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View Full Version : ULYSSES DANGEROUS REAR WHEEL BEARING FAILURE



hspinola
09-02-2009, 03:33 AM
MY 2007 ULY (3000 MILES) HAD A SERIOUS SUDDEN REAR WHEEL BEARING FAILURE CAUSING AN UNPLEASANT AND UNSAFE TAIL SHAKING THAT ALMOST HAD ME KISS THE GROUND AT 85MPH. MY WARRANTY EXPIRED APR/2009 AND AFTER CONTACTING BUELL'S CUSTOMER SERVICE ABOUT IT I'M LEFT WITH A $1,200.00 WORTH OF DEMAGE AND A GREAT DISBELEIF ON BUELL SAFETY AND RELIABILITY.
I'M GOING BACK TO THE JAPANESE BIKES.

gdb4_scg
09-02-2009, 04:19 AM
Maybe something happened to the wheel while the bike was sitting in the garage, which apparently it did quite a bit. 3k miles on an '07 bike - especially a Uly - ain't exactly riding the wheels off the thing.

LeFox
09-02-2009, 01:40 PM
did some high pressure cleaning & aimed at the axle/bearings? let is sit & dry for a nice long time?

all & all, a good thing you made it out without being hurt.

now, japanese or not, regular check & oiling doesn't hurt any bike ;)

Buellysses
09-02-2009, 03:09 PM
ain't exactly riding the wheels off the thing.

Pun intended, or no?

drunk_uncle
09-02-2009, 04:17 PM
I have had two sets of wheel bearings replaced on the rear wheel of my 2006 Triumph Sprint ST, luckily under warrantie, but it currently has 22,ooo miles on it. So going to another brand of bike is not always a garrantie. Bike is cleaned regularly and never with a high pressure nozzle. My 2000 X1 Lightning didn't have a single part failure in 16000 miles. But ofcourse I am a bit different, I RIDE my motorcycles.

edipis
09-03-2009, 12:21 AM
07xb12s here. My rear bearing went out at 12000 while riding. No damage besides that to the bearing itself. What did it do to cause $1200 worth of damage??

hula Buell
09-03-2009, 07:56 AM
Sorry about the bearing but Japanese bikes do it also.Always remember"Squeeky wheel gets the grease".Please make some noise:D

typhoon
10-03-2009, 09:10 PM
I picked up a used wheel that had the bearing go out for the guy on the sprocket side. It had ruined the inside sleeve and also damaged some of the bearing area too. I just got the new inside sleeve and cleaned up the bearing area and put the new bearing in it. It hasn't bother any yet and I don't know which wheel I have on the bike right now. I know that I have used that wheel long enough to have to rplace the rear tire. When the guy came in with the bad bearing the allen screw wasn't tight to pinch the axle shaft and he had a new tire put on a 1,000 miles before that. I know that you have to tighten the axle once and then loosen it some and retighten it again to the right spec's. I would think that you could put some undo pressure or load on the bearing if it would not seat right and stick to the axle some, maybe. My 2 cents worth anyhow. I turned over 19,000 miles the other day on my bike and haven't had any rear wheel bearing problems yet.

Macbuell
10-04-2009, 04:09 AM
I would like to give everyone here a [up]. Not many enthusiast forums that would take a post like this IN stride. Makes me much happier to be part of this community. hspinola, Sorry to hear about your misfortune. With that said, think about if you were on your "Japanese bike" going 130mph. Doubt if you could have held onto it ;) HURRAY FOR "SLOW" BUELLS'!

onelogue
10-04-2009, 06:42 AM
Maybe something happened to the wheel while the bike was sitting in the garage, which apparently it did quite a bit.* 3k miles on an '07 bike - especially a Uly - ain't exactly riding the wheels off the thing.

lol Yeah get off your ass and ride the dang thing. Maybe it's just retaliating for not being ridden :D:D


What did it do to cause $1200 worth of damage??

Umm yaaaa Is that in pesos?? I could have done the job for $200 parts included. You got ripped off!

chickn4
10-20-2009, 10:52 PM
I just had same issue at 6000 miles. It did not provide any warning, and the bearing looked worse than any bearing I had ever seen. Only reason it was caught was a tire swap. Buell replaced the bearing and axle at their expense (after the 2 year warranty expiration). I also had the rusty muffler replaced under warranty...there was an issue with the coating on these mufflers (mine is an 07).

What's next?

AdventureUly
10-21-2009, 02:44 PM
Buy a painting and look at it!

They are great bikes, but they are bikes. Things will go wrong, so you fix them and keep riding. Riding them causes some things to go wrong sooner and prevents other problems from happining at all.

That's just bikes.

:D

sk8ace
10-21-2009, 04:10 PM
My bike has the orange seal bearings.. There is a squeak coming from the rear wheel area when I push it backwards. I was assuming it was just the brakes.. Now, because of this thread, I am thinking that it might be the bearings.. I will have to look more closely at it and see which is really making the noise. I would like to have an extra couple sets of the updated bearings "just in case" Where can I buy them??

chickn4
10-21-2009, 05:18 PM
Sorry AdventureUly, but I consider the engine and wheels to be some pretty important parts on my bikes. This is far from my first bike and so far it's the most disappointing. I love the technology and concepts in the Buells, but failures at 6000 miles just doesn't quite cut it in my books.

"Things will go wrong, so you fix them and keep riding." doesn't really work if you are left laying in the road.

fahren
10-21-2009, 08:38 PM
Over-tightening of the wheels after removal is a major cause of bearing damage. Follow the manual's instructions for torquing, untorquing and then finally re-torquing the wheels to the correct ft-lb. rates.
If possible, set your wheels up on a dynamic balancer when changing tires. Have a listen. If you hear sound, then bearings shot. You can't figure this out just by trying to spin the wheels by hand off or on the bike. Bearings are cheap parts to replace, not worth risking an accident by letting it go. If no dynamic balancer, then just change them out as often as you feel comfortable doing, knowing that you are doing preventative maintenance.

Also check the steering head bearings while you are at it.

keppi
10-21-2009, 09:04 PM
@hspinola
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2
2007 ULY (3000 MILES)

U right...GO BACK TO THE JAPANESE BIKES

:D

greets keppi, red bearings since 2005, now 50.000 Kilometers on my "S" and 18.000 Kilometers on the Uly (Schnabeltier)
with some German Autobahnkilometers :D ;)

AdventureUly
10-21-2009, 10:16 PM
What engine problems did you have chickn4? Mine is also an 07 and I have not had any issues..exept the rusty exhaust.

chickn4
10-21-2009, 10:39 PM
Fahren, thanks for the input. This was the first time the wheels were off since purchase. I had the bike in 1 month before the warranty was up and I asked them to look it over completely to catch any warranty issues....which they did, but they weren't going to tear anything apart to find this.

AdventureUly - I currently have a check engine light after the warranty muffler replacement (on the drive home from the shop). I have not gotten the code out of it yet. I am also on my 3rd set of plugs at 6000 miles. I would push the dealer to replace your muffler under warranty....they know it's a problem with the coating that was used. I had to wait 4 months for them to get the part in because of the volume of warranty replacements. The bill would have been over $800 for the muffler, bearing, and axle if I didn't push for it to be warranty.

Don't get me wrong...I enjoy the bike. Sometimes though (just once in a while...like when these things happen) I wonder if I want to risk my life more due to my driving style or to the manufacturer.

Since Uly owners are so far and few between I think someone needs to make a true Uly owner's manual. Just cut the crap and say replace the wheel bearings with a specific type, check the steering head bearings like this and replace/adjust like this, work your dealer to replace the muffler under warranty, get your driving lights from this place, etc. I know the forums deal with some of this, but you have to be searching for it to find it....and that's tough when there are several forum sites to find things on.

SylvanSlayer
10-22-2009, 03:54 AM
I have 30000 miles on my uly and it running like a top I'm on my 3rd set of tires, that only thing I have replaced besides the oil and filters. Its my first America biult bike I would have bought another in 4 to 5 years from now. But If H-D thinks that I'm going to buy one of thier P.O.S bikes now they are dreaming

AdventureUly
10-22-2009, 10:40 AM
Thanks chickn4, I think I will do that. I was going to take the exhaust off this weekend and rub it down and re coat it my self. But hay! a new one would save me all that touble.

I agree with you on the owner's manual thing. I have learned far more from this forum than I have from the Buell manual, infact I now use it to anchor my boat in a storm (its that big).

Every one should write a page on a topic they know lots about, from riding and owning the bike, then send it in to......... some one with a bit of time on their hands, who could put it all together and up load it some where.

Now that would be a true OWNER'S manual.

kennyf
11-02-2009, 11:30 PM
My Uly has never been near a pressure washer but the rear wheel bearing on my 2007 Uly failed after 12months and 5k miles repaired under warranty. At the time the service manager said 'that's the third one recently must have been a bad batch...' It was not a sudden collapse but a gradual deterioration over a couple of days

I was so annoyed i filled in the ride magazine survey and ended up being invited to a track day and appearing in the mag!

As for exhaust I've had a Remus since new together with ignition mod = no problem.

Ken

ches
04-17-2010, 01:16 AM
i had to replace mine also the macanic said that thereis nothing i could do because the bearings are inclosed it cost about 3 bills

Stillonit
04-19-2010, 02:26 AM
Damn cheap china bearing. quality control suck. make sure they are German made bearing when replacing .insist on the most expensive bearing when critical areas are involved. We had problems on rebuilding industrial gear boxes with bearing failures. We bought the most expensive one in that size and guess what .NO MORE PROBLEMS..... It is mostly true ...You get what you pay for.

AdventureUly
04-19-2010, 03:48 PM
Just had mine done, when the garage phoned HD they said I was lucky to get anything over 3000 out of them.

I paid £25 for each bearing and they got them from an after market supplier.

Fingers crossed they last a bit longer this time. This is the third set since new....

Thorivola
04-19-2010, 05:44 PM
20k miles on my firebolt and no bearing problems anywhere except the engine
wheel, swingarm, and steering stem bearings all in awesome shape

but I have a rear wheel bearing give out on my Blast after ~7k miles on it, I believe this was due to the dealership damaging the bearing on re-installment, it did not appear as though they properly aligned the spacer and things when they torqued it back together, but it was out of warranty and I ended up footing the bill because I had no choice

bearings fail sometimes, not much you can do about it

dandan
05-23-2010, 12:23 AM
my rear, belt side went today... 2600 miles! the bike has had 4 grounds go bad, causing me to lose ALL lights at around 600 miles... and at 2500 miles i lost directionals... Danbury Harley was backed up this week, so i figured i can use my hand signals... and today, at around 60mph i felt this evil wobble, like i popped a tire or something... on a parkway, cars all over and i've only been riding for 2600 miles... managed to get over safely, and friend picked me up... i had to drive it to the next exit with a trooper behind me (harley rider who stopped to see if he could help) think the wheel is shot too?

DenDownUnder
06-04-2010, 03:38 PM
I'm on my second Uly...15k miles on the first and 37k miles on my current ride. Absolutely no problems with either rear (or front) wheel bearings or electrical ground points. Furthermore, I'm riding Aussie roads...not the best in the world. I think some of you guys are just unlucky.

redrider
06-05-2010, 11:24 AM
my front bearing went out at 2500miles and that bearing was made in north korea I love my xb 12 but will upgrade all bearings when out of warr.they are great bikes !

onelogue
06-05-2010, 02:33 PM
Where is hspinola??? He started this thread and hasn't commented on any of the comments made. [confused]

Johny Kidd
06-05-2010, 03:07 PM
Japanese bikes also has bearings, most likely same manufacter as buell use. So, would it be better for you to walk?

azanga
06-06-2010, 02:44 AM
05JUN2010 Fort Walton Beach Florida 18,050 miles on my 2006 XB12r Firebolt. 4 miles from home and I heard a crack! I yelled at my buddy to see if my rear looked wobbly, because it felt wobbly. Stopped at a whataburger to see the problem and sure enough my right rear wheel bearing is gone. Don't know the full extent of damage. Because it was also raining. Yeah, scary! Wobbly rear end in the rain! How hard is it to do this repair myself. I think a Honda dealership may have caused my bearing failure, for the fact that they just put some new tires on my Buell last week. But I just wanna get this done so I can get back to riding. I wanna do this repair myself. Looks pretty easy, I just need a way to keep the rear off the ground, but my apartment complex manager doesn't let us work on our vehicles in the parking lot or even do oil changes. Like I said, looks simple enough. As long as I have the tools and the talent. How long should this take? 30 min?

Dutchbuell
06-19-2010, 02:16 AM
I rode a Ulysses over 60000 mls. I had to replace rear wheel bearings regularly. First one after a tire replacement by a Honda dealer. He had used to much torq to tighten the axle. Later I discovered that the spacer was about 1 mm shortened because of that action. Because I drive the bike all year round the bearings suffer a lot and have to be replaced more often. Other then that the bike gives almost no problems.

Except for the belt. About every 18000 mls it breaks.

dwitbond
07-23-2010, 08:49 AM
I have 25000 on mine (06) and have had no problems but since I have read the thread, I am about to change them. I remember reading on here somewhere about drilling "weep" holes in the hub. Can anyone point me in the right direction for this information?

ztied
07-23-2010, 03:36 PM
Actually most of the time you can catch the bearing failure.The bearings are sealed bearings with grease inside them.Of course,nothing is sealed from water.Anyway some signs are 1 light squealing sounds to loud sqealing,2 when wheel turns,it feels like the brakes are slightly applied,3 shake the wheel left to right.the tighter with no movement the better.You can check it jacked up or down.With practice you can feel the movement.
Some ways that prematurely wear the bearings is water (as I said no seal is water tight)Pressure washing around the bearings forces water in the seals,I doubt a lot of people try to ride through creeks and puddles,but that will do it,and by squirting oil on the bearings,the oil will brake down the grease,and then that means no lube,and of course failure.
If you are out on the road,and get the squeal,and the tight wheel,the of course oil it to lube it enough to get home,Go slow.There is almost always a sign,you just have to look for it.

anrkizm95
07-23-2010, 06:27 PM
maybe he took the whole peso remark for what it was,BS and decided no further posts were warranted.:D

mrv64
08-29-2010, 09:01 AM
Well I just had my second set of rear wheel bearings fail on my 07 (that I purchased in Feb of 08) at 11400 miles, the first set was around 5200 miles. I was lucky enough to notice they felt bad last year when I had tires mounted and the dealer replaced them because it was still under warranty. But now it is no longer under warranty and I did not notice it until it was too late. By the time I was in an area where I had cell coverage the damage was done. Now I am going to have to replace the swing arm and wheel. I guess I will replace the wheel bearings every time I put a new tire on just to be safe because there is no reason for them to fail this fast since I perform regular maintenance on it everything to factory torque specs and I hand wash it.

FLHP
08-30-2010, 03:19 AM
I've been reading through the wheel bearing issues, then searching for parts. Anyone have any input on brand (part numbers) other than straight from the Buell dealer?

I've not had problems with any of my Harley wheel bearings, but that's a different monster.

Just wondering if anyone has any good experience with a specific brand or source of bearing.

uly luigi
11-03-2010, 10:33 AM
I had a catastrophic failure of my rear bearings at about 13,000 miles, went to the local farmer/atv parts supply house with the one bearing that was still in one piece, and he matched it up with one for a 4 wheel ATV, haven't had a problem since, I will check the part numbers when I get off from work this evening

Dutchbuell
12-12-2010, 05:40 AM
Good rear wheel-bearings for an Uly are:
SKF 6006-2RS1
These are standard bearings which can be bought almost everywhere because they are used for many applications.

DrogeN Omen
12-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Maintenance....!!!!

every bike is dangerous without regular maintenance.

Samual007
01-27-2011, 11:28 PM
There might be something happened to wheels while the bike was in the garage, check the whole twice and make sure that pun intended or not. and remember one more thing Squeeky wheel gets the grease very fastly. and maintenance is also a important factor, which should be keep in mind.
Regards Golf Carts (http://www.onlinecheapatvs.com/atv_type_make.php?TID=Golf Carts)

danair
06-30-2011, 11:03 PM
06 Uly. Front bearings started growling at 13500. Replaced. Sprocket side rear failed today on the freeway at 80 mph. Got it to shoulder and towed. 15500 miles. Took out the spacer and who knows what else. Disturbing trend in these posts.

uly luigi
07-01-2011, 07:08 AM
I would recommend if you are a serious rider, primary transportation is your bike, do not use the OEM wheel bearings, you can get a lot better quality from the aftermarket, and if you shop around probly a lot cheaper too, and if you want to get real serious, find you a '10 model rear wheel, they added a 3rd bearing on the pulley side, the low end torque of these bikes is hard on the bearings, not really disturbing, as with all things mechanical, keep an eye on it, tighten the loose bolts, when you wash it, do a decent inspection of it, almost all the bearing failures, mine included, gave a good bit of warning, in my case they were clicking/ticking, for almost 2 weeks before the failure

wolfo68
07-01-2011, 10:35 AM
I have 30,000 miles on my firebolt and I haven't had a problem with the bearings yet.. that being said I will be checking them over and probably replacing them next week

rb70383
07-02-2011, 02:39 AM
Hell check my thread "noise from front wheel" I am on my 4th bearing in the front wheel. On the 3rd fuel pump. Along with the second battery. Buell's fault? Not even close. Have just under 5k miles. I know I need to ride. Things prevented me from riding but not now. Back on the bike and loving it! Granted its gets old digging it out of storage and immediately have to fix something, but its worth it. Bike is an 03 9R

danair
07-09-2011, 08:53 AM
Found a new 3 bearing wheel for the 06 for $300 and change with bearings. Did the belt just for good measure. 07 Uly has only 9k miles and I'm watching that bearing like a hawk. Interestlingly enough, when I did the front bearings, H-D sold me super old stock, A-suffix, bearings with the orange seals. Didn't know the diff until after I installed them. Be watching those too. Get B-suffix bearings with black seals.

BuellyBagger
03-25-2012, 03:11 PM
i know this is an old thread but... pushed my bik into the garage after about a 150 mile ride. I heard a squeal from the rear(kinda a harmonic one like brakes) so i rolled it back and forth a few times and it did it only going foward and stopped after i fidgeted with the rear brake pads so my question... bearings? or just brake noise? 07' uly 7200 miles 2nd set of tires.

BuellyBagger
03-25-2012, 07:33 PM
is there ne way to check without a motorcycle lift or center stand???

steve92106
10-01-2013, 10:57 PM
Had my rear bearings go out at 25K miles. Now I know I'm going to replace every 15K, needed or not. As for the cost, mine was $200 labor and $46 parts but only because there was enough surface on the swing arm to seat against the bearing. The aluminum was pretty gouged by the balls squeezing out of the damaged race. A new swing arm would have likely cost me several more HMUs.

06xbss
10-02-2013, 03:46 AM
Guess I'm just lucky.......

2006 Xb12Ss Had to replace front bearings at 28,000 and my rear bearings are still fine at 35,000.

I've done 90% of the tire changes myself, ~12 rear/~7 front, without a torque wrench....... I've ridden in every type of weather, even caught in a couple of snow storms. Even power wash my bike at least once a month, although I'm very careful to never spray my bearings.

stevo
11-19-2014, 11:23 PM
Man!
I posted similar on another thread...got some nasty pics on my phone...need to upload.
My rear drive side went out- got funky. Trapped on a two lane, one way expressway, under construction with concrete barriers-
Recently had a tire put on...replaced bearings sometime before that, around the last tire change.
The center race split- no sign of the balls- ate the spacer on that side, gouged edge of axle, and increased the hole in the wheel.
Had hell getting it all out....
Things measure out OK by caliper, have new spacer and bearings, 'bout through with clean-up...lets try this again!!
Steveo

stevo
11-19-2014, 11:25 PM
Stevo again- my post was under the Lighting...have the SCG, 2009.
If I'm intruding, lo siento Amigos...

GregoXB
11-20-2014, 01:32 AM
Well Buells are the only motorcycles that use wheel bearings. Japanese bikes use magneto spherical tesla sockets. Just to clear up the confusion around here.

matt87951
11-20-2014, 02:00 PM
Well Buells are the only motorcycles that use wheel bearings. Japanese bikes use magneto spherical tesla sockets. Just to clear up the confusion around here.

lol

How has this thread been active for the past 5-years?