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I watched Fred's video last evening where he installed the alls balls bearings in the steering head. Wow! A major job! Before going to this extent I was wondering if I should first check the torque and tighten if necessary the OEM equipment. Is there any advantage to doing so or is it a low percentage move, that is, small probability of success. The problem I am trying to fix is slight wobble at 30-40 mph. I have new Metzelers, well balanced and have read many posts on the wobble and steering head but did not see anything that outlined wheter a simple re-torque would help or not. Thanks in advance for your help in answering this.
 

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stem bearings

I asked Fred the same question.
He recommended checking the torque first.
I started tearing mine apart, to check the torque.
Yes it is quite involved, i trashed my speaker covers, you don't remove them on the 06. Duh, getting a new service manual soon. I too have freds videos, watched parts of it several times.
Once i see my bearings i'll make the decision to just grease and torque or change to all balls.
 

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If you leave the old bearing for a while, tighten them up to twice the suggested torque, this will be fine and probably will wear the current set of bearing out quicker but will most likely fix Your problem, lots of replies may say different but this is what I have been doing and friends of mine who are mechanics are doing also.
 

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I had my shop install the ALL BALLS BEARINGS. I can't believe you would take everything off to check the bearings and not just relace with ALL BALL BEARINGS getting to the bearings is the cost not the $39 for the tapered units.
 

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The only time I had A wobble with my 03 in 75K miles, was when I put on the garbage Metzelers. It was the rear, as I installed them individually.

The all balls bearings did not correct it! Soon as I went to Bridgestone tires, the wobble was gone - like Magic.

I now have an 07 ABS with no wobble at all. When tires are due, it will get Bridgestones, and I will Not change the steering bearings again! The bike handles 100% better with the factory bearings in it. Much lighter feel, and flickability at any speed. Like a whole different bike. And yes, the all balls bearings were properly installed, and retorqued several times.

In the end, it's your choice. :wink:
 

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Yes and also I should have said and forgot Bridgesotnes will probably fix the problem
 

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Saddletramp:

The OE bearings probably will not supply enough damping to completely hide the vibratory symptom you notice. Still, its good to check them. Checking the steering head bearings is way EZ. We are talking just a few minutes and NO parts to remove. All you need is an accurate spring scale and a loop of twine. I suggest you purchase or borrow a trigger scale; the type used to measure a firearm's trigger pull.

Jack the bike up to get the front tire off the ground just a bit. Make sure bike is secure on jack; you are gonna shake it a bit. Move the steering from stop to stop a few times to be sure none of the cables or wiring has it in a bind. Now, move it slowly stop to stop again being acutely aware of any indication of "catching" or bumping as the steering goes through its range of motion several times. Such flaws are a sign of bad bearings that must be replaced due to pitting or galling. It that is OK, you also need to check for any free play in the steering. Grab the handle bars and shrply pull upward a few times while you are aware to check for any indication of free board or movement. There should be no movement and if there is you are gonna have to tighten the bearing pre-load and do test 1 again. If that was OK, you can now get the spring scale and string. Tie the string around one fork just below the lower bridge fork clamps, stay just low enough to clear the cowl. Tie the spring scale to the loop of string and with whell straight ahead at rest, pull the scale ever so gently and slowly and read the resistance just as the wheel begins to move in response to your steady tug. Repeat the reading a few time to get a nice estimate of reading and maybe repeat on other fork and average them. Pull should be 2 to 3.1 pounds 32 to 50 oz. If not, then go ahead and torque the bearings.

When you torque the bearings, it is wise to check them for adequate grease because they are sometimes pretty dry. Follow the book. After applying the specified torque in the specified routine, rechedk the pre-load with the spring scale. You should either increase the specified torque or decrease it to get the spring scle to read within teh 2 to 3.1 # range (I suggest you shoot for the upper end of that range). The specified spring scale reading is what you go by, not the specified torque. I had to increase the torque a few pounds to get my pull test to read in the specified range,

If you install ALL Balls, the pre load is going to read higher on the scale during the pull test (more damping, that is why they hide the symprom). I suggest you use a torque level suggested by the experts and then check the pull and accept readings in the higher part of the specified Honda range, maybe a bit higher; but don't get too carried away or she will steer like a tractor. After installing new bearings its always good practice to recheck them a few thousand miles later (pull test) to be sure they did not settle in too much.

prs
 

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Re: Checking torque, tightening steering head versus alls ba

Saddletramp said:
I watched Fred's video last evening where he installed the alls balls bearings in the steering head. Wow! A major job! Before going to this extent I was wondering if I should first check the torque and tighten if necessary the OEM equipment. Is there any advantage to doing so or is it a low percentage move, that is, small probability of success. The problem I am trying to fix is slight wobble at 30-40 mph. I have new Metzelers, well balanced and have read many posts on the wobble and steering head but did not see anything that outlined wheter a simple re-torque would help or not. Thanks in advance for your help in answering this.
when I installed my All-Balls, I found the OEM bearing nut barely finger tight.

I went ahead and installed the All-Balls...which eliminated my medium wobble (including being able to feel the slight wobble in my hands when on the bars in the 30-40mph range). A slight wobble on a small % of some road surfaces. But cannot feel it thru my hands when on the bars anymore.
 
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