Bushings vs. Bearings in a swing arm..
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Bushings vs. Bearings in a swing arm..

This is a discussion on Bushings vs. Bearings in a swing arm.. within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I will ask this because I would like to know .. Why a solid bearing or bushing is considered an upgrade over needle bearings in ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tonnystark's Avatar
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    Question Bushings vs. Bearings in a swing arm..

    I will ask this because I would like to know ..

    Why a solid bearing or bushing is considered an upgrade over needle bearings in swing arm useage ?

    The SR500 Yamaha used needle bearings with seals O/E ..

    You would think that solid should be less costly to manufacture and if actually better, that yami would have used such..

    Mine are still in perfect condition while having been in the bike since '78..

    It's my thought that unless its considered a major upgrade to a Yami's ride I will stay with the needles...

    I will be reading in the Industial Press Machinery's Handbook this evening to learn more on specific property's yet wanted insight from members usage and thoughts on these two in real world conditions.. thanks
    Last edited by Tonnystark; 07-25-2013 at 09:58 PM. Reason: term correction and further opening thoughts.
    78' SR500
    64' YG1S
    15' XT250

  2. #2
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    I thought it was the other way round.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    Maybe you're thinking of bronze bushings as an upgrade to plastic / nylon?

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Tonnystark's Avatar
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    ok I can see that i may be clouding the issue with my own confusion, thats why I asked ..

    the 78 SR500 has NEEDLE bearings, (could a US bike bike different to AU version?)
    I just looked at them now and I have had this bike since day one..

    You do see here on the forum its almost always recommended that Honda's arms have solids installed so wondered if it was such for all.?

    yes it is entirely possible those are plastic units you speak of and that they are not needles ,just changed from a bad choice of using plastic and not bronze or needles ?

    I do know that the YG1 has a live rubber style bushing that would be prone to quick failer if overworked..
    Last edited by Tonnystark; 07-25-2013 at 10:31 PM.
    78' SR500
    64' YG1S
    15' XT250

  6. #5
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the Hondas had plastic / nylon bushings and the bronze replacements are the upgrades. Same as some RD's.

    I've never known a bike with needle bearings to be "upgraded" by bushings - if bushings were superior in this application, then all the new bikes would have them instead of needle bearings....but they don't.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Big Bad Bob Dog's Avatar
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    Needle bearings are far superior. Well. If a cb125 bog stock with period correct tires on it has, say bronze bushings installed. They'll be tits. Especially if you're riding through somewhere with great roads and riding it as it was intended. No worries.

    Take a ride up the bell curve and shit gets troublesome. Correctly maintained needle bearings deal with higher stresses and action.

    Theres a reason adding needle bearings to an applicable camshaft is an upgrade. That's over a well lubricated plain bearing.
    That's like, your opinion, man.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Big Bad Bob Dog's Avatar
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    Oh and what you're looking at is typical Yamaha. They build something magnificent as the SR, but they build something totally horrible like the TX500. They're a company of a lot of firsts and not taking the easiest way IMHO. Ever ridden on OWO1? Holy shit that made me like Yamaha. Reverse cylinder TZR's which for a few years they sold with the vtwins, 5 valves per head (blah blah blah interesting), the first R1, going to triples now, Rossi, fearsome two strokes, handling over horse power?

    Donno. Used to be my least favorite out of the big 4. Have to love them now.
    That's like, your opinion, man.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Tonnystark's Avatar
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    thanks for setting my mind at ease with this..

    To sum up so far, top to bottom ideal useage..

    1. needles or roller bearing
    2. solid bearing or bushing (metal)
    3. solid bearing or bushing (plastic)
    4. sleeved live rubber bushing

    As I look at the list , I assume this is also likely the history of swing arm bearing useage, needles being the norm now days (at least on the jap 4)
    78' SR500
    64' YG1S
    15' XT250

  10. #9
    Senior Member Dean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Bob Dog View Post
    They build something magnificent as the SR, but they build something totally horrible like the TX500.

    The TX 500 is not horrible..... Yeah, you can't let it overheat even a little or the head will crack, it is an overly complicated engine with way too many internal chains to adjust , the stock carbs suck , it could have used a 6 speed vs. the 5 speed .... but horrible? It's basically a scaled up RD350 with an eight valve twin 4T. It is not overly heavy, the power band is awesome, it's narrow and handles very well. The chain driven counter balancer actually works, providing a comfortable ride and it shares a ton of parts with other yammies. I have a TX500 and two XS500's . Yes, they are odd-ball bikes but not horrible ....

  11. #10
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    I think there has been a push to use oilite bushings as well in swingarms as an upgrade. For those that don't know an Oilite bushing is a powdered metal bushing that is impregnated with oil during the forming process - it is self lubricating which eliminates the need for the zerk fitting and grease schedule on most arms. How many guys lube their arms anyway? if you are riding often you are supposed to lube that arm every couple of months. I can't remember the last time I did it on blue though.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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