Skip to content

Greasing Linkage Bearings | How To

A new bike comes straight from the factory with little or no grease in the swingarm pivot and linkage bearings.

It is always a good idea to pull them apart and pack them with grease. We are going to show you how to grease linkage bearings.

Step 1: Start with the bike nice and clean and lift it up onto a pit stand with both wheels in the air. When you wash the bike, make sure you thoroughly clean around the rear of the engine, swingarm and linkages as you don’t want any dirt falling into the bearings while you have things apart.

Step 1 Linkage

Step 2: Remove the chain from the bike and then the rear wheel. While the rear wheel is out, take the time to wipe any old grease and dirt out of the rear wheel spacers and axle and re-grease the seals and axle with fresh grease.

Step 2 Linkage

Step 3: Remove the rear caliper from the bike. The caliper usually slides off a pin on the rear of the swingarm and the master cylinder may need to be removed from the frame as well as the brake pedal to make way for the swingarm pivot bolt to be removed.

Step 3 Linkage

Step 4: Start undoing all of the linkage arm bolts and remove all the linkages. Some of these bolts will require you to hold a spanner on the bolt while loosening the nut. Others will have square heads on the bolt that locks on the swingarm or linkages and does not require you to hold it.

Step 4 Linkage

Step 5: Undo the swingarm pivot bolt, knock it out with a punch and remove the swingarm. While the swingarm is out, clean off any old grease or dirt that is stuck to the inside of the frame or the back of the motor. Take a swap of grease and lube the inside of the rear section of the motor which the pivot bolt slides through.

Step 5 Linkage

Step 6: Lay the swingarm and linkages out on the bench ready to be greased. Clean all of the pivot bolts and re-grease them.

Step 6 Linkage

Step 7: Slide the bushes out of the bearings and wipe fresh grease into the bearings, making sure to push in as much grease as possible. Then re-fit the inner bushes and clean off any excess grease. If any of the needle rollers to fall out, stick them back in with grease and re-fit the bushing.

Step 7 Linkage

Step 8: Once all bearings have been greased, start refitting the swingarm and linkages. Tighten all swingarm and linkage bolts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque settings, then refit the rear brake, wheel and chain. Make sure to grease the brake lever pivot bolt and axle. ADB Technical Editor Mat Boyd

Step 8 Linkage


• Not so long ago, it was not unusual to see nylon bushes used for swingarm bearings, which use to wear rapidly.
• It was common to replace these nylon bushes with ones machined from bronze, which are less sensitive to poor lubrication than needle rollers.


• Always use clean grease.
• Lube all pivot bolts and threads before refitting.
• Replace any damaged or worn bearings.
• Replace any damaged or worn pivot bolts.


• Reuse any damaged or worn parts.
• Allow any dirt to fall into the bearings.
• Drop any rollers out of the bearings and lose them.
• Leave any rollers out of a bearing.