Oily rear wheel

Mick Taylor
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Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:52 pm

One step forward, two steps back; I took my Classic in for it's first MOT in five years today, it's a 20 mile round trip and the further I rode it, the better it went......by the time I got home it was running really nicely.....which is when I noticed the oil on the rear wheel evil

No problem I thought, the chain gaiters are way past their best and I have a new set awaiting fitting. The oil, which had liberally spread itself all over the rear end is pale and clear and didn't smell like gearbox oil, so I wasn't overly concerned. I drained the rear chaincase and out came some very black stuff...at which point I was concerned.

Removing the small oil pump cover, I found a pool of the same oil in there, up to a level with the bottom of the cover......it is definitely not two stroke so it has to be gearbox oil.....but without having removed the silencer and footrest hanger I cannot see where it's escaping from.

I looked up a couple of posts mentioning gearbox sprocket carrier seals and the words 'unobtainable' and 'specially made for Norton' didn't help much. cry

First things first; any knowledgeable opinion please as to the source of this oil (it doesn't smell because it's only covered a few hundred miles) how difficult a job is involved and has anyone located an alternative seal?......(if it turns out to be the gearbox seal). Secondly.....is there supposed to be oil in the chamber where the oil pump is located and if not....how does it get there?.

I'll be looking for a bed in the maximum security wing of a home for the terminally bewildered at this rate, my plans to get some miles in over the next week or two are on hold.

Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:06 pm

Further to my last posting, I have just had a look through the workshop manual and realised the oil around the oil pump is meant to be there, (when all else fails; read the instructions red face ) and secondly it occurs to me that any oil within the drive chain gaiters etc will also be just a few hundred miles old and likely to be fairly clean.....the black goo that came out of the sprocket cover drain plug was very little and could be where dirt in the oil has settled at the lowest point........I don't think anything like the recommended quantity of oil came out.

Trying to be optimistic......is there anywhere I should be looking to confirm the source of this oil?......it's made awkward by the fact it is spread all over the place.

Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Anthony Duffield » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:07 pm

Mick,

I run a Commander and had oil on the rear wheel, it turned out to be the large oil seal similar to item 18 on the Andover Norton parts diagram for your classic rear wheel, past this into your browser: https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-dr ... r-mounting

If the oil level in the gearbox is normal then the oil on your rear wheel will either be the gaiters (most likely) or the oil seal item 18

Tony

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:09 pm

Hmm........once I had come down from the ceiling and had a more sensible approach I realised that the oil was limited to the area of the rear wheel and up under the mudguard where it was thrown by the wheel; the front end around the gearbox sprocket is completely dry.
20180406_180123_resized (720x1280).jpg
This is the view under the lower chain run....all dry at the front, very oily around the rear sprocket.

And here it is running down from the axle.....the opposite side of the sprocket cover where it meets the cush drive is completely dry, but this side, the swing arm and the rear end of both gaiters is soaked.....I had previously wiped this clean..
20180406_180016_resized (1280x720).jpg
I hope it's not item 18, the large sprocket seal ..... previous postings suggested the gearbox output shaft seals were unavailable at the time, but the Andover site shows those in stock now, whereas the large seal at the rear sprocket is unavailable.....I'm hoping it will turn out to be nothing more than a split in one of the gaiters that I haven't found as yet.....but if it should turn out to be the rear sprocket seal, has anyone found a substitute or repair for that?

Mick.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:40 pm

Mick
Slightly off the subject, can I ask what clamps you are using on your exhausts please? The one just visible in the pic looks a bit more substantial than the standard U bolt, which I don't think gives a gas tight seal - unless I have a duff pair.
Cheers
Mark

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:14 pm

Re the exhaust clamps: when I first bought the bike it had the original car type U shaped clamps, they had been done up so tightly they had crushed a groove at the point where the silencer fits over the manifold and made getting the silencers off an absolute nightmare, to the point I thought I was going to damage the manifold.

Once they were off I realised I had to make it simpler to remove and install the silencers, so I just adopted the Japanese way...first off, I had to buy an internal pipe expander..which almost did the job, but broke in the process; You can see the problem in this photo.
Classic Exhaust 006.jpg


Having done that I used a Dremel with a rotary sanding drum to take out the worst of the ridge that was still inside the pipe......then cut two slots with a fine disc on an angle grinder
Classic Exhaust 014 (1280x960).jpg
And lastly used a Mikalor stainless steel clamp, along with a smear of very high-temperature silicone which acts as a seal and also as a release agent as it crumbles next time you pull the silencer off.
Classic Exhaust 019 (1280x960).jpg
It seems to work just fine.....I'll be testing it again tomorrow when the left silencer comes off to look at the oil leak.

Mick.
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Richard Negus
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:51 am

If the oil is dripping on the wheel side of the sprocket cover, then it's the big seal that's failed.
Anywhere else and it will be the lower chain gaiter, probably at the convolutions at the rear end of it.
Short term fix is to wash the area thoroughly to remove all signs of oil and then bandage it with self-amalgamating tape.
The black gunge is rubber debris rubbed off the gaiter by the chain due to lack of oil.
When you do a proper job, don't use a split link in the chain, RIVET IT or risk life-changing injuries.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:27 am

Thanks for that Richard, I had noticed the wheel side at the hub is completely dry so I was hoping that would be the case.

There should have been plenty of oil in there (as there was lots over the back of the bike) as I did refill it when I last had the bike and I gave it the full amount as per the workshop manual....I think you recommend slightly less?..but it was too late by then.

The gaiters on the bike have hardened a lot, I knew they were due for replacement so I bought a set as soon as I got the bike back....I just need to find your post about the dance of the screwdrivers and get cracking.

I have a proper Renold rivet link and the tool to do it, so happily, if it turns out to be the gaiters, fingers crossed, I have everything I need to fix it.

As a testament to your work on it five years ago (very few miles since then) it was running like a watch once it had about fifteen miles in.....

Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:42 pm

Thanks for the info about the exhaust clamps. Sounds like a sensible mod.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:58 pm

Wise words indeed from Richard about the split link.
My IP2 is up on the bench at the moment to replace a bent torque arm and caliper mount, replacements now supplied by a fellow forum member, so after reading Richard's dire warning I thought it worth checking the chain and peeled back the gaiters.
To my horror, not only did I find my chain had a split link but the split pin had gone!
Chain link.jpg
Now I am bracing myself to strip down the whole of the rear drive this week to retrieve the split pin, which I assume is lying in a puddle of oil somewhere, and then replace the link with a riveted one.
That is if I can enough of the gaiter apart. My gaiters are still quite soft but there is barely enough room to get to one pin of the chain let alone get a clear run at a whole link and then get a riveting tool in.
The factory workshop manual does not cover fitting a new chain, only a replacement, and therefore warning you to ensure you attach the new chain to the old one and pull it through, so there is no explanation about taking everything off and putting it all back on again.
It's taking me a bit of time to work out how I am going to get everything off, as with a normal exposed rear chain there is no issue about access, but on the rotary sealed system where do you start?
How do you get the chain back in?
But most importantly, how do you pull back the gaiters to get enough space to fit the riveted link?
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:07 pm

Quick - buy a lottery ticket! You're a lucky boy today.
The secret to riveting the chain is a hot air gun to heat the front convolutions of the gaiter and push the gaiter forward inside itself. That gives you enough space at the rear to fix the chain and still have room for the riveting tool.
The spring clip may be somewhere around the gearbox sprocket area, in the gaiter convolutions, or in the rear sprocket cover. A major job to do it properly.
Whilst for obvious reasons I shouldn't advocate the quick method, you might just fit a new rivet link on the basis that an itty bitty piece of spring steel isn't going to cause much drama should it get attracted by the chain. Your call!
Your first job either way is to take the l/h silencer off. Use a small screwdriver to peg the chain to the gaiter two pitches forward of the link, warm the gaiter front convolutions and push it back inside itself, turning the wheel backwards at the same time. When two pitches of the chain are exposed at the sprocket cover, peg it with another screwdriver.
4180-13.jpg
Now you can work on it at your leisure.

When a conventional chain detaches, it either smashes the engine casting or lies in the road like a dead snake. With the Norton, it wraps around the rear sprocket, locking the wheel and twisting the rear fork, causing loss of, or reduced, rider control. That has happened in at least two occasions, once to a City of London mechanic who was seriously injured, and once to a Derby officer who managed to wrestle it to a standstill without falling. In both cases, police mechanics had incorrectly fitted a spring link.
R.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:12 pm

Hmm.......interesting stuff!........to retrieve the spring link.....how about a telescopic magnet?

As it happens my task to replace the spring link with a rivet variety has ground to a halt temporarily.....I ordered a Renold rivet link from t'interweb and the bloody thing is the wrong size, so presently, I have the new top gaiter fully fitted and the lower run awaiting the arrival of a proper link from Startright. (message to self...shop in the right places first!)
If the oil is dripping on the wheel side of the sprocket cover, then it's the big seal that's failed.
Anywhere else and it will be the lower chain gaiter, probably at the convolutions at the rear end of it
.
I think you must be clairvoyant Richard, I cut both my gaiters off and was very disappointed at the lack of a 'smoking gun'...the repair I made five years back was still holding firm..but when I took a better look at the lower gaiter, rear end flexi part....there it was....I was impressed cool .
20180407_112748_resized (720x1280).jpg
Back in the day, (1970s) I had a chain snap on me three times in the same holiday...we were 300 miles from home and had to keep patching it with begged or borrowed pieces of chain....and extra spring links, and on each occasion it simply flew out the back and deposited itself on the road; crankcase smashing potential never occurred to me at the time. red face It did make it home though, on the same chain.

Moving forward forty-something years, feeding the chain onto the rear sprocket of the Classic, unless it accepts it perfectly it instantly jams....and it took about a nanosecond to realise the sort of carnage that would be wreaked in the event of chain breakage on one of these, so to find a spring link sans spring, but still intact is almost unbelievably lucky......there is quite an incentive to get this chain just right.

I still harbour concerns about the source of my oil leak as everything that came out of the chain gaiters looked like graphited oil...quite black, whereas, the stuff that sprayed itself around the rear wheel was clean....but the gearbox end is bone dry, so it's suck it and see..fingers crossed.

Mick.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:59 pm

Mick Taylor wrote: I think you must be clairvoyant
Not really - it's like the car salesman said to me in 1979 when I complained about the whiny noise from the transmission of my six-month old SAAB "Yes Sir, they all do that". Three months later, whine became crunch and it needed a replacement gearbox, under warranty of course.

I'm not sure why they mostly fail there, but I suspect there's a bit of misalignment of the mould tool causing a thin spot in the rubber.
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Just a thought

Post by Richard Negus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:06 pm

Clean oil, you say?
First thought - a leaking Koni damper.
Second thought, horror of horrors - a leaking oil tank. Do you use mineral oil or Silkolene? A rusted tank section usually drips on the floor.

I think I mentioned earlier that with oil in the rear drive, the chain won't attack the gaiters. But with no oil, it might rub metal-to-rubber causing the black sludge.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:25 pm

I use Silkolene which is thick and rusty coloured, this oil is thinner and pale straw coloured.......I have a forlorn hope that relatively clean oil can circulate around the chain while the black stuff settles on the gaiters.....or not. One thing I do trust about this bike at the moment (apart from the engine of course Very Happy ) is the lack of rust, I'm confident it's not the oil tank.

I did consider one of the shocks.......I don't think so as they are in pretty much mint condition....but on the other hand they are ancient, so bear closer inspection....if it turns out to be a shock I will be a bit gutted, but I believe they can be rebuilt?......and the gaiters needed doing in any event.

I'll make sure the shock is clean and dry.....it was oily along with everything else in the immediate vicinity....and bounce it a few times to see if it weeps.

Watch this space........Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:06 pm

Thanks for the guidance on fitting the link Richard.
I wondered if an accident prompted the use of a rivet link, as the factory handbook just says use the split link - but the right way around. The riveted link is the best way though, considering what could happen.
And yes, I do consider myself lucky, but even more so for having looked at this thread in the first place otherwise I would not have seen your warning!
Mick - thanks for posting it, and looks like you and I are both going to be busy this week!
Cheers
Mark

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by kettle738 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:12 pm

Very glad you spotted your potential horror when you did...bit of a near miss, but you made your own luck by taking the trouble to look.

I have a growing feeling an IKON rebuild kit will feature in my immediate future.

Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:32 pm

The tip for compressing the gaiter back into itself worked a treat, and the remnants of the split link, and a bit of something else, were flushed out of the bellows on the top gaiter. I am thankfully now saved from having to strip out the gearbox and rear sprockets covers.
Remnants of split link.jpg
However, it appears a rivet link for the 5/8x3/8 Renold chain is on the 'unobtainium' list!
Startrights do not have any, and there are none on Ebay - that I can see.
Have you been able to source one Mick?
If not, it might have to a whole new chain.
Two steps forward, one step back...
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:03 pm

When all else fails, try Andover!
Part number 55.1428/REN appears (!) to be a stock item. There are rivet links to fit other chain brands too. Some bikes originally had DID - use 55.1428/ES50 for those. For the F1, use 55.1428/530MVX.

Do you have a better photo of the other bit you found?

After the first incident in 1989, Norton issued a Service Release reminding police workshops about the correct way to fit spring clips. After the second, another Service Release instructing that only rivet links should be used.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:21 pm

However, it appears a rivet link for the 5/8x3/8 Renold chain is on the 'unobtainium' list!
Startrights do not have any, and there are none on Ebay - that I can see.
Have you been able to source one Mick?
I thought I found one on ebay, but when it turned up, it was a lightweight item and would not fit evil

Next stop, Andover, but try as I might, I could not find a suitable link and the Classic parts book lists the chain (112 links) but no split link or rivet link so I didn't have a part number. ) I've just tried again using Richard's part number, but no result....I tried searching 'link' and '530'....plenty of hits, but no rivet link.)

Over to Startrights, where I found a rivet link listed as the correct part for the Renold Grand Prix chain....correct for the IP2 and Classic etc....or at least that's what I think that's what it said because when I went back into the site just now to double check, I can't find it at all! I know I ordered it....£8.50 in total, so hopefully, it will turn up soon...... and fit.

Failing that.....I think I will be looking for a DID 530NZ chain; which is the best quality heavy duty non O ring chain that I know of.

Incidentally, the source of the oil on the back of my bike?.....the nearside shock absorber red face I did look at it and consider it....but dismissed it as unlikely because it's never leaked at all, it's in pretty much mint condition, not a mark on the damper rod...and although I've had my share of leaky shocks, I have never known one to projectile vomit it's entire contents in one hit like this has cry

Fortunately, they are serviceable, Motomecca stock the overhaul kits...... Unfortunately.... the damper mechanism is retained under a steel collar that is threaded into the shock body....it comes undone using a peg spanner. I think it would be a pretty special peg spanner to move this! Long story short, I had to resort to vandalism and file two flats on the collar until a very good quality 15/16" spanner fitted......that did get it undone, but it was hellishly tight......hopefully Motomecca will sell the collars too.

I did expect this from a very little used bike, mechanical objects don't always respond well to lack of use....but it is biting the hand that feeds it at the moment exclaim .

Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:20 pm

Mick Taylor wrote:

Next stop, Andover, but try as I might, I could not find a suitable link and the Classic parts book lists the chain (112 links) but no split link or rivet link so I didn't have a part number. ) I've just tried again using Richard's part number,

In their part numbering files, AN use a dot in stead of a dash between the prefix, '55' in this case, and the rest of the number. This applies to all part numbers with a dash in them, even '06' Commando parts. Something to do with their system.


I think it would be a pretty special peg spanner to move this!
You should have asked! I don't use it very often Very Happy . On the other hand, I've moved house since last I used it.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Dave » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:07 pm

Don't want to hijack the thread, but would the comments Richard made regarding a service release in 1989, possibly mean that the last Commanders had chains with a rivet fitted as standard ?, also would it be easy to remove the chain bath set up all together, and run the chain open, with just some sort of chain guard as usual ?, Dave

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:12 pm

That must be a very special peg spanner......this collar was stuck....

There is something odd going on here.....earlier today I cut and pasted the rivet link part number Richard provided into the Andover search box, it came up with an X (not recognised)....so I tried variations, I came up with an O ring rivet link for the F1 but nothing for standard 530 chain.

Just for the hell of it I tried again just now, pasted 55.1428/REN into the search box and instantly got a Renold 5/8 x 3/8 rivet link Renold GP....so I've ordered one just in case the one from Startright doesn't work out.

Thank you for that Richard, maybe I'll get this bike back on the road soon exclaim

Mick.

P.S. Mark, try that part number, it worked for me.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:34 pm

I also initially looked on the Andover site but couldn't find one either, but yes, I did find it with Richard's part number - Andover say it's an 'o' ring link though I can't see why it should be, as our chains are in a oil bath.
In the meantime I also found one on the RGM site too: https://www.rgmnorton.co.uk/buy/renolds ... k_1112.htm
Typical isn't it. One minute you can't find any and then they start appearing all over the place!
Now I just need to source a decent chain breaker and riveting tool.
That other bit of debris I found in the chain gaiter is a very thin metallic piece with some writing on it. It was bent in half when I dug it out and I straightened it out just to see what it was:
Chain debris.jpg
And thanks Richard from me too.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:42 pm

Dave. I've just spotted your post. I also thought about ditching the gaiters as I thought they would be horrendous to work on, but that tip Richard gave for warming up the front end and pushing the gaiter back in on itself is a real doddle and makes the job easy. It would be a real shame to lose the fully enclosed drive. But if you really want to, it is actually easy to pull off the gaiters once you have located and removed the split link.
Here's what mine looks like at the moment:
Chain gaiter and link6.jpg
I would encourage all Norton rotary owners, except post F1 to just have a peek at their chains. I ummed and arred about it but I'm so glad I did now - it could have saved my life, no exaggeration.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Mick Taylor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:22 pm

Like a plank, I managed to overlook the O ring part of the description......(no O rings in the item photo)... not that it really matters, but I think the RGM Motors part is exactly what you (and I ) need....so I've ordered one of those too......one of them is sure to fit, the others can go in the chain link drawer with a dozen others that don't seem to fit anything.

Seeing those broken parts in your photo does bring the seriousness of the issue home though.....that was a proper close shave, but we all get to learn from it.

Glad you found the RGM motors part though, thank you for that.

Mick.

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:38 pm

BlackIP2 wrote: That other bit of debris I found in the chain gaiter is a very thin metallic piece with some writing on it. It was bent in half when I dug it out and I straightened it out just to see what it was:
Chain debris.jpg
.
Ho Hum! That bit of debris is the bit of tin that old-time mechanics wrapped around a spring clip to stop it coming off. Worked well then ,didn't it?

There are several points to consider when leaving the gaiters off:
.oil pump drive tongue & slot relies on chain oil for lubrication
.on a Commander, the outrigger needle bearing relies on chain oil for lubrication
.on IP2 and Classic, the rear sprocket carrier bearings rely on the chain oil
.on a Commander, you can fit a sealed ball bearing in the sprocket carrier.
.the gaiters keep road crud out of the unsealed bearings
.you'll have to oil the chain!

I don't know when the rivet link mod was actually introduced into production, but think it was around July '89.

To get the correct link from AN, you have to quote the part number 55.1428 AND the suffix /REN, /DID, or /F1.
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by BlackIP2 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:49 am

You beat me to it Richard!
I was thinking last night how a small piece of tin could get into a sealed system, then I looked at the bit of debris and the fold marks looked about the same size as a split pin. This morning I offered it to the split pin and it fits like a glove!
Spring clip bodge.jpg
Yes, it didn't work and it may have been an old mechanic's trick, but I know the engine has been worked on recently and the chain must have been split - not by me though.
Once my rivet link is on I will be putting the gaiters back on. It's the only solution for a chain drive and a wonder so many other bike makers ignore it.
Incidentally, I also have a Moto Guzzi and getting the rear wheel out of that is a half-day job - but the shaft drive is lovely...
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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Dave » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:14 am

Looks like removing the whole set up is not a good idea then, mine is a krauser model so hopefully is fitted with a riveted link, but after reading this thread i think it will be wise to check just in case, looks like you found your's just in time. Dave

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Re: Oily rear wheel

Post by Richard Negus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:02 am

BlackIP2 wrote:I know the engine has been worked on recently and the chain must have been split - not by me though.
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If it is the engine that has been worked on, it is usual to separate it from the gearbox, leaving that in the chassis with no need to disturb the rear drive.
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Slower slower, no faster faster - the joys of old fogey mode to hooligan mode at the flick of a switch

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