My Anti Shaft Drive Rant - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Other Motorcycle Make and Model Discussion Discuss other motorcycles by Kawasaki or any other motorcycle / automobile manufacturer here.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
potus2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NorthWest Arkansas
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
My Anti Shaft Drive Rant

Bones:
"Interesting, that's the first I've heard of a shafty needing that kind of maintenance. With my ST, I change the rear end fluid when I change the oil (which is more frequently that Honda recommends but the bike is up on the center stand draining anyway). You lube the drive splines when you change a rear tire but that's not a separately required maintenance procedure, just a gloob of moly grease before you reinstall the rear wheel. I have yet to hear of an ST rear end going south."

On my wife's Vulcan you need to annually remove the rear drive unit, take apart the shaft housing, remove the shaft, and lube both splined ends, the coupler, and the input shaft to the gear unit with Moly and the u-joint with lithium. The shaft is dry, and the boot and housing do not protect the raw steel from atmospheric moisture .This is NOT in the owners manual, but failure to do so will result in shaft failure. Kawasaki typically did not apply any lube from the factory, so it actually needed to be done when purchased new. Of course, we did not discover this until it was too late. The shaft on the Vulcan barely lasted longer than the original rear tire. I figured regularly changing the gear oil with a quality synthetic and lubing the splines to the wheel when tires were changed would be adequate. I was wrong. Honda has better quality control and may have a better design as well so you might be fine without that level of maintenance, but I will never trust another shaft drive unit which makes the maintenance level considerably higher than that for an easily serviced chain.
Is the shaft on an ST wet or dry?

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
potus2012 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 08:07 AM
Super Moderator
 
kiwi 41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: 44.24'S 171.15'E Timaru, NewZealand
Posts: 8,619
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Skype™ to kiwi 41
We have a shaft driven C50T Suzuki Boulevard 2008 in the garage which has not given a problem, have just changed the rear shaft oil and do not know of any of the boulevards giving a problem with their shaft drives.
kiwi 41 is offline  
post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 08:27 AM
Member
 
Stumpifier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Ehhhh they're definetly easier than chains, no lubing every 500 miles and cleaning every 3000. Lubing the splines and changing the diff oil it's certainly no worse than changing a chain or rear tire and in fact most people lube the splines and change the fluid when the rear tire is changed if not every 10k miles. I know of a guy with at least 140,000 miles on his Valkyrie and the only thing he's had to replace was the u-joints. Once. I find it odd the factory didn't lube it though, did you get them to warranty it? I just prefer chains for the feel, shafties are nice but chain drives just feel better to me. It's like the difference between a rear wheel drive car and a front drive.

1982 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk
2009 Green Versys
Stumpifier is offline  
 
post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 09:47 AM
Member
 
arewethereyet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I have owned 4 shaft drive bikes, and never had a single problem with any of them.

Time alone with ones thoughts, is quality time.

They say there is a lack of jobs. Seems here to be more a lack of people willing to work hard, and take pride in the work they do.

Frank
arewethereyet is offline  
post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
potus2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NorthWest Arkansas
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumpifier View Post
Ehhhh they're definetly easier than chains, no lubing every 500 miles and cleaning every 3000. Lubing the splines and changing the diff oil it's certainly no worse than changing a chain or rear tire and in fact most people lube the splines and change the fluid when the rear tire is changed if not every 10k miles. I know of a guy with at least 140,000 miles on his Valkyrie and the only thing he's had to replace was the u-joints. Once. I find it odd the factory didn't lube it though, did you get them to warranty it? I just prefer chains for the feel, shafties are nice but chain drives just feel better to me. It's like the difference between a rear wheel drive car and a front drive.
Lubing the splines from the gear to the wheel was easy enough and not the problem; it was the splines on the shaft between the engine and gear, on the input shaft to the gear, and the coupler that joins them that rusted/stripped. That takes a bit more effort to get to all that, and I had no idea until it was too late that I ever had to go in there. It is possible that this was a problem specific to those Vulcans, but I no longer trust what I can't see and I can see a chain just fine. It takes me a few minutes to clean and lube a chain and less than an hour to replace one, with very few tools required. It takes a few hours and a larger tool box to lube the shafts, and a LOT more money to replace the shafts.
Kawasaki did nothing, as it was no longer under warranty. It nearly discouraged me from buying the Versys. I kept waiting for someone else to build the same bike.
On a positive note: In my search to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it I discovered the VN750 forum. Had I discovered it BEFORE the problem, we wouldn't have been stranded as the problem was well documented there and the people most helpful. It was my experience there that led me to join and be active on this forum.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
potus2012 is offline  
post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 11:06 AM
Member
 
gotfz1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Plus, they can't wheelie.
gotfz1 is offline  
post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 11:37 AM
Member
 
Stumpifier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Gotfz1 punch "Valkyrie Wheelie" into Youtube. Any bike can wheelie, some just require more motivation than others.

Rather than get into an argument I'm just going to agree to disagree Potus, no hard feelings?

1982 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk
2009 Green Versys
Stumpifier is offline  
post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 12:06 PM
Super Moderator
 
fasteddiecopeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC - summer; Florence, AZ - winter
Posts: 17,327
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfz1 View Post
Plus, they can't wheelie.
You're right, EVERYBODY knows that shafties can't wheelie, DESPITE trick photography purporting to show wheelies....

Ed
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Ride to D2D 2015, June '15

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Ride to D2D 2016, June '16

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
fasteddiecopeman is offline  
post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 12:59 PM
Member
 
Pegasus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Peters, MO
Posts: 464
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
All final drive types have their inherent strengths and weaknesses. In the long run maintenance and cost can be close. With chains you do it a little at a time and is easily replaced even on the road side. Belts last much longer, require practically no maintenance but try to change one; you have to remove the swing arm. Shafties when designed right can last and last…at least in cars they do but unfortunately many motorcycle designs don’t and as started they can require even more maintenance than chains.

I guess I would prefer a belt with a master link…the guy that invents that will make a fortune.
Pegasus is offline  
post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 03:02 PM
Member
 
Capn Kirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 4,740
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi 41 View Post
We have a shaft driven C50T Suzuki Boulevard 2008 in the garage which has not given a problem, have just changed the rear shaft oil and do not know of any of the boulevards giving a problem with their shaft drives.
As you know I just came off of a C50. Mine had 11,000 miles on it when I sold it with no issues. However, if you check the VolusiaRiders forum, there is lots of stripped splines where they were dry as the OP mentioned.

http://www.volusiariders.com/58-moto...r-splines.html

Many on the forum have been stranded when they finally stripped completely. You can do a search on the VR forum and get many hits on this subject.

Capn Kirk is offline  
post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 04:05 PM
Member
 
Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: western Massachusetts
Posts: 1,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by potus2012 View Post
Is the shaft on an ST wet or dry?
Honda recommends that the gear oil in the rear end be changed once every 24,000 miles. That's all that's recommended for shaft drive maintenance in the owner's manual. I change it when I change the engine oil since it's fast and easy and not much volume of 90 weight.

The Honda service manual does not indicate a periodic maintenance interval for the drive shaft itself. There are instructions on what to do if the drive shaft is removed for other reasons (worn splines or gears, bearing replacement, etc.). In those cases, the service manual calls for repacking the pinion joint splines and the drive shaft splines with moly grease before reassembly. If you don't take it apart, there's no required maintenance indicated.

All the Honda product descriptions describe the ST's shaft as "virtually maintenance free" and in my experience (over 60,000 miles) it has been. I know ST guys with 200k+ who have never had a shaft drive issue, or any other issue for that matter. ST's are ridiculously reliable.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


[SIZE="1"]Ride. Good.


2003 ST1300ABS
2008 Versys
IBA 59868

Last edited by Bones; 11-19-2010 at 04:12 PM.
Bones is offline  
post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 04:11 PM
Member
 
Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: western Massachusetts
Posts: 1,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfz1 View Post
Plus, they can't wheelie.
Oh yes they can.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	wheelie 1.jpg
Views:	1091
Size:	34.4 KB
ID:	9398   Click image for larger version

Name:	wheelie 3.jpg
Views:	288
Size:	8.3 KB
ID:	9399   Click image for larger version

Name:	wheelie 2.jpg
Views:	657
Size:	84.5 KB
ID:	9400  


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


[SIZE="1"]Ride. Good.


2003 ST1300ABS
2008 Versys
IBA 59868
Bones is offline  
post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 04:21 PM
Member
 
arewethereyet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Do not tell the guy i ride with, that they don't last, or he may get worried about his bike breaking down and becoming unreliable.
He already has over 500,000 kms on his still original shaft.
He has done many brake changes, 2 clutches, wheel bearings, lights, starter, water pump, 5 batteries, and who knows how many tires.
Says its still the original shaft though.
So ya them shafties must all be junk.
My highest mileage shaft drive bike was relatively low mileage compared to his, as it had a measly !45,000 kms on it when I sold it. Original shaft on it then, and still, as the buyer is a friend, and he has not ever repalced it either.

Time alone with ones thoughts, is quality time.

They say there is a lack of jobs. Seems here to be more a lack of people willing to work hard, and take pride in the work they do.

Frank
arewethereyet is offline  
post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
potus2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NorthWest Arkansas
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Stumpifier - Why would there be hard feelings? I'm not trying to start an argument, just a discussion.
gotfz1 - I believe you are wrong. I don't particularly like the jacking that seems inherent in shaft drive, but much can be accomplished with skill and determination. I believe shafties can wheelie, and I witnessed the instructor at my MSF course actually do a stoppie with a large ABS equipped BMW.
Bones - I have a lot of respect for Honda's design and build quality, maybe they actually do have maintenance free shafts. I personally, having been bitten, would still have to take it apart if I owned it just to be sure. May not be necessary, but I follow the "Fool me once - shame on you (Kawasaki!), fool me twice - shame on me" adage.
All - I'm not saying ALL shafties suck. I'm saying it's a bad idea to assume that ALL shaft drives are low maintenance. Vulcan shaft drives were high maintenance. Apparently so is the Suzuki C50. (Thanks for the link Cap'n) There may be more - maybe there aren't, but assuming they're all low maintenance could bite you in the arse like it did to us.
Kiwi - Maybe your bike is fine and needs nothing, but it would be wise to do some shaft maintenance on yours. (Gram/ounce of prevention being better than a kilo/pound of cure)
Pegasus - I don't know that a master link belt would be needed. Wouldn't it be simpler and more reliable to design a bike that you could just slip the continuous belt over the pulleys after loosening the rear wheel?
Arewethereyet - I don't understand your posts. Are you implying that because none of the 4-5 shaft drive bikes you know about have had shaft problems that all shaft drives are low maintenance? I have direct evidence to the contrary.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
potus2012 is offline  
post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:01 PM
Member
 
gotfz1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Anybody can photochop or digitally edit youtube video to show shaft-drive bikes doing wheelies. You guys probably think Penn and Teller actually catch bullets with their teeth.

It's simple science. Lookup Coriolis Force/Effect.
gotfz1 is offline  
post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:24 PM
Member
 
Pegasus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Peters, MO
Posts: 464
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
My ST1100 would certainly do wheelies, it damn near killed me twice when dragging a couple of Harley's. Its simple physics, if you have enough power, the suspension is only going to compress so far and then its either leave a big long black streak or up you go.
Pegasus is offline  
post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:48 PM
Super Moderator
 
kiwi 41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: 44.24'S 171.15'E Timaru, NewZealand
Posts: 8,619
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Send a message via Skype™ to kiwi 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Kirk View Post
As you know I just came off of a C50. Mine had 11,000 miles on it when I sold it with no issues. However, if you check the VolusiaRiders forum, there is lots of stripped splines where they were dry as the OP mentioned.

http://www.volusiariders.com/58-moto...r-splines.html

Many on the forum have been stranded when they finally stripped completely. You can do a search on the VR forum and get many hits on this subject.

for that, will do some research, it has around 11,000 miles on it now but since its the wife's it does not clock up huge miles at the moment so will certainly check out what happens to similar bikes with greater miles on it.
kiwi 41 is offline  
post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-20-2010, 11:00 AM
Member
 
Pretbek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 739
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Oh come on, 2 pages and no one has mentioned this one yet?

BMW shaft drives are also very easy, they clearly indicate when service is needed: when the final drive pukes its oil all over your rear wheel.

Yeah, cheap dig, but I couldn't stop myself.



Too bad Kawi shafts are not designed to be as maintenance free as Honda's. At 140,000 miles the splines on my ST1100 looked beautiful, with only the scheduled drive oil changes (24k like Bones said) and moly paste on the splines each time I changed the rear tire.
I am sorry you had such a bad experience with shaft drive.

Last edited by Pretbek; 11-20-2010 at 11:02 AM.
Pretbek is offline  
post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-20-2010, 01:31 PM
Member
 
arewethereyet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by potus2012 View Post
Stumpifier - Why would there be hard feelings? I'm not trying to start an argument, just a discussion.
gotfz1 - I believe you are wrong. I don't particularly like the jacking that seems inherent in shaft drive, but much can be accomplished with skill and determination. I believe shafties can wheelie, and I witnessed the instructor at my MSF course actually do a stoppie with a large ABS equipped BMW.
Bones - I have a lot of respect for Honda's design and build quality, maybe they actually do have maintenance free shafts. I personally, having been bitten, would still have to take it apart if I owned it just to be sure. May not be necessary, but I follow the "Fool me once - shame on you (Kawasaki!), fool me twice - shame on me" adage.
All - I'm not saying ALL shafties suck. I'm saying it's a bad idea to assume that ALL shaft drives are low maintenance. Vulcan shaft drives were high maintenance. Apparently so is the Suzuki C50. (Thanks for the link Cap'n) There may be more - maybe there aren't, but assuming they're all low maintenance could bite you in the arse like it did to us.
Kiwi - Maybe your bike is fine and needs nothing, but it would be wise to do some shaft maintenance on yours. (Gram/ounce of prevention being better than a kilo/pound of cure)
Pegasus - I don't know that a master link belt would be needed. Wouldn't it be simpler and more reliable to design a bike that you could just slip the continuous belt over the pulleys after loosening the rear wheel?
Arewethereyet - I don't understand your posts. Are you implying that because none of the 4-5 shaft drive bikes you know about have had shaft problems that all shaft drives are low maintenance? I have direct evidence to the contrary.
Actually no, i am saying do not hate all shafties, because you got a poorly made one.
I feel badly for you, that yours was junk.
But some are ultra reliable.
I had a brand new bmw, that was total garbage.
That bike I bought brand new, and babied it, and it was still unreliable, and always a headache. It does not make me automatically hate all bmw products, but never again will i own a bmw bike.
If i could afford it though, i would like a 7 series car.

Time alone with ones thoughts, is quality time.

They say there is a lack of jobs. Seems here to be more a lack of people willing to work hard, and take pride in the work they do.

Frank
arewethereyet is offline  
post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-20-2010, 06:40 PM
Member
 
Stumpifier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
That's an enlightened response. I think I read too much ADV Rider. That place is like walking down a cat filled hall carrying a bucket of water, you're always gonna get someone's ***** in a snit!

I think the problem isn't the idea of the shaft drive itself, it's that fact that it's harder to design a good shaft drive system and that the manufacturers are screwing it up and not taking responsibility. Motorcycle power transmission systems have to handle great stresses with much lighter components than cars. Chain drives are mechanically simpler to engineer and all manufactures have experience with them and know how to design a good system. Hondas, Moto Guzzis, and older BMWs have all had excellent shaft drive systems for a long time. They know the particulars of how to make a shaft drive work and apply them correctly. Others are either new to designing shaft drives or have simply screwed up and refuse to take responsibility (cough BMW). All bikes have their problems due to design and for me it's part of the purchasing process to find out what those are and take it into account before I ever purchase a vehicle. I just think it's a bit extreme to write off shafts all together because of one failure Potus.

There I have discussified.

Goftz I'm not sure I follow you on the Coriolis effect having an effect on doing wheelies. Wheelies are caused by enough torque being delivered to the rear wheel to over come the effect of gravity on the mass of the rest of the bike which causes it to rotate it about the rear axle. The torque required to overcome gravity drops as the center of mass rotates until it's over the rear axle at which point the machine can be balanced with no additional torque. Rolling wheelies are far forward of this point and the engine is used to keep the front tire off the ground. The fashion in which torque is transmitted doesn't matter, only that there is enough of it applied over a small period of time. The big difference is shaft bikes tend to be sport tourers or cruisers and their weight is farther forward (shafts are also slightly less efficient). If you took any bike to the Moon (and could keep both of you running ) it would wheelie under anything but very light acceleration.

Hummmm that was a little longer than I intended. Ohh well

Matt

1982 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk
2009 Green Versys
Stumpifier is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome