Originally Posted by GearNut
Do not use graphite! When the solvent carrier has dried (yes, typically alcohol), you are left with a powdered graphite which will easily "fling: out. Also, graphite is comprised of chunks, albeit in powder form, and the bearing balls do not like to roll over chunks. They will tend to skid instead.
How I lubricate the bearings: I take the red straw that comes with an aerosol can of white lithium (I use Gunk/ Solder Seal brand) and I squish one end of it flat with pliers. Do not squish it closed, just widen and thin out the exit hole.
Practice squirting a tiny amount of grease on a piece of news paper, that way you will have a feel for the valve on the can.
Remove the flower nut, outer clutch plate and spring. Remove all the friction pads.
Push the large ring gear away from the small crank gear to expose the largest gap I can between the ring gear and clutch hub The gap will increase at the rear side of the clutch hub, the side farthest from the small crank gear.
Squirt a tiny amount of grease into the gap. rotate the clutch half way around and repeat the push and squirt. Do not use too much grease or it will fling out when the engine is running. Over time it will eventually do that anyways, but careful application can reduce it.
I then lift the rear of the bike off of the ground and spin the back wheel of the bike to turn the clutch hub and distribute the grease around the bearing race.
After you get a feel for it, you will not have to clean much grease off of the friction surface in the back of the clutch. I clean them with lacquer thinner and a few q-tips.
Also, if you ever have to remove the clutch for any reason, there are 3 small holes in the back of the clutch that lead directly to the bearing race and bearings. I squirt a tiny amount of grease in the holes, stick my finger in the clutch hub center hole to hold it, and spin the clutch ring gear to distribute the grease around the race.
Super!!! Thanks for the detailed description GearNut. Sincerely appreciated.
Thanks for the tip about taking the pucs out to do this as well. Good to know that this method works for you. Obviously it's much better to use tricks already tested by someone else.
I'm rather perplexed though as to why the factory doesn't put a few small dabs of grease on these bearings when they press fit the assembly seeing as it seems a fairly vital area that otherwise is left with no lubrication at all. I think a lot of people putting their kits together unfortunately disregard this area. Myself I couldn't just "set it and forget it" or I'd have nasty images of galling and chewed up ball bearings dancing in my headevery time I tried to go for a ride.