A Wrenching Morning

That would be “wrenching” as in “motorcycle maintenance.”  I found oil under my motorcycle the other day.  With older bikes (and non-Japanese bikes in general), oil on the garage floor is pretty much standard … but it’s not something you want to see underneath a Honda Goldwing.

There wasn’t any doubt in my mind it was final drive oil.  My motorcycle has a shaft drive and a sort of half-differential in the rear hub called the final drive.  The only other source of liquid in the rear wheel area is the brake, and the stuff on my garage floor definitely wasn’t brake fluid.  I called my friend Ed and described what I’d found.  He and I agreed it was probably the final drive.

Don’t get me started on trikes and trike riders, but I’m thankful for them today.  When Goldwing owners with more money than brains turn their beautiful motorcycles into ugly, unmaneuverable, make-them-look-like-disabled-feebs three wheelers, they wind up throwing away the original rear end parts.  A new rear end from Honda would probably price out at around $3000.  You can pick them up on eBay for less than $200, because that’s where the trike conversion companies try to dump them.  My friend Ed, wouldn’t you know, once bought a whole rear end just to get the new tire that was on it.  So when Ed said, “Why don’t you come over Thursday and we’ll swap out your final drive unit,” I said “Sure!”

Good thing Ed had a complete rear end, because it turned out I needed to replace the rear brake rotor as well.  Four hours’ work and I’m as good as new.

Photos?  Ayup:

While we were at it we replaced the rear brake pads.  Everything seems to be back to normal and I should be good to go for my Saturday ride to the Tubac Car Show … obviously I’ll be on red alert for unusual noises or vibrations, and you can bet I’ll be keeping an eye on the garage floor.  Thank you, trike fools (you are NOT motorcyclists), and thank you, good friend and motorcycle guru Ed.

© 2012, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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