when do you know your swing arm is gone?

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Jan 4, 2007
here is my dilemma...I have a ride coming up....I would say I expect to put in 800 miles or so....the swing arm has play but it is a bit late for me to pull it and replace the spindle....am I in danger of some catastrophe if I don't repair this now? it is not like the thing is hanging off, but I am just being cautious. any insight or suggestions?
thanks in advance....
I'll be interested in hearing the responses Commando74, but in the meantime, can you better describe the current condition of your swingarm? You say that it has play... how much (or how little)? Does it move side to side --does it feel loose? If you grab the two back arms and try to twist it, does it feel secure?

The 800 mile ride sounds like a blast.

It probably won't be dangerous, but the handling will suck and your tire life will suffer.
Put the bike on the centerstand and grab the rear wheel and move it back and forth. Watch the swing arm at the spindle. If you detect movement and the wheel moves more than 1/8th inch or so, the handling will be horrible. Make sure it isn't the entire cradle moving at the isolastics. If so, shim these and recheck.

It very likely is not the spindle, or even the spindle bushings in the swingarm. It usually is the bore in the cradle for the spindle. Lack of lubrication will usually wear the spindle bore in the cradle eggshaped. These can be bored oversize and oversize spindles are available. However, a typical and less expensive fix is to drill two holes in the cradle tube, weld on two nuts and use bolts to lock the spindle tight to the cradle. Alternatively Heinz Kegler makes a set of lock rings that don't require welding.
the only thing that hasn't been rebuilt in the 15 years I have my Commando is the rear swing arm. I will check as advised and report back...I probably don't have time to do any of the fixes we are talking about, but as long as the rear end doesn't fall off, then I will be OK....I won't be pushing the bike as far as handling. I just want to have a nice leisurely ride in wooded highlands of the Rhine in Western Germany.
just checked the amount of play......there is play. 1/8th of an inch, I can't tell, but there is clunky noise when grabbing the rear wheel at the back of the tire and the frame underneath the seat and moving back and forth. There is very little play when crouching next to the bike, grabbing the top and bottom of the rear wheel and torquing forward and back towards me. there you have it.
Put one or two fingers on the joint between the swingarm pivot and cradle and press hard so you can feel both. With the other hand pull and push the back wheel, this will tell you exactly how much play there is in the bushes.
You'll be alright if you take your time, my mate ran a T100 with that much play you could see the rear wheel dropping over. Mind you he was, and still is a bloody nutter.
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