How to Remove Motorcycle Rear Shocks
There can be a number of reasons for replacing motorcycle rear shocks. You might decide to upgrade and go with aftermarket shocks for a different type of performance, or you may be replacing them for safety concerns. Whatever the reason, you can easily do the job yourself. Removing motorcycle rear shocks might seem like a complex job but in reality, it’s quite simple.
Step 1 - Keeping the Bike Stable
It’s important to ensure the bike is well supported when you remove the motorcycle rear shocks. If there’s a center stand attached, this can help a lot; the rear tire needs to be about 6 inches off the ground to carry out the work. Make sure the front of the bike is secure, because you’ll be exerting a lot of force on the back end. Use the rear stand or a jack to raise the back of the bike.
Step 2 - Bolts
The motorcycle rear shocks are held on by bolts. There will be a single bolt at the top of the shock and you should also see that there’s linkage around the bottom of the shock. The sock is attached to the linkage with bolts. With some bikes, all the bolts are held in place by locking nuts. With other makes, the bottom mount can run into the frame. You need to be aware that the torque on many of these bolts can be 50 foot-pounds or even more. Unless you’re remarkably strong, you’re going to need help to loosen them.
On some bikes, there are rear and forward linkage bolts. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll find that there are just simple bushings in between the bolt and the aluminum link. However, some motorcycles will have needle bearings. Take great care that these don’t fall out and vanish as you’ll need them for fitting your new shock.
The next thing to do is loosen, but don’t remove, all the bolts. Use a wrench for this. It might be that the bolts are difficult to reach because of the exhaust but in most instances, they should still be accessible.
Step 3 - Removing Bolts
This is where you need to use a small jack to raise the back of the bike. Be careful not to raise it too high. You will need to do is raise it enough so there’s hardly any weight on the swingarm. If you raise it too high, there will be no weight on the swingarm, and there will be added pressure on the rear shock.
In this situation, you’ll find it’s almost impossible to remove the bolts so you have to find a happy medium through trial and error. Experiment a little to achieve the optimum working height for removing the motorcycle rear shock.
Now, you can remove the bolts around the linkage. Keep the bolts to one side. With the bolts gone, you can now remove the top bolt. Be sure to keep hold of the shock so it doesn’t drop to the floor when you remove the bolt. Holding it in place will also help you guide the motorcycle rear shock out of its cavity until it’s free.
Set the old shock aside, and you’ll be ready to put in the new shock on your motorcycle.