Join Date: May 2010
Location: Orange Park Florida
Hi guys. I have an '09 Classic LT that I am once again having to change the rear tire on.
Please understand that I am not a mechanic by any means but am interested in learning to get the rear wheel off myself and taking the wheel in to have the new tire put on. I am tired of having to pay the dealership every 5000 miles to do it.
I am assuming the saddle bag will have to come off. What about the exhaust? Do the mufflers come off or am I going to have to take it loose at the jug? Am I going to have problems re-adjusting the drive belt? Any nightmares in this that I should be aware of?
A step by step would be awesome but I will be happy with any help you can offer.Thanks.
okay, I'll try to help. Even though you have a different model it's still the same. I assume you have a floor jack or a lift for the motorcycle. Before you start, make sure you have all the correct size of wrenches and tools. Oh I noticed you have both exhaust pipes on the right-hand side. If the axle nut is on the right-hand side you should be okay to leave them on provided you can get to the adjuster bolts and the cotter key and nut. After you have lift the bike off the ground take a look at where the adjustment is on the swingarm before you disassemble. The markings are on the swingarm just above the axle head in the axle nut. This will give you a reference point when you reassemble. If this saddle bags are in the way of taking the axle out then of course you will have to remove it. Okay assuming you have the bike lifted up and secured in such a way that once the rear wheel is off that it does not tilt forward. Then just take out the cotter key and axle nut. Loosen up your adjuster bolts and jam nuts. It's better if you have someone to help you. One person working with the wheel and the other taking out the axle. At some point when the belt is loose you can take it off the pulley. Now once the axle is out / belt is off and the caliber is off the rotor the wheel should come right out from the bottom if your bike is high enough off the ground. Make sure you do not press the rear brake pedal while the caliber is off. Doing so would mean you would have to compress the caliper piston enough to reinstall. Now, once you are ready for reassembly comes a challenging part. That is, what is the correct tension for the belt. If you want to go by what Kawasaki says it would be 10 pounds of pressure at the center of the belt with 3 to 4.5mm of travel I believe. Myself and many others believe that is way too tight. I would not go that tight and if you want me to tell you how I do mine I would rather PM you that, as that can cause a heated discussion from those that follow engineers to the letter because of fear of getting sued. You definitely should have someone helping you for reassembly because it will be harder to get the axle all away in by yourself. You may be a beginner at this but believe me common sense can help you along the way. I've been doing bike work for a lot of years, but I had to started out just like you. You really should have a shop manual but you can do it and I will be here to help if you need me.
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Last edited by davidsheek; 06-29-2012 at 05:15 PM.