Head Bearings - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Head Bearings

2015A. Three weeks ago I put tapered head bearings in the bike. The bike with the oem bearings had the typical little wobble on decel between 45 to 35 and at 3200 miles the front and back oem Bridgestones had cupped, scalloped, lost their contour or just plain lost their use. The head shake was at the same speeds just way worse and scary. I put a used set of low mileage tires on and did not help. Ordered a set of All Balls and installed them then it rained for a week so no test runs. This is my report after a long test run.

Well I finally got it out for a ride last week. Between last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we went 978 miles doing Illinois Indiana Ohio and Kentucky. The whole trip was back roads and only about 60 miles of interstate.The tapered head bearings that went in was sat at 25 ft lbs and wondered like a low tire so I reset at 20 ft lbs and it made a world of difference. I dropped it down to 17 ft lbs before the trip and the trip was the test. I also put a set of used Shinko R009's plus tightened up the stiffness of the rear shock with the knob on the bottom of the shock. End result is the bike was fantastic in them 3 days. Many roads we were on I think were no more than paved goat trails and the FJR was 2nd/3d gears between 3000 to 6000 and did not seem to care.


The bike kinda impressed me which is good since I bought it.


Last is that it is not a hard job to put tapered head bearings in and a great $40 investment.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 02:07 PM
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Thanks for the report Bobby! I'm moving closer to doing the same on my 2015...I adjusted the bearing at about 10,000 km last summer, and just checked it again and found a very slight front to back play again at just over 30,000 km. Still feels smooth, but I think at some point I'll change out for tapered. I get a very small bit of decal wobble, but not enough to be concerned about at this point.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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I had done the re-tq on the head bearings at 600 miles and checked it again before I took it apart for the tapered bearings and it was the same. If the little wobble at decal was all I had I would not have worried about it but did not work out that way.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 10:33 PM
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Seems like that's the way I will end up going then...I have about 15,000-20,000 km of touring planned for this summer and fall, so will see how it is in September.
Thanks again for sharing your experience!
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 07:06 AM
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I had 80,000 plus on the last fjr. Around 19,000 on this one. Never had any wobble whatsoever that wasnít because of a tire or things being bound during wheel reinstall from a tire change. I donít find any wobble to be normal or acceptable. Have always run the factory bearings. Congrats on finding your solution.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 09:31 AM
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A friend has 86,000 on his 2014 with original bearings and no wobble. He didn't believe my 2016 developed wobble at 14,000 until he rode it. Now I am at 52,000 and still no return of wobble. I did reset the preload recently but it wasn't wobbling.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 09:56 AM
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Rerose. I see you have given a lower ring nut torque of 20ft lbs. Is that the initial torque or the lower 2nd torque #. The OEM calls for an initial torque of 37ft lbs & a 2nd torque of 13 ft lbs. Just curious, as I installed the All balls bearings a couple of months ago, which got rid of my wobble. But the wobble is back, so I plan to re-torque the lower nut, and I am curious what #s others are using.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:17 AM
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As far as I can recall, tapered roller bearing require very little pre-load so the spec from Yamaha should be ignored.

I replaced the OE bearings at 124k. In truth, they were still in pretty good shape. From memory, I torqued the new bearings to around 27 lbs, backed off and set them at 7 foot lbs. They have been just fine.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:47 AM
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Steve is correct in that tapered bearings require less torque than balls. Myself when I install tapered bearings i’ve Found that if I follow the factory procedure of torquing to 34-35ft/lb back it off and then retorque to 18ft/lbs it seems to work very well. I find that I have a little hunting initially for the first 50-100mi and things settle in and are fine, a little less final torque to 15-16ft/lbs would probably eliminate the initial “hunting” but I prefer the 18ft/lb and letting it settle in.

I’ll add that after the initial install you must retorque the taper bearings after a bit (3-6 months) after things have a chance to seat and then maybe do a yearly check until the torque just maintains and doesn’t loosen up. That’s what I do and have for many years.

I’ll add that on my fjr it was a loose feeling handler from new until the dreaded 35-45mph wobble started which was an out-of-the-blue thing, the only thing that fixed mine was the tapered bearings, new tire, retorquing everything had no effect. The new tapered bearing really tightened the handling up on my fjr, very tight and precise now. Truly transformed my bike.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2006kcj View Post
Rerose. I see you have given a lower ring nut torque of 20ft lbs. Is that the initial torque or the lower 2nd torque #. The OEM calls for an initial torque of 37ft lbs & a 2nd torque of 13 ft lbs. Just curious, as I installed the All balls bearings a couple of months ago, which got rid of my wobble. But the wobble is back, so I plan to re-torque the lower nut, and I am curious what #s others are using.
The factory spec of 13 lbf-ft is after loosening to 0. Friction in the threads gives a tighter bearing preload if you loosen to 13 vs tighten to 13.

The initial 37 lbf-ft is to ensure bearing races are fully seated, and to squeeze grease down to its operating thin layer.

New ball bearings require preload adjustment at 600 miles. Tapered bearings no different. The good news is that after the first correction they tend to go a long time before needing attention again.

As for the proper preload it doesnít seem to matter much. Too tight wanders, hard to ride a straight line without weaving. Too loose wobbles. Adjust with wheel in air and donít button it up if steering binds. Tighten it up until it binds then loosen just to know how it feels.

In addition to bearing preload torque the GL1800 FSM specifies use of a fish scale on handlebar end. In other words, ďadjust until it feels right.Ē

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