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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
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
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike