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A friend of mine was at the local Honda shop and inquired about the tapered bearing conversation. He was told that they have them in stock but they only last about 10,000 miles. Has anyone had any problems with early failure of the all balls bearings?
 

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ottisa said:
do all balls wear out?quote]

I dont think so........
Mine are 57 years old and seem fine...........
 

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When's the last time you had to replace wheel bearings in your cage? 100,000 miles maybe? You have the same style bearing in a steering head that isn't used anything like a wheel bearing.

To answer your question....maybe. I wouldn't worry about it for at least 100,000 miles. I'd take them out, do a visual check, and repack them at that time.

Welcome to the board, but whoever made that "10,000 mile" statement is full of it! LOL...
 

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As Red posted, they aren't likely to wear out. But if they are allowed to loosen up they can eventually hammer little indentations into the races and you'll feel them get "notchy". They need to be checked periodically, although they aren't as finicky as the OEM ball bearings, and lubricated.
 

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Mine have 207,000 miles on them and have never even been re-tightened, there is no play in them and they work just like brand new !!!!!!! I have owned 5 Goldwings since 1975 and put over 200,000 miles on each and NEVER had to do anything to the front end in the steering head, NOTHING !!

So guess in my book " No, they don't wear out ! "

JMHO 8)
 

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Like everyone has said, they won't wear out in a steering stem application. One qualifer, though. Like any bearing, they must be set properly... not too tight or too loose. Those conditions won't necessarily wear them out, but will cause other problems.
 

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I'm not a mechanic, not even close. I had a friend install the all balls on my 02. He set the torque/tightness by the pull on the wheel. The first ride there was no shake, for the first 15 miles, then it got worse than when it had the original bearings. He kept the bike to retorque. When I got it back he said the nut was quite loose,more than a half turn, so he retightened, again by the pull on the wheel. Today was the first time I had a chance to ride, at 45 on decell, the bars were tank slappers. My question is should they be torqued to a specific ammount or to the pull? And should the wheel be on or off the ground to do the job? Will I cause any permanant damage if I ride until I can get back to him?
 

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BruceW said:
My question is should they be torqued to a specific ammount or to the pull?
I understand tapered bearings are very sensitive to proper torque (was it the Traxxion video...). I would torque them to spec. Be careful working on them - I've heard of broken frames around that area by home mechanics.

Tom F
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everybody, I mainly wanted to have other opinions in writing for my friend. It continues to amaze me how few real mechanics there are in the world.
 

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tomfranken said:
BruceW said:
My question is should they be torqued to a specific ammount or to the pull?
I understand tapered bearings are very sensitive to proper torque (was it the Traxxion video...). I would torque them to spec. Be careful working on them - I've heard of broken frames around that area by home mechanics.

Tom F
Tom, I'm curious. You have heard of steering neck frame problems?
I was not aware of any. Can you elaborate?

Thanks,
 
G

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ottisa said:
A friend of mine was at the local Honda shop and inquired about the tapered bearing conversation. He was told that they have them in stock but they only last about 10,000 miles. Has anyone had any problems with early failure of the all balls bearings?
Total horse crap. Tapered roller bearings are used on the front wheels of almost every automobile made since the model A, and they run 10's of thousands of miles with no problems.

No space or time here to go into bearing engineering, but trust me, the tapered roller bearing is far superior to a ball bearing in your steering head.

Find another dealer. The guy is a dufus and doesn't have a clue. If he has had a problem, it is probably because he didn't either seat the cups well or torque them properly, or both.

If you have a Champion EZ Steer kit (or others) installed on a trike, it will come with tapered roller bearings. Good reason for that. And the reason is just as valid for a 2 wheeler.

Ride safe.
 

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ottisa said:
A friend of mine was at the local Honda shop and inquired about the tapered bearing conversation. He was told that they have them in stock but they only last about 10,000 miles. Has anyone had any problems with early failure of the all balls bearings?
You might get better info from a GL1500 forum; it is my understanding that the 1500s had the tapered roller bearings (all balls type) as OEM. I did read an old magazine article that talked about correcting front end wobble on the 1500s by re-torqueing the steering stem bearings.

I installed the All Balls bearings in my '03 1800. I don't recall the mileage, but I suspect it was about 20,000 miles ago, and still no wobble! :wink:

Good Luck!
 

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ronbien...

I know what Tom Franken is refering to. I saw the result of someone attempting to install his own bearings. The frame was broken in the race area of the lower bearing.

There are 2 notches designed into the frame to allow for removal of the races. These notches are on both upper and lower sides of the neck.

Apparently this person did not know about the notches and pounded on the frame trying to remove the lower race. There was a big chunk broken off the neck... frame replacement was going to be required.

There's not any cracking problem at the neck area like there is/was with the lower shock area GL1800 Recall.

By the way... when I do Lehman Trike triple clamp installation... the instructions specify 25 ft.lbs torque on the tapered steering stem bearings. Installing the raked triple clamps are HIGHLY ADVISED by Lehman but not included with the basic trik conversion kit. It was this specification that I used when installing the All Balls steering bearings on the motorcycles. It worked perfectly on all the GL1800's and when I attended the Traxxion Dealer seminar they also use 25-27 ft/lbs setting.

HTH
 

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Thanks Ray.
A little different than I expected. I guess somebody beating on the frame may cause it to crack :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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