I've recently installed RP5s.
But hardly rode it much yet with them.
Should I be expecting the RP5s to do the same tread experience?
And, I'll just guess here that if I do experience this, its most likely the stock head bearings promoting most of the indifference.
RP5? Guessing you mean Michelin Its-not-Pilot
Road 5? FJR chewed up the R5s I've seen. If yours does same then don't worry. Just ride until bald and put a good Bridgestone T31 GT on it.
I don't think steering bearings make any difference on tire scalloping. Tapered bearings eliminate the hands-free wobble, and the hands-on wobble you didn't know you had until the bearings were replaced.
I'd like to attempt to do the tapered bearing install myself.
It would be my first try at doing it.
With all the knowledge here on this site regarding this,
It would be nice to see one of you guys here produce a "how to" YouTube video doing the complete removal and installation procedure.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Two difficult components of replacing the steering stem bearings is:
1) removing the inner bottom race from the steering stem.
2) pressing the new outer races into the frame squarely.
Everything else is common easy "remove front wheel, forks and handlebars" stuff.
The bottom race can be driven off using an air chisel. Did this recently. Boogered up the bottom fork bridge a bit but it filed clean and nobody will notice. Plus it got the job done quick.
I used a cold chisel and hammer to lift my bottom race off the fork bridge then Dremel cutoff wheel to put a slit in the race almost to the steering stem. Cold chisel in that slit finished the break, spread the race a smidgen so it slid right off.
On assembly this race turned upside down is a wonderful driver to press the tapered bearing down. Provides a large space for you to tap on with a drift. Then the slit makes it easy to remove again.
Removing races from the frame is fairly easy but use care not to hit the aluminum lip/seat on which the races rest. This lip has two notches to give you easier access to driving out the race. My junk box had a steel bar about 16" long and 1/2" diameter. Was of great use to remove the top race from under the front because there wasn't enough room to swing a hammer overhead to reach my Craftsman drift on the upper race.
This long bar was too long to use on top of the old race to drive the new bearing on the steering stem. Needed 3 hands. Good old 7" or 8" Craftsman drift got the job done with only 2 hands.
You might be able to hold the new outer races in place and tap them into the frame with no special tools. Must be very careful not to score the frame because the dust seals ride on that surface. I used a Motion Pro race driver which cost $50. Presses on the broad race surface vs point forces on the outer edge if you used a drift. Harbor Freight has similar race drivers, you will have to bring a race into the store to make sure they have one that fits.
The $170 Motion Pro tool to remove the bottom inner race does not work on FJR. Have one. Works on all dirtbikes (which have tapered bearings from the start) we have tried but won't reach over the FJR's bottom race for the setscrews to reach under. It works fine to drive the new inner bottom race into place but is horribly expensive for just that.
Have not tried but perhaps Yamaha's 38 lbf-ft initial preload is sufficient to drive the outer races into their seats? If so, then that would be cool! Stack the bearings on the steering stem, outer races with bearings inside, tighten nut and press it all together.