pivot bearings, when to change? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2013, 8:59 pm Thread Starter
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pivot bearings, when to change?

Hi Guys;

I just reached 47,000 miles with my 2005 LT.
I have seen a lot of posts about pivot bearings and was wondering when/if they need to be checked or changed.

Bike runs well, did the service work over the winter( flushes, brakes,abs,clutch changed plugs, O2 sensor and all fluids and new tires.

Just looking to prevent possible problems before they occur.

Thanks for any replies.

Regards,

Bowdon
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post #2 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2013, 9:43 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

I inspected the pivot bearings on my '05 when I drilled the slave cylinder weep hole at around 20,000Kms (12,000 miles). They were both notchy then and the lube in them was crap. The problem is that tapered roller bearings are being used for an application which is incorrect as there is not enough movement to cause the rollers (rolling elements) to rotate 1.5 turns (technical description for acceptable application of any rolling element bearing), hence the false brinelling we see (notchiness). 2 options - replace the bearings and 100% pack them with a moly type grease with a tacky addive and hope that improves the life, or replace them with the plain bronze bushings some have spoken of here. Personally, I repacked mine with a Castrol extreme pressure lube with 1000 cst base oil (Optimol Optipit) but the secret is to work the grease thoroughly into all the spaces between the rollers so the slightest rotation causes the rollers to push through lubricant, otherwise they will become dry the damage will soon occur. Long winded I know, but I hope this helps understand the issue.

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post #3 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2013, 10:02 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Specs on the bushing? Purchased standard or machine on the lathe?
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post #4 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2013, 12:35 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

?

http://rubberchickenracinggarage.com/bushings.html

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post #5 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2013, 11:16 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawk

Way easier than machining a set... Thanks,
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post #6 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2013, 4:03 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

What happens when these bearings fail?
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post #7 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2013, 7:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Just wanted to know if there is a way to check them, I have 47,000 miles and everything is tight, no play on the swingarm, FD so I was just wondering if things were OK.

So I assume everything seems OK??

Regards,
Bowdon
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post #8 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2013, 7:50 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by budzee
What happens when these bearings fail?
I have never seen one fail. I have seen them rusted, pitted & the typical grooves from normal wear that occurs because they have very little movement. The preload on the bearing compensates for the wear to a point.

Here are three pic's of one that I replaced that I felt had too much wear before I had a way to measure the race for wear. The deepest groove had .0005" wear. I don't have a way to measure the needle bearing wear but even if it was double the race groove wear the preload will still keep the FD from having any side play. I have 110,000 miles on my 04 LT since I replaced my pivot bearings & have no side play at all on the FD.
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post #9 of 23 Old May 31st, 2015, 8:24 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

I'm in it now. 2002 129K miles Didn't do enough searching, reading, before pulling the money gun, tear down and inspection...So I bought a used FD and went to put it in, now I find the pivot bearings are junk (really, really, junk, sharp burrs on the inner race) with the torque link unhooked from the final drive when I pivot it up and down it just bumps from notch to notch in the pivot bearing races. This may have been the problem I was experiencing . I am no way to the bottom of this yet. but while looking for replacement pivot bearings I ran in to this;

pivot bearings, when to change?-pivot-bearing-replacement-kit.jpg

Offered on ebay by an Australian, looks like it will work for the k1200 and seems to be a better engineered more comprehensive solution than the chicken racing unit, and at a lower cost! Anyone familiar with this one?

Chicken racing JL Paralever Bushings - Rubber Chicken Racing Garage: Quality Work. Classic Touch.

the Ebay unit BMW Paralever Motorcycle Final Drive to Swingarm Bearing Upgrade Kit | eBay

The used FD had some pivot bearing parts so I using the least bad I have for a trial run to see what if anything has changed on mine.

I am picking up that the stock pivot bearings are a real poor solution to the limited motion of this joint then the wrong lube is spec'd, used? and this crap design is used for year after year after... on model after...... Am I understanding moly paste would be much better than grease on the stock OR replacement bearing/bushings?

K1200LT gone, beater 1100RT on the way

Last edited by gggGary; May 31st, 2015 at 9:19 am.
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post #10 of 23 Old May 31st, 2015, 10:37 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Yes the bearing are crap but I really don't think you could "feel" them when riding unless they were seriously loose and floppy. I have re-installed notchy bearings before and even went to the rubber chicken racing bronze units and I cannot tell the difference in riding the machine. Just keep the pre-load set right as they really don't move much at all.
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post #11 of 23 Old May 31st, 2015, 11:07 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Food for thought...
Have also experienced the notchy bearings and replaced very early.
Crazy $$$ IIRC.
Installation requires pre-load to 9Nm, backing off, then final to 7Nm.
Guess to seat the race properly.
I remember watching a video ( Chris Harris IIRC ) saying they were told as techs to use a higher torque (11 - 12Nm, I think ) and that would be better.
I also agree with Dennis to repack fully with EP grease.

HTH
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post #12 of 23 Old May 31st, 2015, 8:01 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gggGary View Post
I'm in it now. 2002 129K miles Didn't do enough searching, reading, before pulling the money gun, tear down and inspection...So I bought a used FD and went to put it in, now I find the pivot bearings are junk (really, really, junk, sharp burrs on the inner race) with the torque link unhooked from the final drive when I pivot it up and down it just bumps from notch to notch in the pivot bearing races. This may have been the problem I was experiencing . I am no way to the bottom of this yet. but while looking for replacement pivot bearings I ran in to this;

Attachment 81490

Offered on ebay by an Australian, looks like it will work for the k1200 and seems to be a better engineered more comprehensive solution than the chicken racing unit, and at a lower cost! Anyone familiar with this one?

Chicken racing JL Paralever Bushings - Rubber Chicken Racing Garage: Quality Work. Classic Touch.

the Ebay unit BMW Paralever Motorcycle Final Drive to Swingarm Bearing Upgrade Kit | eBay

The used FD had some pivot bearing parts so I using the least bad I have for a trial run to see what if anything has changed on mine.

I am picking up that the stock pivot bearings are a real poor solution to the limited motion of this joint then the wrong lube is spec'd, used? and this crap design is used for year after year after... on model after...... Am I understanding moly paste would be much better than grease on the stock OR replacement bearing/bushings?
I sent a note to the seller of the Australian bearing replacements asking of the kit fit the K1200LT. His response: This is not made for the K1200LT but you are the 2nd person who has asked for it, so I will look into a production run.
- motorallyrider

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post #13 of 23 Old May 31st, 2015, 8:07 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

And I was the other who asked LOL

K1200LT gone, beater 1100RT on the way
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post #14 of 23 Old May 31st, 2015, 9:09 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

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Originally Posted by gggGary View Post
And I was the other who asked LOL
Did either of you ask what the magic technology is? Are these bushings like the RCRG solution (which I currently have on my LT), with the addition of a grease fitting? Or something else?

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post #15 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 8:38 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Did either of you ask what the magic technology is? Are these bushings like the RCRG solution (which I currently have on my LT), with the addition of a grease fitting? Or something else?
I don't think he is claiming any actual magic is involved. Looks like a solid bushing setup that can be externally lubricated via the grease fitting. The photo on his ebay ad shows something that would probably not work on the KLT. Hope he comes up with a solution. I like the idea of being able to give the bearing a shot of lube once in a while as opposed to having to tear it apart to check.

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post #16 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 9:07 am
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

2 cents more...

I don't recall anyone having a serious problem related to the pivot bearings.
I frequently found them to be "notchy" when I was rebuilding final drives for folks.

To check 'em, with the final drive removed from the bike, just put a finger in the inner race and rotate it. It will feel bumpy or smooth. If bumpy (notchy) replace them. Visual inspection is also easy as the inner race can be removed without difficultly. Careful however, occasionally someone has lost a roller or two.

You can not really check the bearing without removing the final drive. You can check for looseness by grabbing the rear wheel at 3 and 9 o:clock and checking for any axial movement. There should be not detectable movement. If there is detectable movement, the pivot bearings should be the first suspects. If movement is found, you could just re-torque the bearings, but a better idea would be to remove the final drive and inspect the bearings. If the bearings had been running loose, damage is likely.

The aftermarket bushings are advocated by some folks. I don't see the advantage although they may be more durable.

HTH
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post #17 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 12:50 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

The ADVrider site is full of people that did not like the RCRG bush set up as they fractured on the GSs. There was a guy there doing various Delrin compounds similar to the Aussie kit. May be a way to go but my RCRG units are holding up just fine.

John
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2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #18 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 1:01 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
2 cents more...

I don't recall anyone having a serious problem related to the pivot bearings.
I frequently found them to be "notchy" when I was rebuilding final drives for folks.

To check 'em, with the final drive removed from the bike, just put a finger in the inner race and rotate it. It will feel bumpy or smooth. If bumpy (notchy) replace them. Visual inspection is also easy as the inner race can be removed without difficultly. Careful however, occasionally someone has lost a roller or two.

You can not really check the bearing without removing the final drive. You can check for looseness by grabbing the rear wheel at 3 and 9 o:clock and checking for any axial movement. There should be not detectable movement. If there is detectable movement, the pivot bearings should be the first suspects. If movement is found, you could just re-torque the bearings, but a better idea would be to remove the final drive and inspect the bearings. If the bearings had been running loose, damage is likely.

The aftermarket bushings are advocated by some folks. I don't see the advantage although they may be more durable.

HTH
My bearings were severely notched at 37K miles. Since I had Tom rebuild my FD, I also bought the bushings since he could install the races while he had my FD.

I have run the bike a little over 11K since and all seems well do far, but I have not had the FD off for a bushing inspection. I have heard some issues with the bushings drying out and causing issues. I will have it apart for clutch work in the near future and I'll get a close look then.

I think durability is the only real potential advantage of the bushings. In theory, you don't have the point loads of the tapered roller bearings and thus the bushings should last forever ... unless they won't hold lube and get dry.
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post #19 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 1:50 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
The ADVrider site is full of people that did not like the RCRG bush set up as they fractured on the GSs. There was a guy there doing various Delrin compounds similar to the Aussie kit. May be a way to go but my RCRG units are holding up just fine.
I can see how the GS would be roughest on the bushings than the LT. Probably more shock/impact loads and greater rotation due to longer suspension travel. How many miles on yours? How many miles between greasing?

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post #20 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 9:36 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

I am usually pretty good about documenting things but my records are flaky. I think it was when I did the clutch job in 09 @50 K. Then I had the drive off for rebuild @ 76 K in 12. They were dry but other wise OK. Put some Moly 60 on them and they are still in there. Also I use less preload on them compared to the rollers. If you give it as much they feel like they are binding. (38 Lb-in compared to the 62 Lb-in in the manual)

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2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #21 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 10:46 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

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I am usually pretty good about documenting things but my records are flaky. I think it was when I did the clutch job in 09 @50 K. Then I had the drive off for rebuild @ 76 K in 12. They were dry but other wise OK. Put some Moly 60 on them and they are still in there. Also I use less preload on them compared to the rollers. If you give it as much they feel like they are binding. (38 Lb-in compared to the 62 Lb-in in the manual)
I followed the procedure Tom sent to me via a reprint of a magazine article. I don't recall the details, but the procedure wasn't directly torque based, but more performance based. I think you tightened the pin until the FD would not rotate downward due to gravity. Then gradually backed the pin off until the FD would just barely rotate due to gravity. Then lock it in place and check again the the FD would barely rotate downward due to gravity. A pretty easy procedure.

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post #22 of 23 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 11:44 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

So CharleyVT says grab the wheel at 3 and 9 to check for wiggle, what about 12 and 6? I got a little movement that way, looks like the pivot bearings, as the whole FD housing is moving, not much, but enough to feel it..
Could re-torquing it help? I just put the rebuilt FD on there last summer, laying on the ground with borrowed tools and a torque wrench, maybe I should check it again. Think I need to pull the drive and put more grease in the pivots? OK, I know the answer is yes, but I had to ask it in case somebody says "Naw!" and I'm off the hook...

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post #23 of 23 Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 7:46 pm
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Re: pivot bearings, when to change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by casualemt View Post
So CharleyVT says grab the wheel at 3 and 9 to check for wiggle, what about 12 and 6? I got a little movement that way, looks like the pivot bearings, as the whole FD housing is moving, not much, but enough to feel it..
Could re-torquing it help? I just put the rebuilt FD on there last summer, laying on the ground with borrowed tools and a torque wrench, maybe I should check it again. Think I need to pull the drive and put more grease in the pivots? OK, I know the answer is yes, but I had to ask it in case somebody says "Naw!" and I'm off the hook...
I would say re-do the preload. I had a guy show up an K75 and I took it for a spin. It wobbled all over the place and it was loose at the swing arm pivot to the frame. I pulled the cover and re set the preload on it by feel (no manual) and it was way better.

John
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2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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