Steering Stem Bearings- news flash

21 replies to this topic
  • Switchback

Posted March 24, 2003 - 01:55 PM


I just tore into my front end to repack them bearings. However, I was too late for the bottom bearing- drier than a popcorn fart! And now it's junk. Consequently, I need a new bearing. I called a local bearing supply store and these are something they don't carry in their product line. So he called NTN(the bearing manufacturer) directly and they told him that they don't even make these bearings for Suzuki/Kawasaki anymore. Before he called NTN I gave him both part #'s from the race and the bearing itself, so he was armed with the proper info. OK, part II of this story. Feeling defeated, I called the dealer. Dealer wants $40.31 EACH! :) BTW, here is the part #:
Manufacturer: NTN
Bearing #: CR-0643L.
These are not Suzuki part #'s. They are manuf part #'s.
Surprisingly, the dealer also told me that there is now an aftermarket bearing kit available thru a company called ALL BALLS. I believe this is their web site: All Balls Racing Products, Inc. According to my dealer I can get a bearing "kit" (both bearings) for $42.29 from All Balls via him. Obviously this is a no-brainer, but I'm going to see if I can get them even cheaper. All Balls has several different distributors. I'll let everyone know where I end up getting them. Anyone else had to replace theirs yet? Where did you get them?

  • Eddie Sisneros

Posted March 24, 2003 - 01:59 PM


i use the All Balls kits regularly.they are good stuff.have your local shop check the K&L supply book.check to see if theirs are cheaper.

ive never had to replace mine!i greased them new! :)

  • Burnrider

Posted March 24, 2003 - 02:07 PM


I checked one of the local bearing houses with the CR 0643L number. The salesman said the number is proprietary to NTN. He also said you would be better off to take a bearing and race to the bearing shop(s) and see what they can measure up outside the NTN number. You would probably have better luck.

I have a friend who took the capged needle bearings from a KDX 200 Kaw to the bearing shop. They came up with some of the bearings and races, but none of the custom seals. The needle bearing was about $5.00 and the race $2.00. I paid $25.00 for the OEM needle bearing, race and seals as a unit price. It pays to go down with the part and check it out.

Good Luck

  • fastmike926

Posted March 24, 2003 - 02:30 PM


Pivet works makes a kit that includes upper, and lower bearings, with seals for $47, you can get them at Dennis Kirk, and Rocky mountain for sure. I did mine this weekend, and about 6 months before that, and they were dry already. Really got to keep on top of them.

  • corky

Posted March 24, 2003 - 02:48 PM


Sorry the hear about your bearing problem. Check this before completing your repair. Corky :) :D

  • Switchback

Posted March 24, 2003 - 02:56 PM


i use the All Balls kits regularly.they are good stuff.have your local shop check the K&L supply book.check to see if theirs are cheaper.

ive never had to replace mine!i greased them new!

Ya Ya Ya.....I know. I should of done that too :) Oh well. It's good practice. Since I now have to wait for my bearing kit to show up(after I order it), I decided to add the zerk fitting. It was quick and painless, and I'm sure this will pay for itself many times over. I'll ask him about K&L if I call to place the order. I'm still checking other sources.

  • Switchback

Posted March 24, 2003 - 03:02 PM


take a bearing and race to the bearing shop(s) and see what they can measure up outside the NTN number. You would probably have better luck.

I called another bearing shop(Applied Industrial Technologies in Vanc) and he said that part # does him absolutely no good, and that I would have to bring it in and they would measure to try to find a match. I think that's because NTN doesn't publish that part # in their books. I don't have that kind of patience. Screw it! :D

When I saw your how-to I immediately thought I better do it. So now I've done it, but I should of done it a looooong time ago. Thanks for the tip! :)

  • Burnrider

Posted March 24, 2003 - 03:08 PM


Now you have options for other bearing replacement. I put the zerk on the steering head of my KLX and sealed the slot in the tube with a bronze bushing. It's been in for 5 years and I give it a pump or two every couple of rides. It pushes out water without making the big mess. Talk to Ryan we'll get you out on a weekend to get some water and dirt on the new bearings.

  • candrzs

Posted March 24, 2003 - 03:29 PM


Like burnrider, I also popped in a zerk in 2001. Took mine apart yesterday to install WER damper bracket and the bearings were like new. I also sealed up the steering lock which lets water in.

  • pdx_drz400

Posted March 24, 2003 - 03:31 PM



I'm going to have to do mine too. Did you go with the All Balls then? Did you have any trouble getting your old bearing out?

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  • Gyro

Posted March 25, 2003 - 03:37 AM


This is a good warning for people on this site.

  • Switchback

Posted March 25, 2003 - 06:27 AM


What "slot in the tube" are you referring to with the bronze bushing? Are you talking about a steering lock slot? A few weeks ago I went out with Ryan and a couple others and we had a blast. I drank lots of water that day :)

  • Burnrider

Posted March 25, 2003 - 06:48 AM


Sorry I didn't specify. My 300 KLX has a slot in the center of the tube. I zerked it and was pushing grease into the center tube without suspecting they had punched a slot in it. Your DRZ probably does not have a slot in it if instruction(s) never mentioned this.

Ryan says you now have weekends off. We will try to set some riding day dates on the weekend so you can unleash the fury of awe and shock.

  • Switchback

Posted March 25, 2003 - 07:47 AM


Nope, no slot. I don't have a steering lock on mine.

Last ride, I was awed by all the friggen wet clay, and shocked when that tree knocked me off my bike into the COLD water of a huge puddle. Froze my arse off that day :) Ya I've got weekends off now with my travel days being Mondays and Fridays. After work on Fridays I still have to drive 2 hrs home to spend the weekend with the family, or the yellow horse, whichever I prefer at the time. :D

  • Switchback

Posted March 25, 2003 - 11:16 AM


I'm going to have to do mine too. Did you go with the All Balls then? Did you have any trouble getting your old bearing out?

Dennis, I think I'm going to go ahead and just order the All Balls kit from my dealer(Pro Caliber). It's $42.29 for the kit which includes both bearings. They have it in stock in a warehouse out of California so it should be here soon if I order today. The bottom bearing is a very snug almost pressed fit. I had to destroy the roller cage with my Gerber Tool, and then I gently used a hammer and chisel to remove the bearing race from the shaft. Only took a few minutes. Have you taken yours apart yet?

  • candrzs

Posted March 25, 2003 - 01:32 PM


The S has a slot. If anyone has already added Zerk's and not blocked the slot you could probably put some of that metal putty or silicone in the bottom of the tube i.e. take off the front fender and look underneath, thats where the grease will run out.

  • pelts79

Posted March 25, 2003 - 03:14 PM


just did mine today after 4000 miles and they were still fairly good. i ride in vey dry conditions so not much water exposure. thx to the drz forum everything went as planned, except for dropping my fresh greased top bearings in the sand, lol, unreal. add and extra 10 to clean it up, no garage. swing arm maintanance tomorrow.

  • LeeMonster

Posted March 25, 2003 - 06:49 PM


What do you use to clean the bearings? Brake Cleaner maybe?

  • Switchback

Posted March 25, 2003 - 08:24 PM


solvent, WD-40, brake cleaner, gasoline(but you didn't hear that from the fire inspector!:)). Basically whatever works. Main thing is to get them clean and then properly repack w/ fresh grease. Don't throw'em in your wifes dishwasher though :D

  • jaafallon

Posted March 25, 2003 - 09:40 PM


1. Are any "Special Tools" required to check/service the Steering Stem Bearings or can I do it with my basic wrench/screwdriver set?

2. I have a tube of Mobil 1 synthetic grease. Can I use it for this (stem bearing zerk) project?



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