Steering stem bearings bad?

12 replies to this topic
  • DesertRacer2

Posted September 16, 2007 - 08:08 PM


I recently took my forks off to have the seals replaced. I was in the garage this weekend and my bike is on the stand without the forks and of course the front wheel. I turned the handle bars and the steering seemed very notchy, not smooth. Almost feels like the bearings are bad in the steering stem. The bike is almost a year old, could they have gone out already? Or, is it just that there is no weight on the front end and that's causing this weird feeling? I took it out a few weeks ago and everything seemed fine at the time. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 16, 2007 - 10:50 PM


Unfortunately, the aluminum framed YZF's have been known for this. They are delivered with a minimal amount of what apparently is not waterproof grease. and the upper seal doesn't seem to work well. Tear the steering head down and check it out.

  • Polar_Bus

Posted September 17, 2007 - 04:11 AM


Yup, my buddy's '06 sat all winter with moisture seeping into the bearings, and come spring the upper bearing was badly rusted and partially siezed. My 07 got an immediate teardown, and my special recipie of 50/50 mix of Bel-Ray grease and antisieze on the stem bearings.....

Now if I could only get the lower chain roller bearing to stop siezing up...... it's the third time i've had to clean and re grease that pesky little bugger.......

  • Ga450owner

Posted September 17, 2007 - 06:01 AM


time to replace - been there done that a few times....

here is a tip

  • DesertRacer2

Posted September 17, 2007 - 07:06 AM


How will I know if I need to replace the races or not? I have owned a lot of Honda's in the past and I have never had this problem, hence, I have never done this before. Thanks for your help.

  • Wiz636

Posted September 17, 2007 - 07:55 AM


I just pulled mine apart last night to regrease it (last did it in June) and the upper bearing was already getting a little rusty.

I heard that the '07 bearings have a better seal on top, is that true?

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  • grayracer513

Posted September 17, 2007 - 08:06 AM


Once you have it apart, clean everything up and inspect the bearings and races. If in the races you can see brinelling (like the vertical "imprint" of one or more rollers), or pitting from rust, you have a problem in very minor cases, you may be able to dress light rusting up with 600 grit.

Check the bearings by thoroughly washing them in clean solvent first, them examine the rollers for rust and pits. If the bearings and races look OK, apply a little oil to them and assemble only the stem into the head. Check them for smooth operation. It should feel smooth with up to about 15 pounds of torque on the nut.

  • Ga450owner

Posted September 17, 2007 - 12:40 PM


I would replace the races - no question. If the right to left/back and forth movement is notchy feeling the races are done. It took me less than 5min to remove them with the tech tip above.

  • todds924

Posted September 20, 2007 - 08:06 PM


You already have it apart, just replace the bearings and races. They aren't that pricey.

  • grayracer513

Posted September 21, 2007 - 07:39 AM


The notchiness can be a product of dirt or over tightening. If they show damage, or won't smooth out when cleaned, then replace them.

  • DesertRacer2

Posted September 24, 2007 - 04:42 PM


I tore everything down on Friday. The top bearing and race were completely rusted. The bottom bearing was fine. Yamaha used some sort of white grease, looked like it was completely broken down. I bought a new kit from Pivot Works for $50. I replaced the top race and bearing and the bottom bearing only (not the race, it was fine). The bottom bearing was extremely hard to get off of the steering stem. I had to use a chisel to get it off and a brass punch to put the new one on. After that, I lubed everything up with some Bel Ray water proof grease and took the bike out on Sunday. Worked like new! Thanks for you feed back guys.

  • razornpc

Posted September 25, 2007 - 06:41 AM


guys dont used an anti-seeze on bearings or any surface that is intended to move. the stuff has small flakes of metal in it. thats not good for bearing/bushings and the like.

  • Yamaha4lyfe

Posted September 25, 2007 - 08:38 AM


anti sieze is a tread compund not barings dude. lol

you use it on bolts so they dont rust. and they come out smooth, such as skid plates

did you try this with the anti sieze

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