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On the art of greasing bearings

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ZekeVal
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On the art of greasing bearings

Post by ZekeVal on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 10:57 am

Hello chaps,

I often read here and there about you guys greasing bearings (swing-arms, head bearings...).

I have never done it and would like to know how you proceed:

- On which bearings do you do it?
- How often?
- Cleaning/Degreasing procedure (WD40?)
- What grease do you use?

Thanks for enlightening me, and helping me keep my bike well lubricated where that counts cheers .
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eternally_troubled
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by eternally_troubled on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 1:07 pm

For almost everything on a CB500 you can use off-the-shelf general-purpose grease.

If you are 'into' greasing wheel bearings (most are sealed so you can't but that doesn't stop some people) you need a high temperature or lith-moly grease.

Generally you only need a thin smear of grease - in most places if you put too much on it just get squidged out and you end up cleaning it up, so there is a certain art of judging the correct thickness of smear, however putting too much on isn't normally a problem (other than cleaning it up!).

Both the swing-arm and head bearings I haven't made a special effort to grease: I did the head bearings when I last had the forks out and I did the swing-arm when I replaced my swing-arm (the previous one got a rust hole). I suspect the maintenance schedule suggests that you do them every 4 years or so, at a guess.
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ZekeVal
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by ZekeVal on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 9:26 am

OK, do you just apply new grease or try and get the bearings clean at first?

And I guess, to get access to the head-bearing and swing-arms ones, it will requires quite a bit of disassembly?
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hh_12345
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by hh_12345 on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 10:24 am

General purpose grease is recommended by the Haynes manual too.

I remember reading about different type grease recommendations somewhere,(for center stand, wheel bearings, etc) but can't remember where  Very Happy

And there is some grease info on the dan's mc page:

http://www.dansmc.com/grease.htm
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Jameshambleton
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by Jameshambleton on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 3:17 pm

I use lm2 grease on tapered / roller bearings 
On regular ball bearings I use a different grease that's ultra thick for keeping the balls in place but can't remember what sort it is. I'd check but I'm in Aberdeen 315 miles from home
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ZekeVal
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by ZekeVal on Mon 09 Jul 2018, 6:40 pm

OK, I already have Lithium based grease, should be enough.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by eternally_troubled on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 5:46 pm

@ZekeVal wrote:OK, do you just apply new grease or try and get the bearings clean at first?

And I guess, to get access to the head-bearing and swing-arms ones, it will requires quite a bit of disassembly?

It depends on how dirty they are :) Last time I took the head bearings apart it was pretty gunky and full of old grease in there, so I cleaned up the balls and races and replaced all the grease with new.

When I took the swing-arm bearings apart it all looked good, so I just applied a little bit more (just in case) and left it alone.

Yes, both of them require some disassembly; this is why I have only done them as part of some other maintenance job.
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ZekeVal
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by ZekeVal on Fri 13 Jul 2018, 6:02 pm

Thanks for the heads up.
I'm now thinking that I'm contemplating a lot of hassle just to grease a bearing  geek

But ya, if I have some maintenance to do in the vicinity, I'll give them the attention they deserve.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by eternally_troubled on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 11:16 am

@ZekeVal wrote:...if I have some maintenance to do in the vicinity, I'll give them the attention they deserve.

That was what I did! Some maintenance will happen sooner or later...
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hh_12345
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Re: On the art of greasing bearings

Post by hh_12345 on Sat 01 Sep 2018, 9:38 am

@hh_12345 wrote:
I remember reading about different type grease recommendations somewhere,(for center stand, wheel bearings, etc) but can't remember where  Very Happy




Recommended grease type is actually listed in the specifiacations chapter 1.2 in the Haynes manual, here is the list:



stearing head bearings - lithium based multi-purpose grease

wheel bearings (unsealed) - lithium based multi-purpose grease

swingarm pivot bearings -  molybdenum disulphide grease

bearing seals - lithium based multi-purpose grease

clutch lever rear brake pedal pivots - molybdenum disulphide grease or dry film lubricant

front brake lever pivot and piston tip - molybdenum disulphide grease or dry film lubricant

cables - cable lubricant or 40w oil

centrestand and sidestand pivots - molybdenum disulphide grease

throttle twaitgrip - multipurpose grease or dry film lubricant




I use silicone spray with cable oiling adaptor for the cables and dry ptfe spray for the throttle twistgrip.

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