Drive Shaft Failure - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Drive Shaft Failure

Earlier this year I experienced a failure of the spines in my drive shaft (2009 C50, 14000 miles) due to what we believe is the lack of lubrication in the hub. I just heard from my repair shop that they have an 08 C50 with the same problem. Research on forums tells me that this problem is not rare. I am contacting the NHTSA to log a complaint. It seems that if enough people with the same problem would do likewise, perhaps Suzuki USA would take action. Cost me over $500.00 for repairs that should not have been needed... and worse yet... three weeks lost riding time in the early summer.
mgdriver56 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 04:57 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: orlando florida
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Log a complaint??? a 5 yr old motorcycle. I own a repair shop, work on Volusias all the time, its very rare. I believe the worst enemy to a rider is a forum. No concrete evidence to back your claim.You are expecting way too much, Life happens get over it
RemingtonNY likes this.
midtown mini is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to midtown mini For This Useful Post:
DrBLVD (12-31-2013)
post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 05:44 PM
Senior VR Member
MoDZuKi's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alliston, Ontario
Posts: 2,859
Thanks: 705
Thanked 459 Times in 372 Posts
Disagree totally. My M50 (2006) was changed to a VS1400 drive with only 1800KM on the ODO... ZERO lube on the splines- driveshaft AND drive ends.. DRY nothing NADA... I have personally changed 6 drives to VL1500 or VS1400 drives and NONE of them had sufficient lube (ranging from 2005 to 2010 C50 and M50). The drives kits I have sold... Only 3 of the 14 kits I have put together had enough lube on the drive end (When I bought the drives and disassembled)- and looking at the type of lube I did find the ones that were lubed properly did not have the factory grease!.
So this IS a wide spread problem.. the spun splines I have seen and heard on this forum are the tip of the iceberg- I shudder to think haw many bikes are scooting around out there with Zero lube... they will fail too.. or wont if the owners heed the warnings here and lube them at EACH tire change. a $10 seal is all it takes and a few bucks in Moly 60 paste from Honda..

It ain't getting what you want..It's wanting what u got!
**I am a victim of Mod- Mania The bike itself was the cheap part!!!!!...**

2009 Suzuki DL650 VStrom 2014- Current
1983 Suzuki GS550ES 2014- June 2015(Sold)
2003 Honda ST1300 2013 2014 (sold)
2006 Suzuki M50 2009-2013 (sold)
**Married, Kids, etc etc etc**
1983 Suzuki GS550ES 1983-1985 (sold)
1980 Yamaha Seca 400 1982-1982(sold)
1980 Yamaha Exciter 250 1980-1982 (putt putt)(sold)
MoDZuKi is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to MoDZuKi For This Useful Post:
dsmitty (01-02-2014), lv2tinker (12-30-2013), mochanic (08-02-2015), PopPop (08-12-2015)
post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 07:44 PM
Senior VR Member
cavie's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Port Charlotte Fl
Posts: 1,962
Thanks: 52
Thanked 334 Times in 259 Posts
Originally Posted by midtown mini View Post
Log a complaint??? a 5 yr old motorcycle. I own a repair shop, work on Volusias all the time, its very rare. I believe the worst enemy to a rider is a forum. No concrete evidence to back your claim.You are expecting way too much, Life happens get over it
You are way off base! This forum is very informative and probably saved me the very same problem. Without this forum, I would never pulled my driveshaft and found dry splines!!! My guess is you dislike forums because we can learn how to fix our bikes and have no need of your services.

I know you believe that you understand what you think I said but I'm sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

'05 Honda VTX 1300R Champion trike Kit. Mustang Seats and Backrests, Kuryakyn ISO grips, pegs, floorboards, shifter and brake peddles, Cup Holder. Universal passenger arm rests, Wolo horn, Vista Cruise, Shark 600 watt stereo, ShowChrome Risers, lots of chrome.
cavie is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to cavie For This Useful Post:
Dave cruise (02-24-2014), dsmitty (01-02-2014), henry postma (12-31-2013), ME2k (02-11-2014), OTG (12-30-2013)
post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 08:29 PM
Senior VR Member
dsmitty's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,477
Thanks: 449
Thanked 415 Times in 310 Posts
Originally Posted by midtown mini View Post
Log a complaint??? a 5 yr old motorcycle. I own a repair shop, work on Volusias all the time, its very rare. I believe the worst enemy to a rider is a forum. No concrete evidence to back your claim.You are expecting way too much, Life happens get over it
A driveshaft failure at 14K miles and you say "life happens". So what's your shop warranty like - 30 minutes or 30 feet?

Sent from Free App

2009 C50 (3/2011 - 3/2014)
2007 Street Glide (2/2014 -)
San Jose, Ca
dsmitty is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dsmitty For This Useful Post:
mauserk98 (12-30-2013)
post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 09:22 PM
Senior VR Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Buford, GA
Posts: 484
Thanks: 0
Thanked 160 Times in 115 Posts
A lot of folks complain about a lack of lubrication at the splines, and I have seen the splines be quite dry from the factory. When I pulled my engine last week I pulled the drive and checked ALL FOUR sets of splines (secondary drive to u-joint; u-joint to driveshaft; driveshaft to final drive; final drive to wheel) and they were all just about bone dry (except the drive to wheel one, which was lubed when i put tires on it last).

But with that said, the drive shaft also showed absolutely no signs of rust or wear. I have never seen a drive shaft eat itself up like this in person, though I have seen many shaft drive bikes from all manufacturers suffer from inadequate lubrication at the driveshaft splines, especially on bikes like the C50 where the boot is not held in place with a clamp and water can get in there.

I am curious how many actual driveshaft failures there have been out of the tens of thousands of these bikes made in the last 15 years. I have heard of two for sure on this site and one on another, but not paid much attention to it, but I am sure there are others.

This is not the first person posting that they have filed a complaint to NHSTA, so I can say without a doubt that nothing will happen. They will not respond, and if you call them or repeatedly contact them about it they will respond saying that a driveshaft slowly destroying itself from lack of lubrication is a preventable maintenance issue, not a safety related design defect. But maybe if enough people complain Suzuki will add lubing the splines to the maintenance chart so people know to do it every now and then.
RemingtonNY likes this.

DrBob is offline  
post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:08 AM
Senior VR Member
Blinky's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 452
Thanks: 85
Thanked 271 Times in 127 Posts
Originally Posted by midtown mini View Post
I own a repair shop. I believe the worst enemy to a rider is a forum.
I am rather curious why you believe a forum like this is an enemy to a rider? Yes, there is a megaphone effect where uncommon issues are magnified, a certain amount of misinformation, and a wheelbarrow or so full of bs from time to time on the forum, but nothing I can see that makes it an enemy. Perhaps some of the basic maintenance tasks we document and do ourselves instead of taking it to a repair shop may be the basis of your statement? Just curious.

Good hunting
ronken10 likes this.

You don't need to tell me 12 times; 11 usually does it.
2012-2013: 2007 Suzuki S40 (Sold)
2013-2014: 2007 Suzuki C50 (Sold)
2014-20??: 1992 Honda Gold Wing GL1500
2015-20??: 2014 Honda CTX700N
Blinky is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Blinky For This Useful Post:
cavie (12-31-2013), henry postma (12-31-2013)
post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-01-2014, 06:59 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: orlando florida
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
You are showing your ignorance, my shop warranty has nothing to do with this post, but since you asked, depending on the type of work done it can be 30 days or 12 months.

Secondly, you Volusia riders that are bastardizing final drives from a 1400 cc bike to an 800 cc bike is nothing more than ridiculous. dangerous, and just plain irresponsible.

Thirdly, I get to hear some customers that read a few threads on a forum and tell my factory trained Suzuki tech how to do his job. I support forums, and truly believe in an educated customer is a well armed customer. It appears that you all are little thin skinned and cannot accept a little criticism or another point of view. I support an owner doing his own maintenance and hold classes for those who want to learn. Typically you will hear that "my buddy told me" or "I saw it on the internet".

I will say it again. It is a rare item that these final drives are dry. If you would maintain your bike on its schedule, or have a qualified shop maintain would never be a problem. I would venture to say I see more volusias in 90 days than you do in a life time.

Don't get your panties in a wad...its only a motorcycle not a philosophy
Remember to put your big boy pants on before you change out your final drive from a bigger bike....makes perfect engineering sense to me
midtown mini is offline  
post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-01-2014, 10:02 PM

Mr. Efficiency's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Rock and Roll Capital
Posts: 29,549
Thanks: 102
Thanked 1,840 Times in 1,275 Posts
The bike is way too old to complain about its assembly BUT this is a common failing of the assembly of the bike. We have seen vols on four different continents assembled with dry shaft splines. Now I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is nothing anyone will do about it. The nhtsa deals with safety issues not assembly defects that cost owners money. So if it didn't cause a crash you're out of luck

On a converse side the collective membership has seen way more vols than any shop ever will. We know as a group that dry shaft assembly is an issue from years of thousands of us seeing them as part of routine maintenance.

I have half a million miles on shaft drive bikes and the only dry ones I've ever seen were on vols

Also the c90 conversion although silly and uneccesary IMHO is a well documented success here with no safety issues and only a few failures from someone attempting shade tree engineering. It works pretty good.

Anyway. The VR rocks. Collectively we know a lot. Its a good place to gather wisdom and save dough. I do a lot of my own maintenance because I know when I do it its done right and with care

And efficiency.

Sent from Free App
ronken10 likes this.

"Faster, Faster.... Until the thrill of speed overwhelms the fear of death"

I'm a mystery, get it, mystery... hey, a lot of people think that's funny

Harley Davidson Flathead "World's Fastest Harley"
BMW R1200GS... The Bavarian Marriage Wrecker.
2012 Ural Tourist 2WD "Natasha".
Mr. Efficiency is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Mr. Efficiency For This Useful Post:
dsmitty (01-01-2014), kettlinton (01-03-2014), OTG (01-01-2014)
post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 06:57 AM

BearBait's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tannersville, NY (Northern Catskills)
Posts: 5,868
Thanks: 1,290
Thanked 1,567 Times in 933 Posts
Well said, E, well said!!


'16 Can-Am Spyder F3-T (Triple Black)

BearBait is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome