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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have a 650 Vstar, please take this advice! Make sure you pull the rear wheel and lube the splines where the driveshaft connects to the final drive. Yamaha recommends this to be done any time the wheel is removed, and/or at 15,000 mile intervals. Mine made it 12,000 miles and the splines stripped. I did a bunch of reading and it seems this is a common problem, as Yamaha did not use enough grease from the factory on some bikes. Don't chance it. A new final drive from Yamaha will set you back around $650, and if you can find a used one, they are going for at least 1/2 that amount. It's very easy to do, or spend the $40 or so and have it done at your favorite shop! It's no fun watching your bike ride away on a flatbed and waiting for parts to arrive while all your buddies are out sticking their face in the wind!
 
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This is outstanding question and the answer was outstanding as well. On a 650 shaft-drive v-star, molly grease is the main thing and it can be purchased at Napa, Kragen, Pep Boys, Auto Zone and many others. Many brands are out there. Inquire about the percentage of Molly in the grease as some can be as low as 3%. You want 60% or more Molly if you can get it. I just greased my splines and put a generous amount of molly on it. Yamaha had done a good job on mine, but it was getting a little thin at 7600 miles on the odo. This should be done each time you change a tire or remove the shaft drive assembly.Zioo
 

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Glad I came upon this thread! I'll be looking into checking mine out, I have 6100 miles but my 650 is a 99 so I'm not sure my previous owner did that.

Anyhow, that looks more involved than I have time to do right now. I'd like to change the rear gear oil first. Could I change the rear oil first and then do this another time, or does regreasing mean I have to change the oil in addition to that? I just don't want to change the rear oil twice if I don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would do them both at the same time. While changing the fluid does not involve removing the tire, it really is a simple operation. It can be done in about an hour.

Ride safe!
 

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i have 27000 miles on my 650 and i have it done every time i get a new rear tire. about every 5000 to 7000 miles. the shop that puts on my tires says not every shop checks and lubes the rear splines.
 

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If you have a 650 Vstar, please take this advice! Make sure you pull the rear wheel and lube the splines where the driveshaft connects to the final drive. Yamaha recommends this to be done any time the wheel is removed, and/or at 15,000 mile intervals. Mine made it 12,000 miles and the splines stripped. I did a bunch of reading and it seems this is a common problem, as Yamaha did not use enough grease from the factory on some bikes. Don't chance it. A new final drive from Yamaha will set you back around $650, and if you can find a used one, they are going for at least 1/2 that amount. It's very easy to do, or spend the $40 or so and have it done at your favorite shop! It's no fun watching your bike ride away on a flatbed and waiting for parts to arrive while all your buddies are out sticking their face in the wind!
That's probably not an issue of lube alone. I know several people that have had multiple spline failures due to a misalignment of the rear swing-arm. My own 650 failed a month ago. I had the extended warranty and they fixed it for free--but I traded it in immediately for a 950.

In answer to LEMII, this is a known issue with the 1100 also.
 

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Splines and Moly

This thread is an important one. I've heard of V-Star 1100's with well-over 60, 000 miles on them with no spline problems. I'm not sure how the misalignment occurs with the 650/1100's, but if the instructions in the manual are followed closely, proper alignment is generally locked in. One must lock the trany in gear and turn the shaft/wheel assembly as one puts the shaft in the entry point. A strong light or flashlight helps in this. Assembly must include the proper order of bolt tightening, also to guarantee proper alignment.
As to the lube, a huge difference is the type and quality of lube used. Use a quality grease that contains moly. Moly adheres better than Lithium-based grease. It has a higher degree of protection under heavy loading such that of spline-lubrication requirements. Lastly it resists moisture and rust. There are even expensive alternatives. The 1300 does not qualify in this thread as it has final belt drive. Shaft-driven machine do not normally strip their splines and properly lubed shafts that are aligned have no problems. Belt final drives must be aligned correctly or other problems can occur. Hope this answers--zioo
 

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This thread is an important one. I've heard of V-Star 1100's with well-over 60, 000 miles on them with no spline problems. I'm not sure how the misalignment occurs with the 650/1100's, but if the instructions in the manual are followed closely, proper alignment is generally locked in. One must lock the trany in gear and turn the shaft/wheel assembly as one puts the shaft in the entry point. A strong light or flashlight helps in this. Assembly must include the proper order of bolt tightening, also to guarantee proper alignment.
One guy that I specifically know of has a 650 that has gone through 3 rear-ends. After the 3rd he figured out you can find old Virago rear-ends fairly inexpensively on ebay, rather than pay $600 to have the dealer replace it.

He found that there was a factory defect of some sort where the hole in the swing-arm was drilled out incorrectly. He actually re-drilled his, and he has had no issues in several thousand miles. While it is very important to use a good quality lube, the type of lube used in this case is not really important--as the improperly aligned rear drive was causing the splines to bind and "cook" the lube out. It's not a case of not lubing or improperly lubing.

This appears to be related to a defective run of them between 1999 and somewhere around 2003 or so.
 

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Squeaky drive shaft

I have a 2005 vstar 650 with 16,400 miles, and I have the orginal rear tire since I primarily use it for commuting at speeds under 60 mph. I have it serviced annually, usually about every 3.5K miles, and my dealer has done that servicing each of the last three years. I had a flat tire fixed 2 yr ago by my dealer. My shaft drive started squeaking a month ago, and I took it to the dealer who said that he greased it and now the squeak is gone. He also said that my concern is a maintenance issue and Yamaha won't cover it. I brought up the flat tire deal and he became upset. The squeak is back after two weeks and 200 miles.
Am I screwed?
If the splines are squeaking, how long before breakdown?
Thanks.
 

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I have a 2005 vstar 650 with 16,400 miles, and I have the orginal rear tire since I primarily use it for commuting at speeds under 60 mph. I have it serviced annually, usually about every 3.5K miles, and my dealer has done that servicing each of the last three years. I had a flat tire fixed 2 yr ago by my dealer. My shaft drive started squeaking a month ago, and I took it to the dealer who said that he greased it and now the squeak is gone. He also said that my concern is a maintenance issue and Yamaha won't cover it. I brought up the flat tire deal and he became upset. The squeak is back after two weeks and 200 miles.
Am I screwed?
If the splines are squeaking, how long before breakdown?
Thanks.
I haven't heard that squeaking is an indicator of it, but there is an alignment issue with some swingarms. Due to misalignment, the grease cooks out and causes rear drive failure. It happened to my 07 at 10k even. I had it for 3 years, and it had been serviced by the dealer exclusively. I had an extended warranty and they replaced it no charge.

If your rear drive does fail, I've seen guys that replace their's with a 535 Virago rear end for a lot cheaper than a dealer will with a new 650 drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi FarmBoy.

Mine did not make any noise at all when it failed. It happened on a 1-2 shift under normal acceleration and felt just like I missed the shift. I was at around 12,000 miles when it happened.

It gets better (worse?). I bought a used final drive and there was no sign of wear. I used a high quality moly grease, as instructed by service manual and backed up by any article I've seen about this issue. It happened to me again 2 weeks ago under the same exact circumstances. This one made it just over 5000 miles. When I took it apart, the end of the pinion shaft had actually broke off! The slines were still in good shape, but about an inch of the shaft broke off!

I got a final drive out of a 535 Virago like was just mentioned and used the internals to get rolling again. The parts are exactly the same, even having the same part # stamped on them.

I am chalking up my bad luck to using the bike beyond it's limits. My wife and I rode to the Black Hills of S.D. ant put just over 1800 miles on it in 5 days. More than 75% of the ride was with not only the 2 of us on it, but another 100 pounds of gear in the saddle bags and truck bag. Add to that riding at 75-80 mph down the interstate and I can't really blame it for failing on me!

Now that it's fixed again, I am selling it and buying a bigger bike.

So to answer your question, I'd say that based on your dealer's response, you will likely be on the hook for the repair. But I would check the alignment, because that may be the only problem.

Good luck!
 

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farmboy - i would get this checked asap!! i have mine done every time i get a new tire. i go to a private shop and the mechanic stated that this is not normally done during a tire change - you have to request it. ask some BMW riders what happens when the rear end locks up at 80 miles an hour. it aint pretty. good luck
 
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