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Discussion Starter #1
I brought my front wheel in to have the wheel bearings replaced. What would you expect the labor cost to be for replacing the wheel bearings with the wheel off the bike?
 

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Probably a total of 1 hour (remove wheel, remove and replace bearings, replace wheel). My local dealer charges $125/hr.
 

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Wheel is off the bike
Then half the time. The shops around here charge a half hour minimum, therefore you'll get charged between $50 to $65 to do it. I've got one local dealer that will charge one hour minimum for just about anything. Needless to say I don't use them, even though they're the closest.

It's not a hard job to pull the bearings and replace. Bearings go in easy if you place in freezer for an hour or so ahead of installation.
 

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Then half the time. The shops around here charge a half hour minimum, therefore you'll get charged between $50 to $65 to do it. I've got one local dealer that will charge one hour minimum for just about anything. Needless to say I don't use them, even though they're the closest.

It's not a hard job to pull the bearings and replace. Bearings go in easy if you place in freezer for an hour or so ahead of installation.
What he said, Auto zone or most auto stores loan the blind bearing puller for free.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2001-12-Honda-GL1800-Gold-Wing-Wheel-Bearing-Kit-/310878568901?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4861ce81c5&vxp=mtr
 

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I just looked up Honda's flat rate for customer pay. They will probably charge 1.0 or 1.1 hrs of labor. You may want to call ahead and order 4-bearings and 2-seals. I'm could easily be the only one in that state who stocks them. Actually, I also have an All-Balls kit of front bearings and seals for a GL1800. PM me and I'll send them to you for the cost of shipping. I'd like to get them out of my inventory.
 

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Do you really have to use a Honda bearing...I'm pretty sure they don't make them anyway...why not just cross the bearing P/N or just measure the bearings from the wing and go to NAPA and pick up some Timken bearings...They make (IMO) the best bearings around
 

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Do you need 4 bearings for the front wheel? I understand the 2 seals, one for each side but is there an inside and outside bearing on each side?

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Yes ... inners and outers on each side.
 

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Do you need 4 bearings for the front wheel? I understand the 2 seals, one for each side but is there an inside and outside bearing on each side?

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Yes, you need all four. Each side has two bearings on it. I recently removed a set of non-Honda bearings that only had about 15K miles on them, and they were binding. I don't know if they were installed improperly or if the bearings were just cheap, but they didn't last very long. I keep a set of OEM Honda wheel bearings and seals in stock and this is what I use because they seem to be very good quality. Many bearings are now being outsourced to places like Pakastan, India, and China, and the quality of those is questionable. I prefer to use a bearing made either in the USA or Japan. You won't go wrong with the OEM Honda bearing, and don't worry about it not being double sealed, because the open ends of the two bearings are joined together.
 

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If you order new outer seals, make sure you don't assume that the left and right are the same part number and just order two of them, because they are different sizes, and have different part numbers for left and right.

Here is a photo of the OEM Honda bearings.

 

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25 dollars plus bearings. Small shop by my house took about 20 minutes. Rim off bike.
 

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What is the life expectancy of the front bearings?
That's hard to predict. Alot of it depends on the environment they operate in, how often they get exposed to moisture, and the integrity of the seals in the wheel that keep dirt and water out of them. If you follow the Honda manual, every time you remove the wheel you are supposed to put a little silicone based grease on the wheel seals where the collars contact them. This helps keep moisture from getting in them and lubricates the rubber seal where it contacts the collar. I suspect that if you do this, it will extend the life of your wheel bearings.

Typically, I like to replace mine around the 60-80k mile mark, but I suspect they will last much longer than that, but it give me peace of mind. The fact that Honda uses 4 bearings in this bike should make them last longer than they do on bikes with just two bearings, and I suspect they did that simply because of the increased weight of the GL1800 and the additional load it puts on them.

I know many folks who have run them out past 100K miles without issue, but I'd just feel better replacing them when they get this high mileage on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have 70K on the bike so I thought I better change them out. Went with the OEM bearings. I usually do my own work (thanks to Fred H.). Things have been crazy at work and I didn't have a bearing puller so I called the local honda shop. The guy at the counter said it would be quick and easy. That's $85 labor worth of quick and easy. I still went that way, have just too much stuff going on at the moment. $85 just seemed high to me. I was thinking it would be in the $40 range.
 

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I have 70K on the bike so I thought I better change them out. Went with the OEM bearings. I usually do my own work (thanks to Fred H.). Things have been crazy at work and I didn't have a bearing puller so I called the local honda shop. The guy at the counter said it would be quick and easy. That's $85 labor worth of quick and easy. I still went that way, have just too much stuff going on at the moment. $85 just seemed high to me. I was thinking it would be in the $40 range.
The labor rate where I live is $110/hour. So I would think $85 is about right, however I don't know what the labor rate is at your shop.
 
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