A bit of preventive care
Previous jobs on the bike indicated that it had been assembled dry so I thought I’d better check the steering head bearings and swing arm pivots before wear occurred. I don’t use the bike during the season of salt and mellow fruitfulness so, coincidentally just after the 6000 mile service, I got the chance to strip it down today. The following may be of use to anyone considering doing the same.
Front wheel removal followed by slackening the top yoke pinch bolts then undoing the central top yoke securing bolt allowed the forks to drop enough to ascertain that the bearings were well greased so I just had to screw it all back together.
The bolt at the bottom of the rear suspension unit had seized to the central part of the bearing so the whole lot drew out as I unscrewed the Allen bolt. Beware, the bottom bearing is comprised of uncaged needle rollers. Whilst clean and dry there was no sign of any grease. The top mounting is, as I suspected it might be, a silentbloc bush. The needle rollers at the swingarm pivot also showed no signs of grease but were similarly clean and dry. By good fortune rather than careful planning the bike has not really seen proper rain over those 6000 miles but others may not be so lucky.