Rear wheel problem

During the last couple of rides, I've noticed the back end feeling a little squirrely. I thought it may have been a flat or maybe I didn't tighten down the bolts holding on the subframe, but they both checked out. (That's what I thought it felt like.) This evening, I grabbed the rear wheel and shook it. There seemed to be a bit of play in it that I hadn't noticed before. Axle is torqued to specs, all spacers are in place. I felt the spokes, and a few seem looser than the others.

Obviously, I'm going to have to look into it soon if I plan to ride this weekend. Has anyone else had this happen to them? I've never worn out a wheel bearing before, so I don't know what the symptoms are. If it is the bearings, are special tools required to change them?

Thanks again,



Certainly sounds like the wheel bearings. FYI, had a similar problem on a KX250 some years ago, and it cost me a new hub when the bearings froze up (sure stops you in a hurry), fortunately the cases were spared.


It does sound to be your bearings. The bearings have to be pounded out from the inside. You'll need a long punch, one that can fit through the axle hole in your hub. It will take a little time. You also want to knock it out evenly. Don't try to do it in one shot - you'll cock the bearing.

As a recomendation, DO NOT USE THE STOCK YAMAHA BEARINGS, they are crappy. I have seen Boss Bearing advertised in the back of some cycle mags (MXA or Dirtrider) or you can take your pounded out bearings to a bearing supply store and have them match them w/ a good quality bearing. I know the front bearings on my WR were not even sealed. My front bearings went out at ~200 miles.


'99 WZ with all YZ mods, FMF PowerBomb header, Stroker SX-1 silencer, SS front brake line, forked over by Pro-Action, OEM YZ tank and IMS seat.

Thanks for the advice so far.

I took off the wheel this evening and took a look. The bearing that's on the sprocket side is definitely bad. It was corroded and has a lot of play. I used an 8" long 1/2" drive extender to tap the bearing out from the other side--worked like a charm. The bearing on the other side, which is held in by a circlip, seems to be fine. It rolls smooth and has no play that I can detect. It is also hard to get out w/o a circlip tool.

Do the bearings have to be changed in pairs? I'm thinking about just replacing the bad one. There's a bearing shop in town that probably has both bearings at a much more reasonable price than OEM (about $60 for the pair from Yamaha).

I'm thinking that one of these days, this list will have covered every possible maintenance/performance issue pertaining to the WRF. Wouldn't be surprised if Yamachanics (how's that for a word) use this forum as a reference tool.

My husky 610 would eat a drive side wheel brg every 6 mos.

I have had the best luck with name brand(skf, fag, fafnir) bearings.

I also slip the seals off with a pick and clean and repack the brgs with a top notch waterproof grease before reassembly.

I scotchbrite the gunk out of the hub and lubricate the od of the brg with never-seaze before pushing it squarely in.


Since you have the wheel off, I'd opt to change out both bearings now. You are right about prices, you should be able to cross reference them at any bearing supply house, and save some money.

The answer to your questions about "having" to replace them in pairs is "no". But, like I said, since you have the wheel off, why not?

Originally posted by SFO:

My husky 610 would eat a drive side wheel brg every 6 mos...


Now that you put it that way: "drive side wheel", it makes sense that the bearing wore out sooner than the other one. I also like the suggestion of anti-seize and scotchbrite. I've learned something new and useful yet again...

[This message has been edited by Rich in Orlando (edited 02-27-2001).]

The drive side thing I learned with drag bikes.


When we built wheels for them we would bore our hubs deeper and double up the bearings on the drive side.

Watching a pro-mod bike launch in slo-mo gives you new appreciation for chain stretch.

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