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2015 FJR-1300ESF
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Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
I must be the only person in the world that owns a proper bearing/race driver set ;) These make installing tapered bearing races so much easier:

Or you can typically borrow them for free at your local autoparts store.
I did use a set similar to that (maybe even the exact one) to drive the new bearing races into the frame on the Vstrom.

For pulling the lower inner race, I used this:


That's why my Vstrom was sitting in the garage as a unicycle for over a week. After I'd tried and failed with all the bearing pull tools I could get my hands on locally, I ordered this kit from Amazon and waited for delivery.

Turned out it made a better bearing pusher than puller. I used the old inner bearing race, pushed by operating the bearing puller in reverse, to scoot the new bearing race down onto the steering stem shaft.

That was one benefit of using a puller to extract the old ball bearing inner race in the first place, vs. cutting it off. The old race was left intact, so made a perfect pusher for the new race.

There's an old thread on the stromtrooper.com forums where I documented my bearing replacement process. I'm sure I went into some detail on what a PITA it was to pull the inner race of the lower bearing. The rest of the bearing swap wasn't so bad.

If the FJR is not going to be such a PITA, I almost look forward to it.
 

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2015 FJR-1300ESF
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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
Pullers don't work very well.... best cut the bearing race with your Dremel so it is split and use hammer and chisel to get it off. Better yet, air chisel will zip it off in 5 seconds. Use the old race to install the new one.
I didn't have a Dremel (still don't) or air chisel, and was concerned about accidentally messing up the steering stem. So I did a bearing pull.

Also, pulling the old bearing race meant it was left intact, and so a perfect driver for pushing on the new bearing.

BTW, there does exist a specialized bearing pull tool, marketed especially for motorcycle use. It's shaped to work around the often odd shapes of steering stems, which was the problem I had when trying to use the automotive bearing puller I linked. However it was around $200 and I wasn't going to spend that for a single-use tool unless held at gunpoint.

I had no vise or workbench of any kind, which made it all much more difficult. Some G-clamps on my kitchen table were a poor substitute. I do have that now, workbench with a vise.
 

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I didn't have a Dremel (still don't) or air chisel, and was concerned about accidentally messing up the steering stem. So I did a bearing pull.

Also, pulling the old bearing race meant it was left intact, and so a perfect driver for pushing on the new bearing.

BTW, there does exist a specialized bearing pull tool, marketed especially for motorcycle use. It's shaped to work around the often odd shapes of steering stems, which was the problem I had when trying to use the automotive bearing puller I linked. However it was around $200 and I wasn't going to spend that for a single-use tool unless held at gunpoint.

I had no vise or workbench of any kind, which made it all much more difficult. Some G-clamps on my kitchen table were a poor substitute. I do have that now, workbench with a vise.
Now I see why you think it's such a huge job requiring a big chunk of wasted riding time- you're an over thinker, aren't you ;)? Using the KISS method is significantly easier than spending the $$$ for specialized tools.
 

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2015 FJR-1300ESF
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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Now I see why you think it's such a huge job requiring a big chunk of wasted riding time- you're an over thinker, aren't you ;)? Using the KISS method is significantly easier than spending the $$$ for specialized tools.
KISS in this case is either keep my hands on the bars, or ride without the top case. Not do a major repair on someone else's schedule.

Who's the overthinker again?
 

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KISS in this case is either keep my hands on the bars, or ride without the top case. Not do a major repair on someone else's schedule.

Who's the overthinker again?
I came to think 'hands on bars' is just masking the problem after the second time I had forks seals replaced under warranty, early in ownership (I bought the bike new, zero miles). I have absolutely no reasoning behind this besides the fact that before bearing replacement with wobble = 2 leak episodes involving both forks and after bearing replacement = zero leaks. I think with hands on bars at optimum wobble speed, the front tire is still trying to wobble but the handlebars can't move so the side-to-side force is absorbed by the play in the forks, hence leaks and well known premature fork internal bushing wear.

Again, no evidence or reasoning, just my experience.
 

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Somebody posted a FortNine video recently comparing 3 tires. At one point Ryan explains how the front tire is always making these minute "self corrections" to center itself. Interesting stuff. Maybe has something to do with this FJR decel wobble.
 

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2015 FJR-1300ESF
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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Possibly. There's got to be some source for the energy.

Anyone know whether the special 6-toothed steering stem nut driver for the FJR, would happen to be the same one for the 2002-2012 Suzuki Vstrom DL1000?

For example this one:


I still have mine from when I did the Vstrom's steering bearings a few years ago. Sure would be nice if I didn't have to buy yet another special, single-use tool to do the FJR steering bearings this winter.

I held my Vstrom steering stem nut socket up to the FJR's steering head, but without taking stuff off, can't tell whether it'd fit.

I can measure my Vstrom steering-stem-nut-driver socket if anyone's curious or can do a comparison to the similar "Yamaha FJR" socket.

(No, I'm not going to remove or "torque" the steering stem nut with a hammer and drift punch. Don't suggest it.)
 

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Off the top of my head, I believe the steering head socket for an FJR is ~40mm OD, maybe 36mmm ID, the teeth are 5mm wide. I can measure mine up if you like, it was made by a forum member a few years ago...... it uses a 36mm socket to drive it....

Wood Gas Flooring Hardwood Auto part
 
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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
BTW this is one of the special bearing pullers I was thinking about when I wrote previously:


That said, I'm not actually sure this one would work for motorcycles. Might be wrong size to accomodate motorcycle steering stem shafts. Seems designed for bicycles.

Motion Pro has a tool specifically designed for motorcycle steering stem bearing removal, at a lower price point ($175):

Steering Stem Bearing Tool - Motion Pro

I must have read something somewhere about the bearing sizes being the same on both FJR-1300 and Vstrom DL1000 steering, because it's the same kit from All Balls:

22-1003 | All Balls Racing

This is why I thought the stem nut spanner/socket I bought for the Vstrom might work for both bikes. I'll measure mine later and post photo and dimensions. I bought it off eBay a few years ago.
 

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For me it depends on what fits. I've got a pilot bearing puller that works pretty well for pulling races, if that doesn't work then sometimes a steel washer with 2 sides ground flat so you can get it into the tube and then hit it with a pipe. Or just a brass drift, graduating to a busted tip flatblade screwdriver if the drift isn't moving it. I can't see paying a ton of money for a specialty tool.

If I were to buy something new, I'd get one of these
 
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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Getting the steering head bearing races (outer races) isn't a big deal, IMO. That's not what the tools I linked are for. They're for getting an inner bearing race up off the steering stem, if you can't or don't want to use the dremel-and-chisel method.

The outer bearing races in the steering head (frame) are a different deal. Easy to tap out with a drift punch and careful hammer work. At least I found it so on the Vstrom. As long as you tap more or less evenly on both sides of the race, I don't see a big danger of pushing the race out unevenly & damaging the socket in the frame.
 

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Getting the steering head bearing races (outer races) isn't a big deal. That's not what the tools I linked are for. They're for getting an inner bearing race up off the steering stem, if you can't or don't want to use the dremel-and-chisel method.
I have a huge bearing splitter that works for those. It's a tool that I have for removing much bigger bearings and races in truck transmissions
 
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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
How did you get a bearing puller/splitter to work though? It looks like the FJR lower triple clamp member has two machined-in bumps crowding the lower bearing, preventing the clearance that would be needed for a lot of bearing pullers.

Was it a clamshell puller? Looking at those I think that might work, but have never used one so not sure.

FWIW, I did find an older thread (2008) where someone observed almost the same thing I started this thread about:

Tapered steering head bearings | Page 2 | FJR Owners Forum

Twice one of the respondents mentions having handlebar wobble with a top case on, and not without it. So it seems this has been a known phenomenon with the FJR, at least to some riders, since at least that 2008 thread.
 

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Have not done it on fjr yet. But on other bikes the splitter worked fine. Not having bearing issue, but will likely switch to taper this winter.
 
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My opinion...... I don't think you need special tools to remove the lower bearing race on the triple tree. First of all, it's too difficult and more work than it needs to be. Split the bearing race with a Dremel and chisel punch it off. It's plenty good to re-use when installing the new bearing... much easier and saves yer money. If you're going to use a puller, I'd still split the race..... much easier then.
 

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My opinion...... I don't think you need special tools to remove the lower bearing race on the triple tree. First of all, it's too difficult and more work than it needs to be. Split the bearing race with a Dremel and chisel punch it off. It's plenty good to re-use when installing the new bearing... much easier and saves yer money. If you're going to use a puller, I'd still split the race..... much easier then.
We'll see what it looks like when the time comes. I've got a ton of bearing tools from the old days when I used to rebuild automobile transmissions for the rock crawlers.
 
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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
With the experience of changing steering bearings on the Vstrom, I feel fairly conident approaching the FJR.

I'll probably go ahead and get a Dremel-type tool. I have so many tools already, but it's still way cheaper and more convenient than paying a dealer or independent shop to do the job. Also less chance of them breaking stuff by trying to cut corners/speed through the repair. I've had more than enough of that from the couple of times I had shops do things.
 

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I just installed tapered bearings a couple days ago. It’s job anyone with a bench vice and some basic tools can do themself. I’d consider a Dremel, a hammer, some punches, chisel and a torque wrench pretty basic. The specialty wrench I ordered from TR diesel, and I had a 36mm socket already. And I did it in less than a day. I spent more time researching, dicking around with other ”possible causes” and trying to re-torque the original ball bearings than I did with actually getting to work, downing a couple beers and installing the all balls. The old bearing outer races you pound out, there’s recesses built into the neck for this exact purpose. Cut through the inner bearing race on the stem until it cracks with a few whacks on it with a chisel, then tap it off the stem. Tap the new outer races into the neck, top and bottom, using the old races to hit them with a heavy hammer. Just take your time and get them in straight. It’s really pretty elementary.

My 2013 NEVER wobbled for its first 18k miles no matter what. Sidecases, top case, passenger, none of those things or any combination of those things; including different tires and different suspension settings or hands on or off the bars. Smooth as silk in any weather on any road at any speed. To suggest something as simple as having a top case on a touring motorcycle CAUSES headhake is silly to me. It’s caused by worn steering head bearings. If something as normal as raising or lowering the windscreen causes headshake…would you suggest replacing a perfectly fine windscareen or not using a windscreen? Of course not. The “don’t ever take your hands of the bars” is BS too. Imagine buying a new car and if you let go of the wheel the front wheels start wobbling, who thinks that’s normal or acceptable?! Why would you accept that about your motorcycle, especially when it just starts doing it one day? Your bike always had a windshield, in most cases you’ve probably had that top case on for thousands of miles. These things might be the factor that causes minute changes in airflow or vibration or whatever that worn head bearings can’t overcome but they are not causing your headshake. And hanging onto the bars isn’t “solving it” either.
 
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