How to remove and replace your front wheel


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby WingAdmin » Mon May 07, 2012 3:39 pm



Removing the front wheel can be done fairly quickly and easily. It's normally done to replace a worn front tire.

1. To begin, the motorcycle needs to be lifted so that the front wheel is off the ground. This can be done by putting the motorcycle on its center stand, then putting a standard automotive trolley jack under the engine block, and lifting an inch or two. Do NOT lift the bike by the oil filter! This will tip the bike back onto its rear wheel, lifting the front wheel in the process. Be careful when working this way - while the bike does have three points of contact, it is not as stable as the preferred method: using a motorcycle lift and straps:

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2. When lifting the bike on the lift, it can become slightly unstable in the longitudinal axis. Once the bike is lifted, I slide some pieces of wood under the rear wheel, then gently lower the bike until the rear wheel touches the wood. This stabilizes the bike and keeps it from rocking from end to end while you work.

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3. Pull the rear of the front fender cover to release the post from its grommet. Carefully release the two tabs from the front of the cover (next to the fork) - these tabs are easily broken, so be careful! Remove the cover. Repeat on the other side of the wheel.

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4. Remove the allen bolt holding the top of the wheel cover. You may have aftermarket accessories such as the wiring and light bracket shown in this picture. If that is the case, keep in mind how they fasten, so that you can refasten them when reassembling.

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5. Remove the two allen bolts from the bottom of the wheel cover.

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6. Note that the two allen bolts on the bottom of the wheel cover have a collar - don't lose the collar!

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7. Remove the wheel cover. Repeat the process on the other side of the wheel.

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8. Note the brake line stabilization bracket that goes on top of the wheel cover. The top allen bolt goes through both of these brackets, then through the wheel cover, then screws into the fork. There are two brackets on each side, and both of them are stamped "L" or "R" to identify which side of the wheel they are from. The two brackets on each side link together at the back, go around the brake line, and then go together at the front, where they are fastened, along with the wheel cover, into the fork. The inside bracket has a small flange that fits into the hole in the plastic rotor cover.

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9. Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the screw holding the speedometer cable into the speedometer drive.

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10. Pull the speedometer cable rearward out of the speedometer drive.

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11. Remove the lower allen bolt holding the brake caliper bracket to the anti-dive piston.

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12. Remove the upper caliper bracket bolt.

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13. Pull the caliper up off the brake rotor. Using a bungee, rope or wire, hang the caliper so that it is not suspended using the brake line.

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14. Repeat the process on the caliper on the other side of the wheel. Once the calipers have been removed from the wheel, do NOT depress either the brake lever or brake pedal, as this will move the pistons out, and you will not be able to fit the calipers back over the brake rotors.

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15. Using a 22mm socket, loosen and remove the axle bolt on the right side of the wheel.

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16. Loosen the axle pinch bolts on both sides of the wheel.

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17. Looking at the right side of the wheel, you can see the end of the axle now that the axle bolt has been removed. This axle needs to be pushed out the left side of the wheel.

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18. Using a socket extension or small piece of pipe is a simple way of pushing the axle out. You should use something that is smaller than the opening, but larger than the axle itself, so that it will push on the end of the axle, and not damage the threads inside.

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19. A couple strikes with a hammer will push the axle through the right fork leg.

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20. Once the axle has been pushed a couple of inches, it will easily pull out, releasing the wheel. If there is resistance, it is the weight of the wheel itself binding the axle. Lift the wheel slightly while pulling the axle out. Set the axle down where it will not get dirty, and roll the wheel out from between the forks.

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21. The speedometer drive is press-fitted into the right hub of the wheel - pull it free, so that it can be cleaned.

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22. Pull the spacer free from the left hub of the wheel. Pull it free, so that it can be cleaned. Now is a good time to check the wheel bearings. They should turn smoothly, with no lateral play.

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23. Roll the wheel free of the forks. NEVER lay the wheel down on the brake rotor - this can damage the rotors, and they are very expensive to replace. To set the wheel aside, lean it up against a wall so that only the rubber tire touches both the wall and the ground. Or, set a couple 4x4 blocks of wood on the floor at approximately the diameter of the wheel, and set the tire down on the blocks, so that the brake rotor goes between them.

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24. A minute or two with some brake cleaner and a shop cloth will remove the dirt and grime from the speedometer drive.

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25. Note that on the inside of the right fork, there is a tab. This tab engages a tab on the speedometer drive, to prevent it from rotating with the wheel.

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26. Here is the tab on the speedometer drive.

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27. When the wheel is reinstalled, the speedometer drive must be rotated so that the two tabs are butted up against one another as shown.

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28. Clean the axle, and coat it with a thin coating of grease.

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29. After cleaning the spacer, reinsert it into the right wheel hub. Pack the dust seal lip with grease.

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30. Coat the speedometer gear drive in the hub with grease, then insert the speedometer gear drive.

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31. Roll the wheel between the forks and push the axle in from the left side. Tap the axle into the fork until it is fully seated.

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32. Rotate the speedometer drive so that its tab is against the fork tab as shown.

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33. Snug, but do not tighten the pinch bolts on both forks. This is to help prevent the axle from rotating when the axle bolt is tightened.

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34. Insert the axle bolt and thread it in by hand to ensure the threads are not crossed.

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35. Using a torque wrench, tighten the axle bolt to 65 ft-lb. If the axle rotates, preventing the tightening of the axle bolt, insert a screwdriver into the hole that passes through the axle on the left side of the wheel, and use it to prevent the rotating of the axle.

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36. Once the axle bolt is properly torqued, tighten each pinch bolt. Torque the pinch bolts to 16 ft-lb.

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37. Remove the roller bearing collar from the upper caliper bracket mount on each side.

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38. Pack the roller bearings with grease, then reinsert the roller bearing collar.

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39. Using brake cleaner, fully clean the brake calipers, pads and rotors to remove any grease or oil residue.

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40. The caliper mounting bolts need to have high-temperature brake lubricant applied.

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41. Apply the lubricant to the non-threaded portion of the bolts.

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42. Making sure the brake pads straddle the brake rotor, slide the caliper into place. Start the bolts in by hand, then finish using a torque wrench. The top caliper bolt is torqued to 17 ft-lb, the bottom caliper bolt is torqued to 9 ft-lb. Repeat the process with the other caliper.

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43. The speedometer cable has a slotted end that rotates within the cable.

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44. The speedometer drive has a flat drive that rotates with the front wheel.

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45. Rotate the front wheel so that the drive rotates and properly engages the slot in the cable. Push the cable fully into the drive until the bottom screw retainer butts up against the drive.

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46. Replace and snug the screw in the speedometer drive. This screw is tough to get exactly right - too tight, and the plastic screw retainer will split, causing the cable to back out of the drive when under way. Not tight enough, and the screw will back out and fall out, causing the cable to back out of the drive when under way. I used blue Loctite on this screw to encourage it to remain within the drive, without having to tighten it too much. Don't use the screw to pull the cable into place - make sure it is fully inserted before you tighten the screw.

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47. Place the two brake line stabilization brackets around the brake line and link them together. Make sure you get the correct brackets on the correct sides.

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48. Fit the wheel cover into place, making sure it fits under the brackets, and that the flange of the back bracket fits into the hole of the wheel cover. The back of the wheel cover also needs to fit into the back of the wheel fender. Screw the top bolt into place, but do not tighten.

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49. Replace the two bottom bolts - don't forget to use their collars. Tighten these bolts, then tighten the top bolt.

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50. Fit the two tabs at the front of the front fender cover into the back of the front fender, then push the rear of the front fender cover into place, inserting its post into its grommet.

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Any time you work on brakes, wheels, suspension or any other safety-critical system, it is beholden upon you to TEST RIDE thoroughly at slow speed in a controlled area, to ensure that everything is working correctly.



User avatar
Blackngold
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 10:11 pm
Location: Fairhope, Alabama
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 SE

Re: How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby Blackngold » Fri May 18, 2012 2:55 am

WOW! Now I really don't trust the 18yr. old recent motorcycle repair school graduate just hired by the local Honda dealer for $9.00/hr. to touch my GL!! No wonder they don't want you in their shop watching. I can hear the shop manager now" sir your brake rotors are wraped and need to be replaced" as his eyes roll backwards to reveal $$$$$. Sorry, I get carried away sometimes

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qbmowman45
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:15 pm
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Goldwing
2002 Shadow 750

Re: How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby qbmowman45 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:49 pm

Great article your descriptions are super. This forum has improved my skills at repairing, maintaining and improving my 1988 GL and for that I'm most appreciative. Keep the info coming and have a safe season.

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Uncle Fester
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Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby Uncle Fester » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:55 pm

Any idea where a person can get the COLLARS referred to in picture 6 ? My bike did not have a few of these at time of purchase, and my Honda parts guy can not seem to find them in his computer. . . . .
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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wingman12
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Motorcycle: 1999 gl1500 se

Re: How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby wingman12 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:13 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:Any idea where a person can get the COLLARS referred to in picture 6 ? My bike did not have a few of these at time of purchase, and my Honda parts guy can not seem to find them in his computer. . . . .


here is a source for the collar part # 44125-mn5-000 http://www.hondapartshouse.com/oemparts/c/honda/parts $3.00 each Honda OEM parts, you will need 4 (2 each wheel cover. :D :D

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Uncle Fester
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby Uncle Fester » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:22 pm

THANK YOU ! Can I order that number from my local Honda dealer ? I do not have credit cards, so local in cash is better for me
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: How to remove and replace your front wheel

Postby Uncle Fester » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:26 pm

Wow, just checked my local dealers web site PARTS FINDER, $4.29 each. . . . Will get them, but dang.


Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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