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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Final Drive Service

Honda doesn't recommend a final drive service until 24000 miles but I've decided to go ahead and do it anyway with 1200ish Kms on the meter.

Why, you ask?

Well... number one, it's easy, cheap and quick. Number two, the factory fill of gear oil is sure to pick up some swarf and metallic debris from brand new gears mashing together and I thought it prudent to get that dirty crap out of there. Thirdly, I enjoy working on my motorcycles and I don't believe in such a thing as "too much maintenance"

1. Remove the final drive cowl. 3 little Allen screws hold it in place.

2. Remove the drain bolt and drain the old oil out. Roll the bike back and forth a few times to squeeze any residual oil out from the gears. This is where I'd like to have the centre-stand so I could just spin the back wheel. Due to the design of the final drive, it is impossible to use any type of race stand to support the rear end with the wheel off the ground. This is an advantage of the "hollow" final drives on the shafty BMW bikes.... they can be lifted with a special stand. When the old oil first started draining it was quite clean-looking, but as it finished draining it started to look black and metallic.

3. I removed the filler cap and ran a little bit of clean oil (full synthetic Motul 75/90 gear oil) through with the drain plug still off to "flush" any more residual gunk.

4. Reinstall and torque the drain plug (12NM) fill it up with new oil and install the filler cap. (8NM) Re-install the cowl and... voila. Piece of cake. It only takes about 200mLs of fluid so the 20 dollar bottle of top-quality synthetic oil will give me another 4 changes.


  1. I just changed mine at around 6,000 and it came out a dark graphite color. YUCK! I actually filled it, ran around Salt Lake City for a bit, then changed it again. This time it was a slightly lighter shade of gray. I'm seriously going to start changing this whenever I change engine oil until it starts coming out the color oil should. It's cheap and easy.

  2. I just changed mine this morning after reading your article. Thanks for posting this information! I drained my FD at 2,700 miles and did it ever look like black dirt. I replaced my FD fluid with MOBIL 1 75/90 Full Synthetic. Like the above person posted, I too am going to change it at each oil change interval, which is about every 4k miles for me.

  3. Castrol website says we can also use Castrol Axle EPX 80W-90 oil (axle fluid for specific OEMs, VFR1200 included).