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TeamEndo

'06 steering head lube...

9 posts in this topic

ok, i want to go riding this weekend, already broke the new '06 in last week and am reading all the reports(did a search) about tearing down new bikes and regreasing all the linkages and steering head. My question is, assuming i get a 32mm socket head, how hard is it to tear apart the steering head? How much time does it take? Do I need any other special tools? I've done this on my vintage honda roadracer but never on any of my mx bikes, I know, I know, shame on me. Anything I tricks/tips to know or is it pretty straightforward?

any info would be appreciated.

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It is very easy - remove handle bars, steering nut, top triple clamp. For the spanner nut/notched nut you can use a spanner wrench or as I do, a punch and hammer. Keep the front wheel on something as you remove this nut. Once removed lower the entire front end. Remove the top bearings and repack - their is a correct method to repacking - I use the palm of my hand to force as much grease into the top and bottom of the bearing - you will see the grease start coming out of the sides - of the roller bearings when full - you will be surprised how much grease will go in. The bottom is more difficult to fill unless you remove it from the steering stem. You will need a press to do this. Otherwise patiently force as much grease into the top on the bearing on all sides - it will take longer this method but can be done. I have been using belray waterproof grease for years to do this. I use a lot of grease and then add more to the top of the rollerbearings when reassembling. When putting back together - the spanner nut/notched nut - do not over tighten! Easy to do -and most people will do this aggravating bearing wear. I hand tighten it and then torque down - lightly. I test the tension by making sure the front end will drop by gravity from a turn by pushing the rear of the bike down while on a stand and turn bars slightly either left or right. If it will not turn with gravity, it is too tight. You may have to install the bars to get this affect. Once done reassemble clean up the mess and go ride.

Torque all triple clamp bolts to 17ftlbs for the top 14 ftlbs for the lower and top Stem nut - to torque spec - you do not want this coming loose

Hope this helps :applause:

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A point to remember about setting up the bearing pre-load on the steering head is that it will get tighter when you run the top nut down on the top clamp. When the lower nut is tightened on the bearings, it gets pushed up the stem against the threads. When you tighten the top nut, you push the clamp down the stem against the lower nut, pushing the nut down by an amount equal to the thread clearance, which can sometimes be enough to make more of a change in the settings than you wanted. Double check it after the top nut goes on.

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Ok, i'll be sure to double check, i expect there's going to be some trial and error. thanks.

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A point to remember about setting up the bearing pre-load on the steering head is that it will get tighter when you run the top nut down on the top clamp. When the lower nut is tightened on the bearings, it gets pushed up the stem against the threads. When you tighten the top nut, you push the clamp down the stem against the lower nut, pushing the nut down by an amount equal to the thread clearance, which can sometimes be enough to make more of a change in the settings than you wanted. Double check it after the top nut goes on.

Good point Grey that I did not emphysize this point enough. :p Once you tighten down the steering head bolt and install the handlebars - make sure the the entire front end will freely move from dead straight to each end. I do this by pushing the rear of the bike down while on the stand and slightly angling the bike...the front will turn from gravity gradually as more angle is applied. If it does not the nuts are too tight if it moves too freely the bottom needs to be tightened slightly. You should have absolutely no play side to side or front to back in the front end...

And pack the heck out of those bearings....I always leave a moderate amt of grease on the top of the top bearing before covering, helps to keep the water out... :applause:

I am curous as I have heard that the linkage bearings on the 05 do not contain the yellow maintenance free lubrication material that all 400/426s and 450 before 2005 have.....is this the case????

It is a personal opinion whether or not to remove this material and repack, or not and replace when they are worn....I have not removed it on any of my past bikes, and just add grease to it without any negative results until they must be replaced.

Let us know if you find this material or not....just curious :ride:

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The '06 does not have the yellow material in the bearings. It also does not have much grease. The stearing head had more grease than the linkage and swingarm bearings did. This is something that everyone should do.

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I am curous as I have heard that the linkage bearings on the 05 do not contain the yellow maintenance free lubrication material that all 400/426s and 450 before 2005 have.....is this the case????

It is a personal opinion whether or not to remove this material and repack, or not and replace when they are worn....I have not removed it on any of my past bikes, and just add grease to it without any negative results until they must be replaced.

Let us know if you find this material or not....just curious :applause:

Ok guys, like Wyatt said, no yellow cheese in the bearings and not very much grease at all, in fact there was more on the steering stem than the bearings themselves! I was careful to lower the forks/wheel off straight, so I didn't rub the stem against the headtube. Filled the bearings with Maxima waterproof grease, super sticky stuff, and reassembled headtube to handtorque until i can get a special wrench to fit the splined nut. Easy so far. I'm going to raise forks in triple clamps 5mm while i'm at it.

thanks for all the help.

:ride:

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