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Thread: Rear suspension needle bearings in suspension connecting rod & swingarm (dog bones)

  1. #1
    Superbike Twin Bandito's Avatar
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    Rear suspension needle bearings in suspension connecting rod & swingarm (dog bones)

    hi Guys, my dealer told me recently when i went in to but oil/air filters, brake pads etc, to check and grease the needle bearings in the rear suspension in the swingarm/connecting rod tied together by the dog bones.

    The areas where the bearings are housed are seen here:



    Striped the bike down, back wheel out, three bolts holding each corner of the triangular 'dog bones', and pushed out each of the bushings that each bolt sits in and found rusty crunchy needle bearings! gutted! Means new bearings, anyone else experienced this??
    HELP!
    Last edited by Bandito; June 14th, 2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: speeling me wurds

  2. #2
    AMA Pit Boss
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    Common problem. Lack of grease by the Italian factory.

  3. #3
    Superbike Twin Bandito's Avatar
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    Yeh but at 7,500 mile? He, my local Aprilia dealer, said do it well before 12,000 miles as thats when he'd seen some bearings fail. So was surprised

  4. #4
    GP Champ trickymicky6's Avatar
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    Ditto Bay's comment. Believe there's a thread about it somewhere before. Either that or I've read it in a Mag when they've reported on T's.

  5. #5
    AMA Pit Boss Keith B's Avatar
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    As above,....a common problem.Aprilia obviously ran out of grease sometime.
    Bit of reading,...http://www.tuonozone.com/forums/show...nd-link-plates
    Tell me,...did you manage to get the bottom bolt out with dropping the exhaust header?Bit of a debate about it on AF1.

  6. #6
    GP Champ Tifa's Avatar
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    Yeah...who ever coined the phrase 'greasy Itallians' was way off the mark....

  7. #7
    One Litre Duc Eater DAVE B's Avatar
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    does this apply to all models ? Factory and R's etc ??

  8. #8
    GP Champ Tifa's Avatar
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    Yes, if you haven't dropped it all out yet, do it asap.
    It's not too big a job, and it can save a whole lot of work later on.
    Also, there have been a few bikes that have had the link plates/dogbone collapse due to siezing.

  9. #9
    AMA Pit Boss rico's Avatar
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    guess it depends on how ye maintain yer bike and what shit ye ride in ie salty roads or dry Sunday pootles only as to how long they are goin tae last.

    Its nae a big job tae take apart an regrease the bearings and bolts but a richt pain in the erse if the wee fekkin rollers drop oot and ye dinnae see them. (it will happen!)
    Its a bit mair o a hassle tae drift them oot and fit new, ye need tae take care as nae the strongest o things.

    Personally ah always spray doon the whole shock wi WD40 noo an again and get richt under an gie the links a spray as weel. Keeps ever thing corrosion free. Then if ahv the back wheel oot for a tyre change ( say every second tyre) take the chance tae re grease. 20K plus miles, winter use as weel, on mine and still the original bearings.

  10. #10
    Baby Twin
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    I get my '03 11,000 mile Tuono next week, so this is the first thing I'll check. Just a couple of questions for you guys; do I support the bike from under the engine, so that the swinging arm can drop down? Will this take the tension out of the spring or do I need a spring compressor? Should the needle races be removed too, or do I just grease them in situ? Is there a quick check I can do before I pick it up? Thanks.

  11. #11
    Baby Twin
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    mines started grinding a tad, so will have to pull it apart soon.. not looking forward to having to order these bearings for mine.. the aprilia dealer network over here is a bloody joke...

  12. #12
    AMA Pit Boss Keith B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    I get my '03 11,000 mile Tuono next week, so this is the first thing I'll check. Just a couple of questions for you guys; do I support the bike from under the engine, so that the swinging arm can drop down? Will this take the tension out of the spring or do I need a spring compressor? Should the needle races be removed too, or do I just grease them in situ? Is there a quick check I can do before I pick it up? Thanks.
    Its dead easy if you have an Abba stand.If not,...front and rear paddock stands and support the bike from the roof trusses of your shed/garage.No need for spring compressors,....no need to remove the shock,...but it is easier with it out of the way.Remove the dog bone and gently push the hollow pin out and fire some grease in there.

  13. #13
    Baby Twin
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    Thanks, I dont have an Abba stand but I do have paddock stands. So does the roof rope have to be tight enough to "relax" the shock?

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    Superbike Twin haggis's Avatar
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    Yep, u need the rear suspension totally unloaded before sliding the bolts. Much easier with the wheel off.

    I got an advisory for this at MOT time, 6800miles 57plate, and my 2 mates (both 53plate) rsv has same issue.

  15. #15
    Baby Twin
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    Got ya; do the needle cages slide out (assuming the're not siezed) If I can remove them I will, so as to clean them.

  16. #16
    Baby Twin
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    When you push the wee hollow bush out
    .. run your finger round the needle bearing.. if the needles don't move it'll need to be replaced... done all the bearings in the shock linkage of my r1 winter past... its wee buns.. but I wouldn't remove them.. a few of mine were in pretty bad shape and just fell apart once out

  17. #17
    GP Champ Tifa's Avatar
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    Also, before you start to pull the inner bearing race out, put a large sheet of cloth/paper underneath to catch the needles when they fall out.

    You should have 31 needles in each cage, x 6 making a total of 186.
    If the bearing is re-buildable, and not focced, chuck your needles in an old jam jar, add a drop of parrafin or diesel, and give 'em a good old shake.
    They will then be ready to chuck back in.

  18. #18
    Baby Twin
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    Thanks, I get it towards the end of next week. I'll let you know how I get on.

  19. #19
    Superbike Twin Bandito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith B View Post
    As above,....a common problem.Aprilia obviously ran out of grease sometime.
    Bit of reading,...http://www.tuonozone.com/forums/show...nd-link-plates
    Tell me,...did you manage to get the bottom bolt out with dropping the exhaust header?Bit of a debate about it on AF1.
    Yes without loosening the 'really hard to get at' header bolts, you remove end cans and connector pipes (if aftermarket ones fitted), remove springs on the underside of the front pipe and the spring next to the rear shock. rubber mallet time on the front pipe where it rises back up near the rear wheel to meet the back pipe. Only a few mm apart you can get an allen key/socket in. What a stupid designs, as the allen bolt head is recessed into the frame aagggrrrhh!

    Anyway all bearings out new on order hopefully Thursday.

  20. #20
    AMA Pit Boss Keith B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandito View Post
    Yes without loosening the 'really hard to get at' header bolts, you remove end cans and connector pipes (if aftermarket ones fitted), remove springs on the underside of the front pipe and the spring next to the rear shock. rubber mallet time on the front pipe where it rises back up near the rear wheel to meet the back pipe. Only a few mm apart you can get an allen key/socket in. What a stupid designs, as the allen bolt head is recessed into the frame aagggrrrhh!
    Yes that bolt is a bastard to get at.I cut down an old Allen key to hold the bolt while I removed the nut.I was hoping that it would then wriggle past the exhaust,....no foogin' chance!Like you,I removed the cans and header springs and 'persuaded' the pipes apart.

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