X. GL1500 QUICK Rear Tire Removal
After reading the instructions in the manual for the removal of my 1996 Aspencade's rear wheel, I thought to myself, "Self, there's gotta be a better way." So, I partially followed the instructions until I could see how it was put together, then put it all back and started over with a new method.
The rear subframe on the GL1500 (the frame that holds the trunks) is held by six bolts. Two at the top of the frame, under the seat near the rear; two behind the mufflers on the sides; and two behind the fronts of the side trunks. Loosen the top two, and remove the bottom four, and the whole subframe/trunk assembly will swing up away from the rear wheel.
Here's the EASY way to get the rear wheel off of a 1500. With practice, it takes about 15 minutes. And you can do it on the side of the road if you need to. You don't have to remove trunks or lights.
This procedure will vary depending on the accessories you have installed, like trunk bars, hitches, horns, etc. Normally, there should be no electrical connectors to take loose. In many cases, you can even leave your hitch on.
6" extension (3/8" drive)
3" extension (3/8" drive)
1/4" nut driver handle
8 mm socket (1/4" drive)
10 mm socket (3/8" drive)
12 mm socket (3/8" drive)
14 mm socket (3/8" drive)
Small mechanic's mirror
Hydraulic jack or jack stand
Axle wrench from Honda tool kit
Allen wrench from Honda tool kit
1. Put the bike on the center stand. You don't need any jacks or blocks under the bike. Empty all three trunks.
2. Remove the seat. Remove the four Allen-head bolts, two on each side in the ends of the lift handles. Pull the seat cover pouch (SE) or the rear seat pad (Aspencade/Interstate) forward, out from under the passenger backrest. Lift the rear of the seat, and slide it back to disengage it from the front seat mount.
3. Using a 14 mm socket, loosen (do not remove) the two rear-most bolts on either side of the upper frame. These two bolts secure the top of the rear subframe. They must be loosened to allow the subframe to pivot up.
4. Remove both the left and right upper side covers.
5. Using an 8 mm socket on a nut driver handle, remove the metal shields that cover the fronts of the mufflers. They are each held on with two bolts. After the bolts are removed, pull down on the covers to disengage them from the body. Keep track of the rubber pieces that are attached.
6. Using a 10 mm socket on a 6" extension, loosen (do not remove) the exhaust pipe-to-muffler clamps. There are a total of four bolts, two at the front of each muffler.
7. Using a 12 mm socket on a 6" extension, remove the muffler bolts that secure the mufflers to the subframe, one bolt on each side.
8. Rotate the mufflers down. Twist the left-side muffler clockwise, the right-side muffler counter-clockwise. The mufflers will rotate on the exhaust pipes where you loosened the clamps in step 5. Rotate them only far enough to allow the axle to clear in step 16.
9. Open the side trunks. On the inside wall of each trunk, near the front, is a rubber plug (on the SE/Aspencade, the air hose passes through this plug in the right trunk). Remove the plugs.
10. Using a 12 mm socket on a 3" extension, loosen the bolt behind each plug, one on each side. These bolts are the top mounting bolts for the rear crash bars, and they secure the bottom of the rear subframe.
11. Place a jack or jack stand under the rear trunk assembly (taking precautions to protect the rear bodywork). Lift the rear of the trunk pack about 1 inch from its installed position.
12. Using a 12 mm socket on a 3" extension, remove the bolts you loosened in step 10.
13. Step around to the back of the bike, take hold of the trunks underneath, and lift. The whole rear end (trunks, lights, hitch and all) will lift up and pivot on the two upper subframe bolts, exposing the rear wheel and axle.
14. Raise the trunk pack up until the antennas touch the handlebars, and secure it in place. I simply loop a rope around the handlebars and tie it to my trunk rack to hold it up.
15. Using a 14 mm socket on a 6" extension, loosen the bottom left shock bolt until the bottom end of the brake caliper is free.
16. Remove the rear axle. Using the axle wrench from the Honda tool kit, remove the axle nut on the right side. Using a 10 mm socket, loosen the axle clamp bolt on the left side. Pull the axle out the left side.
17. Remove the brake caliper. Lay the caliper on the crash bar, wiring it in place if necessary to prevent it from falling and causing damage to the brake line.
18. Remove the spacer from the left-side center of the wheel hub.
19. Slide the wheel to the left, off of its splines. Drop the wheel to the floor and roll it out the back.
20. Reassembly is in reverse order of assembly, except as noted in steps 21-25 below.
Special instructions for starting the lower subframe bolts in the side trunks:
21. When you lower the trunk pack back into place, you may need an assistant to help you lower the trunk pack back into position. This is because it is necessary to pull out on the fronts of the side trunks while lowering them, so they will pass over the top mounts of the rear crash bars and the sides of the frame.
22. After lowering the trunk pack into position, support the back end of the trunk pack with a jack or jack stand. Take precautions to protect the bodywork from scratching. The trunk pack should be lifted just an inch or so above its final installed position.
23. Place a light in front of the side trunk, where it will shine between the frame and the trunk. Use a small mechanic's mirror to look through the access holes in the side trunks. Line up the bolt holes in the rear crash bars with the holes in the frame. The forked ends of the trunk pack's subframe should just clear the bolt holes. Adjust the jack under the trunk pack as necessary to give clear access to the bolt holes in the frame.
24. Using a 12 mm socket on a 3" extension (NOT your fingers!), start the bolts in the frame.
25. Lower the trunk pack into position, allowing the forked ends of the subframe to settle onto the still-loose bolts.
26. Using a 12 mm socket on a 3" extension, tighten the bolts you started in step 24.
27. Continue the reassembly in the reverse order of disassembly.
If you're on the side of the road with a flat rear tire, you can lower the rear assembly back down, put the seat back on, and lock your parts in the trunk while you get your tire repaired.
This procedure gives you access to the swing arm and shocks, too. You can service the whole rear end, replace shocks, grease splines, etc., without disassembling the trunks.