Dry Splines: How long do I have? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Dry Splines: How long do I have?

I purchased a used 1992 750 with 7,000 miles on it and found out about the need to lube the splines after I had already put new tires on it. I decided the next time I put on new tires I would check it then. Bad decision. The bike now has 18,600 miles on it and I just replaced the tires and inspected the splines. Red dust. The splines were completely dry. There is no indication that there has ever been any grease on them (or anywhere close to them, ever). I greased what was left of the splines and put everything back together. How long do I have before failure?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 10:23 AM
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Might be to late. Check this thread on Fergy's spline lube. His first post talks about the " red dust".
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthrea...gy+spline+lube

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechMech View Post
I purchased a used 1992 750 with 7,000 miles on it and found out about the need to lube the splines after I had already put new tires on it. I decided the next time I put on new tires I would check it then. Bad decision. The bike now has 18,600 miles on it and I just replaced the tires and inspected the splines. Red dust. The splines were completely dry. There is no indication that there has ever been any grease on them (or anywhere close to them, ever). I greased what was left of the splines and put everything back together. How long do I have before failure?

This is why I make such a big deal about the splines. Always lube the splines YESTERDAY. NEVER wait. I recommend doing them every 10,000 miles without fail. The splines are one of the major weak points on this bike, for two reasons. One is that at least most of them were never lubed or lubed properly at the factory. The other is just a plain bad design. But the VN750 is by no means the only bike with a badly designed shaft drive. Even the vaunted BMW has problems which could be prevented by proper engineering.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
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1979 Vespa P200E
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 08:26 PM
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It's funny, I was looking at one of those small owners manuals the other day, you know the ones that come with the bike. It showed different mileage to change fluids and replacement of component, It showed changing the differential fluid but not lubing the splines.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 09:12 PM
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+1 on yesterday. I do mine every 15,000 or 12 months, which ever comes first.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 09:38 PM
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My 86 had some red dust and no grease, so I greased it and put on thousands of miles on it. I do not think it will be a problem.

1986 VN750A(2) 12224 miles.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 09:55 PM
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I do mine every 10,000 miles, or as close as I can get to it. One thing I noticed about the Vulcan 750s splines is that they are shaped much differently than the older Honda Goldwing splines. The Goldwing splines are deeper, and the high points on them are much wider and flatter. That alone should make them much stronger. They look more like the output splines on an automotive transmission. Also the Goldwing REAR splines do not need to be lubed, they run in the oil of the final drive gearcase. There is an oil seal that keeps the oil from running out into the swingarm, which must be replaced everytime the driveshaft/gearcase are separated. Still not perfect, but better than what the Vulcan has. The GW has a separate U joint, with splines on both sides, which goes between the engine output shaft and the driveshaft. It still has to be lubed.

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1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shark88 View Post
It's funny, I was looking at one of those small owners manuals the other day, you know the ones that come with the bike. It showed different mileage to change fluids and replacement of component, It showed changing the differential fluid but not lubing the splines.
The Periodic Maintenance Chart in my Owner's Manual (p.65) says to lubricate the "Propeller Shaft Joint" (this is the splines we are talking about) at 6,000 mi and 18,000 mi. Since it has been out of production since 2006, almost every VN750 probably should have had the splines lubed by now. It is my belief that most of the spline failures that we hear about are the result of lack of maintenance rather than lack of lube from the factory.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:17 AM
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^ I'd have to agree. Add to this owners taking their bikes to dealers who had no idea where these "splines" are that the folks wanted lubed.

One member watched as they took off the rear wheel and lubed the teeth in the final drive hub.

Some lubed the bevel gear at the other end of the shaft, and some apparently lubed nothing at all but said they did.

This is an easy operation that any owner should be able to do himself. At this point there is no reason to hear about spline failures... Especially if you've been a member of this forum for any length of time.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 11:17 AM
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I think the chart says at 6,000 and then at 24,000. So called for at an 18,000 mile interval, after the first lube. Also when you change a rear tire, that would be a good time to do it even if you are under the recommended mileage.
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