F650 Front Wheel Removal and Replacement FAQ

compiled & edited by Kristian #562
by David#476, Johnny Canada, Kristian #562
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Last Updated: 13 June 2007, by Winter #1935

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What the Service and Technical booklet says

Wheel Removal

Now while it can be easier with the Caliper off, you do NOT need to remove the caliper.

  1. First thing is to lift the bike so the front wheel comes off the ground.

    If you do the job on the Center Stand make sure you PROP firmly with Bricks or wood, under the skid plate or engine if you remove the skid-plate OR tie down the back of the bike, while on the stand, so the front wheel is up in the Air. Make sure it is good and stable.

    Alternatively, I bought a motorcycle jack that worked dandy. Available at Costco for $100, it's something I've wanted for quite some time, and this was the perfect rationalization to buy it. It took a couple of tries to get just the right lift, until I found a two by four under the skid plate and the two center stand mounts lifted the bike perfectly straight. I used tie downs to the rear rack and jack and it was extremely stable, allowing me to move the bike around to deal with the limited space I had to work on it, which would have been a problem with the front end removed. That said, I'm sure you could do the job on the center stand if you wanted.
  2. Loosen the four bolts on the axle keeper (no need to remove them) and unscrew the axle with the 8 mm Allen wrench. The four bolts CAN just be accessed for both undoing and retorquing without removing any extraneous plastic. If you are doing the for the first time however you may wish to remove the Plastic on the RHS of the Front wheel (Classic Only), covering the Fork Leg, so you can see those four bolts. The GS has ONE Axle Keeper Bolt.
  3. Slide out the Axle, noting the Spacer on the LHS of the bike inside the fork leg. You will need to ensure you REPLACE this in the correct location.
  4. Roll/push the wheel out the front of the bike so it protrudes just past the fork leg. Then remove the the Speedo Drive (or for the GS the Spacer), by just pulling it gently out of the hub, to the RHS of the bike, along the axis of the axle.
  5. Roll the Wheel out the rest of the way.


Wheel Replacement

  1. Roll the wheel from the front of the bike back towards the forks. Line up the brake rotor on the RHS and aim for the slot between the pads.  (If by accident you have squeezed the pads together, the disc won't go back in, just slowly prise them apart again with a screwdriver) Stop rolling the wheel JUST before you get to the Speedo/Odo drive on the RHS and push it into the hub. Give it a shot of grease first. Make sure the drive is properly seated and the little tabs inside the odo and the wheel line up properly. For the GS just Grease inside the Seal and Push the RHS Spacer in, big diameter end of the Spacer (11) goes into the Seal (10).
  2. Roll the wheel the rest of the way in so the center of the hub lines up with the Axle Mount in the forks. You might like to use a piece of timber under the wheel to get the wheel to the right Height for insertion of the Axle.
  3. Insert the axle, making sure you remember the Spacer on the inside of the fork leg on the LHS of the bike. Torque it to Spec.
    Torque Spec for front Axle
    The torque spec for the Classic is 80Nm.

    The torque spec for the GS/Dakar/CS is either 45Nm or 80Nm. If in doubt use 45Nm.

    For more information on why there are two torque specs for the GS/Dakar/CS models, see the section below on the Cracked Front Wheel Spacer on the GS
  4. Then bounce the bike up and down a few times with the front brake on to center the wheel/axle/brake before tightening the (four-on the Classic, 1 on the GS) pinch bolts. This will help center the rotor and help stop the rotor jamming.
  5. If you removed the caliper, replace it over the rotor and Torque the Two Bolts, then replace the Plastic Cover. Don't forget to replace the little Metal Holder (it goes under the two bolts) BEFORE you insert the Caliper Bolts. Put it on the RIGHT way or the Plastic Cover won't go on properly and you will have to undo the whole thing and do it again.!
  6. Finally Torque the 4 Pinch Bolts. (There is just one on the GS). The Torque for the 4# Classic Pinch Bolts is 12Nm and for the 1# GS Pinch Bolt is 21Nm.
  7. Squeeze your Brake Lever a few Times until you have some resistance back in the Brake. Spin your wheel to check no binding to the Brake rotor.
  8. Go Ride.


Cracked Front Wheel Spacer on the GS

Why is there a Long Spacer. BMW were a bit lazy. The took the Classic, took out the Odometer Drive and added a Sensor instead. So the Gap where the Odo Drive was had to be filled with....a Spacer. But lots of bikes have them.

Why does it Crack? If you Torque your cheesy spacer to 80Nm you will CRACK the Spacer . See this from the BMW Training Manual. Here is a Temporary Spacer I had made out of Brass. Later bikes PROBABLY have good (updated) Steel Spacers.