Linkage bearings

While re greasing the linkage bearings on my 01 for the first time I noticed that Yamaha is using some sort of new material between the needle bearings. I of course had to remove this in order to clean all of the individual needle bearing and am quite sure it is not necessary for them to function properly. I have re packed quite a few swing arm bearing before and have seen metal and plastic cages that separate and align the needles but this stuff is a very soft rubber like material, is it perhaps impregnated with lube or just in there to aid in assembly.


Those are there to hold them together at the factory during assembly. I tried to get all of mine out to allow more room for grease.

Switch to Pivot Works linkage bearings. They make full compliment bearings for smoother suspension action and it spreads the load out better. You can find them in the Tucker-Rocky book or Parts Unlimited or Marshall, etc.

They also make double sealed wheel bearings.


that is a lubricant impregnated polymer, and it's designed to be there instead of grease. unless you actually have dirt or corrosion, and really need to clean each needle, just leave it in there. i usually wipe a healthy smear of bel-ray waterproof on top of it for good measure, but be careful not to tear it.


will pattison

racer, engineer

Next time you have your linkage apart take few minutes and drill and tap all your hing points for grease zerks. I did this and it makes things alot easyer to grease plus your forcing the grease in till it oozes out the sides so you know its well greased. By doing this you are more likely to grease your bike more often. It takes me about a minute, and i grease my linkage every other weekend.

Did you drill through the outer races or line up at the edge? I have thought about doing this but figured it would be difficult do drill through the races without taking the bearings apart.

I was thinking about putting the zirks in the end of the linkage bolts and drilling a small hole in the center of the shaft, then cutting a slot in the bushings that lines up close to the hole. You used to be able to buy a system like I describe aftermarket but I have not seen it for a while. I have not had the time to play with it and modify mine yet.


I used the bolts with the zerks on the end, but one of the zerks hit the linkage kept breaking off so i had to relocate it to the center and drill through the race. It took a bit of work but it was sure worth the time.

could anyone that has installed zerk fittings in their linkage, post some pictures of were they located them, and how difficult installation was ? what size zerk Fittings ? this sounds much better than tearing apart the rear linkage, swingarm, etc.

I can send you pictures by mail, my computer is down and I can't send or scan from work. 608-873-5240 after 4pm CST. mike


if you email them to me I can post them for you !

G :)

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