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Tiz 08-02-2011 05:19 AM

removing / reinstalling the driveshaft on 2005 r1200gs
I did search and read but have not found my answer.

So I changed the oil in the final drive at 24k miles as routine. Decided I'd remove the driveshaft and relube splines while I have it apart.

I got the drive shaft backed off the transmission output shaft but now can't get it out of the swingarm. Tried turning and pulling.

Does the swingarm need to be level/in-line so the shaft is relatively straight with the transmission output shaft? If yes, I'll need to disconnect the rear shock. Can I just undo the bottom shock bolt? How much shock preload is there and will I need some kind of spring compressor to get the shock back in?

From the Can Of Worms....


JimVonBaden 08-02-2011 05:26 AM

Normally you can just pull it out of a GS. However, it depends on the angle of the swingarm. You might be able to jack the swingarm up enough to get it out, or you may have to disconnect the lower shock bolt (I never have) to get it all the way out.

Jim :brow

PS The is on the R1200GS, the RT/R/ST all have to have the swingarm off to get the shaft out from what I have seen.

GeorgeinVA 08-02-2011 05:46 AM

My experiences are the same as Jim's. I have removed several R1200GS drive shafts with swing arm and shock intact. With the other models the drive shaft is remove from the front of the swing arm.
The drive shaft is the same on all models but they use different swing arms. Is it possible your swing arm was changed?

Tiz 08-02-2011 06:54 AM

Not likely the swingarm was changed but I am third owner so you never know. Everything so far has been typical to the 05 r1200gs.

I can't jack up the swingarm as I fear the bike will fall of the centerstand.

If I wanted to remove the lower shock bolt to just make this easier, is there some preload to deal with, or does the shock just slip out when the bolt is removed?


JimVonBaden 08-02-2011 07:26 AM

The shock bolt is likely loctited, so heat will be needed. Once the bolt is out, most of the time, the swingarm will drop, so be prepared for it. You should be able to pull it towards the back of the bike far enough to lift the swingarm and slide out the driveshaft.

Jim :brow

Tiz 08-02-2011 08:32 AM

Jim -

I already started to back out the lower shock bolt but stopped until I could ask all of this. No heat needed but I'll locktite in on reassembly. I'll be prepared for the swingarm to drop when the bolt comes out.



JimVonBaden 08-02-2011 11:14 AM


It was likely removed once before then. I personally use blue loctite, not red, so no heat the next time. Some use none at all.

Jim :brow

malloy 08-03-2011 06:10 AM

I'm waiting for the installation:lol3:lol3. Should be pretty easy with the shock disconnected.

Tiz 08-03-2011 06:29 PM

Jim - if you're out there I really need advice. The disconnect of the shock went fine, driveshaft out - looks brand new at 24k miles - greased the splines and tried to reassemble. Noticed the front boot popped out of the swing arm.

I cannot get the front boot back in place between swingarm and transmission. I've tried installing with several swingarm angles for over an hour. The plastic clip keeps falling out into the swingarm and I can't get the boot to seat with it in.

What is involved with removing the swingarm, given that I already have the shock off? Hoping to do this tonight. I expect I can reassemble the boot onto the swingarm, replace the swingarm, install the driveshaft and wire-tie the front edge of the front boot in that order, then finish the rest of the final drive steps for reassembly.


JimVonBaden 08-03-2011 07:02 PM


The swingarm boot should be able to be loosely installed with the driveshaft out, then, once the shaft is in, you can raise the swingarm and attach the shock. After the shock is in place you should be able to attach the boot to the rear (swingarm), then the front with a new zip tie.

It will be pretty obvious once you get the swingarm in place how it goes. Also, don't forget that the plastic clip goes pretty far into the boot, with just a tiny bit of the clips showing past the rubber before install.

Jim :brow

Tiz 08-03-2011 07:36 PM


No way mine will fit. Maybe because it's original? The plastic clip is fairly loose inside the boot and pops right out when I push the whole thing into place, no matter what the swingarm angle. Then the bottom of the boot is too compressed to get the swingarm side seated right. Can't pop the top in. I think it was in there with the plastic clip upside down before I took it apart and noticed it wasn't seated.

I'm a fairly competent amateur mechanic. I maintain my sailboat diesel, and all the boat's systems and fittings, was an OMC-corp certified outboard mechanic, have maintained a KLR, Vstrom and XR400.

There ain't no way this boot will fit into the space allowed without distorting it so much it comes apart.

I have to stop for tonight. I'll order a new boot anyway since it's such a bitch to deal with. I tried to remove the swingarm but can't budge the allen bolt on the left side of the bike. Also need a slidehammer to remove the right side pivot. I did apply some propane torch heat to the allen bolt but it won't budge I wans' tcertain how much heat would be needed.

Any advice on getting the swingarm off/on would be helpful at this point.


Tiz 08-03-2011 07:38 PM


And by the way, thanks for the quick response already. I really appreciate the help and guidance.


JimVonBaden 08-03-2011 08:18 PM


I have seen a couple like that. However, they are only on bikes that have had the swingarm, and or, boot removed for some reason. I suspect the dealer just tossed it in, and didn't get them right when reinstalling them. This can cause the plastic "holder/clip" to get distorted, and make it nearly impossible to get it reinstalled correctly later down the road.

The only two options I can see are to install it as is, and it will mostly seal, or replace the boot and clip with new.

Sorry, wish I could be more help.

Jim :brow

Tiz 08-04-2011 05:34 AM


I expect you are correct about the distorted/incorrectly installed boot.

I'll try with a new boot.

I would really like to know how to remove the swingarm.


JimVonBaden 08-04-2011 05:59 AM

Removing the swingarm is similar to removing the final drive. You really need a manual, as it would be hard to describe with just a few sentences of text how to remove and install it correctly.

Is there a reason why you wish to remove the swingarm?

Jim :brow

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