The splines of the rear drive transmit the torque from the rear drive into the wheel itself. While the splines themselves move very little in relation to one another, there is some movement, so they must be greased, or else severe wear will occur. Once the splines are worn, you will experience driveline lash, and it will get worse as time goes on. There is no way to fix this other than to replace the rear drive - so this preventative maintenance is worth the time!
This is what happens if you do not lubricate these splines - these should be square, not triangular, and notice the chunks missing:
Because of the rotational forces within the rear drive, regular grease would be slung off the splines. Therefore, special Moly 60 paste should be used:
The ONLY grease that should be used on the spline is genuine Moly 60 paste. This is not the place to cut corners!
**NOTE: Honda has discontinued the original Moly 60 paste shown above, and replaced it with high-Moly M-77 paste:
The procedure explaining the removal of the wheel and drive unit, and applying the Moly 60 paste is covered in detail in How to remove and reinstall your rear wheel. You should lubricate your splines every time your rear wheel is removed!
Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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