Guidelines

How do I know if my steering head bearings are bad on my motorcycle?

How do I know if my steering head bearings are bad on my motorcycle?

Common symptoms of bad steering head bearings include poor steering feel, strange resistance, clunking from the front end, or a notchy feeling, particularly when pointing the front wheel straight ahead. In extreme cases, there will be visible and audible play.

How do I know if my motorcycle bearings are bad?

Check for metal dust or shavings around the bearings. Bad wheel bearings can present as a humming or rumbling feeling or a gritty vibration through the handlebars. As the problem progresses, this can even turn into a sound that you can hear when you are riding.

What happens if steering head bearings are too tight?

Tight steering head bearings make a bike very difficult to steer, especially at low and moderate speeds, and particularly in a straight line. The bike will require constant steering inputs and tend to fall from side to side as you overcorrect, and won’t be much better at speed or through turns.

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How long do motorcycle head bearings last?

With the exception of the sealed type of bearing, all steering head bearings need periodic lubrication, which in most cases is about every two years or 20,000 miles. Since the replacement procedure is nearly identical, we’ll consider the two jobs as one, differentiating the process where need be.

What causes front wheel wobble on a motorcycle?

Wheel bearings — If the bearings get worn out, this could cause lateral axle movement which leads to wobbling. Lateral axle movement — When the front or back wheel has excessive side to side or lateral axle movement, the bike will wobble. The issue could stem from worn wheel bearings or another problem.

What is a death wobble on a motorcycle?

The death wobble is a shimmying, shaking or oscillation that occurs when a mechanical or rider induced irregularity occurs with the front tire or steering component(s) of the motorcycle. Speed and other physical forces can wind up being too much for your bike to handle.

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How long do motorcycle wheel bearings last?

Motorcycle wheel bearings only require replacement upon failed inspection. They can last 50k miles or more. Their life depends on original build quality, proper shimming, and environmental exposure to heat dust and moisture.

How do you check motorcycle wheel bearings?

Play in the bearing(s) will be felt as a slight movement of the wheel. If the bearings are shot completely it will be a large movement and felt and heard as a clunk. Check that the wheel spindle isn’t incorrectly tightened as this can lead to similar symptoms. If it’s OK, then one or more bearing is knackered.

How tight should motorcycle steering?

You want the bearings to be tight enough that there’s no play, but not so tight that there’s drag. This can be a hard line to walk, so take your time and work in small increments. Too tight is definitely worse than a little loose since it’ll make your steering heavy and make the bike hard to balance at low speed.

How do you check the steering head bearings on a motorcycle?

Check that the upper steering head bearings are adjusted correctly and are in good condition by turning the handlebars from lock with the front wheel raised clear of the ground. Apply the front brake and push the handlebars forward to check the head bearings for excessive free play.

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How to tell if your bike bearings are worn out?

Turn the wheel a little then do it again until you’ve rotated it a full 180°. Be sure that the bike itself isn’t moving, but if you feel any knock or slight movement at all, it’s a sign that the bearings are worn. Enable this content?

How do I know if my headset bearings are worn?

Since the headset doesn’t spin around as fast, it’s more difficult to hear if it’s worn. Any dryness or wear in the headset bearings will be very obvious, and you’ll feel a notch in the rotation if they’re pitted. Pitting usually occurs when the front wheel is pointing directly forward.

Your motorcycle’s wheel bearings can last for 100,000 miles or more if they’re looked after but blowing the grease out or riding through deep water can shorten their life, as can heavy impacts caused by off-road riding, wheelies etc.