Replacing your OEM style steering bearings to a “Steering Stem Tapered Bearing Kit” is so important to Track Day/Racers who are looking for a more consistent feel on your front end.
To test place the bike on the stand so that the front wheel is off the ground (not on a front paddock stand). Turn the fork to the straight-ahead position, then turn the handlebars as if into a gentle right-hand bend, and then into a left-hander from the straight-ahead position. If the fork is stiff, or if it sticks even slightly in certain positions, the bearing must be replaced. However, bear in mind that cables, shafts and hydraulic hoses can falsify the test result. There is often a sticking point in the straight-ahead position because it is the most heavily used.
These little commuter style bikes still have ball bearings. In the ball bearing, each ball has a single small contact point, so a “notch” develops over time. “Notchy Bearings”feel to the bike are, conversely, sloppy with excessive back and forth movement. Either one is bad for riding/racing but you’ll really notice on turns and a clicking on hard braking. Keep an eye on the rubber seal at the top of the steering stem. That should also clue you in on whether it’s time to address the bearings.
It is recommended to switch to the longer-life Steering Stem Tapered Bearing Kit , in which the entire length of each roller has contact. Thus a much larger surface area is in contact with the bearing cup, distributing the weight better. In addition, taper roller bearings often cost less than the original ball bearings.
If there is play in the bearing, it must be re-adjusted, which means undoing the clamp bolts of the sliders (lower triple tree) and the large central bolt of the upper triple tree. After adjustment, there should be no play in the bearing and it should run smoothly.
Upgrade OEM Style ball bearings to heavy duty taper bearings
Direct replacement for O.E.M. taper bearings
Kits contain top and bottom bearing assemblies and seals
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