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Topic: Looking For FJR Steering Bearings  (Read 7647 times)

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2008, 06:53:08 PM »

Can't you just jack it up?
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2008, 01:21:23 AM »




40k on tapered roller bearings is nothing. Keep them lubed, and inspect them annually, and they'll last indefinitely. I got 125K out of a pair back in the 90's on a FLH, which requires tapered roller bearings.

If you only got 20K out of your stockers, you had a problem with either the factory assembly, or some other factor contributed to their premature failure. Any new, and correctly adjusted neck bearing set will feel great. Smoother than stock I doubt, unless your stockers were shot.

 
I got the bike with 23k on the clock, bearing races were worn. Guess they were never serviced or checked Shrug  Knowing they needed to be done I decided to use tapered bearings, not that I was trying to "Up Grade" Heck the price of the tapered bearings was less than stockers  sow why not???
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2008, 01:28:26 AM »


naw...  i'm lacking in my maintenance. it only has 8k on it. wouldn't figure it would have problems already. but no biggie. not riding much anyways since all the flippin snow is in my way. plus, also, i don't have a surefire way to work on the bearings safely and securely. adn No, i can not use the ceiling to do the job cause it's not my ceiling (base housing). plus i don't trust the beams. we've had people's ceilings cave in after some snow...gotta suck when you use a garage for storing a vehicle...some people.  Bigsmile Lol  oh well, i so wish i had my ole house. then i could do what i want, however i want.


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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2008, 08:33:41 AM »

Folk change to tapered rollers for a variety of reasons -- inertia being one of em . . . .

In the bad old days, the ball bearings shipped in most motorcycle's steering heads were made of cheese (or some metallic product whose brinnel hardness and wear properties were in the same neighborhood as a nice roqufort) -- buying decent bearings greatly entended the service life of this important wear item.

Most figures, "as long as Im in there, I'll replace the pieces of fromage with something decent -- tapered rollers have more suraface area, more is better, presto!"

Also, in the BOD, ball bearings were not caged at all, hardly ever, and installing them was a PITA --

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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2008, 10:23:52 AM »

Well when you switch to tapered bearings how do you determine the proper amount of torque?Try the stock numbers for ball bearings and you won't need a steering damper.I switched on my RZ350 and regret it.Killed the feel and caused a weave.I'm headed back to ball bearings.Just trying to find a set of angular contacts that fit.I'm a factory trained and certified mokanik too.
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2008, 10:58:37 AM »




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uh yeah....
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« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2008, 01:00:06 PM »

For what it is worth my KTM 400EXC dirt bike uses tapered roller bearings.  Currently waiting for my replacements as the lower bearing housing was cracked with the races having an issue with them.  I'm changing out the top ones just to keep things matched.
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2008, 11:06:35 PM »

well it looks like i opened up a can of worms with this thread. all the bikes i have owned up until the middle 80's used ball bearings and i have had a lot of problems. and never liked them. all my dirt bikes use roller bearings and have never had a problem. repack once a year and there fine to go.

as far as milage, the FJR has 102,000 miles and it's time to change them out. so why not go to roller bearings. less maintenance, no front end clunk and better control. and for another thing the stock bearing is pitting and is getting notchy. so it's time for a change.

roadthing, i don't know what your background is but why are you so anti roller bearing? i see nothing but positive with them. one of my trucks has 272,000 on it and and the front wheel bearings are original. i just repacked the front wheel bearings and they still are as good as the day the factory installed them.

and you brought up the point that they might not align properly. if you install them properly there is no problem.

IMO tapered bearings are the only way to go.
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2008, 09:27:42 AM »

Tapered rollers make great wheel bearings.On some bikes they're mediocre steering bearings.As I referred to earlier my RZ350 got a set of tapered bearings.Killed the feel and gave me a trailing throttle weave I cannot tune out.Sure they're a bit less robust than tapered but I'll give that up for feel and stability.Then there is the tension.How do you set it?When installing on the RZ I torqued the stem nut without thinking to stock specs.No good bound up tight.I spent quite some time trying to get it right.In this case I cannot do it.At this point they're tolerable but just not right.It's going back to ball bearings this winter.I hope to be able to find a set of caged angular contact bearings.That's why I question replacing them with tapered bearings.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 11:01:18 AM by thatguy » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2008, 10:46:03 AM »


Why do so many FJR owners swap over? I don't know, a combination of marketing and a little of the lemming effect perhaps? It's just like anything else with motorcycles. You know what I mean, "My buddy just switched to brand X spark plugs, and now he gets 100 MPG!" Soon enough, everybody is going to rave about brand X spark plugs.

To see if your neck bearings are to blame, prop up your bike with the front end free-floating. Don't use a front-end stand, headstock stand or string it up by the handlebars. Have someone steady the bike as you grab the fork legs and try to wiggle them. Notice if the sliders move appreciably, because if they do, there's a problem: Worn slider bushings. If the sliders are solid, and the entire fork assembly shakes, you have a steering stem bearing problem. I know you said you feel play in the handlebars, but front end problems can be masters of disguise.

Your problem may be that you need to re-torque your stem nut, or that the bearings and/or races are shot. I'd replace them with the original style bearings. Changing over to tapered roller bearings does NOT mean that you won't ever have to replace them, or that they don't ever need to be cleaned/checked/lubed. They need maintenance as well.

You don't mention your mileage, so I couldn't safely say that it's more likely one problem over the other. If you have never done any steering stem bearing maintenance and you are around 20K miles, it's time to do it.

If you pull your fork and find grooves worn into the races, PLEASE buy new races. Replacing the spherical bearings alone won't do you any good. You can remove the races yourself without buying any ridiculously expensive tools, or relinquishing your bike to a shop.

This is an interesting commentary on FJR owners.  Using the term lemming helped to get me tossed from the FJRforum  Lol  On another bike, the Triumph ST the reason for the switch was the original ball bearings would notch because the adjustment procedure put too much of a side load on the stock ball bearings.  When they replaced the stock, most guys went with tappered rollers rather than another, but stronger caged ball because they thought it would be better based on ?????   In a conversation with an Avon engineer when Avon Storms where having front tire issues, that engineer said part of the problem was caused by the trend to smaller surface contact area with ball bearings in steering heads. Based largely upon that converstion, I put in a set of tapered roller bearings and I liked the feel better than the stock.  If you want a quantifiable explanation of "feel better" just put me in the lemming category because my answer is "it just does."  Now the guys who first wrote some of the threads about the "upgrade" on the FJRforum really torqued them down. IMO way too much, but a lot of them talked about what I can only describe as a tighter feel in the bars which IMO is definitely the wrong thing to do.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 10:48:25 AM by sprint_st » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2008, 11:25:23 AM »


Well when you switch to tapered bearings how do you determine the proper amount of torque?Try the stock numbers for ball bearings and you won't need a steering damper.I switched on my RZ350 and regret it.Killed the feel and caused a weave.I'm headed back to ball bearings.Just trying to find a set of angular contacts that fit.I'm a factory trained and certified mokanik too.


I would say that the best way to determine the right amount of torque is a procedure outlined in late model H-D manuals. They use the term "fall away point" to determine the sweet-spot, and they have settings for trailing forks, and conventional forks. It's a well thought out system, and it's very simple. I think it would be difficult do set an aerospace torque sequence to something like this, due to the variances from unit to unit.

If you are interested, I can provide you with the procedure in detail.


 
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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2008, 11:31:27 AM »

I'm a Harley certified Master of Technology.I believe I've got a handle on tapered bearings on Harleys.Like I said I've tried to tune it out and it won't go away.So the tapered bearings are going away.
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« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2008, 11:50:28 AM »


well it looks like i opened up a can of worms with this thread. all the bikes i have owned up until the middle 80's used ball bearings and i have had a lot of problems. and never liked them. all my dirt bikes use roller bearings and have never had a problem. repack once a year and there fine to go.

as far as milage, the FJR has 102,000 miles and it's time to change them out. so why not go to roller bearings. less maintenance, no front end clunk and better control. and for another thing the stock bearing is pitting and is getting notchy. so it's time for a change.

roadthing, i don't know what your background is but why are you so anti roller bearing? i see nothing but positive with them. one of my trucks has 272,000 on it and and the front wheel bearings are original. i just repacked the front wheel bearings and they still are as good as the day the factory installed them.

and you brought up the point that they might not align properly. if you install them properly there is no problem.

IMO tapered bearings are the only way to go.


No, you didn't open up a can of worms at all. You provided a good topic for lots of feedback.

You got 102K miles out of ball bearings, and that's pretty darn good. You are completely mistaken if you think that there is less maintenance with tapered roller bearings. They require periodic cleaning, inspection, and packing. Same goes for the spherical bearings. Any new bearing, whether it's spherical, or TR, will get rid of the notchy (good word for describing that condition  Thumbsup) feeling you are describing, and provide you with better feel and control.

I am NOT anti TR bearing at all. I use them in many applications ALL THE TIME. But for your application, my opinion is that they are NOT necessary. TR bearings do what they are designed to do, but in my opinion would be overkill for your neck bearings.

Tapered roller bearings are less forgiving of misalignment than spherical bearings. You would be mistaken if you think that if you install them properly, there will be no chance for misalignment. I distinctly remember a few years ago an aftermarket conversion kit that had bad bearing cups. They appeared to be machined properly, but they were not. The lower bearings wound up getting destroyed in no time (@ 20-30K miles), and in a few instances, caused the inner race to maul the steering stem.

Your reference to using them in your truck is one of the perfect applications for TR bearings. However, I would not let them run for 272K miles, but that's just me.

I completely respect your desire to install TR bearings in your bike, man. All of my H-Ds have had TR bearings, including the ones I chose to convert. I'm sure you'll be just fine, and get a long service life out of the TR bearings. What I did was offer my opinion, and provide some information based on my experience. My experience comes from 20+ years as an "A" motorcycle tech (multi marque), and several years as a Field Engineer for a leading German printing press manufacturer.

If you decide to convert to TR bearings, and you'd like some advice, I'd be happy to share what I know. In a nutshell, I'm just advocating sticking with stock style steering stem bearings.
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« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2008, 11:54:57 AM »



This is an interesting commentary on FJR owners.  Using the term lemming helped to get me tossed from the FJRforum  Lol  On another bike, the Triumph ST the reason for the switch was the original ball bearings would notch because the adjustment procedure put too much of a side load on the stock ball bearings.  When they replaced the stock, most guys went with tappered rollers rather than another, but stronger caged ball because they thought it would be better based on ?????   In a conversation with an Avon engineer when Avon Storms where having front tire issues, that engineer said part of the problem was caused by the trend to smaller surface contact area with ball bearings in steering heads. Based largely upon that converstion, I put in a set of tapered roller bearings and I liked the feel better than the stock.  If you want a quantifiable explanation of "feel better" just put me in the lemming category because my answer is "it just does."  Now the guys who first wrote some of the threads about the "upgrade" on the FJRforum really torqued them down. IMO way too much, but a lot of them talked about what I can only describe as a tighter feel in the bars which IMO is definitely the wrong thing to do.


Right on.
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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2012, 09:28:55 AM »




No, you didn't open up a can of worms at all. You provided a good topic for lots of feedback.

You got 102K miles out of ball bearings, and that's pretty darn good. You are completely mistaken if you think that there is less maintenance with tapered roller bearings. They require periodic cleaning, inspection, and packing. Same goes for the spherical bearings. Any new bearing, whether it's spherical, or TR, will get rid of the notchy (good word for describing that condition  Thumbsup) feeling you are describing, and provide you with better feel and control.

I am NOT anti TR bearing at all. I use them in many applications ALL THE TIME. But for your application, my opinion is that they are NOT necessary. TR bearings do what they are designed to do, but in my opinion would be overkill for your neck bearings.

Tapered roller bearings are less forgiving of misalignment than spherical bearings. You would be mistaken if you think that if you install them properly, there will be no chance for misalignment. I distinctly remember a few years ago an aftermarket conversion kit that had bad bearing cups. They appeared to be machined properly, but they were not. The lower bearings wound up getting destroyed in no time (@ 20-30K miles), and in a few instances, caused the inner race to maul the steering stem.

Your reference to using them in your truck is one of the perfect applications for TR bearings. However, I would not let them run for 272K miles, but that's just me.

I completely respect your desire to install TR bearings in your bike, man. All of my H-Ds have had TR bearings, including the ones I chose to convert. I'm sure you'll be just fine, and get a long service life out of the TR bearings. What I did was offer my opinion, and provide some information based on my experience. My experience comes from 20+ years as an "A" motorcycle tech (multi marque), and several years as a Field Engineer for a leading German printing press manufacturer.

If you decide to convert to TR bearings, and you'd like some advice, I'd be happy to share what I know. In a nutshell, I'm just advocating sticking with stock style steering stem bearings.

I realize this thread is ancient, but I'm just reading up on switching to TR bearings.  My '07 FJR has 132k miles on the ODO and original OEM ball bearings.  Whilst I'm not experiencing clicking sounds under hard braking, I do believe the stock originals are past their prime.

Regarding the torque to use for the TR bearings, I've read posts from some very knowledgeable folks on the FJR Froum that for the TR you should add around 10 ft-lb of torque to the OEM settings, from memory I think they've settled on around 23 ft-lb of final torque.

Roadthing you offered before to post up a detailed description of the trial and error torque determination approach.  Would you mind sharing this now?
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2012, 11:19:11 AM »



I realize this thread is ancient, but I'm just reading up on switching to TR bearings.  My '07 FJR has 132k miles on the ODO and original OEM ball bearings.  Whilst I'm not experiencing clicking sounds under hard braking, I do believe the stock originals are past their prime.

Regarding the torque to use for the TR bearings, I've read posts from some very knowledgeable folks on the FJR Froum that for the TR you should add around 10 ft-lb of torque to the OEM settings, from memory I think they've settled on around 23 ft-lb of final torque.

Roadthing you offered before to post up a detailed description of the trial and error torque determination approach.  Would you mind sharing this now?

Just a comment, you'll have your steering tell what is too much torque.  It will become very stiff to the point you may have to push the bar to get it to rotate.  If you back off at the point where the bar will just turn with just a bit of drag, IMO you are there.  At least that worked for me.
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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2012, 07:11:28 PM »



I realize this thread is ancient, but I'm just reading up on switching to TR bearings.  My '07 FJR has 132k miles on the ODO and original OEM ball bearings.  Whilst I'm not experiencing clicking sounds under hard braking, I do believe the stock originals are past their prime.

Regarding the torque to use for the TR bearings, I've read posts from some very knowledgeable folks on the FJR Froum that for the TR you should add around 10 ft-lb of torque to the OEM settings, from memory I think they've settled on around 23 ft-lb of final torque.

Roadthing you offered before to post up a detailed description of the trial and error torque determination approach.  Would you mind sharing this now?


You may be waiting awhile for Roadthing's reply.  Doesn't look like he's been here since January 2011.
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« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2012, 07:03:49 AM »

Thanks for the advice sprint_st, that makes sense.
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« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2012, 08:37:46 AM »


Well when you switch to tapered bearings how do you determine the proper amount of torque?Try the stock numbers for ball bearings and you won't need a steering damper.I switched on my RZ350 and regret it.Killed the feel and caused a weave.I'm headed back to ball bearings.Just trying to find a set of angular contacts that fit.I'm a factory trained and certified mokanik too.


For example, my VFR calls for 18 foot pounds of torque on the steering head bearings (round rollers)

And the only bike I could easily find a Verifiable torque spec for that had factory tapered rollers in it was a Yamaha virago at 5 foot pounds.

If you tighten tapered bearings to roller specs, yes you will have a weave. I have done it myself on my bike using the settings above. MUCH better at 5 foot pounds. Perfect actually.

I still use the 18 foot pounds setting just to initially seat the bearings after install, then back off and go to 5.

I have not been disappointed by my choice, and will not be changing back to round rollers. And my bike's steering is plenty light and precise with the tapered bearings at 5 ft lbs.


I still don't get the earlier comments about high temp grease/overpacking/skate and heat buildup.
The bearing doesn't even rotate through 180 degrees, only rotates occasionally, and does not heat up, unless it's engine heat soaking through the frame.

I would venture that a grease with exceptional EP (extreme pressure) characteristics would be better for steering bearings than a high temp grease. But I only apply lubrication every day to multi million dollar equipment in the gas processing industry, so what do I know eh?
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« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2012, 08:32:26 PM »

I'm kinda glad this thread was revived. I'm replacing the steering head bearings in the VFR in the next couple of weeks.
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