Motorcycles - Ernie Dube
Tech Tip: Swing Arm

For general non-specific make questions

Laziness is what I call my latest almost fatal oversight. Because I have lifts, I find it much easier to just ride onto it and strap it down to do all my maintenance.

Before I got the lifts I had and still have a Craftsman motorcycle jack that I did all my maintenance on. I could check the suspension and tires easily while it was in the air.

Since the lift is so much easier, I tend to use that more.

What happened was (and I thank my brother for finding it) my rear brake caliper has to be rebuilt because it is slow to let the fluid back into the reservoir. When he went to spin the wheel, he noticed the swing arm was loose. We removed the decorative chrome covers and found the bolt has loosened to the point where it was not in the bushing any longer.

This could have certainly lead to a very bad day if the bolt had come all the way out. I removed the bolt to inspect the bushing and threads, and found it to be ok.

I reinstalled the bolt with locktite and torqued it to the manufactured specs and reinstall the chrome. Since then, I make it a habit to check not only my bike but others that come my way.

The moral of the story is: don’t take things for granted because other things are easier. Check, check and recheck your bike and don’t assume that things are ok and get the suspension off the ground!


The Author - Roger Chartier