Rear Wheel Removal - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Wheel Removal

I have been asked by a few people to describe the process of rear wheel removal on the Bonneville series of bikes. To anyone with any amount of experience of motorcycle maintenance, this is all fairly obvious, but what is great about this forum is that it is encouraging people to do their own work. So since this is one of the fiddliest rear wheels I have ever had to remove, and because there are folks who have never done it, I thought I would just post some pics of the process.

As usual, you should have a workshop manual, and be familiar with general workshop practices.

To start with, you need to get the rear tyre off the floor. I have a centerstand, so I use that in conjunction with a 2 X 6 (for a little extra ground clearance). If you donít have a centerstand, use a Sears or other brand motorcycle jack. If you have a short rear fender the extra clearance may not be so necessary.



I have predator silencers, so all I have to do is remove the left passenger footpeg, to allow the silencer to move about a bit.



If you have stock silencers or TORs, you will have to remove the left silencer completely.

Now remove the rear brake caliper from the hanger bracket (14mm socket needed). Place it on top of an old coffee can or something so it is not dangling from the brake hose.



Remove the nut from the right side of the wheel spindle. You will need a 24mm box end wrench for this, plus a 19mm box end wrench to hold the left end of the spindle. There is no need to slacken off the chain adjusters Ė if you do this right, the wheel will go back on such that you do not have to readjust the chain tensioners to get the tension correct.

It is now possible to slide the spindle out towards the left side of the bike. I usually lift up on the rear wheel to take the weight off the spindle, and then start by poking it through from the right. Once it has started to slide out, you can grab it from the left side and pull it out.

It slides just underneath the preds:



Lower the wheel to the ground, and then remove the rear brake caliper hanger bracket:



Itís worth taking this out rather than trying to leave it balancing in place, because when it falls to the ground it dents easily and clangs something terrible.

Pull the chain off the sprocket, and hook it over the swingarm:


Before he did it, I'd have said it couldn't be done.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Now you can tilt the wheel over and maneuver it out between the swingarm and rear fender / mudguard.

This is an excellent time to clean the rear wheel, inside the rear fender / swingarm, and clean the chain and front sprocket!

Once you have done whatever you want to do to the rear wheel while it is out, installation is more or less the reverse of the above.

Clean and grease your wheel spacers:





And put them back in the rear wheel Ė clean the seals first!

Top hat spacer goes on the brake disc side:



Plain spacer goes on the sprocket side:



Maneuver the wheel back in place between the swingarm and fender. Once the wheel is in place then you can hook the chain back over the sprocket:



And then replace the rear brake caliper hanger bracket. I place the rear spindle (cleaned and with a light smear of grease on it) through the rear swingarm from the left, and just into the caliper hanger bracket.


Before he did it, I'd have said it couldn't be done.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Now what I do is gradually lift the rear wheel into place, using blocks of wood. What you can also do is jack up the front end of the bike, which will gradually lower the back end down, so that you can feed the swingarm over the rear wheel spacers.

Either way, the trick is to get the spacers between the hanger bracket and chain adjuster brackets. Itís fiddly the first time, but practice makes perfect.



Once that is done, slide the spindle through the rear wheel, and then replace the rear spindle nut on the right hand side.



Now all you have to do, is slightly tighten the nut, check the chain tension, adjust if necessary, and then fully tighten the wheel nut.

Now reinstall the brake caliper, replace left hand silencer and passenger footpeg, and you are done!

Before he did it, I'd have said it couldn't be done.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 02:58 PM
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Thanks, good post. Should be a sticky!
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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It is!

Well, it's linked in the info stickies.

Coming soon - how to change a tyre!

Before he did it, I'd have said it couldn't be done.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 04:14 PM
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Thanks. I was wondering about that, due to never having had a bike with an endless chain. I thought it had to be cut to remove the wheel.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by propforward View Post
It is!

Well, it's linked in the info stickies.

Coming soon - how to change a tyre!
Stickied, and bookmarked on my end. Your write-ups are terrific. I'm going to do my own 12k service because of your write-up about that. I feel like I've watched someone do a 12k service and remove a rear wheel and make me think it's not so bad. Thank you.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 05:49 PM
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Awesome, thanks!
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 06:03 PM
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Great writeup. On my next Bonneville I'll feel more like doing it myself.

Thanks ..

Previous owner of a beautiful
'02 Bonneville ... British Racing Green
Sold 28 Aug '09
Previous Motorcycles: R-51 & R-53 BMW; '58 Triumph TR6SR; '70 Honda 750.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 10:28 PM
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One additional suggestion to make inserting the axle bolt easier, because it can be frustrating to keep everything lined up sufficiently to get it all the way through, especially if the chain adjusters are loose:

Insert a length of dowel, a ratchet extension, or similar through the right side to hold the right-side parts in place. You can more or less let the right side go then, and use both hands to line things up and get the axle bolt started on the left side. It will push out the place holder as it goes in.

It's still important to have the wheel resting at about the correct height, or the task becomes much harder because you have to lift the wheel into place and hold it while you're doing this.

Don't lean on the brake lever while the caliper is off the rotor. I put a scrap of thin wood between the pads while the caliper is off. And remember to tighten the two caliper bolts and test the brake before you ride off!

Marty
2005 Bonneville Blue 790cc, AI removed, Staintunes RC, no snorkel, inlet enlarged, 118/40/NBZT "Thruxton" needles/1 shim/3 turns, Ikon 7610s, Ricor Intiminators, Michelin Pilot Activs, D9 gauge panel, tachometer.

Last edited by Baltobonneville; 09-12-2009 at 10:31 PM.
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