Greasing Bearings Suck...where are the zerk fitings?

Why couldn't Yamaha spend an extra couple bucks and put zerk fittings on the swingarm and linkage? Tonight I attempted to take my swingarm and linkage off to grease it well...when I took my rear wheel and mud flap off I was clueless what to take off first :) ! From the looks of it I need to take the brake pedal off to get to the swingarm bolt, do i need to take the rear suspension off ??? I know people have greased linkages before so what size wrenches/sockets did it take I'm pretty sure it is metric since it is a Jap bike...right?? I wish the manual had a procedure on how to do this (the parts manual Hick put online was a great help cause of the diagram but I still am clueless) If any of you thumper fans have any pics or procedures on how to do this I would appreciate it a lot!!! Also, when I get the bearings off will they fall out or will they stay in (on previous two stroke needle bearings they stay in the linkage like this??) Thanks,



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

garrett, You mentioned something about "the manual". Do you have an owners manual or service manual? I don't know that there's any differance. The procedure you're looking for is out-lined starting on page 5-50. It may be kind of confusing, but the diagrams show where to grease and type to use, and the boxes give step by step instructions referring you to other chapters for related parts removal. I'm assuming that everyone got the blue "owners service manual" with delivery of their bike. Hope this helps.

All I have to say is....... Welcome to the world of high performance motorcycles. It is not Yahmaha that is to blame for the tight fitting parts and components. It is ours. Yep, we are the ones that would not buy a huge loose fitting monster with extra weight for all that convienence of grease fittings, quick disconnect swing arm, and low maintanence due to over design. Well maybe not you and me personally, but us as a consumer of the times. Sorry you are having a hard time with the tear down. Don't worry in a couple of months when you do this again it will get easier :)


Garrett, ts not as bad as it seems but set aside a couple of hours for it. I always use Bel-Ray waterproof grease. When you get it apart you will find that the roller bearings are encased in a "plasticlike" cage. Somewhere I read that it is solid lubricant. I removed all of it and just used the grease. You have to bang the parts on something to get the rollers out I used a folded towel on the workbench to cushion the blows.

Do your steering head while your at it, serious lack of grease there.

Yes, you have to remove the shock to get the swingarm off and I suggest you remove the shock and grease the pivots on the top and bottom of the shock too. My 426 takes 7/8, 3/4 and 9/16 to remove the parts (I know they are metric but they cross over) I think my 400 took 11/16 and 5/8.

[This message has been edited by F-Pilot (edited 01-17-2001).]

"From the looks of it I need to take the brake pedal off to get to the swingarm bolt, do i need to take the rear suspension off ??? "

Ahhh yes, just happened to be doing my friends 01 426 tonight. I did mine before I ever rode it (advice I got from here, MUCH EASIER, NO DIRT!)

I also purchased two torque wrenches (get the ft lbs one at least) to do the job right. If you think about how much $$ you just spent then it's well worth it. The Yamaha manual is the best OEM manual I've ever seen and has everything you need including the torque specs.

If you don't have the following you will need TWO 22mm sockets to do the swingarm bolt behind the plastic caps. Also a 19mm and a 14mm.

1) T/O the brake pedal

2) the chain roller

3) linkage

4) swingarm

This is my first Yamaha and I freaked when I saw the needle bearngs encased in a funky plastic, especially when I greased them with my finger & the plastic became distorted and even broke up a little. The boys here tell me it's a wax type stuff.....???? :)

All I know it's weird.


Thanks for the help I'm going to try again tonight

I greased the steering stem, wheel bearings, etc before I rode the bike! I was just being nervous (didnt want to screw up a new bike) I guess about the swingarm and linkage! I will print this page out so I can look at it while im working...I will let you know how it works out!


I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

Isn’t there a 27mm in the equation somewhere?

I can see how this could intimidate someone but it is an easy job as long as you have a stand and all the appropriate sockets. I use a long 3/8” extension to tap out the linkage and swingarm bolts.

I take off the wheel and the entire brake assembly (four bolts, a spring, and two screws) and set it aside. Then I remove the swingarm and connecting arm bolts (three long ones) and that should do it. When reinstalling just keep an eye on all the spacers (between cam and arm and arm and engine) so you don’t inadvertently leave one out. I also think the proper torque is critical here, too loose is too loose but too tight could wear out your bearings (I always use a torque wrench on the rear axle too).

A good tip is to use a little adhesive on the rubber stoppers that plug the arm in the area around the spring as well as the two plastic bolt covers on the outside of the arm. The former tend to dislodge when you are reinstalling the arm and the latter will pop out on the trail somewhere.

[This message has been edited by Hick (edited 01-18-2001).]

I installed automotive grease fittings in my linkage and swingarm, one of the locations on the linkage it was not possible because the bearing ran all the way across, and I did not want to modify the bearing cage. it works awesome, I can force the moisture out after cleaning with a pressure washer. By the way my bearings, steering head, linkage, and swingarm were all full of grease when I disassembled it for the first time, that was at about 100 hrs.

Thanks you guys for the help I finished greasing my swingarm/linkage/shock tonight it took a total of 2hrs and 15 mins! I see now why everyone said that it needed to be done...there was no grease at all on it and I don't see how that hard waxy stuff lubricates anything! Thanks F-Pilot for posting the wrench sizes in american (I dont have metric sockets that big so it was a big help)! But If any one reads this post who has a new bike take the time to do it all you need is a little patience. grease, sockets, and a cheater pipe (cause the bolts are on snug)! Thanks,



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

When I was a teenager, I worked part time at a busy full service gas station(remember those?) after school and some weekends. I did 100's of grease jobs on everything from small cars to buses. One thing I observed was that OVER-greasing is not a good thing. While there isn't much of a comparison between those vehicles and our MX bikes, I can see why our bikes are void of zerk fittings. Grease attracts dirt like a magnet. Once dirt is stuck to the grease it will be drawn into the pivot points by virtue of the back-and-forth action of the suspension. The abrasive action of the dirt will slowly grind these pivot points into a loose fit. By keeeping excess grease from accumulating at these points, you extend the life of these components. If you take your time and carefully hand-grease everything, only put grease where it's pretty much kept on the inside, you can expect longevity at these points. I forget who said it, but I remember reading in a "tech tips" forum about being "bike aware".

I agree with Boit. When I lube bearings and seals, I clean the outside of the seal lip area so there is no grease there to attract dirt.

BTW, you do not have to remove the subframe, shock, chain, or brake MC to do this job.

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