Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Steering stem bearing

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Conorkc, May 27, 2014.

  1. Hello All,

    I was in at the mechanics to get my new chain fitted when one of the guys mentioned that he had noticed that there was signs that my steering bearing was showing signs of wear. He demonstrated this by lifting the front wheel up and getting me to rotate the bars from lock to lock. Indeed he was right I did feel a 'notch' as I was rotating the wheel. I am happy to fit new bearings myself, but this will be the first time I have done so on a bike.

    My questions for you guys are, 1) have you any pointers/advice for me to make this job easier and 2) Seeing as this is just a slight notch and not noticeable at all when riding, how soon should I be getting this changed. Is it a serious and dangerous defect or will it be okay for a few weeks until I get time to work on it.

    Any and all advice is much appreciated.
  2. You should get it done. It's serious in the sense that the notch can catch you out at a critical time when turning in to a corner. It's not going to fail catastrophically but it might contribute enough to a dodgy situation to turn it into a crash.
    I'll leave someone better qualified to advise on fitting.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. @bretto61@bretto61 Yes it is the ER-5, I have the service Manual and the Haynes manual also. Looks pretty straight forward to me I will grab some threaded bar and a couple of washers+nuts to get Races into the head. The only thing holding me back is that the ER-5 is my only transport and I would need to have a free weekend to get the job started and finished in time for work Monday.

    @titus@titus Yes, I agree that it is best to have it put right. My confidence in the bike is shaken now that I know that it has this problem.

    Thanks guys for the reply.
  4. Not sure about your bike, but typically the lower bearing cops it so you may not require replacement of both, maybe inspect first. You can get a set of Allballs racing tapered bearing kit for top or bottom. The only trick is removing the race from the old steerer tube which is easy and installing the tapered race in the headstock (right way round!), which isnt too bad either.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. I've replaced top and bottom bearings once, on my TE610. There are a couple of things that come to mind for doing it with minimal expense while maximising ease:

    I recommend making or buying something like this to handle the races. A bench vice with some scraps of aluminium may also come in handy for tapping the lower bearings off the yoke.

    Keep at least on of the old races on hand, cut out a small piece, and use it to hammer in the new ones (thin end in, keeping stronger bit accessible). The bit you've cut out should make it possible to get it back out without too much fuss, but if it doesn't (or you had trouble cutting the hard metal), use a dremmel or carefully break it with a cold chisel.
  6. Head bearings are sufficiently cheap that, once you've got the front end of the bike apart, you might as well do the lot rather than mucking about with just the bottom one (which tends to be the hardest to do anyway 'cos of getting the bottom race off the steering stem).

    I wouldn't lose confidence in the bike. Head bearings do wear and can be regarded as a semi-consumable item. Replace with new and adjust according to the book and all will be well.

    I once had the lower races on my CZ250 disintegrate completely, letting all the balls fall out. Green as I was, it took me a day or two to realise why my bike was making loud clonking noises under braking and refusing to steer properly :eek:.
  7. The lower one on the stem can be a bit of a biatch. There are a few ways of doing it. The youtubes should have something.
  8. a hydraulic press would probably make this a bit easier?
  9. not really. You need to wreck the bottom inner race to get it off. There is no way of getting under it.

    I carefully ground the last one off, but some people use a weld bead.