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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed a new Penske 8983 the other day. In addition to some left/right float between the shock clevis and lower shock mount, I have up/down play in the shock linkage. With the rear wheel off the ground, I can move the rear wheel up and down ~2-3mm, without the shock compressing. The play seems to be at the upper dog bone pivot. This bolt was not removed or loosened during the shock install, and it is torqued down. It would seem to indicate a bad or out of spec bearing and/or bushing. My bike has ~1800 miles on it. You can check the up/down swingarm play by standing on the kickstand side of the bike, tilting the rear wheel off the ground using the kickstand then grabbing the top of the wheel and pulling up and down. The left right float in the lower shock mount can be felt by pushing up on the subframe to unload the shock while grabbing the lower shock body and pulling side to side. The side to side float seems to be the bearing sleeve moving side to side. I checked clearance with the stock shock-same deal. Double checked for any parts that could have fallen out when I removed the shock, and almost put o-rings on either side of the bearing sleeve to take up the slack. It seems the shock might stay centered under load, and I didn't notice any ugly witness marks between the mount and clevis, just light dirt on the bearing seals, indicating that the area was previously exposed and not covered by missing parts. work was done in my garage/shop with a concrete floor, so I would have found anything that hit the ground. I don't detect any side to side play in the swingarm, and felt nothing odd during a 250 mile ride the day after. I plan to take it to the dealer when I have time, and would like to know if anyone else has the same issues.
 

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Most likely tolerance stacking, plus its cold. I'll bet a lot of that goes away after a few miles....
 

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mine has it to. i can feel it by lifting the subframe up a down when the Rwheel is just touching the ground and the stand is down.
i noticed it as soon as i got the bike. after 6000km it hasnt gotten worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I knew I could't be the only one. You are referring to the linkage play? Have you check for the side to side shock float?
mine has it to. i can feel it by lifting the subframe up a down when the Rwheel is just touching the ground and the stand is down.
i noticed it as soon as i got the bike. after 6000km it hasnt gotten worse.
 

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yeh definitely to do with the shock linkage. i have checked side to side movement of the shock yet ill check it out in a few days.

i think it would be consistent with all other 09s. just no one has noticed it, since its not exactly easy to spot
 

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I noticed the play as well. I ended up putting the rear wheel on the ground before I tightened everything down. Didn't want anything to shift later while riding. If you think that is bad you should see how much play the swing arm has when you loosen it. Most of it goes away when tight though. Had me worried that I might have dropped a bushing during disassembly :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These problems should be addressed by Yamaha. I,d say the linkage issue is priority. The more people calling attention to the issue, the quicker they will act. I plan on mine being warrantied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Just spent 45 min. on the phone with Yamaha, and was finally told this is normal (after the standard "take it to the dealer"). I quick search reveals some opinions that agree. I think a more appropriate term would be "common" in some bikes, usually bikes with worn suspensions. I can't see why such a critical component would be designed so that when the suspension is unloaded, at it's point of least traction, the wheel is free to flop around, instead of being kept in contact with the ground. Is it possible that they have gotten away with sloppy engineering/QC with this for so long that they have some convinced to accept it? I just spent nearly a grand on a rear shock, and I don't like slop in a needle bearing pivot. In any other application I have encountered in 43 years of wrenching vehicles, that kind of bearing play calls for replacement. I am currently shopping for a new dirt bike, and am looking outside the Yamaha line for the 1st time in 37 years (KTM). If I can buy a bike without a sloppy rear end, I will.
 

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Have you checked it DURING a ride, when everything is at operating temp??? Just about every linkage bike I've owned has a little slop in the rear,when cold. If it is tight cold, it'll SIEZE when it gets hot....
 

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Did you get all the parts back in. I don't remember any looseness when I did the shock exchange. I do remember some bushings in the frame that just fell out and I was carefull to make sure they found their way back in.
This is a link to Yamaha's site or look up their parts the hard way. Most of the bits are under the section "Rear Arm"
 

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I know that I had to be careful when installing the Penske to make sure the upper bushings that came with the Penske were still in place. They were secured with a zip tie when unpacking the shock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, all the parts are installed properly. It seems to me that this play creates a high wear condition that will deteriorate both metal, and probably seals. I'll be checking my new KTM as well...
 

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+1
Another one here with a non-stock shock and play in the exact same spot. Upper dog bone seems to be the culprit. And yes, I can feel it when the bike is up to normal temperature. I can feel it in the butt when I go from braking to accelerating.

It wasn't there at first after the install of the shock. I've probably put 3K miles on the bike since the install.

I just had a peek at the rear swing arm parts diagram. And, although my head just about exploded over the complexity, it seems like there is both a bolt collar and a bearing that the collar fits into at both ends of the dog bone. You wouldn't think that to be something that would wear out in just a few thousand miles??

Maybe the extra compression damping on our non-stock shocks overwhelms the collar or bearing or, worse, the bearing seat? Thoughts??
 
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