Tapered steering head bearings - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Tapered steering head bearings

Anyone had good luck with replacing the steering head ball bearing with tapered ones? This head shake thing at 40-50 mph is the only sore subject I have with this bike. I have taken it in to the dealer and they say it's normal. I don't think so.

I am wondering now if it may be loosness in th steering head bearings since you can not preload them as you can with a tapered design. I have a few Wing friends who say the same problem exist with the Gold Wings and tapered bearings are the fix for them apparently.

I am on my 4 set of tires now (Z6,2ea set of BT-020,Conti RA). Every single set has done the same thing. When new everything is fine. Once I get a few thousand miles on them the head shake starts and continues to get worse as the tires get more flat spotted.

It's really starting to bug me, since I am sure it can be fixed. I sometimes feel the slightest click in the bars during low speed bumps (parking lot speeds). All other riding conditions are fine. Any comments?

Where in the rule book does it say I have to grow up?

2006 FJR1300, 2009 HD Fatbob
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 03:28 AM
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As a bearing man, I can help you here, a while ago some good lads from this forum posted me their old headrace bearings to identify, although a ball original set, the sizes tie up with a metric taper roller exactly,
The best way forward here is to approach your local bearing stockists and ask them for a pair of 32006 taper bearings.
these are standard items and should only cost about 12 / 15 each.
as you say they will give a much nicer feel. and are a very worthwhile upgrade on original ball units.

good luck with it.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 07:33 AM
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All Balls has a set for the FJR. I put them in and it wasn't a big deal. Getting the old set off the spindle is best done, IMO with a dremel cutting them off being careful not to cut too deep. The others require some kind of rod to use like a drift and a hammer. If you look up the method on one of the other FJR sites skip the parts about putting the spindle in the freezer and other weird stuff. Go out and get a small section of pipe, don't remember the size, something like an inch and a half ID. Put the new bearing place, drop the old bearing on the new one to protect it, the top one I think, put the whole thing on a piece of wood like a 2x4, then pound the bearing in place using the pipe and a small sledge hammer. Sounds brutal but it works. Whatever you do DO NOT use the torque spec's given in the other forum, they are WAY too high. You will need to up the spec but do it incrementally. The handlebars are supposed to freely swing from side to side. If you can get them to swing just a wee bit slower than free fall, you have it right, IMO. I could feel the difference and I like it. Good luck.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:25 AM
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I ran the steering heads on both the 2003 and 2005 FJRs, with stock bearings, quite a bit over specified torque, to give it a fair amount of drag. I liked the feel and didn't have any wear problems, but YMMV.

I only got the no-hands deceleration wobble on a full-sport BT014 tire... and if I remember correctly, it was accentuated when the saddlebags were loaded heavily. The BT014 I had on the Duc, as a 'get-me-home' tire did the same thing.

When you had the bike lowered, did you raise the fork tubes in the clamps? A lower front end, steepening the steering head angle, could cause the bike to have tendency to headshake a bit.

Good luck!



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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 11:18 AM
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Liquidsilver,
With Storms on I could get the shake 100% of the time on a slight downhill, decel'ing from 50 to 40 and it would ramp up from just a bit to full on aw shite. My Shinko's and stock BT020 did not do it until they got worn.

I'm sure you'll agree with this, those bearings are so stout and the load so small it would be hard to truly justify replacing the ball by rollers because of load factors. A little over tightening should not be an issue. The reason I mentioned the torque spec was in the article I read, which was outstanding by the way (other than the torque spec), the torque was so high that the bar would flat stay in place when it should have been falling. In fact you had to push it.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 01:00 PM
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I hear ya. That bearing DOES bear a huge load... just not a lot of movement.

IIRC, you torque it to a certain spec, then loosen it, and then torque it to the lower, final spec.

I used to torque everything to spec, but in recent years with so many different types of scoots under my wrench... I pretty much do everything by feel. And usually, I get pretty darn close to spec with my elbow torque wrench.

Cheers.



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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 02:47 PM
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I just did my steering bearings last Sat. You tighten to 37 ft lbs, loosen then retighten to 13 ft lbs IIRC.


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidsilver

When you had the bike lowered, did you raise the fork tubes in the clamps? A lower front end, steepening the steering head angle, could cause the bike to have tendency to headshake a bit.
I raised it back up a year or so ago. I finally learned how to ride the darn thing correctly....needed the ground clearance

It's all back to stock now.

Where in the rule book does it say I have to grow up?

2006 FJR1300, 2009 HD Fatbob
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprint_st
Liquidsilver,
With Storms on I could get the shake 100% of the time on a slight downhill, decel'ing from 50 to 40 and it would ramp up from just a bit to full on aw shite. My Shinko's and stock BT020 did not do it until they got worn.

I'm sure you'll agree with this, those bearings are so stout and the load so small it would be hard to truly justify replacing the ball by rollers because of load factors. A little over tightening should not be an issue. The reason I mentioned the torque spec was in the article I read, which was outstanding by the way (other than the torque spec), the torque was so high that the bar would flat stay in place when it should have been falling. In fact you had to push it.
I made this mistake once on my Vmax (tapered). If they are too tight, you will find yourself unable to hold a straight line and constantly feel like you are correcting the motorcycle (which you are), especially at low speeds. It's easy to figure out that something is not right when they are too tight.

Where in the rule book does it say I have to grow up?

2006 FJR1300, 2009 HD Fatbob
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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I guess my theory is that if I have tapered bearings, I am able to put more of a tension load (not too much) on the stem to maybe settle the head shake.

Currently, I "feel" a small click in the bars when going over small bumps at parking lot speeds. My guess is that there is a little play in the current bearing assemblies that I am feeling since I have checked EVERYTHING else a couple of times.

This is what leads me in this direction. Normal riding/handling is fine. I ride this bike feeler to feeler (in Arkansas, not Louisianna) so if my theory stinks, tell me now.....If I can cure this, I'll argue with anyone that I have the best motorcycle on earth (in my mind).

Where in the rule book does it say I have to grow up?

2006 FJR1300, 2009 HD Fatbob
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