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my haynes manual says that "due to the design of the bike, the engine must be removed befroe the swingarm is removed." anyone know if this is true? it looks like it can be done w/ the engine still in place but looks can be decieving.

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No you do not need to remove the engine but you should brace it with a jack if your removing your swingarm as this will keep it in place for install and help take pressure off the remaining frame bolts holding the motor.
 

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Well, you do have to get the motor loose, but you don't have to drop it completely. So, you will have to take off the air ducts, bodywork, etc. Once that is off, take out the swingarm bolt and the one crossing through the frame above it. There are two spacers that trap the swingarm into the frame, and they are held in place by the motor cases. Once you raise or lower the engine enough to push these spacers inboard, you can then pull out the swingarm. You are going to move a lot of stuff around, so in the end it might be easier to just plan on dropping the motor. If you don't, be careful to protect the radiator. Make a support for the motor and frame so you can hold it in place while you are doing whatever you are doing to the swingarm.

If you are changing it to a magnesium swingarm, the last one I did had different spacers which did NOT trap the swingarm. When you put that in, place the spacer on the right side, then hold it in place with a spare swingarm bolt or dowel pressed in just enought to hold it there. Then drop the motor down with the other spacer held in place with your other swingarm bolt, and then push that one through. It is easier to do this without the shock in place.
 
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