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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.
 

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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
 

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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..
 

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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.
 

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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?


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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.
 

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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
 

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Smitty,
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 it...it 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:eek:utcold:
 

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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.

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It sounds more like a failure to perform maintenance problem to me.
 

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It sounds more like a failure to perform maintenance problem to me.
The problem is that Suzuki does not list lubing the splnes in the maintanance chart, the only way any of us even know to do this very important maintanence item is because of this forum. Since Suzuki doesn't seem to think that the drive splines need to be lubricated I doubt that a 'factroy trained tech' would be inclined to provide this service. When I installed my DJ drive, I found what most others did - the drive shaft splines were bone dry, no grease at all.

I do most of my own work - learing what I need from the experts here on the site. The few times I have taken my bike to a 'factory trained tech' the bike has come back missing parts or with damage and I've had to take it back and force them to make it right (I'm talking about the Suzuki dealer where I bought the bike). There are plenty of great shops out there but the key is finding one. That said, any mechanic who treats me with contempt when I ask a question or snorts at the idea of customising a bike is one that I would never use.
 

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I found out my splines were dry doing 70mph on the left lane of I-65.... Lucky for me there was enough gaps between cars for me to switch 3 lanes to the shoulder without dying... If things such as wheel bearings keep their grease, I don't see why shafts shouldn't. I do think it's a hazard and don't understand why they need to wait until someone dies to rectify the problem... Is it so hard to add a little more grease when assembling the bike????? And I think this forum rocks!!!! Sorry, but I will sell my bike before taking it to a mechanic. If I can't fix it, it's out the door. No offense to mechanics, that's just the way I see it. Oh and Happy New Year to everyone!!!
 

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you gotta be kiddin

Well, since you got me started here we go.....
I will now change gears to why I have some angst with the proverbial forum advice.

The humble Kuryakyn Hypercharger. Had a customer that came in my shop and wanted me to do a stage one modification to is 03 Volusia. A new rider.
I was the one to guided him to a Volusia. He wanted a Harley sportster, I ride a 2010 Harley Electraglide, and own a 03 Volusia as my shop bike.

after he visited a few forums he told me he wanted a kuryakyn hypercharger, instead of a K and N filter, I also rejetted his carb, and put a set of cobra pipes on. Told him the Hypercharger was inefficient and not worth the money. Of course he knew more than my Suzuki factory trained tech because he read it on a forum. We complied, he was the customer.

So......for free we ran the bike on the dyno with the K and N filter, rejett and pipes. Then ran the same set up with the Hypercharger....guess what???

4 hp loss and 3 lbs of torque loss with the hypercharger! all input data the same, same bike same everything. But this UNEDUCATED consumer read it on a forum....so its gotta be true.

So as the story goes he had to eat the cost of the hypercharger and bought a Filter from me, But by the way did I mention he bought the Hypercharger from the internet to save 8 bucks instead of from me. I would have returned it but the "internet wont"

So before you all start acting like a pack of wolves and banging me for a comment that I made and stand behind I would think your responses through. Collectively you might be a good resource, Individually you seem to make comments with out data to back your claims:shades:
 

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I have data!.. Stated already. I agree that there is SOME hype and popular opinion. but the spline issue is well documented.
 

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Here's what I don't understand. It doesn't seem like the reported failures are coming from 2 or 3 year old bikes, they're coming from 8 or 9 year old bikes with fairly high numbers of miles on them. Sure, Suzuki could change how they're lubing the shafts and increase reliability, but they're lasting long enough that I don't think it's a manufacturing defect causing a failure, it's normal wear and tear.

The next piece here is that everyone agrees this is a well documented failure on the bike, and is easily prevented by taking apart the drive shaft and lubing it. If that's the case, I would agree that this is not a Suzuki problem, but a lack of maintenance by the owner.

Simply put, if you were aware of this complaint before your drive shaft failed, it's your own d**n fault!

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I've seen with my own eyes a 2010 with no lube...5 on it..my 06 had 1800 on it..again no lube
 

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So what's the argument? I think we all agree that (a) Suzuki does not grease driveshaft splines and (b) occasionally driveshafts fail when their splines "round off."

Apparently most of us think that if the splines had been greased they would not be so apt to fail, and although there appears to be no experimental proof of this assumption it at least seems to be a plausible one.

Some think that Suzuki should grease the splines during manufacture/assembly of the bikes and list keeping the splines adequately greased as a normal maintenance procedure. I don't recall anyone proposing that Suzuki should not do that.

Then we have one (newby) contributor who seems to feel that forum-based information is either useless or dangerous and also seems to espouse the cognitively dissonant notion that, while each forum member has foolishly unsubstantiated ideas, nevertheless collectively the members may possess useful wisdom. Anyway this member seems to think that HIS ideas, at least, "don't stink."

What's the takeaway from all this?

1) Grease your splines; it's relatively easy, relatively cheap, may be a good preventive measure and at the very least won't hurt.

2) Newbys can sometimes be opinionated, brash and irritating.

Neither takeaway counts as big news, IMHO.
 

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Well, since you got me started here we go.....
I will now change gears to why I have some angst with the proverbial forum advice.

The humble Kuryakyn Hypercharger. Had a customer that came in my shop and wanted me to do a stage one modification to is 03 Volusia. A new rider.
I was the one to guided him to a Volusia. He wanted a Harley sportster, I ride a 2010 Harley Electraglide, and own a 03 Volusia as my shop bike.

after he visited a few forums he told me he wanted a kuryakyn hypercharger, instead of a K and N filter, I also rejetted his carb, and put a set of cobra pipes on. Told him the Hypercharger was inefficient and not worth the money. Of course he knew more than my Suzuki factory trained tech because he read it on a forum. We complied, he was the customer.

So......for free we ran the bike on the dyno with the K and N filter, rejett and pipes. Then ran the same set up with the Hypercharger....guess what???

4 hp loss and 3 lbs of torque loss with the hypercharger! all input data the same, same bike same everything. But this UNEDUCATED consumer read it on a forum....so its gotta be true.

So as the story goes he had to eat the cost of the hypercharger and bought a Filter from me, But by the way did I mention he bought the Hypercharger from the internet to save 8 bucks instead of from me. I would have returned it but the "internet wont"

So before you all start acting like a pack of wolves and banging me for a comment that I made and stand behind I would think your responses through. Collectively you might be a good resource, Individually you seem to make comments with out data to back your claims:shades:

Welcome to the forum NEW MEMBER. Please go to the NEW MEMBER section and introduce yourself (and your qualifications?) as most do when they join this wonderful forum.
Looking at your posts since you joined it appears you are the one who showed up with a small chip on your shoulder. This collective of individuals is just that, some are ignorant and uneducated, some are more of a mechanic than any shop mechanic will ever be. But, as a collective there are many issues that are brought to light that otherwise would be lost in the void of 'shop talk' by the 'trained experts'.
We typically aren't here to bash you as a shop owner, or as a member of this forum with an opinion. But you bet your tailpipe that any subject matter will be debated to death. Put your heavy leather on over any thin skin and hang on for a ride that most people end up enjoying despite themselves! :shades:
 

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I've seen with my own eyes a 2010 with no lube...5 on it..my 06 had 1800 on it..again no lube
Did that 2010 have no lube, or busted splines? I'm not saying you can't pull a 2013 apart and find no lube, I'm saying that I haven't heard of busted splines in any new low mileage bikes. We all agree that they aren't lubed enough, but that doesn't seem to be causing what I would call premature failure. In other words, there's plenty of time for the owner to lube it.

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