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Rear Wheel Bearing Failure KTM 450sxf

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So I don't know if this has ever happened to anyone before. I guess to some degree we've all ran into some type of wheel bearing issue. But this one turned out to be pretty bad, and could have resulted in some serious injury. So I have a few KTM's, and an older 450sxf, and occasionally I take it trail riding. The suspension of course is set up for motocross, and its a bit rough for Colorado single track but I just ride the clutch up the technical stuff. Anyway on one trail ride a few years ago without any warning my bike started to shake and wobble a bit. I knew something was wrong and stopped immediately. Another rider pulled up next to me and instantly saw that I had lost my right axel nut and block. I was pretty much open axel spinning for a while. Most of the entire housing of the hub was destroyed and of course the bearings were shredded, and not even recognizable. We JB welded a temp fix and limped it back to camp. But it got me thinking.

What would cause that to happen? I always make sure my nuts are torqued, and do proper maintenance with axel grease. Or would the rough terrain cause this. We did some really extreme riding the day before. Maybe that caused it. Has anyone wire tied axel nuts to keep them from rotating out?

Anyway here is the ride if anyone is interested. And any comments are appreciated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BDfQkL9wNE

 

thanks

Brendt

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I've had catastrophic wheel bearing failure before. From a lot of use and pressure washing caused it though. Caught it just before it would have caused some serious issues.

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Nice riding

Is that bike a link less bike ? One of hardest things for me is to get right is chain tension. I usually error on the side of caution and run the chain on the loose side. If been told if you get it to tight it will destroy the wheel bearings.

I got that information from a KTM shop owner/ professional tuner

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It doesn't matter what side the nut is on,..nor does it matter how rough the trail is the chain tension needs to be correct regardless.

If you have a PDS frame the chain needs to be very loose,there are many posts on the Internet discussing this.

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From my experience....

1. Yes my chain was properly tightened, or if you want to call it loosened

2. My axle nut was on the brake side

I lost 2 axle nuts and blocks with it being on the brake side. Then I learned from an old side man that in very techinal trails(witch I and the OP were riding) when you are using your brake a lot it tends to heat up the swing arm, and eventually the axle which intern expands that alluminum axle nut, causing it to back off. If you don't believe me just feel your caliper/swing arm after a big hard ride... *cheers*

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yes I believe my nut was on the brake side. And I did have problems in the past where I may have been riding the brake accidently on extreme down hills and not functioning when I needed it. Would have to let it cool down and change the fluid out. Anyway, after the hub was destroyed I decided to go on ebay and found a new complete wheel for a great price. It actually came with a nut that surprisingly had a small hole drilled thru it with a small cotter pin attached to it. Hmmm. I haven't used the nut yet being cautious that the tiny hole may split the nut at high temps. But interesting.

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