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Swing Arm Oil Nipple


Can anyone please advise how best to oil the swinging arm?  The oil nipple is much smaller than any I have come across before so none of my grease (oil) guns fit.


Regards to all


1972 750 Commando


I use a mini grease gun such as this one.

There are plenty of other makes. Just google push type grease gun.

This has a cup to mate with the nipple rather than the usual 3 or 4 point jaw.

Works fine with 140 oil.

Just remove the bolt on the top middle of the swing arm and pump the oil in by pushing the mini grease gun against the nipple. Stop when oil starts coming out of the bolt hole and replace the bolt.





I remove the nipple, put the bike on the side stand and dribble EP140 in the hole until the bubbles stop. You only have to replenish the oil every 12 months, the bushes are sintered and absorb the oil and retain it for long periods. I have some drilled allen bolts to replace the locating bolt, a plastic tube will go over the allen bolt and provide a way to add oil leaving the nipple alone. The tube will stay on permanently and the end plugged between fillings.


Thank you both for taking the time to respond.  I do have a gun with a similar cup so I’ll give that a go.  If that doesn’t work I’ll adopt the remove nipple method.

Thanks again. Rick

 1974 850 has no nipples at all on the s/arm so its looking like the rear wheel has to be removed to get to and remove the small bolt at the top centre of the tube to drip oil in.

Would it be possible to drill / tap the cover disc on the o/s of the s/arm to fit a nipple?.


Will, that was a mid year change on the 74, mine is old style with nipple and an early 74. The change was a part way route to the final MK3 and supposedly sealed for life. One fix is to drill and tap the plate for a fixing to allow oil to be forced in. Internally there will be 2 felt pads to act as storage for the oil. They missed the important part of the 2 cotter pins to stop the spindle wallowing out the cradle tube, but you can fit Kegler clamps instead.


Thankyou John,

For the information I understand the bike a Mk 2a has a quite a bit of the mk3 in it but did not know about the s/arm being the same as the Mk3.

I will consider the clamps at a later date as there is no play of any kind on the s/arm at present. I was just hoping that the o/s s/arm end cap could be taken off to tap or weld a nut to it so I could fit a nipple. 

Again Thankyou.


Has anybody had success with topping up with EP140 while the felt wicks are in place? The felt may work for awhile if pre-soaked before fit, but given its density, getting the oil through, particularly the two in the spindle bore, would seem unlikely?

I have assembled my Mk3 spindle with the pre-Mk3 end plates and through bolt without any felt. The oil may leak past the cradle seals to a degree if it gets past the bushes, but at least it will have got to both bushes.



Good, old-fashioned oil can works fine for pumping oil in after unscrewing the "grease" nipple e.g.:

I have never managed to get the welch plugs back in a Mk3, and I assume you have the same on your Mk2A (my Mk2A came with the earlier type). But fitting the earlier type end caps requires removing the swinging arm (or primary chaincase), You could drill and tap the end plug, 1/4UNF would be fine, and can also be used to pull the end plug off. But the felt inside the pivot pin will get in the way of filling it with oil. Probably best to put the oil in thru the top, since you still have the centre locating bolt. And I think EP90 is a better choice, even if it does leak out a little faster.


... I removed the felts and replaced the nipple with a 1/4" setscrews as suggested. I then leant the bike over towards the left as far as I could and used an oil can to fill everything as much as possible. There was very little leakage (I had fitted new seals).


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