Steering issue. Bearing?

15 replies to this topic
  • slowxr

Posted February 07, 2008 - 07:46 AM


Just noticed a "notchy" feeling in my steering. The bars also seem to "clunk" into the center position.

I'm assuming this is bearings? Typically are the races bad aswell?

I'm trying to figure out what parts to order. Bearings and races?

  • Mogdorr

Posted February 07, 2008 - 08:43 AM


I belive you will find the hardened rollers of the bearings have hammered indents into the races.

bearings with races and you should be good to go.

  • JackAttack

Posted February 07, 2008 - 08:45 AM


Yes, steering bearings.

The notchy feeling will get worse and worse, although you can still put many more miles on it. Mine just went out as well and I will be installing them next week some time.

I purchased a new set from Service Honda. They were cheaper than I thought and at my door in 3 days.

  • cleonard

Posted February 07, 2008 - 09:15 AM


Yes you are going to find bearing carnage.

Make sure to buy seals. The lower seal will get wasted in the removal process. The top one coould be reused, but it's not too many $$$.

You need four parts, two bearings and two seals. You can go OEM for all of it or one of the aftermarket kits like Pivot Works or All Balls. Some bikes use standard sized bearings and some don't. The standard ones can be had at a bearing store for half or less of OEM.

  • maztech89

Posted February 07, 2008 - 09:24 AM


i just did a bike last week with a pivot works kit. includes bearing, seals, and races. the manual specifically states to replace races with the bearing. your supposed to use a remover tool to do this, but i got mine out by heating the frame and tapping out with copper bar and lixie hammer. install i froze the races and once again heated the frame, layed a flat bar across the races so it wouldnt go in crooked and jam up, and with a few taps they were in. the bearing pressed onto the stem i had my dad cut off with a die grinder and then i pressed a new one on.

NOTE: on a crf the seals are different! the top one is the thickest that sticks up on both sides of the metal. the bottom one only has the rubber pushed up on one side. I dont know about the XRs but you can take notice during removal and you will see what i mean.

pivot works kit fit great and is nice and easy with all needed parts


  • creeky

Posted February 07, 2008 - 10:10 AM


This works. Go to NAPA or other parts store and get your bearings. Before installing the bearings, drill and tap the center of the steering head for a grease zerk. Assemble with waterproof boat trailer wheel bearing grease. After each ride, give the zerk a few pumps of grease and wipe off the excess. You won't have to worry about replacing the bearings anymore.

  • slowxr

Posted February 14, 2008 - 03:08 PM


I got the parts on order. After review of the manual is states that lower bearing must be pressed on.
Any way of doing this without a press?

  • Rockjockey

Posted February 14, 2008 - 04:42 PM


As mentioned by Creeky above I install the zerk at 1/3 of the way down to ensure grease gets to the upper bearing this will end your steering bearing woes forever:
Posted Image

Be sure to use high temperature waterproof grease. I've been doing this modification since the eighties.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • cleonard

Posted February 14, 2008 - 08:00 PM


I got the parts on order. After review of the manual is states that lower bearing must be pressed on.
Any way of doing this without a press?

Getting it off is the hard part. I just used a drift and a hammer on top of the inside race. Carefully work your way around it and it goes on with not too many problems. Just take your time and make sure you use a tool that only contacts the race.

  • martinfan30

Posted February 14, 2008 - 08:53 PM


Great advise from CL. Like he said, dont hit the drift too hard and let it marr the race.

  • Thumpmeister

Posted February 14, 2008 - 11:42 PM


Creeky, thats a great idea! I know I'm about due for my second set soon, so I'll give that a shot when I do mine next.

  • zimak

Posted February 15, 2008 - 08:03 AM


Maybe a dumb question but since mine is showing the same symptoms...time to do this on my R also.

What is a "drift"?

  • Denn10

Posted February 15, 2008 - 08:18 AM


heat it up first!!! put it in your toaster over or something if you dont have a magnetic bearing heater. Heat it up to take off by using propane torch. Heat is the ticket as this is how its done. When heated it will be too hot to handle bare hands so use leather gloves and dont "bake @ 450 for 30 mins" Get it good and warm/hot this will help alot.

  • martinfan30

Posted February 15, 2008 - 09:35 AM


Maybe a dumb question but since mine is showing the same symptoms...time to do this on my R also.

What is a "drift"?

A big punch.

  • Denn10

Posted February 15, 2008 - 11:34 AM


and brass is about the best for dealing with delicate surfaces like bearings and races, with a mishap it will cause less damage than a steel one.

http://www.hdtools.c...ift punches.jpg

How come i cant post images? only thru photobucket?

  • martinfan30

Posted February 15, 2008 - 11:38 AM


There are other pic hosting sites too. I use PB, free and easy.

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