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Thread: R65 Wheel Bearing Grease

  1. #1
    Registered User grover1949's Avatar
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    R65 Wheel Bearing Grease

    Good Afternoon,

    This winter, I will be re-building the front end on my '83 R65 (new tire, tube, wheel bearings, brake rotor, brake pads, steering head bearings, fork seals, fork springs, and a caliper rebuild). Is there any bearing grease that is better than all the rest? I live in NW Ohio and ride 9 months a year in temps ranging from about 35 - 95 degrees F and most trips are under 50 miles.

    Thanks,

    Larry
    I can't help growing older, but I refuse to grow up!
    -Larry
    1983 R65

  2. #2
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Pretty much any standard wheel bearing grease from your local auto parts store should be fine I reckon.
    But grease is like oil. More opinions than brands! ;-)

    Here is what Snowbum says on his website:

    "For steering head tapered bearings, wheel bearings, & swing arm bearings, you can use a single grease. I recommend Chevron NLG1 (or NLG2, which is slightly thicker & better for wheel & other roller or ball bearings) Ultra Duty EP red grease. That grease is also excellent for general purpose lubrication & for use at U-joints & places that have zerk fittings for lubrication. The red Chevron grease is particularly good for water resistance; and, if you live in snow country, is excellent for those easy-to-wear-out universal joints on your 4 wheel drive truck. It is excellent for the BMW clutch throwout bearing during re-assembly (yes, I know that transmission oil will EVENTUALLY get to the area & lubricate as intended), & pretty good for some places on your bike that need grease, such as all the tapered bearings used at the steering head and wheel bearings and swing arm bearings. It comes in standard grease gun tubes. You'll probably have to go to a "Chevron Distributor", not a gas station, to purchase it. You may have to purchase a box of tubes...so share with your Airhead friends...or, car/truck friends. While the Chevron red grease IS usable for wheel bearings, I prefer, slightly anyway, a different grease for them, but you could use the NLG2 for the wheels quite successfully. None of these is for splines lubrication...>>on an Airhead, or K-bike, there are one to three splines that require special moly lubricants. For wheel bearings, here is another grease that works quite well: Quaker State Multipurpose Grease & Wheel Bearing Lubricant. This grease is a NLG1 type of grease, similar in some respects to that Chevron grease I mentioned...but different characteristics for these purposes. It is NOT A MUST....but is what I personally use most of the time for wheel bearings, otherwise I use the Chevron. What I am saying is that you can use the Chevron red grease for most everything but spline, on your Airhead."
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Larry -

    ^^^ What he said! He types faster! ^^^

    Snowbum has a section on chemicals here:

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/chemicalsetc.htm

    He does talk about wheel bearings and greases. He mentions a Chevron NLG1 or NLG2 red grease. I ended up getting some of this grease, but only use it on things like steering stem bearings...bearings that aren't rotating all the time and as much as wheel bearings. I usually cut the Chevron grease with about 1/3 regular wheel bearing moly grease. Snowbum suggests a Quaker State grease for wheel bearings...might be easier to find than the Chevron stuff.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
    His title said "wheel bearing grease" - then the question about grease. My answer is those are sealed wheel bearings and ought not need grease unless a seal has failed and a bearing has dumped its grease, so to speak.

    Now then, if he meant steering head bearings then the answer is any good chassis grease with good water resistance will work fine.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  5. #5
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    The fiche for an '83 R65 shows the front wheel bearing is #07119985005 (40x17x14) which is a standard SKF 30203 tapered roller bearing...doesn't sound like it's sealed. The OP did mention both wheels and steering stem in his original post.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  6. #6
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    As an aside, when I did wheel bearings on the F800GS rear wheel, it was suggested to have a look at the grease inside a sealed bearing-
    Her it is....or isn't



    OM

    Whole thread here- http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....gs-on-a-F800GS
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  7. #7
    My oops on the sealed or not sealed wheel bearings on the R65.

    As for those sealed bearings in general my advice has been and is;

    If your bike has non-sealed bearings and you don't see some ooze or scunge around the bearing it is dry and needs to be lubricated. If you do have sealed bearings and you see ooze or scunge around the bearing the seal has failed and the bearing is or will be dry and needs to be greased or replaced.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Wish there was a photo, but the Ed Korn tool is the bomb

    http://www.cycleworks.net/index.php?...ed156d243854ce
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  9. #9
    Registered User grover1949's Avatar
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    Wheel Bearing Greaser

    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Wish there was a photo, but the Ed Korn tool is the bomb

    http://www.cycleworks.net/index.php?...ed156d243854ce
    When I was working in garages in high school and college, we had something like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-65250-B...earing+greaser

    And thanks for the input on grease types!

    Take Care,

    Larry
    I can't help growing older, but I refuse to grow up!
    -Larry
    1983 R65

  10. #10
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Wish there was a photo, but the Ed Korn tool is the bomb

    http://www.cycleworks.net/index.php?...ed156d243854ce
    I have always greased wheel bearings using my palm of my hand the way an old school mechanic taught me 44 years ago. But when I heard about this insertable wheel bearing grease tool I was skeptical so I borrowed one from an airhead (no idea who made them but it was purchased locally at Shail's Motorcycles) and tried it out. Then I removed the bearing to see how well it was greased. I was surprised to find it did as good a job as I could with my hands! I use this tool at every tire change and it's a great time saver.

    I also have another nifty tool for greasing the swing arm. This one is just pushed into the cavity behind the plastic cover cup and it greases the bearings in there quite effectively.
    Here's what they look like.
    IMG_20161024_101257.jpg
    IMG_20161024_101325.jpg
    IMG_20161024_101231.jpg
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  11. #11
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I, too, was taught to put a dollop of grease in my palm and then work that into the edges, turning the bearing in my hand. Gets pretty messy!

    I bought two of these from Cycleworks, one for my /7 and the other for my R69S. I recall some concern about using these, as mentioned on the Airmail airlist a number of years ago. I wish I could see a cutaway of the tool installed and working. The concern was that the grease takes a path of least resistance and might not end up where intended, maybe just a bit glob of grease in the center of the hub. As others were saying, the importance of bearing service is more than just pumping in grease, but taking it out, inspecting, greasing, and then reestablishing the preload. Not that I want to do that (or have done it) each time. Still, I suppose doing something like this is better than doing nothing at all.

    Another member offered another approach to greasing bearings:

    http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....l=1#post934716
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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