CMS-Japanese Motorcycle Supply Parts

Removing the 4-bolt final drive units - Honda CX500, GL500, CX650, GL650

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Which final drive unit you have seems to vary depending on what country your bike was sold in; some have 3 bolts, some have four. The process for removing either is quite similar, and today we're looking at the 4-bolt removal process.

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Final Drive removal requirements:

Tool Size Notes
Socket or Spanner 10mm Final drive oil drain bolt
12mm Nuts holding the final drive to swingarm
Small drain pan or bucket For catching used final drive oil
Rear wheel removed See future how-to.

What could go wrong:

Forget to put final drive oil back in Ruined/seized final drive unit
Large amounts of torque applied to seized nuts Tip bike off stand/jack
So, you have your rear wheel off and now you want your final drive unit off. Maybe you're painting it, maybe you're replacing it, maybe you're getting your frame sandblasted and powdercoated... whatever the reason, the process is quite quick and simple. Once your wheel is off it should look like so:

If you're taking it off, it's not a bad idea to drain the oil first - if you tip it so that the top points downward the oil can flow out the breather hole and make a mess. Besides, when was the last time you changed it? The drain bolt is the bottom of the three, and takes a 10mm socket:

Position a drain pan under it - it only has to hold a few hundred mls to be more than adequate - and loosen:

It should only take a few minutes to slow to a drip, depending on the ambient temperature. Pop the drain bolt back in once the flow stops. From here there are four bolts to remove, in approximately a square. Three are easily visible from the right side of the bike, the fourth is in line with the outside bottom and inside top bolt making a vague square.

On this CX650ED Eurosport the nuts holding the final drive unit on took a 12mm socket, and having a short extension made it much easier to remove them:

Crack all of the bolts loose before undoing any one completely and support the final drive unit as you undo them. Once they are off the unit simply slides backward, likely bringing the drive shaft with it:

We haven't ever had the drive shaft come out attached to a 3-bolt final drive unit, as a point of curiosity. A closer shot of the final drive unit:

And the inner side:

All done.

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