As part of my 60K service and the changing of the FD fluid I thought I'd pull the drive shaft to check out the conditions of the U-joint.
Here it is coming out of the swing-arm. It's a tight fit and only comes out in one particular position.
The tranny side U-joint is what interested me. It feels and looks fine.
The FD side U-joint was the same. I didn't need to pull the drive shaft just to find that out, though.
The drive shaft is a one piece unit with a rubber (?) cush separating the two ends to absorb some of the drive line snatch.
And finally a picture of the entire shaft.
It took me about 30 minutes of futzing around to figure out the key to putting it back... do it by feel. There's room for a couple of fingers at the tranny end and with the proper orientation you can guide the shaft onto the tranny output splines.
Marc;looks like the rubber cush is between the shaft portion(rear drive) and the tube end (transmission).
what were those little tabs sticking out where the the u-joint bearing caps are located?. good snapshots.
Yes, it is a one piece unit. There are folks who will change U-joints on the older bikes, don't know if they will do the same on the hexheads. http://www.brunos.us/ for example I'm only aware of one failed U-joint on an R1200GS and in that case the owner had an extended warranty which paid for a new drive shaft.