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Replace linkage bearings?

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Doing annual service on the '06 RM250. Linkage bearings were dry as a bone, with result that one bush at least has a bit of scoring, but cleans up reasonably well, and the rollers not terribly scored. No real play when reassembled.

Just wondering how critical to the handling are schmick linkage bearings? If not, I'll just clean, grease and back together.

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It depends on how you ride and your budget. If you are a pro and you race, then yes, you definitely need to replace them. As long as they are lubed well, and the whole suspension moves freely without any play, you should be good. On the other hand, you already took it apart, might as well replace it.

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What he said.

If they're worn they will continue to wear, so if you continue to use them you need to keep an eye on them. If money is tight: smooth the rough rollers as much as possible, lube and ride. If not, I'd replace them.

Use good grease, too. I've had good luck with Bel-ray waterproof grease. Mobil 1 synthetic is good, too.

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I would replace them, rough rollers like to disintegrate rather quickly. It's only like $70-80 for the kit.

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i replaced my linkage/swingarm/shock bearings and it made a world of a difference. the bike felt like a new one. on the linkage just be aware you need a blind bearing puller for the front of the dog bone. the bearings pull out and the center is larger so they cant be pushed through. i made this mistake by not paying attention and had to dremel out the races and i took my time and got lucky thati got it pretty darn close to the right width and perfectly round.

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I had no luck with a blind bearing puller--it could not get a grip. I just used a die grinder (air powered dremal). If you are careful and take your time, it works fine.

As far as replacement, I would tend toward cleaning them up, and run them until you detect free play. The main reason is that these bearings are pretty susceptible to damage anyway, and you might put in a new set and mess them up immediately. I put all new bearings (pivot works kit) in my RM at the start of this HS season. I ran 2 mud races (very nasty conditions), and after each race, all the bearings on the "cushion lever" were totally packed with mud. So now I just clean them up, pack them with belray, and run them until there is significant play.

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Yep, those suspension bearings are regular maintenance items. The amount of crap that can get into them is amazing. When I was racing I cleaned/greased them every week.

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And you don't need any bearing tools. I just hammered them out with a sockett to get them out. You can use a wise and a sockett as well. Torch will definately make it easier for you. I just replaced all of my bearings last week, and I don't remember them having to come out from one specific side. You can also make a tool by using a 12 inch thread, some washers, and 2 nuts. It will cost you about $3. You can see this one in the How to section of TT.

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It's the "dog bone" part that is the problem as far as removing old bearing races. They have to be pulled out, or ground down with a die grinder or similar tool. The others can be pressed out various ways, but it is sooooo nice to have a press. I use a cheap Harbor Freight 12 ton press (about $90). Very useful for pressing in all sorts of bearings.

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sockets and a vise work good to press them in and out.

Ditto.

A c-clamp works well if you don't have a vise.

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I replaced mine and it makes a big difference. You don't want any wobble on the swing arm, its better for your chain and sprocket. And, you don't want to cause wear to the swingarm itself. I had access to a press and used it both to get the old bearings and races out and to install the new.

Plus, it gives you an opportunity to take care of them right. You'll get new

seals in the kit and if you keep the new bearings clean and lubed you should never have to fight with them again.

Peace of mind has a pretty high value in my book.

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Yeah, I bit the bullet on this and bought thru ebay a new set of complete linkage bearings from pivot works. i decided on this after reading about the bottom shock mount bearing. I hadn't looked at this one, so went out to the garage to check it out. Locked solid! I used the tips given above to heat the link and press out the bearing with one big and one small socket either side. A few solid turns of the vice and out she popped. So no-brainer really.

The '06 will have a new lease on life for '10 - new fork seals and oil, new shock seals, oil and gas, new linkage bearings, new grips, new top end, new tall seat, new brake pads and new tyres. A few bucks there but at least I can do all this at home, unlike for a modern four banger! Bring on the '10 race season! And thanks for the tips guys!!

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I'm in the process of doing this myeslf. Parents got me the pivot works rear end kit for Christmas. Got all the old stuff out today and what a mess it was. Most bearings crumbled basically. Cut a slit in the remaining bearing with a hacksaw and beat them out. Cleaned up where the bearings press in, and now just gotta wait until Christmas to put it all back together.

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well i suspect we'll both feel the difference in shock action - for the better. its clear tho that you really gotta keep an eye on these suckers - outta sight can't mean outta mind!

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Hey - this 'dog bone' that was talked about previously, is that the ninety degree one with the three bearing sets in it? If so, which is the one that's not so easy to get out - the one the shock bolts to? I've already gotten that one out (with heat and sockets/vice). Will the other two bigger ones come out the same way???

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grinner, the dog bone is the long U shaped arm. the triangle piece your talking about is linkage where all the shock and stuff mounts to the swing arm. the Dog bone i was speaking of is U shaped arm that only has berings at the one end where it is basically the bottom fo the U. the open end has no bearings. all the bearings in the triangle you are reffering to should come out with a vice/heat/sockets like you spoke about. the shock bearings and swingarm bearings will also do the same. i dont remember if you were doing the swingarm bearings or not but im almost positive that i remember them pressing from the outside toward the inside of the swingarm. http://www.bikebandit.com/2007-suzuki-motorcycle-rm125-rear-cushion-lever/o/m10394sch528109 part #14 is the one im referring to. bearings labled 15 must be pulled out the same way they came in because the center is thicker on the inside so the bearings dont push in further then they are supposed to be. i ended up taking a dremel to mine after i destroyed the races and realized they needed to be pulled out. it was a royal pain to get them perfect and the right size but it turned out fine. my linkage is actually competely apart right now because im regreasing it(have about 15 hours of motox on it + washing bike and sand tracks). started to sound a little sqeaky. make sure to add some grease in there to when you install them, i like the bel ray waterproof. the tubs like 8 bucks. if you have any other questions post them up or PM me.

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thanks very much dmm. i've since gotten out all the bearings and races from the triangle link, so that's good to go. re the dog (now i know what that is), the bearings are still in reasonable condition so will probably leave as is, and keep the new pivot works ones for another time. thanks all for input.

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yeah if they arent totally shot i would not go through the trouble of messing with them. mine were totally rusted and basicaly stuck/seized so it was a must on the list. i cant put into words how much "tighter/smoother" the bike will feel after those are all replaced.

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