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DIY! How to Grease Up the Swingarm and Brake Pedal

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The moveable parts of the motorcycle require proper lubrication, both in the engine and in the motorcycle itself, before worst-case situations occur such as insufficient oil and grease, making it difficult to move or lock up.

Many users care about the wheels and stem bearings among the grease-up points in the undercarriage, but surprisingly forget to grease up the swingarm and rear brake pivot. However, these are important points for the rear tire stroke and the rear brake controllability, so try not to forget the maintenance.

Lack of lubrication may cause the rear brake’s poor performance.

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The ZEPHYR 400 rearsets circumference has a unique swingarm pivot plate and step plate. The brake pedal pivot has a neat design hidden behind the rearsets plate. It is difficult to determine the lubrication state of the pivot, as it is not directly visible.

Many riders find it difficult to handle the rear brakes compared to the front brakes, which can be adjusted easily. The comfortable feeling and the force applied to the lever can be controlled easily, while the feet hardened with boots are difficult to control, and there are many people who will only use for on-road or off-road.

However, if the rear brake can be used well, riding skills are surely improved, such as stabilizing the body during low-speed riding and U-turn, and fine speed adjustment during cornering. However, for subtle control, the brake pedal must move smoothly, depending on the amount of pedal control.

So, is it possible to feel the poor lubrication of the brake pedal pivot when the foot is not sensitive to the delicate operation? When the pedal starts moving, is there a large friction loss, and is it possible that the pedal will finally move when you put force on your toes?

In such a situation, the brake pedal may continue to hold down the rear master cylinder and cause dragging of the brakes, rather than subtle control. To avoid such situations, check the condition of the brake pedal’s pivot, clean and grease up if necessary.

Rear brake control is improved by the grease up.

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When the step plate is removed, the brake pedal on the back side is exposed. When the pedal is removed, the pivot grease flows on the pedal and the plate, and you can see that dirt is attached. Although the grease of the shaft portion is not sufficient, it is not enough to cut the shaft portion

In both disc brakes and drum brakes, the brake pedal has a pivot point that serves as a support and is coated with grease for lubrication. It is easy to adhere to rainwater and dirt because it is basically exposed, the movement of the pedal is going bad due to lack of grease.

The construction of the pivot part differs depending on the model, but in the case of the ZEPHYR 400, the pedal is inserted into the shaft part on the backside of the step plate and the stopper bolt is fixed, so it is easy to remove the step plate in order to grease up the pivot part. Is there grease in the pivot part that I removed? Is it dry? Is it possible that the shaft portion has not been scraped due to a lack of lubrication?

“It was more than I thought,” he says, “as if to prove that the foot is less sensitive compared to the hand, the brake pedal pivot that I removed was dry and scraped”. The symptoms tend to be the built-in drum brake with a strong return spring, which is a pattern that when you pedal, you should be reluctant to move, but the reaction force of the spring causes the condition to worsen as you continue to ride without noticing it.

After disassembling the pivot part, clean the shaft and pedal with a parts cleaner, and assemble it before applying grease to check the backlash of the shaft. If reusable, decompose again and apply lithium grease or urea grease with good water resistance and high extreme pressure.

If you were skipping maintenance, you might be surprised that the brake pedal moves smoothly with a slight movement of the toe by the grease up. In the case of a motorcycle that often travels in rainy weather by commuting or touring, the grease-up of the rear brake pivot part is always effective, so try to do it by all means.

This work is time-consuming, but greasing up the swingarm pivot is effective.

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In order to remove the swingarm, it is necessary to lift the lower part of the engine stably with a jack. Remove all parts around the rear, such as tires and brakes, and then remove the nuts on the swingarm pivot shaft. This nut is tightened with large torque, so be careful not to fall the motorcycle down.

Working on rear brake pivots is not easy, but cleaning and greasing up the swingarm pivots are also an important part of the ride quality and steering stability. The swingarm pivot is a combination of a pivot shaft, a collar and a bearing, and lubrication with grease is essential for smooth movement.

In the case of the ZEPHYR 400 with two-suspension, the structure is simple because there is no suspension link like a single suspension motorcycle. But still, the ZEPHYR without a center stand needs a jack to support the engine from below to remove the rear tires and brakes.

When the swingarm pivot gets penetrate with rainwater, poor lubrication will not only deteriorates movement but also causes the pivot shaft to get rust and become stuck. If the pivot shaft comes off, as the swingarm can be removed from the frame, the collar inserted into the swingarm can be removed, and do the cleaning and grease-up because the bearing in contact with the collar will be visible.

Depending on the number and type of tools you have and the working environment, it may be difficult for some owners to work up to this point, but if the swingarm moves better, the suspension will move properly, and the ride comfort and handling will improve, so remember it would be good to keep it.

Fortunately, there was no rust on the pivot shaft and it could be pulled out smoothly. Motorcycles that are stored outside in the rain, the shaft may not easily come off due to the rust on its surface. The swingarm will fall when the shaft comes off, so support it firmly.


It is important that the pivot part of the swingarm is inserted into an integral or split collar, and it is important to spread grease all over it. Clean with a parts cleaner and a toothbrush and apply grease with excellent water resistance and extreme pressure. Since this grease also has a rust-proof effect, it is also applied to the part where the bearing does not touch.

Check insufficient lubrication around the undercarriage, which difficult to notice and check the condition before grease runs out.

The rear brake is the key to speed adjustment. It’s important to know that greasing up pivots is the key to subtle controls.

See KAWASAKI Moto Index Page
See Accessories for KAWASAKI ZEPHYR400 (ZR400)

Webike staff

Webike staff

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Webike Moto News Editor

Our mission is to look for unique and valuable news that are from Japan and Asia related to motorcycles and publish to the world. "Webike staff" is name of a team who edit, translate and draft the articles we publish that are brought from all our branches around the world. Not all of our employees ride motorcycle, but find worth living to bring reader say "wow".
 

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