Honda CB125

Removing the Rear Wheel on a Honda CB125E

There will come a time when it will be necessary to remove the rear wheel from your motorcycle. It may be that you get a flat tyre or you may need to service the brakes or as in the first instance for my CB125E the rear tyre was worn out and needed replacement. The place I had the tyre replaced (Caringbah Motorcyles) quoted me an additional fee to remove the wheel from the bike. If I brought the wheel to them they were quite happy to fit it to the rim at no extra charge. This is not uncommon and although the fee was not unreasonable I took the opportunity to keep a few extra dollars in my pocket.

Honda CB125E Rear Wheel Removal Step by Step

Removing the Rear WheelRemoving the rear wheel from your CB125E is not an incredibly challenging task however it does include interfering with the rear brake and drive chain. If the task is not performed correctly it would result in the motorcycle being unsafe to ride. If you dont feel confident consider having a mechanically minded friend help you. As you remove components pay specific attention to the order parts come off in as you will have to reassemble the wheel again later.

Clear a space in your workshop area large enough to work around the motorcycle and place your Honda on its centre stand in the middle of this space. It wouldnt hurt to put a large rag or piece of cardboard on the ground on the left side of the bike near where the rear sprocket is so that you can keep the chain off the ground with it later.

Lets start on the right hand side of the motorcycle and loosen the drive chain adjuster and the rear axle nut. The axle nut should be loosened so that it is hanging on by a couple of threads. This will make it very easy to move the chain adjuster out of its slot. Remove the split pin and remove the nut from the brake stopper arm so that the arm can be disconnected. Take the rear brake adjusting nut off completely and remove the brake rod and its associated components such as the spring making note of the order they came off in. These four items are circled in the first picture and the second picture shows them disconnected.

Notice in the second picture that the drive chain adjuster is removed from its slot and is hanging straight down. We need to be able to move the wheel around a little to take the chain off the sprocket and this will allow use to slide the wheel forward to take tension off the chain.

Moving to the left hand side of your motorbike we should do the same to the chain adjuster on that side, because the axle nut has ben loosened right off we should be able to slide the axle far enough to be able to move the chain adjuster out of its slot on the swingarm. You may need to give it a tap with a rubber mallet on the axle nuts side to loosen it up.

With the chain adjusters out of the picture and the axle loose you should have no problems sliding the wheel forward towards the front of the motorcycle. This will make the tension drop right off on the chain, allowing you to take the chain off the sprocket where it can sit between the swingarm and the sprocket quite safely until the wheel is removed.

Remove the axle nut from the end of the axle. You can also take the chain adjuster off that side too, otherwise it will fall harmlessly to the floor during the next step.

The next step is to remove the axle and then the wheel. There are spacers (or collars as they are often called), one on each side of the wheel to centre it and the right hand one will probably fall out as the axle is withdrawn. As long as it doesnt get lost this is not really an issue however you may prefer to catch it as you withdraw the axle.

The easiest way Ive found to remove the back wheel on a smaller bike is to sit next to it on a small chair or milk crate and put my foot underneath the wheel. Because the bike is on the centre stand the weight of the wheel is on the axle and this will make it difficult to withdraw from the wheel. Take the weight of the wheel with your foot and the axle will come out very easily. Partly withdraw the axle and catch the spacer on the right hand side by reaching through the wheel spokes with your right hand. Once you have caught it and put it safely on the ground keep your hand there to support the brake panel so that it doesnt fall to the ground as it might be more easily damaged. Continue to withdraw the axle until it is completely free and clear of the wheel and swingarm.

You can now support the wheel with your hands and take your foot out from underneath it. The chain will fall onto the ground somewhere during this procedure and its always a good idea to have a large rag or sheet of cardboard to rest it on rather than letting it sit on the ground. The rear wheel should now be resting on the ground. Carefully remove the brake panel and put it on the ground where it cant be damaged. You should now be able to completely remove the rear wheel from the swingarm with a little maneuvering.

Remove the spacer from the sprocket as shown, it should come out quite easily, and put the wheel onto the workbench if you have one. Hopefully it is cleaner than mine. The sprocket and hub should lift off from the wheel centre and this will expose the anti lash rubbers. Make a note of how these are installed and then remove them. You should now be down to a bare wheel which is exactly what is required by most mechanics when repairing punctures etc. They dont want all of the extras like sprockets as these will need to be removed when going into the tyre fitting machine. Removing them also ensures they dont fall out on the way to the mechanics and get lost.

Reinstalling the Rear Wheel

Reinstalling the rear wheel is the reverse of removing it. Reassemble the wheel in the same order that you took it apart making sure that you put the wheel spacers (side collars) on the correct sides. The large spacer goes on the brake panel side and the smaller one on the sprocket side.

The rear axle nut should be tightened to 68N-m (50lbf-ft) and the brake stopper arm nut should be tightened to 10N-m (7lbf-ft). It is highly advisable to replace the split pin on the brake stopper arm nut with a new one.

Finally, you will need to Adjust the Drive Chain and Adjust the Rear Brake,. Once these tasks are completed rotate the wheel several times while it is still on the centre stand and make sure that it rotates smoothly. Your rear wheel removal and reinstallation should be complete.