Steering head bearing - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Steering head bearing

MY '94 has had a "thunk" on the front fork when brakes applied since I owned it. Not much but I would feel better replacing the bearings. Stealership wants 300.00+ for this. How hard is it for the DIYer?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 07:18 PM
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20,000 miles is pretty early for the bearings to go unless something caused it. Could it be something else, like low fork oil?

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

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2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 09:07 PM
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I agree, may not be the steering head bearings, but the forks.

And you might just need to tighten the steering head up, not replace the bearings. It is not real easy to replace them, but can be done for less than 300 bucks if you do most of the work yourself. You might must need to go to the shop and let them install the very bottom race on the stem...the others you can do yourself.

But first.. , check the bearings to see if they are just loose, and if not , check your fork oil.

You can check for loose or worn bearings by putting the bike on the centerstand, and blocking up the front so the front wheel is off the ground. Kneel down in front of the bike and take hold of both fork legs right above the axle. By rapidly pushing and pulling the forks fore and aft you should feel zero play...(meaning they will not move in the least without moving the whole bike)
If you feel some play, try tightening the upper stem nut and re-checking. You really should consult a manual for step by step proceedures to do this.


If there is no play, and the wheel moves right to left without pausing , or sticking, your bearings are fine and it may be something wrong with your front suspension....or it might even be a loose brake caliphers too.

Let us know what you find out.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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will do. Never occurred to me to suspect the fork oil. will check this weekend.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-24-2010, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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checked by raising front tire off ground--definitely loose bearing! Will look to get the tool to tighten spindle nits first b4 going deeper
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 10:39 AM
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The spindle nuts can be tightened with a drift punch if you are very careful. Loosen the top one, then just tap on the bottom one, while continuing to check the bearing freeplay. Idealy thete should be no freeplay, but the steering head should not bind anywhere either. If it is impossible to achieve this, you may have to disassemble everything and repack the bearings with grease. Check the races for damage caused by riding it with loose bearings.


If you do need to tear it apart, it is a simple job, just takes a lot of work. Nothing a mechanically inclined person couldn't handle. Put the bike on the centerstand, remove the front wheel, the front fender, loosen the triple clamps and remove the forks, then remove the instruments from the top. Remove the stem nuts, remove the upper triple clamp, then drop the lower triple clamp out the bottom.


$300 does not sound that bad for a dealer, but they would probably do it the quick and dirty way, put the bike on a lift, and pull the triple clamps and stem apart without removing all those other parts first. I prefer to be very methodical about things. But then bikes are my hobby, not a job. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 01:14 PM
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Just got my '05 back from the shop geting the forks re bilt (so I know its not the oil or anything inside them going bad), and the there is still a clunk as described in this threed and a massive, massive wobble when I let go of the bars. I will be checking if the bearings are loose when I get the chance and should be able to tighten if needed. But what I'm wondering is whats the best way to get new bearings, I will be doing them myself instead of paying the $297 labor the shop wants and $80 parts. I just found these http://motosportllc.com/products.php...lcan-86%252d06
for $34. whats the difference and are the cheap ones usable. I am ridding about 900 miles next week and I (my wife realy) needs to know that my front end isnt going to fall off at 70 mph
Im at about 25k miles so i figure its about time to replace or re-grease at least the bearings

CLARK47



2005 VN750
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JULY OF 2006
24,000 AND COUNTING NOW
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 01:46 PM
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Properly torqued and lubed bearings are always better than bearings that have been subjected to the pounding of being loose.

Those bearings should be fine taking into consideration they are tapered bearings and head bearings are not subjected to a lot of high speed turning.If yours has ball bearings it will be much better than before with the tapered bearings.

Replace them yourself and tighten them down and retorque two or three times when you install them which should settle every thing in place,

Oh yeah,quit taking both hands off the bars at the same time




If you see it on my bike I did it
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Current ride 05 1500 Classic FI
lovin' the new scoot



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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 01:48 PM
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Install the ones in your link. Stock and some cheaper ones use ball bearings and do not perform or last as well.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the help, Im very happy that the cheaper ones are not "cheaper" and I can save a lot of $$. I have run out of time to take this project on before my trip back down to Pensacola Florida. It works out better though because that base has a WAY better auto hobby shop then Norfolk.

Thanks


denny6006, How can I kick back with my feet on the handlebars if I only take one hand off at a time? That wouldnt be very comfortable.

CLARK47



2005 VN750
1,200 MILES WHEN NEW TO ME
JULY OF 2006
24,000 AND COUNTING NOW
ALLMOST ENTIRLY STOCK

Last edited by CLARK47; 01-11-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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