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GL1100 Engine2
GL1100 Engine2

An online source dedicated to Honda's amazing four cylinder Goldwings!

Replacing Wheel Bearings

Most of this will apply to all models but there may be small individual differences in things like bearing retainers.


So you think you have a problem with your bearings, either because they are making a noise or because the handling has gone off.


OK. Lets check the bearings first.


Obviously(?) the wheels needs to be off the deck. One at a time will do.


Make sure that the brake pads are not rubbing.


Spin the wheel slowly and listen closely at the hub for any grating/ rumbling noises.


The front should spin freely; the back one, having the drive shaft and gearbox to turn will not spin anything like as free.


Grasp the wheel top and bottom and try for lateral movement (rocking).


Any noises or movement mean the wrenches are coming out to play!


As for when to do this, the favourite time would be when tyres are being replaced. When the back wheel is off is may be easier to feel for grittiness in the bearings with your finger.


Bearing life is firstly very much dependant on the qualilty of the bearing.

Honda always fits top quality stuff. Do the same if you have to replace them.


Secondly it depends on the way the bearing is used /abused. On a road bike they don't really get abused like, say, a dirt bike but these machines of ours are heavy. If you tour a lot two up at speed with a load of gear you should reasonably expect the bearings to last a lot less mileage than someone who uses it for a slow trip round the corner to see Aunty Nellie!


Plus you probably don't know how the previous 376 POs have treated it. :-?


Thirdly. it depends on the maintenance and the type of bearing.

The original one open side/one sealed side type originally fitted to the wheels inevitably looses some of the lubricant into the hub. Also on the ones I have removed which seem to have the original grease in them (maybe), the grease has hardened up until it no longer seems like grease.


I would suggest that a reasonable figure for stripping these out for cleaning and relubing would be say 25K miles.


I would also suggest that, once you have stripped them out of the hubs, heave the bloody things as far as you can into the nearest dump and fit the double sealed type ie. 6204 2RS. Then you can just forget about them as far as your maintenance schedule goes.


These are standard bearing numbers used by all the bearing manufacturers.


The suffix RS or 2RS simly means one Rubber Seal or two Rubber Seals!


Front wheel needs two 6302 2RS


rear Wheel needs one 6204 2RS and one 6304 2RS.


These numbers suit both the 1000 and 1100

These are readily available from any bearing distributor.


Be aware. there area lot of cheap Chinese bearings around. I have opened one up and found NO grease whatsoever inside.


Buy good stuff like FAG, SKF . Youll be surprise how little difference there is in price between stuff that will last for ever and total sh*t.


On both the retainers you will probably find that they have been punched (staked) at the threads. Use a small drill and carefully drill out the punch marks. Only drill out enough to remove the damaged thread.


DO NOT try and remove them without doing this.


The bearing retainers are made of alloy and very easily damaged on removal.


On the rear retaining ring, I used an adjustable peg tool made for tightening up wheels on an angle grinder; a very cheap tool that I had to put a weld on the back of the pegs to strengthen them but it did the job without wrecking the retaining ring.


The front one is easier as it has flat notches instead of round holes. I used a piece of flat bar about 18" long with another bit that fitted into the retainer welded to the bar in the bar in the centre of it.


When replacing the retainers, just use some BLUE Loctite; it's more than secure enough without staking the threads.

Don't use Red Loctite or that retainer ain't never, ever coming out again!



We will be doing bearing kits for both wheels in the near future.

WinGovations Copyright 2010

J G Evans


1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980  GoldWing 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987

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