03' Steering head bearings

9 replies to this topic
  • AWDnot2

Posted January 11, 2006 - 05:52 AM


I'm having trouble removing the lower bearing on the steering stem.
As of now, the cage that holds the bearings is gone as are the needle bearings. All thats left is the inner race that won't budge. Any suggestions?


Posted January 11, 2006 - 05:54 AM


If you are talking about the bearings in the lower triple clamp....they need to be pressed out by a shop.

  • AWDnot2

Posted January 11, 2006 - 06:25 AM


Figures! Thanks for the info.

  • RCannon

Posted January 11, 2006 - 08:04 AM


You can cut the inner race with a dremel tool. The cut-off wheel works just fine. Use a section of pvc pipe to press the new bearing on.

  • 642MX

Posted January 11, 2006 - 11:26 AM


I had my old race removed and the new bearing installed for $18 at a local machine shop.

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  • Ga426owner

Posted January 11, 2006 - 11:38 AM


A long puch will get the races out top and bottonm. The lower bearing is pressed on with a press. Always change out the entire set - be careful not to overtighten the spanner nut - this is critical to bearing life.... :applause:

  • grayracer513

Posted January 11, 2006 - 02:04 PM


If you have access to a welding torch, and are somewhat comptent with its use, here's another approach:

Set up a block of wood, hardwood is best, on a sturdy bench, or better, a concrete floor. Position a lit welding torch with a fairly large tip on it directly on the center of the bearing raceway as if you wanted to run a weld there and heat it quickly until the red spot is the width of the race. Then shut of the torch, or hand it to a helper, grab the clamp and rap the top of the stem solidly on the wood block. The race should drop off, but if it's a little stubborn you should be able to get it free by wedging a chisel point under it carefully. If you concentrate the heat only on the race, the clamp and stem will not absorb a significant amount of heat to cause any problems, but the process of hetaing the race to bright red not only expands it, it destroys the temper and relaxes the press fit to the point it's almost gone.

You will then need a piece of tubing as long as the stem, with large enough ID to slide all the way down its length, but a small enough OD that it does not contact the roller cage to push the bearing on with. Keep the lower clamp/stem in the freezer for an hour before driving it on.

It really is simpler with a press, though. :applause:

  • AWDnot2

Posted January 13, 2006 - 06:06 AM


OK, I have the old bearing cups removed and the bearing off the stem.
I bought an All Balls bearing kit. It came with a bottom dust cover / seal which the bike never had when I took it apart nor does it show one in the exploded view of the service manual.

  • grayracer513

Posted January 13, 2006 - 08:56 AM


If it didn't have a lower seal, the previous owner either replaced the head bearings with generics, or ruined the original, because the OEM lower bearing had a seal built onto it.

  • AWDnot2

Posted January 16, 2006 - 06:19 AM


well, I finished it up this weekend along w/ a new chain and sprockets. I'm ready to roll! Now, if only it weren't 29deg outside.

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