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Ok, so im doing a tear down/repaint as i put on my 84 XT250 forks. The swing arm bushings are toast. Has anyone upgraded to needle bearings? I found the size i need, and i will probably give it a try, but ive also found self lubricating inlaid solid graphite bushings that would also work. Any input?

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Adam, you really don't need "the best quality bearings" when simple to medium quality ball bearings will work.; No need to spend over $70 for high precision ceramic balls, or even more for top end needle bearings when less than $15 will get you basic 6901 class ball bearings with just a pair of outer grease seals. Pivot shaft does not rotate completely , much less at high speed nor with tight tolerances. KISS = Keep It Simple Sam.
All-Balls makes a set for the TW but I think they are over $40. Talk to the Timken bearing folks in Sparks, or Napa for peace of mind and either buy from them, or take information from them and order from Amazon w/ free shipping, no tax, and likely a cheaper list price. $10 out-of-pocket might get you everything needed delivered to your door.
 

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Thanks guys!

So, is the 6901 number just the size required? If I go to Napa and say I need two 6901 bearing and the seals for them - I'm good to go?
 

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I think so, however I would explain to NAPA the application and they might just recommend a fully sealed bearing. The 6901 designation refers to general class of 12mm x 24mm x 6mm bearings available in everything from glass balls in polymer races to steel/steel to ceramic/steel construction, both with, or without seals.
I did not do this procedure myself but have been repeating success story from another member who said he installed bearings and outer seals. A quick google search didn't turn up individual seals so I may have misquoted someone else's story. Don't ask me to explain "Deep Groove" either.:)
 

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I guess you would use four, two for each side of each swing arm side and still use zerk to force grease against sealed bearing. Grease would keep bearing assemblies in place while reducing chance of corrosion on 12mm pivot shaft. I can't imagine any stiction due to the rubber seals affecting suspension feel or performance.
 
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