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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to do a fork rebuild with Progressive Springs. I'm wondering if there's any reason to change the steering stem bearings; I don't have the wobble and there is no indication that the original bearings are defective. Thanks.

Ed
 

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If there good, let them be, might check and see if they have grease.
 

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My Golden Rule: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Since you will be there, they are known for need of grease.
 

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Why are you going to Progressives? What are your expectations?
 

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I would at least re-torque them!
 

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I'm getting ready to do a fork rebuild with Progressive Springs. I'm wondering if there's any reason to change the steering stem bearings; I don't have the wobble and there is no indication that the original bearings are defective. Thanks.

Ed
Mine did not have the wobble but figured as long as I was in there I might as well do the all balls & be done with it. When I removed the stock bearings the top ones had plenty of grease but the bottom ones were pretty dry. While you have it apart check for grease & re-torque to spec and you should be good as long as there is nothing wrong with the bearings. I really like the progressive springs compared to stock, less sag, better ride, doesn't bottom out, etc.
 

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Roller Bearings

If you go through all the trouble to 'check the grease' why not just change out to the roller bearings. Better product, better distribution of weight, better, better. For the life of me, can't figure why Mother Honda changed from roller bearings on the 1500 to the ball bearing on the 1800.
 

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That GOLDEN RULE( if it aint broke), is a bunch of HUIE! If you are going to rebuild the forks and you have them out, DO the PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE of replacing the sorry ball bearings in the steering head with some longer lasting tapered roller bearings and not have to worry about going back in a few thousand miles and have to remove the forks again to change out the stem bearings. REMEMBER! Its called PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE!:thumbup:
 

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Ed, I hate to say this, but this is one of those questions where you just aren't going to gleen any useful, reliable information on by the time this thread has run its course.

This is just too hot of a topic. Too many people have an agenda on the subject, and are simply too entrenched in their positions to help you decide what is best for YOU.

You have obviously read prior posts on this topic since you know about the roller bearings changeout. If you still haven't decided what you want after all that, then this won't help you either.

FWIW, I have always believed in the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Others will tell you that if you don't change them out, your daughter will flunk out of college, your son will join a commune, your dogs will be sleeping with neighborhood cats, and your wife will leave you for a Harley biker.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why are you going to Progressives? What are your expectations?

GoldWingGreg:
My expectations are that my hands and arms will not get jarred every time I hit a bump. My stock springs are really useless as shock absorbers after 37,000 miles.
 

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For the life of me, can't figure why Mother Honda changed from roller bearings on the 1500 to the ball bearing on the 1800.
That's an easy one to answer: $
 

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Better product, better distribution of weight, better, better. For the life of me, can't figure why Mother Honda changed from roller bearings on the 1500 to the ball bearing on the 1800.
It is highly debatable whether a roller bearing is better for this application. My OEM bearings have been in my bike for almost 10 years now, and they still work just as good as when the bike was new.

A stem bearing's job is very simple. Hold up the front end of the bike, and allow the steering to turn without binding. The ball bearings do that job as well as a roller bearing.

FWIW, A few people on this board have had those Chinese made bearings fail. And even though the OEM bearings outnumber the All Ball Bearings in use by probably more than 100 to 1, The durability of the OEM bearings has never been a problem. I don't know why everyone thinks that a roller bearing is by its nature a superior bearing. (not counting the fact that All Balls says they are.)

Roller bearings can indeed handle a higher axial load than a ball bearing. But in all the hundreds and hundreds of threads on this topic, not once has anyone ever been able to furnish any load bearing data, or failure data that says a ball bearing is inadequate. All there has ever been is speculation.
 

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It is more trouble and time consuming to replace the bearings than it is to simply repack and re-set the preload. It is far more simple and quick to follow Honda's prescribed initial check to see if they even need to be re-set. If you replace, you do have to consider the likelyhood that you will have to re-set the preload after a few hundred or a thousand miles anyway. If no wobble, no need to mask the wobble with the dampening effect moderately torqued roller bearings. I had ball bearing without trouble and now have the rollers as installed in Traxxion's "deal". No big difference noted here.

prs
 

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Why are you going to Progressives? What are your expectations?
Why not? The OE springs seem to be weaker and to permanently deform rather quickly. This bike has very limited effective front suspension travel and can use the lift to soften the ride. Better yet, why not go up to even heavier linear springs and do away with the dual rate Progressives or dual rate Honda springs where the tighter soft windings deform so much with just the gross vehicle weight? Like you, I use a lot of OE parts and generally find them to be superior, but there are exceptions and I believe (from my personal experience) this is one such example. Other examples: front wheel bearings, tires, seat, and brake fluid. I am not "OE" bashing and that is not much of a list.

prs
 

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I recently rebuilt the front end of my bike. The OEM bearings were well lubed in white grease and I did replace them with the All-Balls kit.

One of the reasons I got into his project was a odd binding when turning the handlebars to the right. Not a big deal, but it had been there sence I bought the bike new in 2002.

After a careful tare down of the bike I noticed that on of the brake hoses was improperly installed in a bracket on the right side, causing the slight binding. It had to of come thi way from the factory.

While ripping thought the rest of the bike I found all kinds of loose, missing or damaged items, mostly small, that I corrected in addition to the major work at hand. All in all 24 unscheduled repairs on a nine year old bike.

All of this makes we wonder if the simple act of having an experienced mechanic reassemble your bike would correct many of the front end problems that bearing changes are taking credit for?
 

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Why are you going to Progressives? What are your expectations?

GoldWingGreg:
My expectations are that my hands and arms will not get jarred every time I hit a bump. My stock springs are really useless as shock absorbers after 37,000 miles.
This spring I rode up US-27 into Charlotte MI which is atrocious, hands were getting jolted & beat up every time I hit one of the 2x4 sized expansion bumps in the road. Turned out the roller bearings I put in last fall had loosened up a bit, after re-torquing them to 25 ft lbs I took it for a ride and it was night & day difference, no more jolting. If you are getting a lot of jolting thru the bars check the torque on your steering head bearings, it could be your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, there's been a lively discussion on this topic. Since everything seems to be fine, I've decided to leave well enough alone. Thanks for all the replies.

Ed
 
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