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 Check your steering head bearings

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Machtig




PostSubject: Check your steering head bearings   Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:01 am

During my new sprocket install, I decided to quit putting off pulling the steering head to inspect the bearings. I am very glad I did. The lower bearing had a decent amount of grease, but the top had almost none. If you plan on keeping your WR for a long time, I strongly suggest you tear apart the front end and check yours out as well.

Torn apart


Before regreasing




After regreasing


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ZED

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:13 am

I looked at doing that when I had the forks out, but got lazy and didn't. It looked like there was signs of grease on the edges of the outer races so I decided to assume that they were greased. Maybe not the best choice from what you're seeing.

I don't mind taking it apart to grease the headset. I mind trying to get the bearings adjusted properly afterwards. With all the cables and crap on a motorcycle it's hard to tell if it's right, or if too tight.
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g-train

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:49 am

is that a genuine works, factory yamaha bucket your using there... lol poser2
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RimBenty

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:35 pm

g-train wrote:
is that a genuine works, factory yamaha bucket your using there... lol poser2

No it's factory KTM, right out of the hard parts catalog. Just like mine Very happy

Where did you get the radiator cap from??

Looks like I'll be pulling my forks off again and checking the head bearings. budah
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marty

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:10 am

my bike started to squeak when steering to the stop this week, and i don't see any sign of grease around the top bearing. any pointers for doing this?
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f3joel

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:09 pm

I had to replace mine within the first year.
Stock there was not enough grease.
I thought I was going to have to do it again and was cursing yamaha bearings.
Realized it was only doing it with the bars far left this time though, turned out it was the wire holder thing had come out a little and was scraping the side of the fork when the bars were turned that far left...
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g-train

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:14 am

yeah had a look at the head bearings today... yep, dry as a bone... re-packed em, they should last now...

must be a common thing...
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kraher




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Just pulled mine apart, looks identical to yours.

One question...what did you use to re-torque the lowest nut on the steering stem?

The manual lists a very specific torque spec (27ft lb, loosen, then 5ft lb) so somehow I don't think "tightish" is good enough. I used a punch and hammer to loosen the nut, but don't really think the punch would be good enough to tighten it.

Thanks.

kraher.
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DesertRatliff

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:24 pm

+1 on steering head bearing condition. My lower was ok, top was nearly dry and after 700 miles of street riding, the top race is already scored a little. Packing the bearings is a good thing!!!
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skierd




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:49 pm

Mine were fine when I had them repacked at ~14k miles.
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SheWolf
Alpha Rider
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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:45 pm

I'll probably do mine again at 15. They were a bit dry. It was the swingarm that was ugly. eeek

_________________
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greenfire6

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:19 pm

You guys make for a load of work!!!! GAHHHH

We wanted to go on a big Oh ride today but our wild spring weather is still totally sideways. I read about the dry, upper steering head bearings so figured, if ya can't ride 'em, work on 'em...

Both of our steering stems/bearings came out lookin' like this. Not bad but the upper bearing a little dry for me and our ultra dry climate (present spring Wx excepted dunno ) Most of the key tools for disassembly in background. (Not shown: Assemply required the addition of all three of my torque wrenches and a jury rigged crows foot spanner wrench to get the bearing preload correct.)

Stem, bearings and seals fully cleaned with solvent, then warm soapy water, dried with compressed air nozzle and slathered up with white grease. White grease has some specific properties that fit this use to a "T". Not shown: Outer bearing races in the steering head were slathered up with white grease as well.

This job wasn't as time consuming as I expected. Fortunately, I posses all the necessary tools and it helped considerably to hang the handelbars and upper triple clamp from the garage door openner track. (I unplugged the electric garage door openner just in case. wink )

Started about 0900hrs and both bikes were completed by 1400hrs.
So, 7 hours with some interruptions and a lunch break... dutch poser2
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dicklane625

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:37 pm

This was a three hour job for me, first time. Probably a 30 min break when I started putting it back together. Both bearings had quite a bit more grease from the factory. The top bearing was more like the bottom bearing on theirs. My bikes a 2015 so I either got lucky or yamahas on it. either way its still only a 3500 mile interval in the regular maintenance schedule.
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Biglake




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:58 pm

I have 8000kms on my 2013, mostly off road with lots of bearing destroying pressure washing too, I haven't looked at the steering head bearings yet.

They're tight and move freely like new. thumb

I had to replace the linkage bearings last spring tho.
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:23 pm

Its a pretty easy job, you dont have to tear the whole bike apart. I just loosened everything up, and slid the lower fork yoke down complete with legs ect, making the bearings visible. Slather in waterproof grease, and assemble again. 1 hour job, taking your time.
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dicklane625

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:55 am

Jens Eskildsen wrote:
Its a pretty easy job, you dont have to tear the whole bike apart. I just loosened everything up, and slid the lower fork yoke down complete with legs ect, making the bearings visible. Slather in waterproof grease, and assemble again. 1 hour job, taking your time.

You should look into the compatibility of different types of grease.... I was going to do it the easy way, but different grease bases don't mix well... I wanted to get as much of the old out as possible for this reason. I forget which ones... http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/1865/grease-compatibility - a chart that explains what I'm talking about... I do like cleaning everything, but I think I'll take the easy way now that I have my grease in there. It doesn't make sense. There's a certain gratification from tearing the bike apart to clean everything. And having it covered in mud again within a day... Not so much with the triple tree as there is with the swing arm assembly. I put a coat of protection on all those parts so the next couple washes go much easier....
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:20 pm

I wiped the old dirty grease of, as I would expect just about any person would do.
I didnt brakeclean the shit out of every roller, but I think I'll be fine.

But thanks. thumb
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dicklane625

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:11 pm

No worries. What year bike do you have? Mine was greased more from the factory than any other pic I've seen on herrr... It was assembled in dec 2014 but is a 2015 model.
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Jens Eskildsen




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:27 pm

2008 model, purchased around 2011 by the PO.
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dicklane625

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PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:05 pm

I'd hope yours didn't still have only factory grease than...
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Rick jackson




PostSubject: Re: Check your steering head bearings   Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:13 pm

After replacing the bearings on my KLR, I squeezed about 1/2 a tube of grease into the neck void. It made its way down to the lower bearing on kept it nicely greased for 60K kms
I think you can do this with just the top bearing removed on the WR too.
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