Rear Wheel Bearing Maintenance - F800GS(A)

By: Kevin JohnsonJun 27, 2019

Hello and welcome to my first “how-to” tutorial!  In preparation for my ride from Denver to Canada and back I wanted to tear apart the rear wheel bearings on my 2015 F800GS Adventure and make sure everything was functioning smoothly.  I already had the wheel off for some new rubber and figured no time like the present while it’s already easily accessible.  After about 12k miles on the bike and fully knowing that bearing manufacturers often skimp on grease it was kind of a no brainer…plus for an hour’s worth of work the peace of mind is greatly worth the cost.  It was also a good opportunity to give everything a good scrubbing!  So I grabbed the camera and took some pics along the way to hopefully help someone else down the road.

Since it was a beautiful evening out and the dogs had been inside all day I grabbed a large piece of cardboard to protect the patio table from grease and potential harm, and did the job in the back yard.  With the music on, likely pissing off the neighbors, I rounded up the parts and tools and began.

TL;DR — I can be somewhat wordy, so click here to go to the abridged “recipe” at the bottom of the page

The tools you’ll need include:

  • A small pry bar/flat head screwdriver for popping the large seals out
  • An even smaller flat head screwdriver to assist with the bearing seals
  • A yet even SMALLER flat head screwdriver to start the bearing seals
  • A dull razor blade which you may or may not need for bearing seal assistance
  • Snap ring pliers
  • A brass hammer or something similar to act as a sort of seal punch (an old bearing or something circular would work better but I didn’t have anything handy that size)
  • A dead blow hammer to hit the brass hammer with
  • Bearing grease
  • WD-40 for cleaning old grease
  • Kerosene for cleaning old grease
  • Plenty of rags handy
  • Adult beverage of choice

Estimated time:  30-60 min depending on how quickly you move and how much cleaning is required.

The first thing you need to do is enjoy a nice swig of your adult beverage of choice – this is an easy one so have a drink and lets begin!

Once you’re feeling good about the project we’ll start with the sprocket carrier bearing.  I recommend cleaning the whole thing pretty well first, it will keep you from getting too disgusting, and also is nice when putting everything back together.  Equally, go ahead and wipe out any debris as you work your way through the process.  Okay, grab either your small pry bar or flat head screwdriver and carefully pop out the outer seal.  One thing to note, you don’t need to go super deep into the seal with the prying, about halfway seems to be the “just right” spot for getting it out.

Next grab your snap ring pliers and take the snap ring out as it’s in the way of the bearing seal.  Also it’ll need to come out if you plan on replacing the bearing.

With the outer seal and snap ring out of the way you now have access to the bearing itself.  With your small flat head and/or dull razor blade GENTLY get underneath and pop out the bearing seal.  Make sure to be extra careful here, it’s quite delicate.  I prefer to start this process from the inside diameter vs outside, for me it’s easier to get out but doing it this way you have to take extra care that you don’t damage the very small rubber lip on the seal, which is where even two small flat heads would come in handy.

Great job, you’re now into your first bearing!  Have another drink and examine the internal balls.  If yours are anything like mine you’ll notice the lack of grease inside the bearing.  Good thing we checked them before a failure, huh?

Get your bearing grease and fill up the space between the bearings and hell, even throw a little…WOAH, JUST A LITTLE…on top.  You want to make sure you don’t overdo it, that can be harmful and it’s best not to get too risky.  These little needle grease guns are extremely handy for getting into small places and make a lot less of a mess, I would highly recommend investing in one as a potential headache saver.

Now that you’re done lubing everything up it’s time to seal it back up.  It doesn’t hurt to clean the two seals while you have everything apart either.

Assuming you were careful with your bearing seal, go ahead and press it back onto the bearing making sure it sits snugly in there as it did when you removed it.  You also have an opportunity here to wipe out any extra gunk that may have been missed during disassembly.

With the bearing perfectly situated, add the snap ring back in.  I noticed mine were quite dirty so I cleaned those too separately.

Now press your outer seal back into place.  This is where a similarly sized, sturdy round object (such as an old bearing) would come in handy, but instead I just used my thumbs to press it into place and then the dead blow hammer and brass hammer to go all the way around and make sure everything was seated properly.

That wasn’t so bad right?  Go ahead and get to at least the halfway point on your drink and then grab the wheel so we can get started on the two bearings there.  I started on the cush drive side first since the bearing is easily accessible, staring you right in the face in an almost taunting manner.  “No problem” you say, you’ve already done one, the second is cake.  Notice the two pictures, the inside of the cush drive portion of the wheel was DISGUSTING.  I went ahead and cleaned that as I like to with everything…can you tell I’m slightly OCD?

The process is the same as with the last bearing except without having to remove the outer seal and snap ring.  Simply and still gently take out the bearing seal.  This bearing didn’t look quite as bad as the last but still requires a good lubing.  Do that, put it back together, and flip the wheel over to the rotor side.

You’d better go ahead and take this time to finish that drink in order to make room in your glass for a fresh beverage.  Looking at the rotor side now you’ll notice you have another outer seal, snap ring, and then can access the bearing again.  Go ahead and remove the hindrances making sure to clean everything in the process.  I notices a fair amount of white goober under the outer seal on this one so I cleaned that all up too.

Once you’re inside the last bearing, muscle memory kicks in and you have probably already finished the monotonous task at hand.  I noticed that this bearing was very similar to the first in that it was lacking in grease.  See the two examples below for how much I like to add and how it looks prior to putting the seal back on.

BAM!  All finished and you set a nice pace for your drink as well.  Looks like it’s time to go ahead and fill that drink back up and put the rear wheel back on the bike, making sure to notice how much smoother of a ride this is than previously.  Seriously though, I hope this helped and can’t wait to embark on some future tutorials with y’all!



Sprocket Carrier Bearing:

  • NOTE: clean all the parts as you go
  1. Remove the outer seal
  2. Remove the snap ring
  3. Carefully remove the bearing seal
  4. Grease the bearing
  5. Re-insert the bearing seal
  6. Re-insert the snap ring
  7. Re-insert the outer seal


Cush Drive Wheel Bearing Side:

  • NOTE: no outer seal or snap ring to remove
  1. Carefully remove the bearing seal
  2. Grease the bearing
  3. Re-insert the bearing seal


Rotor Wheel Bearing Side:

  • NOTE: clean all the parts as you go
  1. Remover the outer seal
  2. Remove the snap ring
  3. Carefully remove the bearing seal
  4. Grease the bearing
  5. Re-insert the bearing seal
  6. Re-insert the snap ring
  7. Re-insert the outer seal


Kevin Johnson
Kevin was destined to ride motorcycles from a young age since bikes are a family pastime.  Only recently did Kevin become an internet motorcycle influencer and change the lives of no one while blogging about his exploits, both on and off the road.  He is currently (and constantly) thinking about the next places two wheels might take him, much to the dismay of his wife, so stay tuned for what's to come!