How to remove and reinstall your front wheel


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How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:44 pm



Your front wheel needs to be removed in order to replace the bearings, have the tire replaced, to replace the brake rotors, or balance the wheel. It is a fairly simple procedure that can be done with simple tools.

Removing the wheel

1. You will need a way of jacking up the front wheel of the motorcycle. You will need to be able to lift the front wheel at least two inches. If you do not have a motorcycle jack, you can use a trolley jack and a piece of wood, as shown here. With the motorcycle on the center stand, carefully position the lifting point of the jack in the centerline of the motorcycle, near the front. The wood should be sized so that it does not hit the exhaust, to ensure the motorcycle is being lifted by the engine case and/or frame, not the exhaust.

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2. You may wish to remove the speedometer cable from the speedometer drive housing. To do so, loosen the screw and pull the cable to the rear. It is not necessary to do so - however, you can take the opportunity to lubricate the speedometer drive.

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3. Remove the caliper bolt and caliper slider bolt from each brake caliper. Slide the caliper up and off the brake rotor.

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4. Remove the bolt holding the speedometer cable stay to the left caliper bracket. Remove the stay.

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5. Loosen the bolts holding the caliper mounting bracket on each side.

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6. Remove the caliper mounting brackets on each side.

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7. Loosen, but do not remove the axle holder nuts on the left side of the motorcycle.

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8. On the right side of the motorcycle, examine the axle. Just inside the fork leg, you will see two flat spots on the axle.

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9. Put a wrench on these flat spots. This will keep the axle from turning while removing the axle nut.

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10. While holding the wrench on the axle on the right side of the motorcycle, loosen the axle nut on the left side of the motorcycle.

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11. Remove the axle holder nuts, and the axle holder on both sides of the motorcycle. Lift the motorcycle slightly with the jack, to take the weight off the front wheel. Remove the axle nut. It consists of a sleeve with internal threads, that threads onto the end of the axle.

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11. Lift the motorcycle to allow the speedometer drive to be pulled off the wheel hub, and off the axle.

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12. Remove the front wheel from the motorcycle. Be extremely careful of the brake rotors - don't allow them to hit anything, and do not rest the wheel up against them.

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13. Pull the axle out of the wheel from the right side of the wheel.

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14. With a wrench holding the bolt head on the left side of the wheel, loosen and remove each of the brake rotor retaining nuts on the right side of the wheel. Remove both brake rotors from the wheel and set them aside on something soft.

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15. Remove the spacer from the right side of the wheel.

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Reinstalling the wheel

1. Install the bolts into the left brake rotor, and install the rotor onto the wheel.

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2. Install the right brake rotor onto the wheel, and install the rotor nuts finger-tight. Begin snugging the nuts, skipping every other nut: There are five nuts. Looking at the nuts clockwise, tighten #1, then #3, then #5, then #2, then #4.

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3. Finish tightening the nuts in the same pattern using a torque wrench set to 22 ft-lb.

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4. Insert the spacer into the right hub.

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5. Clean and lightly grease the axle.

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6. Insert the axle into the right side of the wheel, through the spacer.

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7. Position the wheel under the forks.

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8. Lightly grease the speedometer drive.

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9. Slide the speedometer drive over the axle. Ensure the tabs on the speedometer driver in the wheel match up with the slots in the speedometer drive.

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10. Install the axle nut onto the axle, finger tight.

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11. Hold the right side of the axle with a wrench so that the axle cannot rotate.

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12. Using a torque wrench, tighten the axle nut to 42 ft-lb.

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13. Rotate the speedometer drive to ensure the tab molded into the speedometer drive (red arrow) is behind the tab molded into the fork leg (blue arrow). This keeps the speedometer drive from rotating on its axis when the wheel turns.

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14. Lower the motorcycle so that the fork legs are resting on the axle. Make sure the axle nut is flush against the fork leg.

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15. Ensure the end of the axle on the right side is flush with the fork leg.

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16. Install the axle holders. Note that each axle holder has an arrow and the letter "F" molded into it. Ensure the arrow points forward when installed.

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17. Note that when installing the axle holder, the washer goes on first, followed by the split washer, followed by the nut.

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18. Snug the front nut first, then the rear. Do not tighten them yet.

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19. Install the brake caliper brackets on both sides.

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20. Torque the caliper mount bolts to 25 ft-lb for 1980-1982, or 29 ft-lb (upper bolt) and 17 ft-lb (lower bolt) for 1983 models.

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21. Insert a 0.7mm feeler in between the caliper mount and the rotor at several spots on both sides of the rotor, on both the left and right sides of the motorcycle. If there is binding, loosen the axle holder nuts and adjust the fork leg in or out as required, then snug the axle holder nuts again and re-check.

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22. Torque the front axle holder nut, then the rear axle holder nut. Both should be torqued to 25 ft-lb for 1980-1982, or 16 ft-lb for 1983 models.

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23. Reinstall the speedometer cable stay to the left caliper bracket.

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24. Lubricate the caliper pivot bolt with high-temperature brake lubricant.

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25. Reinstall both calipers. Torque the pivot bolts to 20 ft-lb, and the caliper bolts to 13 ft-lb for 1980-1981, or 17 ft-lb for 1982 and later models.

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26. Squeeze the front brake and check for proper operation. For 1983 models, operate the rear brake as well.

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27. Re-check clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors.

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28. Clean both sides of both rotors with brake cleaner, to remove any dirt or grease that may have accumulated.

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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby robertdawber » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:03 pm

What do you mean when you say this"adjust the fork leg in or out as required" How do you mean adjust the fork leg?
You wrote that as part of the procedure with the feeler gage
Thanks
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:43 pm

It means pull the fork leg out, or push it inwards, to adjust the space between the caliper and the brake rotor (so the two fork legs are either farther apart or closer together). When you get it right, tighten the axle clamps on the axle, which will hold the fork in that position.
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby robertdawber » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:31 pm

Well I am at my wits end-
I took the tire off-rebuilt the forks, calipers, etc. Had the tire balances and now it continues to hit the fender on the left side (facing the bike from the windshield)
what did I do? WHat do I do?
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby newomij » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:27 am

Re-check clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors.


When checking this "clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors," using the 7mm feeler gauge, is there supposed to be a minimum or maximum of 7mm space on both sides? Are both sides of the calipers and both sides of the bike supposed to have equal measurements? I tried to calculate 7mm into thousandths and came up with 0.0265 thousandths?

Anyone else attempting this should make sure you have a quality torque wrench. I've been using a cheap one from Harbor Freight Tools and I've broken two bolts and that is never convenient. So, I went to Sears and bought one of their $80 models without really looking at it and it's lowest torque setting was 25 fp. No help at all when you need it set to 17 and 20 ;)
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:46 am

newomij wrote:
Re-check clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors.


When checking this "clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors," using the 7mm feeler gauge, is there supposed to be a minimum or maximum of 7mm space on both sides? Are both sides of the calipers and both sides of the bike supposed to have equal measurements? I tried to calculate 7mm into thousandths and came up with 0.0265 thousandths?

Anyone else attempting this should make sure you have a quality torque wrench. I've been using a cheap one from Harbor Freight Tools and I've broken two bolts and that is never convenient. So, I went to Sears and bought one of their $80 models without really looking at it and it's lowest torque setting was 25 fp. No help at all when you need it set to 17 and 20 ;)


I have two torque wrenches, one is a 1/2" drive that goes up above 100 ft-lb, and the other is a much smaller unit for doing smaller fasteners. I find that I need both.
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby newomij » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:48 pm

Thanks, Wingadmin, for the comment regarding the two torque wrenches.

How would you answer: When checking this "clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors," using the 7mm feeler gauge, is the 7mm a minimum gap or a maximum gap?
Are both sides of the calipers on both sides of the bike supposed to have equal measurements?
I tried to calculate 7mm into thousandths and came up with 0.0265 thousandths?
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:14 pm

newomij wrote:Thanks, Wingadmin, for the comment regarding the two torque wrenches.

How would you answer: When checking this "clearance from the calipers and caliper brackets against the brake rotors," using the 7mm feeler gauge, is the 7mm a minimum gap or a maximum gap?
Are both sides of the calipers on both sides of the bike supposed to have equal measurements?
I tried to calculate 7mm into thousandths and came up with 0.0265 thousandths?


I've always considered the 7mm to be a minimum gap. And my calculations (or rather, Google's calculations) show 7mm to be 0.275591. So .0265 is pretty close. :)
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby bassmaster42 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:54 am

what is the torque for the axle nut and axle holder nut for a 1985. is it the same as 83??
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

bassmaster42 wrote:what is the torque for the axle nut and axle holder nut for a 1985. is it the same as 83??


GL1200 service manual shows:

Front axle nut: 40-47 ft-lb
Front axle holder nut: 14-22 ft-lb
Front brake caliper bracket bolt (upper): 22-29 ft-lb
Front brake caliper bracket bolt (lower): 14-18 ft-lb
Front brake caliper bolt: 14-18 ft-lb
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby bassmaster42 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:26 am

ok weird.. i was pulling tire off to change speeometer cable and hub. and i noticed there were no washers or lock washers on the axle holder nuts. i have owend the bike for 2 years and have never had the tire off. should i purchase lock washers. and earlier i asked what the torque specs were for a 1995, well when i looked on the forks it said 1996. title wrong have to get that fixed...

thanks jim
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:15 am

bassmaster42 wrote:ok weird.. i was pulling tire off to change speeometer cable and hub. and i noticed there were no washers or lock washers on the axle holder nuts. i have owend the bike for 2 years and have never had the tire off. should i purchase lock washers. and earlier i asked what the torque specs were for a 1995, well when i looked on the forks it said 1996. title wrong have to get that fixed...

thanks jim


The GL1200 is different, and does not have the washer or split washer shown in this GL1100 article.
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby bassmaster42 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:21 pm

ty and are the torques different also?
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:40 pm

bassmaster42 wrote:ty and are the torques different also?


For the GL1200, the front axle nut torque is 40 to 47 ft-lb.
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby FlashBack » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:45 am

Quick question
is it necessary to remove the brake calipers when only changing the speedometer sending unit?
Thank you
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby FlashBack » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:52 pm

FlashBack wrote:Quick question
is it necessary to remove the brake calipers when only changing the speedometer sending unit?
Thank you


Disregard. I answered my own question. I was able to successfully replace the speedometer sending unit without having to remove brake calipers and re-assemble with the required clearance for the caliper mounting bracket.
Speedo sending unit came of a VF700. Nice to have interchangeable parts.
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby FlashBack » Fri May 02, 2014 12:41 am

WingAdmin wrote:It means pull the fork leg out, or push it inwards, to adjust the space between the caliper and the brake rotor (so the two fork legs are either farther apart or closer together). When you get it right, tighten the axle clamps on the axle, which will hold the fork in that position.


I tried moving the fork legs but could not get them to move. Granted, I did not take the brake calipers off as I was just replacing the speedo drive, but I have noticed that the gap on the right side (facing the bike) has closed. An adjustment of the fork would be ideal but it appears that this is not possible without removing the brake calipers. Am I correct in this assumption?
Also, please elaborate as to how you physically move the fork.
I'm a visual person Must be the techy in me from years of troubleshooting software :D
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Re: How to remove and reinstall your front wheel

Postby icebox » Mon May 19, 2014 5:54 pm

Is there a DIY article on removing the front wheel on a 1986 1200 Interstate ? I only see one for the earlier 1100's which I believe are different. Thanks


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