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reefskinner

Steering bearings. OEM or other?

22 posts in this topic

I am getting ready to replace the bearings on my 06 450 and was wondering if I should get OEM , or aftermarkets. I know that they updated the OEM unit, but is it the best choice?

Thanks in advance......:thumbsup:

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I am not looking for the cheapest, I don't mind paying for quality. I just am wondering if there is something better than the OEM units available.

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Because their kit comes with both bearings and top seal for $49.95. I've used them on all of my bikes and I prefer them over oem. Their kits come with every piece needed to complete the job. In what ways are OEM bearings superior.

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I have used both and consider the Pivot Works and OEM to be about equal in quality. I like the fact that with Pivot Works you can order 1 part number and get everything you need.

I will say that neither will last very long without proper maintenance.

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Their kits come with every piece needed to complete the job. In what ways are OEM bearings superior.
OEM bearings are top tier pieces from major Japanese manufacturers like Koyo and NTN. Not sure about PW, but at least one popular bearing kit marketer uses Chinese bearings instead. Just now looking at the Pivot Works kit, their lower bearing does not appear to have the integrated lower head seal that the OEM has, and the top bearing is the old, unsealed type (93332-00068-00), rather than the new 93332-00078-00 with a seal built in. This is particularly important with the aluminum framed bikes like the '06 the OP has, as the top seal doesn't actually seal well at all.

"Every piece needed" consists of only 3 in a steering head. If I needed to rebuild the rear linkage, I think PW would be a more attractive option, what with all the loose individual parts involved there, but not for the steering head, not for me.

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Does anyone have pics of the old and new style?

Both 09's did not have seal built into bearing.

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Does anyone have pics of the old and new style?

Both 09's did not have seal built into bearing.

Here's a thread I started sometime back that has pictures of the old style and new style bearings. http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=797940&highlight=fix+for+rusty+steering

Now that I look back it's been over 6 months and the bearings are still in excellent shape. I have since replaced several others on the Yamaha 's with the Pivot Works kit.

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Both 09's did not have seal built into bearing.

The original upper head bearing, which goes back to somewhere beyond '98, is 93332-00068-00. That bearing was originally listed for, and used in production on, the aluminum framed '06 and up models. When the sealing problem was identified in late '07, the updated bearing with an integrated seal was produced under PN 93332-00078-00. However, production models continued to be made with old 93332-00068-00 stock until late '09, when it was finally exhausted.

In almost every case, if you go to a Yamaha dealer and order the head bearing for an '06, even if it still lists a 93332-00068-00, it will change up to a 93332-00078-00 when the counter person tries to call it out. Be sure that you don't buy the ...68.. bearing from old dealer stock, though. Insist on the ...78..

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Well, I certainly wasn't looking to start a heated debate over this, but this is exactly the sort of info I was looking for. I have the old ones out and will be installing the new ones as soon as I see a clear winner. As it stands, there is not a clear winner, but the PW units have my attention. I may also go to my local supply house with the old ones and see what they can cross over. I want to be sure they have the extra seal for sure though.

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Don't think you can get more information than you've already been given here. I'm impressed with the knowledge here. Seems like you'll go with the OEM due to the integrated seal though.

Good luck.

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Seems like you'll go with the OEM due to the integrated seal though.

Just to clear things up the pictures I posted are of the Pivot Works kit and not OEM. So far 8 months and still look great.

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So, the PW has included the integrated seal on the upper now...

What's the country of origin on the bearings? The manufacturer?

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So, the PW has included the integrated seal on the upper now...

Yes, I bought the kit back in June of '09 so they have had the updated version for some time now.

What's the country of origin on the bearings? The manufacturer?

I'm not sure. I was in a hurry when I got the kit so I snapped a few pictures and stuck them in. Right now I'm scrambling to get a bike ready for a race this weekend but I'll pull it apart either tonight or tomorrow and let you know.

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Just pulled it apart and found no identifying marks on the bearings. The seals have Pivot Works on them with a number. Even the packaging has nothing on it as far as country of origin. If I had to guess I would say they are manufactured in China as nearly all of the Pivot Works products are. Even so, they are a decent part and the 3 or 4 sets I have installed have held up way better than the OEM part without the integrated seal.

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Well, I went with OEM this time around. I greased the hell out of them and put a little extra on the top seal for good measure. I will pull it apart in a few months for service and see how they look. Thanks everyone for the advice.

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