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Discussion Starter #1
I did the Traxxion upgrade to my bike in 2006 and was noticing some squeaking in the forks lately, so I sent them to Traxxion for a rebuild the other day. (Did you know they recommend fork service every 20 - 25K miles with their upgrade?)

Anyway, while I had the forks out I decided to re-torque the steering stem bearings. I have had All Ball's tapered in for a long time and check the torque fairly regularly.

I grabbed the fork clamps and turned the steering stem lock-to-lock several times. Without any weight on the front end (no wheel, no forks, no calipers, etc) I could really feel just how rough the bearings were working. Not smooth at all. There almost seemed to be a flat point to where the steering would self-center.

So, dig into the bike once again. Removed the handle bars, pulled the top clamp and took out the upper bearings. Not much grease on them and what was there, was not in very good condition. I wiped all the old grease off the bearing and race, and repacked it with some Honda Moly 60 paste since I had some on hand.

I dropped the steering stem down, but didn't take it all the way out. These bearings were in the same condition, but a bit worse. The grease didn't have much lubricating quality left, and there wasn't much there. I wiped the race clean and got what I could off the lower bearing and repacked it.

Put everything back together and it worked 100% better.

Next time you are checking your steering stem torque, might want to take an extra half hour and at least pull the upper bearing out to get an idea of what condition the grease is in. If it is rough, take another hour or two and re-pack your upper and lower bearings.
 
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...some squeaking in the forks lately...

I have had All Ball's tapered in for a long time ...

...I could really feel just how rough the bearings were working. Not smooth at all. There almost seemed to be a flat point to where the steering would self-center.
From all the descriptors I am hearing here , the stem bearings were the problem and still are . Greasing bearings that have already developed flat spots on the outer race just masks the need to totally change them out .

Since you a had everything that far apart it is unfortunate that you didn't swap out the bearings right then and there .

Hope you can get a few more miles out of them ! ;)
 

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depending on what grease was used when they where installed new the grease may have seporated and flowed out as oil! Its really inportant to used a good high quality grease that will not seporate . used belray water proof grease thats been in my shop for 20 + years , I guess I bought to much back then if its still around. But in the 20 years its been on the bench it still is the same viscosity as day one with zero seporation. I cant say the same for some stuff I have put in my grease gun (walmart crap).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I may still go that route as I haven't received my forks back yet.
Easy enough to drop the steering stem bearing out.

Thanks for the input.
 
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