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Crazyaust

Steering neck bearings

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Crazyaust
Posted (edited)

Hello, I have a lot of play in my 2016 steering column and I believe it’s the one of the roots to my speeds wobbles I had bought one of those special sockets to tighten up the head maybe it’s just little loose but I had recently talked to some guy that has the tapered bearings in his and he said they’re great and there is no more play etc. I’m wondering is it really worth the hassle taking apart the whole front end to replace my bearings that are still good. Anyone else have considered this mod or any experience’s? Btw talking about the all balls racing kit

Edited by Crazyaust

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Lone Wolf
Posted (edited)

On any motorcycle it is a fairly big commitment simply to take things apart to the point of repacking grease and inspecting the steering head bearings.  You have to take a lot of things apart, support the bike etc.

I recently did that on an old Honda 750, determined there was a slight "notch" from the old ball bearings making an imprint in the outer race. You could barely see it with the naked eye - but it made a big difference when I replaced the bearings with All-Balls tapered.

That bike only had 35,000 miles despite being a 1993 model.  If the bearings were GOOD I would have just repacked grease, torque to settings, and been fine. You won't know til you look at the condition of the bearings, it is not to be underestimated what you have to dismantle to get to that point.

Then getting the old bearing inner races out can be a chore. There is a youtube video of doing that on FZ07, I think that person said there wasn't enough grease from the factory on his.

BTW out of balance older front tires are the most common source of speed wobble I have seen. You could try balancing your existing tire. Do you have an discernable slop in the steering head bearings?  My old 750 did not, but something didn't feel right. Supported the bike and I could feel the notchiness with the wheel off and moving the forks slowly left to right. But there was no "back and forth" loose slop. 

Edited by Lone Wolf
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Crazyaust
Just now, Lone Wolf said:

On any motorcycle it is a fairly big commitment simply to take things apart to the point of repacking grease and inspecting the steering head bearings.  You have to take a lot of things apart, support the bike etc.

I recently did that on an old Honda 750, determined there was a slight "notch" from the old ball bearings making an imprint in the outer race. You could barely see it with the naked eye - but it made a big difference when I replaced the bearings with All-Balls tapered.

That bike only had 35,000 miles despite being a 1993 model.  If the bearings were GOOD I would have just repacked grease, torque to settings, and been fine. You won't know til you look at the condition of the bearings, it is not to be underestimated what you have to dismantle to get to that point.

Then getting the old bearing inner races out can be a chore. There is a youtube video of doing that on FZ07, I think that person said there wasn't enough grease from the factory on his.

BTW out of balance older front tires are the most common source of speed wobble I have seen. You could try balancing your existing tire. Do you have an discernable slop in the steering head bearings?  My old 750 did not, but something didn't feel right. Supported the bike and I could feel the notchiness with the wheel off and moving the forks slowly left to right. But there was no "back and forth" loose slop. 

I got both back and forth movement and very loose side to side movement in my head it’s probably a combination of low grease and not right torque setting. I have already ordered the all balls bearing kit so I’m just gonna upgrade. The fz07 shouldn’t be too hard cause it’s all pretty open I just don’t have a press or anything but I’ll get her done 

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Lone Wolf

Gotcha. How many miles?

You may have seen these already

 

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M. Hausknecht

There should be no movement (other than the side to side steering) and no clunking in the head set. In my experience, the bearings and races don't wear out, unless and until the stem nut loosens up and allows movement. Then the wear happens quickly. If you brake hard or enjoy wheelies, the nut will loosen up; it is a bit of a shame you need to get a special tool to tighten it up. For some, its just a part of regular maintenance to retorque the stem nut periodically.  

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Crazyaust
On 5/10/2022 at 3:18 PM, M. Hausknecht said:

There should be no movement (other than the side to side steering) and no clunking in the head set. In my experience, the bearings and races don't wear out, unless and until the stem nut loosens up and allows movement. Then the wear happens quickly. If you brake hard or enjoy wheelies, the nut will loosen up; it is a bit of a shame you need to get a special tool to tighten it up. For some, its just a part of regular maintenance to retorque the stem nut periodically.  

It’s kind of a hassle to replace my bearings when I don’t need to but I’ll take every chance I could get to get this bike to ride safely I hate the front end on this bike too much so I had bought all types of mods for it I’ll be installing pretty soon but most likely the steering head is just loose and needs nothing but to be re torqued 

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Lone Wolf

How many miles on the bike?

One of the linked videos above mentions 30,000 miles and has close up photo showing "detents" in the outer race which caused the "notchy" movement. You have to remove parts to gain access to re-torque, may as well re-lube and thorough inspect.

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Crazyaust
11 hours ago, Lone Wolf said:

How many miles on the bike?

One of the linked videos above mentions 30,000 miles and has close up photo showing "detents" in the outer race which caused the "notchy" movement. You have to remove parts to gain access to re-torque, may as well re-lube and thorough inspect.

Only 4k on a 2016

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Lone Wolf
Just now, Crazyaust said:

Only 4k on a 2016

Unless the bike was wrecked, or a previous owner took it apart there is no way your bearings would be bad at 4k

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shinyribs

You don't need a special tool to snug up the neck bearings. If you tighten them down far enough that you need a wrench they will be way too tight. You can even overtighten the nut just using your fingers. 

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