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Troutman

Choppy Stiff Headset Again on New 06!!!

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Well here I go again. Had a 00 426 and the headset went out after a year of riding. Traded in the 426 for a spanking new 06 and the headset is choppy after about 40hrs. Why does this happen? :thumbsup: I can only think that it has to do with my weight, I am 6' - 5" and weigh around 260lbs. Can my shear size tweak the bearings from landing off of larger jumps? I do not abuse it in any way or use high pressure water to wash the bike. One day its fine then I go to take it off the stand 5 days later go to the track and its like someone put glue in the headset. It is still ridable but it takes a few laps to loosen up and then its still not real smooth. Then after sitting in the garage for 5 more days its back to choppy ville. Does anyone know why this happens and what I can do to remedy the situation? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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I was told by the dealer, and have also read many times that Yamaha just doesn't put enough grease in the headset at the factory. Many tear them down and grease them before they even ride them. I have yet to do mine (under 10hrs) but I will definitively get moving on it soon.

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Could it be that you NEVER greased the bearings after you bought the bike new ? Everyone knows that swingarm, linkage and steering stem bearings are practically DRY from the factory. It's been this way with all the JAP bikes since I can remember my first brand new 1977 YZ-80 !

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You are getting water in there when you wash the bike....high pressure or not. That water causes rust in the bearings that form when it is on the stand sitting. Once you get it to the track you work the water soaked grease and rust back and forth enough to make it somewhat smooth again until the bike sits and the grease gets hard again.

I tore my '06 down and greased it when it was brand new. I had to tear it down again at about 20hrs because the headset was getting choppy. The bearings and grease were starting to show signes of water contamination.

The umbrella type seal that sits over the top bearing is not large enough. It does not go past the edge of the frame and does not do an adequate job of shielding the top bearing from water. You don't have to spray it with high pressure to contaminate it. Water that is sprayed on the handlebars or even from rain will get past this seal.

That is what is happening with your bike. I know, becasue its about time to regrease my bearings for the 3rd time. Someone else on this forum posted a similar experience after I noted this for the first time.

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Troutman same thing with my 06. Even after regreasing these bearing before ever riding after 6hrs they turned into a choppy mess.

- here is what I found

Water will get in - no matter what you do to prevent it. Upon checking the water proof grease was mush....- bearing maint is key - I will do it every 10-15hrs and I pack a ton of grease in...

I am looking for a better quality grease than BelRay Waterproof....I will try Amsoil the next time!

If you continue to ride it while they are choppy feeling you will destroy the racis....and they will be permanently notched.

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I just regreased mine last week....every 15-20hrs for me. I usually throw some duct tape on top of the steering stem when I wash the bike to protect against water getting in there, I just started doing that three weeks ago so I have no idea if it actually helps.

The more you wash your bike the more you need to regrease the steering stem..

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I guess I need to re-grease the head, you are correct in that I have never done it before. I had no idea that you need to grease every 15 to 20 hrs. But I am glad it is most likely not damaged, and I will try and protect the umbrella seal better when I wash it. Is there a link that shows the best step by step way to do this and any special tools needed, i have never done it before and do not want to screw it up. Thanks for all of the good input and advice as always!

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I used Bel-Ray water proof grease for a long time, then I decided to upgrade to Maxima water proof grease. That was a mistake! It took awhile to figure out but that stuff turns to something that resembles tar. After 2 years and 3 sets of bearings I went back to Bel-Ray and have had no problems since.

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My bike has never been greased. I took it apart last week and the bearings were like new and the grease wasnt even dirty. I was soooo excited! now the wheel bearings are a different story.......

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I am looking for a better quality grease than BelRay Waterproof....I will try Amsoil the next time!

I use Shell Nautilus, a marine grease, even salt water doesn't affect it.

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My 2000 YZ 426 has had an appetite for steering stem bearings

i'm on my 3rd set

i never go to the carwash only water hose and simple green

what i did do and i do each time i wash,after each ride,is after the wash i regrease the bearings through a zirt i drilled and tapped into the frame

since then no problems

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My 2000 YZ 426 has had an appetite for steering stem bearings

i'm on my 3rd set

i never go to the carwash only water hose and simple green

what i did do and i do each time i wash,after each ride,is after the wash i regrease the bearings through a zirt i drilled and tapped into the frame

since then no problems

That sounds like a good idea and a risky idea at the same time. I wonder how that would go over with the aluminium frame? Anyone tried it on the 06? Any pics and directions on how to do it?

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Best idea is to keep the powerwasher from the area in the first place. If you do, any decent grease will work well.

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