Originally Posted by kb0lxx
20,000 miles ago I installed the 17 ball bearing in my rear drive on 2000 K1200LT. I didn't measure and set the preload just put the spacers back in. Changed oil every 3th miles and had nice clean oil. On my last oil change at 20,000 miles, oil had very tiny tiny flakes of metal suspended in the oil. Flakes were so small they were floating in the oil and none magnet. Should I ride it or put in a new bearing and set preload?
Small amount of the standard black sludge on magnet.
I wouldn't ride far from home.
New metal particles after 20K miles of clean oil changes?
When you replaced the bearing was it because of a failed bearing our just a preemptive rebuild?
The particles were suspended in the oil. Are they magnetic? Or aluminum?
Suggestion: put the bike on the centerstand, push the brake pads away from contact with the rotor or remove the brake caliper and then check the wheel for smoothness. Much as been said about checking for lateral play, but I think roughness during turning of the wheel is more likely to be an early indication of bearing failure.
However, there is no substitute for opening and inspecting the drive.
If it were mine, and knowing what I think I know about these things, I'd open and inspect the drive.
If you're going to continue to ride, don't go anywhere you aren't prepared to stop and trailer.
I've changed a few things in my procedure but the video still is a good reference if you haven't seen it. PM me if you think I can be of any help.
Sorry for your troubles and good luck.