Re-greasing the rear linkage on an 04 YZ 450.

I know I probably should have done this before now, but I'm wanting to re-grease the rear linkage on my bike. I've heard talk about some sort of plastic inserts that you have to cut out. Has anyone been through this yet? Any suggestions? Why would Yamaha put in something that has to be cut out to service the bike? Or was my info totally off track? Thanks

First of all dont be surprised if you go to open your linkage and its still plenty greased. I greased mine after a year of 3 days a week riding on my 03 and still had plenty. As for the plastic I dont know what your talking about. I will say watch out for the needle bearings as they like to stick to your gloves or fingers.

Are you talking about the plastic plugs in the swingarm? You shouldn't have to cut them out, they are only pushed in there. A good regreasing is good after buying a new bike, I used to assemble bikes out of the crate and some where very dry.

Once you regrease with a good moly grease it should last a while, unless you are in a wet climate. Also, in reference to the above: Unless Yamaha changed the bearing type from 02 to 03, your needle bearings should be within a fiber cage and should not come out. I replaced one of mine because the fiber cage had degraded and the needles were loose.

This thin "fiber material" is actually a type of solid lubricant that Yamaha uses on these bearings. You can either remove it and regrease, which would be a major pain, or just slap new grease right over it.

You are refering to the solid lubricant (yellow material) surrounding the needle bearings in the linkage.

I removed this material and took each needle out, packed the bearing with grease, and reinstalled the needles. This, in my opinion, is the best way to do it. It takes a little longer and you have to be more carful to not loose the needles and put them back in corectly making sure that you put the same number in as you have taken out. It is best to do one at a time. This is a huge mess, but it will be well greased when you are done. I have done my '04 twice and it is not that big of a deal.

Wow! Thanks guys. The fiber cage is what my friend was attempting to explain. He removed the cage also and replaced it with grease. I'll read the link above and decide what to do after that. Thanks for the help.

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