Steering Head Bearings
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  1. #1
    Senior Member MobileAZN's Avatar
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    Question Steering Head Bearings

    I've seen plenty of write-ups and the wiki has a good article as well on the steering head bearing replacement/conversion. What I don't see is advice on whether I should do that mod or not. looks like people are usually doing it out of necessity.

    Is it recommended to do this conversion while I've got the bike apart? I had detents with the old ball bearings, but upon removal, the races are in excellent shape (they look new). The bearings do need replaced, but they are cheap. Should I upgrade to the roller bearings? Is there anything inherently wrong with the ball bearing setup? I plan on currently keeping the front end I have (currently 33mm forks). I have considered the possibility of doing a front end conversion in a year or so, so i'd have to do a bearing conversion at that time anyway.

    Suggestions?
    1980 Honda CX500 Custom (In a pile of parts, current project)
    1981 Suzuki GN400CR (Cafe Racer, current ride)
    1976 Honda CB125S1 (Full original restoration. Sold her and miss it. Every. Single. Day.)

  2. #2
    Administrator ChopperCharles's Avatar
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    Go tapered roller bearings all the way. It's cheap, it's easy, and it's quite worth it.

    Charles.
    Visit my Blog: Modified Motorcycles By ChopperCharles at http://choppercharles.com

  3. #3
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    My kit was all balls , was.perfect fit , followed imstrucions

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Shep's Avatar
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    As above.Get the All Balls kit and do it whilst you have the bike apart.There are various videos on YouTube on how to install Taper roller bearings even if not on the CX500 if you don't have access to a bearing press.

    Note:The All Balls kits usually come with an extra spacer or two that are not required so keep researching and asking questions.It's a job well worth doing as you will most likely never have to do it again for the life of the bike and the taper bearing is superior to the old bearing race system.

    Also after around 200+ miles re-check and tighten the Top Lock nut on the steering stem as the bearings will settle which can show itself as a,"Thump" in the steering when you cross a curb and cause vagueness in steering/front suspension if not corrected.

    Note:If you have any questions on the exact All Balls kit to buy contact them,I did and they actually answer and are very very helpful.Great company IMHO .

    HTH
    Last edited by Shep; 05-18-2017 at 03:56 PM.

  6. #5
    Super Moderator CXPHREAK's Avatar
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    If the races are OK I just replace the balls. It is the cheapest path of least resistance. If the races are damaged the tapered bearings become the cheapest path of least resistance.
    Rebuilding Handlebar Switches

    Rider 81 500C, Thingy Born a 78Z. Ozdeluxe born an 80 shadow.

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shep View Post
    As above.Get the All Balls kit and do it whilst you have the bike apart.There are various videos on YouTube on how to install Taper roller bearings even if not on the CX500 if you don't have access to a bearing press.

    Note:The All Balls kits usually come with an extra spacer or two that are not required so keep researching and asking questions.It's a job well worth doing as you will most likely never have to do it again for the life of the bike and the taper bearing is superior to the old bearing race system.

    Also after around 200+ miles re-check and tighten the Top Lock nut on the steering stem as the bearings will settle which can show itself as a,"Thump" in the steering when you cross a curb and cause vagueness in steering/front suspension if not corrected.

    Note:If you have any questions on the exact All Balls kit to buy contact them,I did and they actually answer and are very very helpful.Great company IMHO .

    HTH
    Im about to do a fork swap to an 06 CBR1000RR I have the "All Balls Conversion Bearings" based on what everyone has said on this thread I guess I need access to a press with a bearing tool?

    Also, if anyone has done this fork swap... As best as I can research I use the CX500 Steering Stem, All Balls Bearings and it should bolt up? Can someone confirm this please?

    Thanks,

    Steve
    1980 CX500 Custom

  8. #7
    OCR
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    No press needed.
    Put the race into the freezer overnight and it should just drop right in or only need a little persuasion to seat all the way.
    Past Master, Dryden Lodge #472
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    we are all given sh*t in life, but some of us learn to turn it into fertilizer and grow from it, and some us try to fling it on others like monkeys.

  9. #8
    Administrator ChopperCharles's Avatar
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    Don't forget the spacers and seal. It's essential you measure the height of the old bearing and the new bearing, and add spacers under the new bearing and seal to make up any height difference, otherwise the lower triple will bind against the bottom of the steering head.

    Charles.
    Visit my Blog: Modified Motorcycles By ChopperCharles at http://choppercharles.com

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