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Grease and Zerks 101

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For the most part grease as we know it is just oil that is added to a base that helps it stick to what ever it is that is being lubricated. Most of the time it is soap. I went to a seminar about it recently. There are different types for different purposes just like oils. There are synthetic and mineral of course but I don't want to split hairs. For the purpose of bushing type bearings like we have on our motorcycles. General purpose grease is fine. Or whatever makes you feel good. You only need a little. It is best to move the joint while you are adding it. For example: You have the motorcycle on the side stand with suspension fully extended. Stroke the grease gun while you push down on the suspension, that will greatly help you guys that can't get any in the joint at all. Everything is new and tight and there just isn't room for to much. Don't keep stroking until it comes out. Just get some to go in. It will work around. The seal issue I am not sure about.

As far as Zerks go They come in lots of different sizes so if you strip one out buy a tapp the same time you get the new zerk. Most any auto parts store will stock them. Don't get the big ones. If you use good judgment you won't need a drill, the aluminum is soft enough to be cut by the tapp. Gently insert the tapp and turn clockwise a turn or two then back it off to break the chips. Go in again a little further. Most of the metal chips will stick to the grease on the tapp so you don't have to worry about getting it into the bearing. Just get a toothpick or something and clean it out if you do. Buy a straight zerk for the swing arm so you can screw it down all the way. Don't overtighten and strip the new threads! Hopefully you have a grease gun with a hose to fit in there.

A trick for tight places is to use a 1/4 drive 12 point socket to operate the tapp. It will probably have a square end for a Tee handle tapp wrench but a 12 point socket will fit. If you are tallented you could use one of those little 3inch crescent style wrenches.

If you totally screw the job up don't worry. Smear some silicone sealer on the hole and go ride. I think it will take a long time to wear out or the factory would have put it on all the bikes right?

Good Luck :)

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I was informed that the bearings are needle in some places like the swing arm. But I think the theory is the same. Keep the dirt out and lube according to your riding habits.

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