speed this will result in vibration.


Do not continue riding a motorcycle suspected of having loose flange/universal joint bolts. The components may break, causing injury to a rider.

3. Troubleshooting Chart

Where Basic Conditions "a" and "b" above exist, consider the following Chart:

Elevate and spin front wheel. Feel for wheel bearing damage.


Replace wheel bearing.

(See CHAPTER 5 "Front wheel")


Check rear wheel.

Feel for bearing damage.



Rear wheel bearings and shaft drive bearings probably not damaged.

Repeat test or remove individual components.


Remove rear wheel. Check for wheel bearing damage.


Replace rear wheel bearing. (See "Rear Wheel" section in this chapter.)


Remove drive shaft components.

4. Oil Leak Inspection

If a shaft drive component is suspected of leaking oil, first thoroughly clean the entire motorcycle. The apparent location of an oil leak on a dusty motorcycle may be misleading. Dry the motorcycle and apply a leak-localizing compound or a dry-powder spray that will limit the flow of any leaking oil. Operate the motorcycle prepared in this way for the distance necessary to precisely locate the leak. There are the possibilities that a component housing may have been damaged by road debris or an accident, or a gasket or seal may be cracked or broken. However, on new or nearly new motorcycle an apparent oil leak may be the result of a rust-preventive coating or excess assembly lubrication of seals. Always clean the motorcycle and recheck the suspected location of any apparent leakage.

5. Checking Drained Oil

Whenever a problem is suspected in either the middle or final gear assemblies, drain and inspect the oil. Metal particles on the drain plug or in the oil could indicate a bearing seizure or other problem in the component. However, a small amount of metal particles in the oil is normal.

B.   Final Gear Removal

1.    Remove the rear axle and left shock absorber. Remove the rear wheel (see "Rear Wheel" section in this chapter).

2.    Remove the 4 nuts holding the Final Drive unit to the swing arm.

3.    Remove the final gear assembly.

C.   Gear Lash Check and Adjustment

1.    Secure the gear case in a vice or other support.

2.    Remove one nut from the final gear case stud bolt. Install the gear holder (special tool) over the ring gear surface and stud bolt. Tighten the holder to stud bolt with a nut.

1. Final gear holding tool

3. Install the final gear lash measurement tool on the gear coupling.

1. Gear lash measurement tool (Final gear)

4. Mount a dial gauge against the lash measurement tool at the scribed mark (60 mm, 2.36 in from the center of the shaft).

5. Use the special wrench to gently rotate the gear coupling back and forth. Note the lash measurement on the dial gauge.

Final gear lash:
0.25 - 0.50 mm (0.010-0.020 in): When using the measurement tool.
0.1 ~ 0.2 mm (0.004 ~ 0.008 in): Actual gear lash on the final gear teeth.

1. Middle and final gear holding tool

6. If the gear lash exceeds the specified limits, adjust as follows:

a.   To reduce gear lash, increase the ring gear shim.

b.   To increase gear lash, reduce ring gear shim.

1. Ring gear shim

c. If it is necessary to increase the ring gear shim by more than 0.1 mm reduce the thrust washer thickness by 0.1 mm for each 0.1 mm of ring gear shim increase and if it is necessary to reduce shim by more than 0.1 mm, reverse above procedure.

D. Final Gear Disassembly

1. Remove the nuts and bolts holding the bearing housing.

2.    Remove the ring gear assembly and thrust washer from the final gear case.

3. Remove the self-locking nut from drive pinion by using the holding tool (special tool) and remove the coupling.

1. Middle and final gear holding tool

4. Remove the drive pinion bearing retainer with the retainer remover (special tool).


The drive pinion bearing retainer nut is left hand threads. Turn the retainer nut clockwise to loosen.

1. Drive pinion bearing retainer remover

5. Remove the drive pinion and bearing with the slide hammer and adapter (special tool).

1. Slide hammer    2. Adapter


This drive pinion removal should be performed only if gearing replacement is necessary. Do not re-use bearings or races after removal.

6. Remove the guide collar, oil seal, and roller bearing from the main housing by using the press tool No. 1 (special tool) and a press. Use an appropriate supports for the main housing during this operation. The roller bearing may be re-used if undamaged. Do not re-use oil seal.

Rear drive pinion roller bearing; removal of this bearing is difficult and seldom necessary. Heat the bare housing to 150°C (302°F). Use an appropriately shaped punch to remove the roller bearing outer race. Remove the inner race from the drive pinion.