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Front Wheel Removal
Removing the Front Wheel, Manual 4-3
....At this time, I have not removed the FZ front wheel, but what I do change tires or brake pads, I will attempt to take some more digitals and finish off this page. There is however, enough basic information here allow you do successfully remove the front wheel. There are two issues you must overcome. One being the acquisition of a 19 mm hex head socket for the axle bolt, and the other being a way to raise/support/control the front end with jacks or lift.
….You may need to remove the front wheel to work on the forks,brakes, cooling system, replace a tire, etc. It is a very common requirement for a shade tree mechanic to take off the front wheel, and is basically an easy operation.
….You will need one or two small jack(s) or a lift of some type, 19 mm hex 1/2" drive socket metric socket, 6 mm hex socket and 12 mm wrench. It is a good idea to have some lithium grease, parts tray, paper towels/rags, cardboard work surface, duck tape.
….Stand the FZ on center stand on a flat surface.
….You need to now be able to lift the front end off the ground to release the front wheel when it time. At this point in time, I have not had to remove the front wheel, and thus have not approached the lifting of the front end. I usually use small hydraulic jacks of the type available at auto stores, but the FZ does not have a good single point to jack up the front end. Weight place on the back end will tilt the front end up, but one would not want to have the weight transfer off the back end. Straps on the back end might work to pull it down and hold for removal of the front wheel. You can just play with the options available. I will post later what I come up with to lift the front end.
….Remove the brake hose holder (one bolt shown above) and brake caliper (one bolt shown below) on both sides. After the bolts have been removed you can just carefully slide/work the caliper off the rotor disk, but read the caution below. I usually use some duck tape to hold the calipers slightly up and back out of my way. Remember there are double brake caliper on the front end, one on each side.
….CAUTION: Do not squeeze the brake lever when removing the brake calipers as it will move the brake shoes out and they will/may be very difficult to get back in so the calipers can be re-installed over the brake rotors. It is easy to damage the shoes trying to "pry" them back open.
….Loosen the wheel axle pinch bolt (above, the small bolt on the bottom-front of the right fork that pinches on the axle).
....Loosen the front wheel axle (which has an internal 19 mm hex head on the right side)
… Then elevate the front end/wheel before you remove the wheel itself.
….NOTE: the front axle is an internal 19mm hex bolt head. A 19 mm Allen wrench or bit is rare on the open market. You will have to go to a major tool supplier. Sear's does not handle anything over 17. I did not find anything over 17mm in the auto stores. I did not ask if they could order one, but they also did not volunteer to order so I assume auto stores cannot/will not get a 19 mm for you. Most mechanics at auto or bike dealerships buy their tools from a salesman who travels the "circuit" such as Snap-On. I acquired my 19mm hex bit 1/2" drive socket from Snap-On. Cost was very high; $40. I do not know if one can be found for much less. I did not look, just ordered without asking price. If you are going to work on your own front wheel and fork area, then a 19mm hex socket is important to have. You cannot torque a hex Allen wrench, so hex sockets are the only way to fly. And remember, you have a "land plane" capable of just cruising along at 150+ so you want "tight
....Late June: Desmo42 posts---
I had the same problem on the R1. It's ridiculous they don't include the tool to allow you to perform the front wheel removal. SnapOn was too rich for my blood so I ordered the hex head wrench from www.mcmaster.com/ These guys have TONS of stuff. t was only $10.00 and it's excellent quality. I ordered online and got the part in 3 days. Part number 5571A79 "1/2 inch square drive hex bit socket, 19mm, short hex, 3-15/16 overall length, chrome" Just enter the part number in the search box.
….Remove the front wheel axle.
….Remove the front wheel.
Checking the Front Wheel Axle for being bent, Manual 4-4
….To check for a bent front wheel axle, roll the wheel axle on a flat surface and watch for "wobbling" of the axle. If it is bent you will notice the center area of the axle does not look even when rolling.
….If the axle is bent, it cannot be straighten, so replace the axle with a new stock axle.
Reinstalling the Front Wheel, Manual 4-7
….Lubricate the wheel axle and oil seal lips around the axle openings. Use lithium soap base grease, handled by more auto stores.
….Tighten the wheel axle to a torque of 52 ft-lb or 72 Nm. NOTE: Before tighting/torqueing the wheel axle nut, push down hard on the handlebar several times and check if the front fork rebounds smoothly.
….Tighten the axle pinch bolt to 17 ft-lb or 23 Nm.
….Install the brake calipers on both side. Be sure the brake hose is routed properly. Torque on the caliper bolt is 29 ft-lb or 40 Nm. You install the calipers by first carefully sliding the rotor disk between the brake pads of the calipers. It is possible they have closes a little. You may have to use something of relatively soft material to slightly pry them apart, enough to let them slip over the rotor. Be careful not to damage/dent/crumple the pad surface. Be very patient, if things are not going well, take a little break and come back later for a fresh start. Mechanical work is often like cutting wood with a chain saw, which seems to be a 110% hurry up operation. Slow down and be patient, keep notes as you go for the return trip. I mention this when working around brakes as brake/clutch work can be quite trying. And you need to learn how to work on putting in fresh brake fluid in the lines and bleeding air out of the lines. It is not a major problem with tools, tips and patience.
….After everything is put back together and torqued, check the forks again. Hand spin the wheel and visually check the alignment and take a good look at each set of brake pads to see that they are not binding on the rotors. You can apply the brake several times in the process.
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