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Discussion Starter #1
Well I was going over the bike today oiling and just checking for things to stand out. I reached out and grabbed the rear wheel because I remember someone else mentioning that they had some play. Well I had play as well. Too much play in my mind and I didn't feel good about it. Well knowing me the first thing I did was pull it into the shade and grab the tools. I removed the rear axel bolt and there was no wear on it(this is good) So with fingers crossed I pulled out the rear wheel to inspect the bearings. Drive side bearing is easily visible and still looks new and tight (nothing wrong here). I gently pryed up the seal and my expectations were confirmed. The bearing on the brake rotor side was pooched. The grease that was in there was somewhat hardened. Here are a couple of pics because it's easier than explaining.http://burgmanusa.com/gallery/album29
There not the best pictures but you can see what I saw.

FYI the bearings in the rear are NTN 6204 2CS
I will check with my maintenance dept. on Tues. when I go into work to see if they have any in stock. If not I will run over to the dealer right after work. Now I figure this would probably be covered under warranty but I also thought it would be cheaper doing it myself and if they don't have the bearing in stock ,who knows how long I would have to wait. This way If the dealer doesnt have it I can go to the bearing supply places and hopefully get one.

Now this is my theory as to what happend. As I said this bearing is on the brake rotor side. I'm thinking the heat from the brake rotor travelled through the aluminum hub causing the grease in there to congeal(sp) or get somewhat hard. Once the grease started to get to this very thick viscosity the bearing started to dry out. Then small amounts of water got in and then rust started to set in. The bearing appears to be rusted out in my opinion. Then it was all down hill. Like I said earlier though is that the damage is confined to the bearing only and not to the axel.

So I recommend all 650 owners go out and try to move your rear wheel side to side while looking at the seal on the brake rotor side.

Also FYI my bike has 13000 kms on it. I do however ride in the rain.
 

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Sounds like a reasonable theory. Maybe 650 owners should add bearing checks and greasing as part of the route maintenance. How much work was it to check?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well it really didnt take that long to check. I say maybe an hour from start to finish. The problem is removing the seals without destroying them is a very finicky job. The second part removing the shield from the bearing without destroying it is also very touchy to do. Here is what I recommend you do if you want to check. Very easy to do.
Remove cotter pin that prevents rear axel castle nut from turning.Loosen off the castle nut.

Pull axel out part way untill the washers on the rotor side fall out.
Then you will be able to visible ispect with a flashlight the condition of the bearing. By sticking your finger in you should be able to feel how smooth or rough the bearing is. If everything is okay then reinstall axel.
If you deem there are problems then you will have to remove the rear brake caliper assembly before you remove the axel to its full extent.
 

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It might also be a good idea, as long as the wheel bearing is somewhat accessable, add grease, high temp. I do plan on repacking my bearings when the wheel is off for a new tire, if it ever gets here.

The "MS Discuss" websit highly recommends repacking with grease splines, bearings, axles, etc every 12,000 miles. I plan on doing it evry time I change a tire, (5K rear, 8-9 K front)). Riding in the rain, as I do on occasion, sooner is better than 12,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Jim
The problem with repacking the bearings is that they have metal shields on both side. Removing these shields is a tricky task even for someone who has done it before. So repacking is probably out of the question for most people.
 

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I've just checked my bike's bearings and they have rubber seals. It would seem that somewhere along the line Suzuki changed their bearing supplier. My bike was manufactured in Feb. 2003. The wheels have no play in them and there is no leakage visible around the bearings. My Burgie has done 12,300 miles. My guess is that a bad batch of bearings was used at some point in time. I'll be removing my wheel for tire replacement next week and I'll check the bearings thoroughly then, but I really don't expect to find a problem. If your scooter has metal bearing seals, it may be an idea to have the bearings replaced. Just a thought.

Cheers,

Bob
 

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Mine is a Feb 2003 too and likewise have no rear wheel problem....BUT, if I wobble the handlebars quickly around the straight ahead position (with he machine on the centrestand) I hear a clunking noise emmanating from the FRONT wheel bearings. Operating the front brake stops the noise. I've done 18000km and given the bearings are ball and have no preload adjustability, I figure they're telling me "bye bye ".
My local independant bearing shop assures me he can supply a couple of suitable bearings with change from 20 bucks Oz.
Couldn't be any worse than the genuine.
Bazza
 

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I had rear bearings replaced at 20000k [they were totally affecting my ride]. 87 canadian dollars. I ride quickly and in all weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
pauljo said:
This post from April describes another early bearing failure - and the bearings had those metal shields. Apparently the replacement bearings came with rubber shields - which would potentially seal better against water entering the bearings I think.

Premature Bearing failure discussion
I read that post before I posted mine. I did mine as a new entry as that one applies to the front wheel. I'm going to try and get the rubber shields myself. We have a very vast bearing supply at work and if If I'm not mistaken the bearing I want (off the top of my head) is a 6204 2RS . 2RS stands for 2 rubber shields. The front bearings are 6203, different size.
 

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Bazza, that is what was happening to me, when I found the loose front axle. With that many miles though, it may be the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok gents an update for you. My maintenance dept. at work were very generous in donating 4 new bearings to my cause. I replaced the fronts as well. The rear bearing I recommend you seek for replacement is a 6204 2RS . This bearing has rubber seals in the bearing instead of metal dust shields that currently come equipped on the bike (my bike anyways) The fronts were replaced with 6203 2RS. Same thing seals instead of dust shields. I took pictures of the proceedings and will do another how to on removing the back wheel. FYI it took me 5 minutes to have the rear wheel off and this included taking photos. After a total of 45 minutes from the start the wheel was back in place with new bearings. The front wheel took approx. the same time from start to finish. Once I got the front bearings out and examined they showed signs of water contamination and already had the brownish rust colour set in. It wouldn't have been long before these were toast as well.

Now you may not think its possible but I can actually feel the difference with the new bearings installed. I guess the bearing decay was so gradual you don't really notice it. There is less vibration in my handlebars now, just the way I remember when I got the Burgie new.

I think the best thing though is once again I can ride with piece of mind and not worry about wheel bearing failure.

I would like to add that I am willing to assist anyone in a 2-3 hour radius with this procedure if they need the help.

I just want to add that I did check into the cost of the bearings before getting them at work. Even if I paid for all 4 it would of cost me $32. Yes $8 each. My Suzuki dealer wanted $17 eaach or $68 for the exact replacement. I put in better.
 

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Allan,

Are those Suzuki part numbers, or some other manufacturer's numbers?

I just looked at my own AN650. I have the rubber bearing seals, front and rear. My scoot was manufactured in February of '03.
 

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I removed my rear wheel today to have the tire changed and carefully inspected the bearings. There was absolutely no sign of wear by feel or by appearance, no play, no roughness, no leakage of any sort. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have done over 12,000 miles and date of manufacture was Feb. 2003. The bearing on the brake side has a rubber seal, while the one on the drive side is metal. I expect these bearings to last for at least 50,000 miles. The reason I bring this up is because I feel strongly that these failures being reported are rare, possibly the result of a bad batch, and are not indicative of poor quality overall. Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers,

bob
 

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Hmmm... I couldn't see the bearing cover on the drive side of the rear wheel when I looked at mine this evening. Maybe that one IS metal. Date of manufacture is the same for our machines. I'm glad to hear that your wheel bearings seem sound - I know you have over 11000 miles on your 650.
 

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Allwalk,
how did you get "generic" bearings from "work"? Did you just look at the size of the original and get a set that "fits"? Or was it more of a cross reference sort of thing?

BurgerBob,
did your rear wheel have rubber seals on both sides or was one side metal like pauljo's?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
captainfish said:
Allwalk,
how did you get "generic" bearings from "work"? Did you just look at the size of the original and get a set that "fits"? Or was it more of a cross reference sort of thing?

BurgerBob,
did your rear wheel have rubber seals on both sides or was one side metal like pauljo's?
First of now they are not generic bearings . They were high grade SKF bearings. The bearing numbers that I have been quoting are the actual number etched into the outer race of the bearing, 6204 (back) 6203 (front) is the bearing number and not a Suzuki number. If you were to go to a bearing supply they would have no problem giving you a choice of what brand you would like under this number NTN (which suzuki uses) SKF, Fafnir just to list a very few.
With that if you were to oreder just a 6204 you would get a bearing with no dust covers or shields on it. You would be able to see the actual balls. These are more commonly used in gear box applications where the oil can flow through the bearing. I took a couple of pica and will post them soon on what is in your bike.
If you have had your rear wheel off and noticed on the gear side drive that there is a metal bearing then you know whats on the other side as well. The 2 front bearings and the rear brake rotor side bearings all have an independent oil seal on the outside of the bearing. This is just basically a rubber protecter to protect the bearing from contamination. All the wheel bearings in my Burgman had the bearings with metal dust covers on them .

Pauljo your correct that there is no oil seal on the gear drive side. The bearing you are looking at is the wheel bearing and its the exact same on the other side. The ones on the front are the exact same in appearance as well but in a smaller size.

Ok I just uploaded this photo to help calrify what I am sayinghttp://burgmanusa.com/gallery/allwalk/wheelbearing_comphope this helps.
 

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Allan, if what you are saying about the rubber outer seals is true, and I don't doubt you, then I must retract what I said about having rubber sealed bearings in my Burgman. I was assuming that what I saw was the actual seal. I did not remove the seals when I checked them. Are you certain that if the rear gear side bearing has a metal seal that the other side would be the same? One way or another, I still confident that my Burgie's bearings have a lot of life in them still!

Cheers,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes Bob I'm sure there all the same. The Burgman has 2 rubber oil seals on the front that are suppose to protect the actual bearing. The bearings are in behind these seals. On the rear there is only one seal and that is on the brake rotor side. There is another bearing in there Identical to the ones in my pic.

Here is a micro fiche of the front wheel to help explainhttp://www.ronayers.com/fiche/300_0346/front_wheel/front_wheel.cfm and another for the back wheelhttp://www.ronayers.com/fiche/300_0346/front_wheel/front_wheel.cfm
 

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Burger Bob said:
Allan, if what you are saying about the rubber outer seals is true, and I don't doubt you, then I must retract what I said about having rubber sealed bearings in my Burgman. I was assuming that what I saw was the actual seal. I did not remove the seals when I checked them. --- One way or another, I still confident that my Burgie's bearings have a lot of life in them still!
Me too. What seems to be constant between Allan's situation and others I have read about, is that folks who ride in the rain a lot tend to experience early bearing failure on the AN650. Frequent washing of the scooter could also have a similar effect I would think. Somehow the water gets past that outer rubber seal that we saw...
 
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