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So yesterday I was out riding when I heard a grinding noise coming from the rear wheel. I look down and noticed the left side collar on the axle was spinning. I'm hearing it most when doing about 25-35mph. Can this be the cause of the grinding noise? Also, is the spinning of the collar normal? I checked the torque on the axle nut and it's correct.

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2009 Custom SE...I'm not the original owner. Bought the bike 6 months ago, has about 10500 miles. Original rear wheel and pulley were replaced with aftermarket combo by original/previous owner.

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The entire rear axle is solid on the swing-arm and no part of it should be spinning. The wheel bearing inner race does not spin either. The rear wheel is mounted on bearings that allow it to spin on the axle. IIRC, the spacers are pinched together with the wheel bearings in between, all kept together by the clamping force of the axle.

There is definitely a problem if the spacer is spinning. Likely bad wheel bearing(s).
 

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Hey oside, I've never done it personally.

Getting the rear wheel off is a piece of cake if you have the tools. Once it is off, you will likely see the damage on your axle, which you may need to replace (?).

The bearings may be press-fit into the wheel hub, in which case you may want to talk to your local dealer/mechanic/friend with a puller and press.

You may as well get the rear wheel off first. You are going to need a jack of some variety to lift the rear wheel off the ground. There is a simple one described in the sticky section of the site (a couple of 2X8's and a pipe).

Let us know what you find once the wheel is off.
 

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If you jack the rear wheel, you may hear some binding or feel some grinding when turning the wheel. Something ain't right.
 
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