NOT another "no-grease-in-the-linkage" post

I've owned a lot of bikes over the years, but this is my first WR450F. It's a 2009 I bought new this past spring.

I'm not a racer anymore (atleast that's what I tell the wife...I may pick it up again if my son wants to start, but I digress), but we rode every weekend this summer. After reading many posts about Yamaha and poor lubrication from the factory, and horror stories about seized bolts and bearings I figured I had better get out to the "man-cave" and get tearing my bike apart. The poor old girl had spent many an afternoon dragging her belly through the mud and creek crossings, puddles and snot. According to most everything I read here lately, I might as well just get the pneumatic hammer and sawzall out as my bike was probably just one big mass of seized aluminum and steel.

With the first nut off the linkage out, I prepared to begin bashing at the bolt...but I started with a light tap - and bolt flew out slick as snot on a doorknob. So did all the rest. Well, that must mean the the bearings are all rusted and screwed up...but that wasn't the case either.

Long story short (if it's not too late already), there WAS grease in all the bearings. NO stringcheese as I suspected. Agreed, it was a little thin and getting blackish, but grease just the same.

Of course, being another OCD rider/maintainer, I still stripped them apart, cleaned and re-greased...but it's good to know that there is a LITTLE grease in them from the factory. At least enough to get this old rider through a season.:thumbsup:


I was lucky with my '08 as well in that regard.

Thankfully the little jap bloke at Hamamastu actually dipped his finger in the grease pot with my bike instead of pretending to!

Sadly it seems that many have not been so lucky.


My 08 was dry as a bone, but I didn't ride it at all until it was stipped, greased, and modded.

How often are you guys re-greasing your rear linkage?

How often are you guys re-greasing your rear linkage?

Once a year, but our conditions are relatively dry here in SoCal. I'd do it more often if conditions were wetter/muddier.

I read this post earlier and paranoia set in. I stripped the rear linkage off my '09 250 and found that the bearings had been liberally greased BUT the pivot bolts were drier than a camels armpit. All of which had started to corrode. Got them in time though...:thumbsup:

good to hear and love the analogies! Though the grease should be black and black moly grease should go back in. Gotta do mine soon hope to find good news also.

my '06 had grease in both the linkage and swingarm bearings, not alot but it was grease. I do mine once a year or so.......

I asked the shop foreman at the dealership where I bought my 08 what the deal is with grease. He said that while they don't grease them as well on the assembly line as most owners would they have enough to get most people through the first season of riding and then you should tear it apart anyway.

Hey guys, I was curious about how long it took to grease the linkage and get everything back together.

Took me about an hour and a half.

How often are you guys re-greasing your rear linkage?

My bike has done about 3000km and I've greased mine four times, including the swingarm pivot. I rebuilt the shock as well at about 2,700km.


I tear mine apart once a year also. Usually in the winter time, when it's easier to find the time to do it right. Not only does it help to make the bike last longer but I found that it made the bike more supple too! Anyone else notice this? Or is this one of those "placebo" effects? Maniac

I bought a friend's 03 with only 1340 miles on it this fall. The rear suspension bearings had that string cheeze stuff in them, and some were rusted and siezed. I replaced every one of them along with new seals, and applied grease very liberally.

My Kawasaki KLR 650 rear bearings were barely greased also. I lubed them up completely after 1000 miles or so. Even my Road Star was barely lubed. Seems like standard operating procedure for most bike manufacturers.


Pulled the swing arm off this evening to do those bearings, and there was almost no grease in these. My first sense of something wrong was when I pulled the bolt out and it was wet and a bit rusty. I'm not sure why water gathers there more than other places. I did notice that there are steel "grease caps"(?) on the outside of the bearings, but not the inside because the sleeves are longer than the bearing housings and stick out about 1/2" on the insides. This may be the reason water gets in and rusts the crap out of them.

I now see why the experienced guys here say to do these impotant greasing points atleast once a year.:thumbsup:

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