How to remove and replace your rear wheel


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19691
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by WingAdmin » Mon May 18, 2015 8:38 am



Mh434 wrote:A couple more observations on this procedure...

For those who have an installed trailer hitch, consider removing its support bars before trying to remove the wheel. Mine got in the way a LOT, and wheel removal was impossible without doing this first.

Second, to make life easier, I used a motorcycle lift (fits under the middle of the bike - Harbor Fright style, cheap) to raise the whole bike, making wheel removal MUCH easier. I also used another trolley jack to raise the area under the front (pivot point) of the swing arm, so I could tilt the bike forward & back somewhat - gave more access to all sorts of parts I needed to work on. Lastly, I used another (small) trolley jack under the rear tire. Taking the load off the axle made it ALL easier, as none of the bolts, shocks, axle, etc. are stressed. The wheel was much easier to re-install, as well, as no lifting of the wheel was required - it was only necessary to jack it to the right height, and wiggle it around until the splines connected & slid into place.

For those, like me, who have a few shop trolley jacks around, they'll make this job much easier!

I agree, having jacks does make the job easier. I typically use a bike jack under the center of the bike to lift it up, and when uninstalling/reinstalling the wheel, instead of lifting the wheel into the bike (which can be tough to do), I get it in place, and using the jack, lower the bike onto the wheel. That way you can align the axle and install it without any stress or weight on the wheel.



User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 1367
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Mh434 » Mon May 18, 2015 10:20 am

All done! Wheel's back on, and everything looks great. The photo essay was right on the money!!

The only REAL trouble I had was getting the *%#*#@ right saddlebag back on. For some reason, it refused to go exactly back into place. It was 1/8" out of place for the bottom rear bolt - something was holding it away from the bike a bit, so the bolt hole wouldn't line up with the frame hole. The other three bolts, of course, just dropped right into their holes. I must have worked at that for 2 hours and, in the end, I had to use a die grinder to make the saddlebag hole a little bigger. I never did figure out what the problem was - there's so much stuff behind the bags (none of which you can see when doing this), and any single one could have been the issue.

Anyway, thanks to your DIY article, I was able to "git 'er done", and I'm now rolling on a brand new tire & freshly lubed splines!

Thanks again, WA - Your articles are a life saver!!!

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19691
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by WingAdmin » Mon May 18, 2015 10:48 am

Mh434 wrote:All done! Wheel's back on, and everything looks great. The photo essay was right on the money!!

The only REAL trouble I had was getting the *%#*#@ right saddlebag back on. For some reason, it refused to go exactly back into place. It was 1/8" out of place for the bottom rear bolt - something was holding it away from the bike a bit, so the bolt hole wouldn't line up with the frame hole. The other three bolts, of course, just dropped right into their holes. I must have worked at that for 2 hours and, in the end, I had to use a die grinder to make the saddlebag hole a little bigger. I never did figure out what the problem was - there's so much stuff behind the bags (none of which you can see when doing this), and any single one could have been the issue.

Anyway, thanks to your DIY article, I was able to "git 'er done", and I'm now rolling on a brand new tire & freshly lubed splines!

Thanks again, WA - Your articles are a life saver!!!
So is the bag still not aligned correctly? I had the same issue, and discovered that the frame itself was slightly bent. I pulled it out, which made the holes line up perfectly, and I've not had a problem since.

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 1367
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Mh434 » Mon May 18, 2015 11:39 pm

Well, I got it on, but I had to elongate the hole in the bag to make it fit. The frames still appears straight (I measured both sides, and they're identical), so as near as I can tell, there was (and still is) something holding the bag out to the side, away from the bike. Even with a flashlight & a mirror on a stick, I can't find the culprit. :roll:

eidolon
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:14 am
Location: Alaska
Motorcycle: 94 GL1500 SE

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by eidolon » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:28 pm

For those with a trailer hitch, I reversed the muffler hanger bolts, nut on the outside now, so next time I will not have to loosen everything up... YMMV.

Nice complete post, thank you for the information.

seeya
eidolon
seeya
eidolon

User avatar
edju
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 2:08 pm
Location: Bear Lake, MI
Motorcycle: 1996 Aspencade
Contact:

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by edju » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:29 pm

I just printed this and replaced the rear tire on my 1500. I do appreciate the photos and pics although to be honest this is getting a bit long in the tooth and could use an edit that includes some of the more salient and helpful comments from other riders. Including the disassembly of the rear fender bracketry, noting that the wheel will not mate securely (as in will wobble) even when the drive hub is engaged to the wheel hub, noting the correct tool sizes, noting that the axel must be pulled in from axel nut before tightening the pinch bolts (critical), including the use of a strap wrench for the muffler rotation...all would have saved a lot of time for me, the first time wheel remover.
This is in no way a diss on the amount of time and effort that when into creating this how-to, more of just a comment on how an update would have saved a lot of time. Thanks so much for this how-to!
"With love, all pain becomes medicine"----Rumi

benquester
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:30 pm
Location: Kansas City
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by benquester » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:41 am

I love the simplicity of this approach.
Do you have any advice for a guy who can't get his right saddlebag open ?

User avatar
bellboy40
Posts: 468
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE Candy Spectra Red
1994 GL1500SE Pearl Bermuda Green

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by bellboy40 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:10 am

Open your trunk lid and on the bottom you will find a couple of rubber plugs covering some holes in the bottom. Remove the plug on the right side and you will find a plunger you can press to release the saddle bag. You can use a screwdriver or similar to push it down and that will release the lid.

sprintexec
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:20 am
Location: Cyprus
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE Aspencade

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by sprintexec » Mon May 09, 2016 1:06 pm

Life as a GL1500 owner on the island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is fun ;) ! Having recently embarked on a timing belt change, which went with out a hitch thanks to your excellent DIY article, I now have to replace the front and rear tyres on my bike which have perished since she has stood unused for the past six years. Today was the day I picked to remove the rear wheel. Everything was going well until I came up against an axle nut which was torqued up like crazy and I mean crazy :x . I resorted to getting a metre long section of tube to slip over the handle of my socket wrench and even then had to apply all of my body weight behind it to get the nut to budge. The last time the rear wheel was out of the bike it was at a dealer workshop and so I'm posting this as an appeal to get people to have regard to the fact that there is really no need to torque the axle nut so tight. In extremis a rider would have little chance of effecting a home or roadside wheel removal with the provided tools or indeed with a decent basic tool kit. So the wheel is now out and tomorrow I have a one hundred twenty five mile round trip to the cycle shop to get a new tyre fitted. No Dunlop Elite Three or Four unless you pay insane postal rates to ship from the US, Bridgestone is the only tyre that I could find here to fit the GL1500. So Bridgestone it will be! Thanks again for some really first rate articles. I couldn't have done it without your 'virtual' help. 8-) 8-)

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19691
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by WingAdmin » Tue May 10, 2016 2:16 pm

sprintexec wrote:Life as a GL1500 owner on the island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is fun ;) ! Having recently embarked on a timing belt change, which went with out a hitch thanks to your excellent DIY article, I now have to replace the front and rear tyres on my bike which have perished since she has stood unused for the past six years. Today was the day I picked to remove the rear wheel. Everything was going well until I came up against an axle nut which was torqued up like crazy and I mean crazy :x . I resorted to getting a metre long section of tube to slip over the handle of my socket wrench and even then had to apply all of my body weight behind it to get the nut to budge. The last time the rear wheel was out of the bike it was at a dealer workshop and so I'm posting this as an appeal to get people to have regard to the fact that there is really no need to torque the axle nut so tight. In extremis a rider would have little chance of effecting a home or roadside wheel removal with the provided tools or indeed with a decent basic tool kit. So the wheel is now out and tomorrow I have a one hundred twenty five mile round trip to the cycle shop to get a new tyre fitted. No Dunlop Elite Three or Four unless you pay insane postal rates to ship from the US, Bridgestone is the only tyre that I could find here to fit the GL1500. So Bridgestone it will be! Thanks again for some really first rate articles. I couldn't have done it without your 'virtual' help. 8-) 8-)
This is a particular annoyance of mine. Anytime a shop has had my car's wheels removed and replaced, they inevitably use an impact wrench to torque the lug nuts. I've had more than one car that will rapidly warp expensive brake rotors due to over or under torqued lug nuts, so I make it a point of loosening and then re-tightening my lug nuts using a proper torque wrench when I get my car home. Most cars require lug nut torque of 100 ft-lbs, I have found lug nuts torqued anywhere from 40 ft-lb to 210 ft-lb. It's ridiculous. I even complained to my local dealer about it.

User avatar
Hazmeat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:53 pm
Location: Somewhere In, Utah
Motorcycle: 1994 GL 1500 SE

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Hazmeat » Sun May 29, 2016 10:36 pm

WOW! This how-to is awesome! Just spent the weekend changing out my rear tire, this tutorial helped a ton. I went darkside during the tear down.... :o
I did the moly paste on my drive splines and put in new final drive oil, rear break pads will be replaced this winter...
The DIY articles on this forum help me get to know my bike, keep them coming!
I'm the one Mother warned you about...


sprintexec
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:20 am
Location: Cyprus
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE Aspencade

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by sprintexec » Sun May 29, 2016 11:24 pm

Hazmeat wrote:WOW! This how-to is awesome! Just spent the weekend changing out my rear tire, this tutorial helped a ton. I went darkside during the tear down.... :o
I did the moly paste on my drive splines and put in new final drive oil, rear break pads will be replaced this winter...
The DIY articles on this forum help me get to know my bike, keep them coming!
I'm intrigued to know how many miles your final drive oil had done at the time you replaced it? My bike has a really low mileage but that's not to say she wouldn't benefit from having that oil changed :? :?: :idea:

User avatar
Hazmeat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:53 pm
Location: Somewhere In, Utah
Motorcycle: 1994 GL 1500 SE

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Hazmeat » Sun May 29, 2016 11:45 pm

Not sure on the mileage sprintexec...the previous owner was less than stellar on routine maintenance...I got the bike with just over 75,000. If I were to guess, the rear drive oil may have been changed once before. The stuff that I replaced was dark but didn't smell burnt or had any shavings in it...
I'm the one Mother warned you about...


User avatar
satranger
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 8:36 pm
Location: Many, Louisiana
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500SE

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by satranger » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:00 pm

Thanks for all the better than great "how to" articles for working on the wings. In middle of swapping out rear tire at the moment and had slight problem removing the brake caliper. Following the procedure, after pulling the axle you then remove the caliper from the bracket. When trying to break loose the caliper bolts, the bracket pivoted a lot making for hard bolt removal unless using an air impact gun. Might be good idea to add a step around step 27 to break loose the caliper bolts while the axle is still holding the bracket in place. Just a useful idea. might be other rear wheel removal articles this applies to also.

User avatar
Alan_Hepburn
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:56 am
Location: San Jose, Ca, USA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:11 pm

These pictorials are awesome - makes me believe that I might be able to accomplish the task! My biggest issue is the sidecar hanging off the right side of the bike - makes some jobs a bit more challenging, like jacking the bike up - I've got a HF bike jack for the bike, but I also need a second jack to lift the chair up at the same time.

One thing I'd like to see added is a list of parts and supplies that would be needed for the task - I know things like grease and stuff are mentioned in the text, but a list showing what I should have on hand before I start pulling things apart would sure be nice! Also, how about a list of other tasks to perform at the same time - like "Since you've got the wheel off, you may as well do the following services..." kind of thing?
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

User avatar
Alan_Hepburn
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:56 am
Location: San Jose, Ca, USA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:57 pm

Okay - I'm in the middle of this job now. I'm at the point of removing the axle and it isn't happening. I've tried it with the rear tire off the ground, and with some weight on it - I can hit the right end of the axle with a hammer and it moves a mm or so, then the whole wheel tries to move to the left, but the caliper won't let it move. I can put a screwdriver into the hole on the left end of the axle and spin it, but it just won't come out of there. What am I doing wrong?
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

User avatar
satranger
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 8:36 pm
Location: Many, Louisiana
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500SE

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by satranger » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:11 pm

Not sure why the axle not sliding out but like I posted before, break the caliper bolts loose before pulling the axle. Other wise the bracket moves when trying to break the bolts loose. Just something good to know that isn’t mentioned in the procedure.

User avatar
Alan_Hepburn
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:56 am
Location: San Jose, Ca, USA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:48 pm

Thanks, satranger - I'll keep that in mind. My air impact wrench came in handy to break loose the muffler bolts, and the axle nut.
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19691
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:35 pm

Alan_Hepburn wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:57 pm
Okay - I'm in the middle of this job now. I'm at the point of removing the axle and it isn't happening. I've tried it with the rear tire off the ground, and with some weight on it - I can hit the right end of the axle with a hammer and it moves a mm or so, then the whole wheel tries to move to the left, but the caliper won't let it move. I can put a screwdriver into the hole on the left end of the axle and spin it, but it just won't come out of there. What am I doing wrong?
Make sure you did loosen the pinch bolt:

Image

You might also want to take a screwdriver, fit it into the gap of the swingarm end that is tightened closed by the pinch bolt and open it up a bit, just to make sure it isn't still binding down on the axle.

That is the only thing that should be holding the axle in place, so once it is loosened/removed, the axle should tap through from the right side.

User avatar
Alan_Hepburn
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:56 am
Location: San Jose, Ca, USA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:52 pm

Thanks, Wingadmin - finally got it out. A combination of one person pulling on the left side with a screwdriver and me on the right side with a drift and a hammer. I had thought about prying the swing arm apart but wasn't sure if that was going to break something.

I did find out it's time for a new tire: there is some tread left, but the date code on the tire says "1900" - 18 years old! Time to look at the front tire as well!
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

Magerton
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 11:36 am
Location: Gastonia, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE

Re: How to remove and replace your rear wheel

Post by Magerton » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:09 pm

Ok guys! Can someone look at this picture and let me know if this looks right? I removed the rear tire, had a guy mount me a new Elite 4 Dunlop and I re-installed the tire, TWICE! I learned that in addition to looking at the pics its a good idea to read the instructions also! Had to take it back off to apply grease to the inner surface of the hub-side flange! I have never done this before, but this site is awesome. I've done some minor stuff already with the help of all the great members and this great site. I am also a little paranoid! So every time I hit a bump or hear a rattle I think, was that there before! So I got the axel going through the swingarm, washer, brake caliper and spacer collar. When I look at the pic "to me" it looks like the spacer collar should go in a little more. But it may be seated all the way in. I have rode the bike for a few short under ten mile rides, and every thing seems ok. Again the paranoia will not let me rest now. After looking at the pic, I cant even see the washer! Thanks for any help guys! If I can get this one completed properly, I may attempt replacing the timing belts!
Thanks again
Mike
Attachments





Post Reply