DIY - Front & Rear Wheel Removal How-To with Pics - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-04-2009, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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DIY - Front & Rear Wheel Removal How-To with Pics

I know many of you here have removed your wheels before and this is second nature to you. But there are also lots of new owners here who may be unsure about doing their own maintenance / service to their machines. Iím a new motorcycle rider, this is my first bike, and itís time for new tires. I wanted to remove my wheels myself, and I thought I would document with pictures the process in case anyone else might find this helpful. It took me less than an hour to remove the wheels, and that includes taking the pictures as well. The DIY thread on oil changes kind of prompted me to do this. I got most of this from this and other forums, but these are the first pics Iíve seen with the Versys (most pics were Ninjas). Hope you like it.
Jack

Tools needed:

Rear/Front stand (NOTE: I didnít have the triple-tree front stand adapter and didnít need it).
Torque wrench
Cable ties or twine
22mm socket
27mm socket
12mm socket
6mm hex bit
14mm hex bit
12mm open end wrench
Pliers
High temp grease

Torque specs:

Rear axle = 80 ft/lb
Rear brake caliper mounting bolts = 18 ft/lb
Front axle = 80 ft/lb
Front axle clamp bolt = 15 ft/lb
Front axle caliper mounting bolts = 25 ft/lb


Rear Wheel Removal:

1. Use the rear stand to raise the back end and remove the cotter pin in the rear axle.

2. Using the 6mm hex bit, remove the two bolts on the rear brake caliper. Tie the brakes up out of the way using cable ties or twine. BE SURE NOT TO PUSH THE BRAKE PEDAL! This will compress the brake pads and make it difficult to re-install.

3. Using the 12mm open-end wrench, loosen the chain adjuster bolt locknuts and then tighten the chain adjuster bolt. This will release any tension on the axle.

4. Remove the rear axle. This will require a 22mm socket on the right side and a 27mm socket on the left. A breaker bar will be helpful to loosen the axle. Itís helpful to use a piece of wood to support the weight of the wheel as you pull the axle bolt out.

5. Be sure to note the spacers on the wheel between the swingarm and the wheel. Remove them so they donít get lost. These will need to be greased before reinstalling. Also the rear caliper mount will become loose. Set it to the side for reinstallation later.

6. Roll the wheel forward to loosen and remove the chain from the sprocket and remove the wheel.

7. Installation is the reverse of removal. Be sure to replace the caliper mount and adjust the chain to the proper tension. Itís helpful to snug the axle so that there is less free play and then fine tune the chain tension. Be sure to torque the axle to 80 ft/lb and re-insert the cotter pin. Reinstall the rear brake assembly and torque the caliper mounting bolts to 18 ft/lb.

Front Wheel Removal:

1. While the bike is still on the rear stand (but before putting it on the front stand), loosen the front axle clamp bolt with a 6mm hex bit. You do not need to remove it fully, just be sure itís loose.

2. Using the 14mm hex bit, loosen the front axle bolt. A breaker bar makes this step easier. Once it is loose you can go ahead and place the motorcycle on the front stand.

3. Using the 12mm socket, remove the front brake caliper mounting bolts. Once you have the brake off of the rotor, replace the bolts back in the caliper to prevent losing them. Hang the brake using cable ties or twine. BE SURE NOT TO PUSH THE BRAKE PEDAL! This will compress the brake pads and make it difficult to re-install. Repeat the process for the other side.

4. Once the brakes are tied off out of the way, finish removing the front axle bolt. Itís helpful to use some wood to support the wheel while removing the axle bolt. Be sure to note the spacers on the wheel between the forks and the wheel. Remove them so they donít get lost. These will need to be greased before reinstalling.

5. Installation is the reverse of removal. Be sure to replace the calipers and torque them to 25 ft/lb. Once the front axle bolt has been torqued to 80 ft/lb, be sure to drop the front to the ground and bounce the front forks 4-5 times. This will seat the forks on the axle. Then you can tighten the front axle clamp bolt to 15 ft/lb.

The last couple of pics are of the old & new tires I got. You can see why itís time to replace the old ones, and thatís with only 6,000 miles. I definitely hope to get a few more miles out of the new ones. Hoped you found this helpful.
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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-04-2009, 10:36 PM
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Thanks for the pics. Looks like your using the t-rex spools. Did yours come with aluminum spacers? I installed the screw into the spool, placed spacer onto the screw followed by the washer. I thought the spacers are for clearance purposes but from your picks I'm not sure if I should be using them. With the spacers the spools are out further about a quarter inch
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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmoore74 View Post
Thanks for the pics. Looks like your using the t-rex spools. Did yours come with aluminum spacers? I installed the screw into the spool, placed spacer onto the screw followed by the washer. I thought the spacers are for clearance purposes but from your picks I'm not sure if I should be using them. With the spacers the spools are out further about a quarter inch
I had to go back and look at mine to be sure. The spools are T-Rex and the spool is in direct contact with the swingarm. I didn't remove the bolt to be certain, but I think there's a washer or spacer on the bolt between the bolt head and the spool (I can't tell the thickness to know which). If the washer/spacer will fit down inside the spool (external to the swingarm) then you might want to try it that way.
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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 04:09 PM
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Thanks! Nice write up. My biggest challenge with the wheels was having to go by the right tools...but now I have them.

I noticed your garage floor. Did you do it yourself? Was it from a kit? How is it holding up.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharrison56 View Post
Thanks! Nice write up. My biggest challenge with the wheels was having to go by the right tools...but now I have them.

I noticed your garage floor. Did you do it yourself? Was it from a kit? How is it holding up.
The floor was that way when we bought the house 7 years ago. It's holding up nicely, though I do have a couple of spots that have started to peel. I try to clean it once a year with some degreaser and hose it out, that seems to help.

And regarding the tools, the only one that was a pain was finding a 1/2"-drive 14mm hex bit...I didn't want to buy a set of 4 bits at Sears for $45, so I went to the Lowe's tool rental shop. They didn't have one to rent, but the guy looked in their own toolbox, found what I needed, handed it to me and said to just bring it back when I was done. It's been in their shop for years and had never been used. Now I've got the time to find one for myself between now and the next time I have to pull the wheels off.
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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-05-2009, 08:41 PM
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I think I got the 14mm in a set of 4 from PEP Boys for about $8
.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOFASTR View Post

And regarding the tools, the only one that was a pain was finding a 1/2"-drive 14mm hex bit...I didn't want to buy a set of 4 bits at Sears for $45, so I went to the Lowe's tool rental shop. They didn't have one to rent, but the guy looked in their own toolbox, found what I needed, handed it to me and said to just bring it back when I was done. It's been in their shop for years and had never been used. Now I've got the time to find one for myself between now and the next time I have to pull the wheels off.
I bought mine at Harbor Freight Tools. It's a set of allen wrench sockets, some are 3/8 drive and the bigger ones are 1/2" drive (including the 14mm).

Ed
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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I bought mine at Harbor Freight Tools. It's a set of allen wrench sockets, some are 3/8 drive and the bigger ones are 1/2" drive (including the 14mm).

Ed
Thanks for the tip, I got the same set this week for $15
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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 02:15 PM
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Very helpful, many thanks!


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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 03:25 PM
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Excellent write up, thanks for taking the time.

+1 on Harborfreight, get all my tools there.

Only been disappointed with one tool, my impact wrench, but that might be the fault of the HF compressor, one or other is to blame, the rest are great.

On the reassemble, a suggestion. When putting the front wheel back on, before you torque everything down (but when all nuts and bolts are back in place hand tight), push down on the handle bars a couple of times to 'seat' the forks correctly.

When taking off the brake caliper mounting bolts use a six sided socket. Mine were way over-torqued and I burred one over with a regular socket, before putting my six-sided on.

Another good buy at HF is a set of six sided mm impact sockets.

Machog


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post #11 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 08:41 AM
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Tank bag

What kind of tank bag is that? Where can I get one? It looks like a great match! Thanks, VFV
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post #12 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 01:54 PM
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Great write up! I may tackle this myself now! I assume that you had a shop mount and balance the new tires? How much did you save over them doing it for you?

Steve
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post #13 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 03:29 PM
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Another great how to post, somebody should compile these into a tech manual

My Album:
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post #14 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 05:07 PM
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What kind of tank bag is that? Where can I get one? It looks like a great match! Thanks, VFV
+1 I agree, what kind of bag is that, it compliments the V pretty well
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post #15 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 01:59 PM
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Is there a special type of grease required for the axles and spacers? I ask because I have a tube of Honda Moly grease that's specified for the rear drive splines and wonder if I can use that. Thanks.


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post #16 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-08-2009, 02:12 PM
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Sticky please

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post #17 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-11-2009, 11:18 AM
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Great DIY. I just finished changing my tires. It took me 30 minutes to get the tires off and 45 to put them back on with "help" from my 9-year old.

I didn't have a front stand so I used jack stands and I lifted the bike with my jack on the exhaust collector.

Here are some pics...

Front end...



Jack point...



Wide view...



All done...


Don
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post #18 of 73 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by v for vendetta View Post
What kind of tank bag is that? Where can I get one? It looks like a great match! Thanks, VFV
Sorry for the delayed reply, I've been in Europe since June 1st and just now getting back. The bag is a Bradley brand that www.newenough.com had on their clearance page for $15 several months ago. I wasn't sure it would fit but I thought for the price it was worth a try. It's a great sized bag, strapped so I don't have to worry about finding a spot for magnets to attach. I'm really pleased with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonerockz View Post


Great write up! I may tackle this myself now! I assume that you had a shop mount and balance the new tires? How much did you save over them doing it for you?

Steve
Yes, I had my local shop do the mounting & balancing. They charge $22 each with the wheel off, and $69 each if you bring the whole bike in, so for $94 difference and the benefit of getting some hands-on time with the bike, it was totally worth it.

Quote:
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Is there a special type of grease required for the axles and spacers? I ask because I have a tube of Honda Moly grease that's specified for the rear drive splines and wonder if I can use that. Thanks.
Not that I'm aware of, I just used some standard hi-temp grease. I got a can from the local Advance Auto Parts (where I buy my filter) and I think it was around $4 or so.

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Sticky please
Don't know how to make this a sticky, but I agree it would be helpful. Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks for all the feedback from everyone. I've missed riding and I'm glad to be back home with the V! When I was in Europe there were bikes everywhere, really made me want to rent one and tour the Alps. I spent a couple of days at the Nurburgring doing some laps in the car I picked up and the bikes there were incredible! My instructor (Brendan Kierle) previously held the lap record for a motorcycle with 7:17 lap time, but that has since been beaten. Had a blast.
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post #19 of 73 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 12:02 PM
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Here is a tip for the rear wheel, mine seemed to have a tight tolerance. I struggled getting it back on but what I figured out is you need to "drop" in from the top. What I did was slide the rear wheel into the swingarm, put the chain on and lifted the wheel up so the axle hole was above the swing arm ends. The brake caliper mount was already in place. I then put the spacers in and worked the wheel downward into place. (You need to have the chain guard off to do this.)
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post #20 of 73 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 11:10 AM
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Awesome tutorial. I just replaced my original front at about 13,000. What I wonder is: I torqued everything on the front but should I have used loctite on the allen lock bolt or brake calipers?
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