Ever feel like you need a third hand to get everything lined up and back in place when you’re trying to replace a wheel, only to have a spacer fall out and roll directly into the path of a passing street sweeper? Here’s one thing that may not work on all bikes, but definitely works on many of them, including the last-generation ZX-6R this rear wheel belongs to. Often you can remove the oil seal (the black rubber ring), and flip the spacer so that the collar goes toward the inside. Replacing the seal on top of the collar then holds the spacer in place, i.e., “captures” it, while maintaining the same overall width. Measure to make sure that’s the case if there’s a shadow of a doubt!

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  • Evans Brasfield

    Brilliant! The next time the wheels come off of my personal bike, I’ll try it.

    I knew there was a good reason for working with you.

  • Gruf Rude

    This has been the spacer/seal orientation recommended for years on the ‘airhead’ BMWs like my ’84 R100RS.

  • Old MOron

    Aye, cool trick. I’ll try it, too.

  • major tom

    I’m thinking, I’m thinking, OK! Why not? Old Burnsy has a brain after all.

  • ColoradoS14

    Don’t you lose surface area on the swingarm/fork this way though? I always thought that the reason the flanged area is there is to spread the load over a larger surface area on the softer, usually aluminum, parts.

  • Wes Janzen

    As if my 2004 Ducati has wheel bearing seals. Looks like I’ll have to use epoxy.