Steering head bearings
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  1. #1
    Raised by Wolves
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    Default Steering head bearings

    G’day all,
    I need to replace the steering head bearings on my 2010 XR and I’d like to know if I should just replace bearings with OEM Harley or is there a better aftermarket alternative, I’m assuming the stock bearings are tapered roller type. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    used ta could
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Looks like it in the fische

    F2513130-6425-4FFB-8051-0D0496436436.jpeg

  4. #3
    HE who dies with the most toys wins
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Take the bearings and races out and go down to the auto part store and have them match them up with new bearings that are not made in China. I'm sure the bearings will be half the price of the HD bearing.

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  6. #4
    Raised by Wolves
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Its a well known Fact that Part No 9 has to be modified when not fits easy into the Frame.Dont force or hammer it in when it not goes easy in.The Race will be ,,oval" like the seat in the Frame an Stability Problems are the Result when ridin the Bike.I allways grinding the outer Side of the Race on a Lathe and use a special Glue for Bearings .First Mounting the Race and mount the Tripple Trees fast to align both Parts.We have a company here who modifies alle Bearings this way to cure Problems of Stability.

  7. #5
    Raised by Wolves
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Thanks for the advice.

    I replaced the steering head bearings on my 2016 Dyna Lowrider about 6 months ago, I just went to my local HD shop and bought OEM bearings and was surprised to find that the new OEM bearings are Timkens.

  8. #6
    Raised by Wolves
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    In hot Areas(Australia) use a heat resistence Grease and dont overfill the Bearings.At high Temperatures some Grease will get liquid and drips on the Frt. Fender or runs along the Frame at higher Speed.
    Yes,Timkens,a good choice.But in the Auto shop they dont come with the dustshields No 7,.But no worries,use em twice is no Problem.

  9. #7
    Habitual Linestepper
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. Finally retired and now I have time to ride my XR. My questions is are steering head bearings a known problem for the XR? I'm chasing a handling problem. Just put on new tires which was a big improvement but there is still looseness in the handling I would like to tighten up. Looking forward to your knowledgeable suggestions.

  10. #8
    used ta could
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    I haven’t heard of any problems myself. That’s not saying much. The adjustment procedure in the manual seems a little vague.
    There’s plenty of things on this machine that can cause “looseness” of handling. I hope you’ll “introduce “ yourself and post some pics.

  11. #9
    Sonya's a pretty kitty!
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Motorius, hi. As ytman says above, let us know a little more about you, we're a friendly bunch.

    On the basis of owning an XR and participating in the forum here for 10 years, no, I don't think steering head bearings are a known weak point in the bike's makeup. Not unless you abuse them with regular wheelstands anyhow.

    Now. There is a test for failing or failed steering head bearings in any motorcycle, but you need a 2nd persons assistance.

    With the lower chassis tubes supported by a jack and the front wheel off the deck (your friend stands beside the bike and keeps it steady from falling), grasp the front wheel by the axle ends and pull the axle back and forth while moving the wheel & forks through their range of steering motion. If the tapered rollers, or ball bearings if that's the case, have been dimpled or indented by the impact loadings of the front wheel hitting the deck hard for whatever reason, you should be able to feel & maybe hear a "clicking" through the forks and axle.

    While you're finished that test, get your friend to hold the bars firmly and try to feel if the front wheel has any free movement on the axle, grasping the wheel with one hand between the forks (may have to remove the front fender to do this depending on how big or small your hands are) and the other hand 180° opposite it. Again, feel and look and listen for even a fractional amount of slop, rotating the wheel through at least 360° as you do your examination.Then spin the wheel in the axle and listen. If the hardening on the bearing rollers or faces is wearing or worn, you may hear or feel a very faint "whirring" noise.

    Case in point: I recently replaced my stock front wheel with an aftermarket carbon fibre unit which of course had new bearings. I hadn't noticed any problem with the stock front wheel bearings with 50,000 km on them (~ 30,000 miles) but in the process of doing the swap, I gave them a close look. They definitely had some wear which produced a degree of coarseness which could be felt if you stuck your finger in the axle cavity and rotated the inner bearing race. The replacement bearings in the new wheel were as smooth as silk by comparison.

    OK, hope this helps. Let us know how you go.

    J.

  12. #10
    Raised by Wolves
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    Just to add to this, I’m only replacing my steering head bearings because there is a noticeable notchiness in the straight ahead position of the handlebars. With the front wheel of the ground and you turn the bars full left to full right you can feel a notchiness normally in the straight ahead position, which causes weird steering and handling.

    Just to clarify, my bike has over 90,000 klm’s and had been ridden on rough roads many times, I’ve had other bikes that have needed new steering head bearings much earlier than that, so the XR does not have an issue with that.

    Motorious, I would most probably think that your handling issues could be due to a wheel alignment out or sagged out engine mounts.
    Or suspension settings. I would also check the 3 engine stabiliser links, there’s 2 at the front of engine and 1 below the swing arm mount.
    Best Regards
    Hoges

  13. #11
    I got no friends 'cause they read the papers, they can't be seen, with me.........
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    Default Re: Steering head bearings

    I have over 75,000 miles on my XR. I have never replaced or adjusted the steering head bearings. I would think that the only reason you would have an issue is that someone else effed it up.

    Note to Hoges: Yea, we get it, you are regularly off-road and a ton of miles. Good on ya for that!
    Cheers!
    Forecast for Tonioght: ALCOHOL,
    Low Standards and Poor Decisions

 

 

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