Steering stem/head bearings
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Thread: Steering stem/head bearings

  1. #1
    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    Steering stem/head bearings

    So I've read the posts "I have a noticeable detent..." but they've all been older bikes.
    I have a 2015 and it has a noticeable detent. I know the easy answer is "You need steering stem bearings." but...ehh...a 2015 with 1500 miles, never slept outside, etc etc.

    Is there anything else I should be looking at....or is a certain amount of detent normal? This is going to sound odd, but I had never noticed the detent before, then on a warm day early this spring I hung it on ratchet straps from the shed roof by the bars to change the front tire, and while moving things around I noticed a detent in the center...but assumed it was because the bearings were loaded backwards due to the fact that the front was hanging by the bars.
    The time between then and now....I honestly don't remember what I felt....but right now, there's a detent in the center.

    I don't refuse to believe that the stem bearings are worn out, but on a 2015 that sleeps inside, I'd think it was less than probable....

    Anyone have thoughts or a story to share?
    littletommy and Ken like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    I loosened my steering head bearing adjustment ever so slightly and that took the detent away. Don't go too far, you'll get some play and a clunk over bumps and when using the front brake.
    littletommy, Dryden-Tdub and Ken like this.
    2013 Yamaha TW200

    1996 Yamaha TW200

    1995 Kawasaki KLR650

    2002 Yamaha RoadStar 1600 with sidecar

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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    The factroy bearings are packed with almost zero grease. At that age and mileage, you might be able to pull it apart, re-grease adjust and get a other 1500 miles? Mine were wasted at 2800 and the bike was stock and looked brand new. It also went from feeling fine to noticeable to uncomfortable in what felt like overnight, but probably 300 miles from noticeable to had to replace?
    littletommy, cowboyjeff and Ken like this.
    2002 TW200 "The Punisher"
    1998 DR350r
    1996 KDX 200
    Riding in and around the great state of Michigan (usually)

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    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    Last couple times out, mine made the progression from feeling fine to noticeable....like just playing around weaving at a low speed, I thought, "huh....it didn't feel like THAT before..."

    Given that they felt fine, and now they don't, I'd rather just change them. If I have to tear it all apart, I'll do it once.

    Suggestions for one kit as opposed to the other? Anyone ever put in a grease fitting?
    Ken likes this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    My luck I'd end up with my detent being at 20 degrees and a TW that wants to go sideways all the time. haha
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  7. #6
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Stanger things have been known …..

    The most likely cause is the race getting dinked, rather than corrosion on the bearings themselves. Loosen them off a bit, and all you do is mask the problem slightly, while inviting future damage.

    It can happen anywhere, any time, and at any mileage. Given the suspension limitations of the TW, it’s hardly surprising that their prone to it. And given that it’s a “serviceable part”, don’t expect Yamaha to change anything in the manufacturing process just yet.

    “All Balls” – tapered roller bearings – sorted …..
    Ken likes this.
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  8. #7
    Ken
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    GCFishguy, so does that make it a fishtail?
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  9. #8
    Ken
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    I have been lubricating the stem bearings just like on a bicycle. I get the PB blaster lubricant and shoot it up under and between the stem washer and top bearing. I squirt it and turn the tire back and forth until it runs out the bottom. The front tire is elevated and use rags to catch the drips out the bottom. 1996 with original bearings still.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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    All Balls kit was easy and well sorted. There are a couple of great write ups on this forum to follow.
    2002 TW200 "The Punisher"
    1998 DR350r
    1996 KDX 200
    Riding in and around the great state of Michigan (usually)

  11. #10
    Senior Member Peterb's Avatar
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    When ever I buy a bike with "bicycle" ball bearings I just put All Balls tapered rollers in. I was surprised to find out my TW200 had ball bearings but I was shocked to find the same thing on my FZ6. Install them adjust them with the proper preload and never look back.
    scotti158, littletommy and Fred like this.

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