Final Drive noise
I own a 2002 R1150RS with 24K miles. Lately I've been feeling/hearing a faint "clicking" noise coming from the final drive as I coast to a stop on the road. Out of curiosity, today I changed the final drive fluid and noticed what appeared to be very very small metal flakes in the fluid, which I am associating with the noise I've been hearing. Am I right to conclude the two are related? Are the tiny shiny specs in the fluid normal wear and tear, or an indication of a real problem? Are the final drives prone to any typical failures I should be looking for? Any help in solving the clicking mystery would be greatly appreciated. I am planning a ride from Orlando to Key West in May and am concerned about a possible major failure on the road.
Originally Posted by bikedog54
Reads as though you have a FD that is on the way out, or is out! Welcome...
Both Tom Cutter and Anton Lariader are well versed in the rebuilding of the infamous final drives.
I don't know where you are located but you could check out the following. Good Luck.
For your own edification... the following, and there are many many more.
From what I read, shiny flakes in the oil are a pretty good indication of a big bearing failure. However, a metallic paste on the magnetic tip of the drain plug is no big deal. It can be a little confusing because the paste will sometimes look like shards until you touch it.
There are a couple other checks you can try. Put the bike on the centerstand and see if the wheel wiggles back and forth. If it wiggles try to discern if the entire final drive is moving, or if only the wheel is moving. A moving FD usually means the pivot bearings are loose or going bad. A moving wheel means the big bearing has failed. that check is a little difficult to read IMO.
You can also pull the wheel off, drain th FD, and pull off the big rubber seal. the big bearing is behind the seal. It should be obvious if the bearing is failing. You'll have to destroy the seal to get it off. It costs about $35 and is simple to replace.
In any event, let me know if you decide to replace the big bearing yourself. I've never done it before. I'l love to come down and help / watch.
Thanks for the replies, LGB and Jim. I will perform the recommended inspections to confirm my suspicions of a big bearing on it's way out. I watched the video of the final drive rebuild and it seems straight forward enough, if not a bit time consuming. If I decide to take the job on I'll let you know.