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How to replace steering head bearings

  1. #1
    Senior Member kumpy's Avatar
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    How to replace steering head bearings

    I'm looking for a mechanic to help change upper & lower steering head bearing in my 2000 R6. I'm on a pretty tight budget cause I just bought a house and was initially thinking of attempting it myself but from what I hear, I'm going to need press to install and remove the bearings which I definitely do not have. Does anyone know if I can do the job with basic home hand tools? Anyone know if its a easy job for someone with limited skill and tools? Anyone know anyone who could help me with the replacing the bearings and not charge $300+? I live in Norton MA so any recommendations would have to be within reasonable distance.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member SVenpointsixtwo's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    It's easy to do without a press, all you need are some brass drifts and some sort of deadblow hammer. You can punch/cut out the old races very easily, although you may need a torch to get the lower race off the steering stem/lower triple. new ones will go in easily with drifts, and a length of appropriate-diameter copper tube is helpful to get the new lower race back onto the steering stem.

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Pm Peter Kates and see what he'll quote ya. His name on here is GMDBoston.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member kumpy's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Hey Oreo, Pete was the one who gave me the quote, I'm trying to save on some dough while educating myself on how to work on my bike!

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  5. #5
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Gahtcha. I was gonna say, that sounded about right.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member smokinjoe's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    I always do it with just a regular hammer, a long screwdriver and millions of tiny taps. A huge padlock is a great way to drive it back in flat (you tap on the lock to flattet the blow. This tool will make short work on the bottom frame ones http://www.bikebandit.com/park-tool-...FYFo4AodYQH1Gg. But you can drive out the bottom with long screwdriver and many taps.

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  7. #7
    '12 Tuono & '02 R6 Eric Baker's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    When I did mine, I made one of those tools with a scrap piece of conduit. Just cross cut it twice about halfway down and bend out the tabs slightly. Easy peasy. As for the lower stem bearing, it's not that tight and can be easily done without a press. I used a chisel to start it moving, then a brass punch once I could get behind it, and just small taps on alternating sides. To put the new one back on, I thing I just found a tube of appropriate diameter and length, and tapped it back on, even PVC will get the job done. To make it even easier, put the new steering head races and the stem in the freezer(after removing the lower race) and it will shrink them, making things easier to reassemble. To make it even easier, heat the new lower race with a hair drier, and put it on the very cold stem, may not even need to tap it at all.

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    Last edited by Eric Baker; 06-30-12 at 05:58 AM.

  8. #8
    Lifer DaveZX6r's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Harbor freight sells bearing drivers/puller sets as well, if your not a home made tool kinda guy. The most important part of installing the new bearings is just to make sure you only press them on by the race that is being held against the material, ie pressing bearings on a shaft press by the inner race, into a bore use the outer race. Failure to do so will result in damage to your fresh new bearings, and will not be covered by any expressed or implied warranties mentioned or alluded to in any and al terms of use and /or written or verbal service terms... ever. .
    Other than that I have nothing to add.

    Edit. Derr taper bearings never mind. Still a good rule to follow for any futer bearing jobs though. Good luck.

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    Last edited by DaveZX6r; 06-30-12 at 10:11 AM.
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  9. #9
    Unsafe At Any Speeds Jim's Avatar
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    I wrote up a thread on doing this.

    I believe jt's called "the (not so) great GSX-R rebuild."

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  10. #10
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings


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    Last edited by nt650hawk; 01-11-13 at 03:25 PM.
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  11. #11
    Have you seen my baseball GingahNinjah's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by nt650hawk View Post
    Is this good for wheel bearings also??

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  12. #12
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by RIZXVIR View Post
    Is this good for wheel bearings also??
    10 Piece Bearing Race and Seal Driver Set

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  13. #13
    Bikeless in Blackstone The Snowman's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    I just replaced both upper/lower steering head bearings and front wheels bearings on the "new" front wheel I acquired.

    Pretty easy to do. I ended up bringing the lower race and lower triple to GMD to have PK press the race onto the triple. Took all of 5 minutes. The rest I did myself and it took maybe 30 minutes.

    Jut make sure you have a way to keep the front of the bike off the ground. I used jack stands on top of milk crates. I placed them under my frame sliders.


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  14. #14
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    I'm thinking of a car jack, a piece of pvc pipe and trying to lift the house.

    I am betting it is a win win. The house wins and the bearing gets seated.

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    Last edited by nt650hawk; 01-11-13 at 03:53 PM.
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  15. #15
    Lifer
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I wrote up a thread on doing this.

    I believe jt's called "the (not so) great GSX-R rebuild."
    I think this is the thread, for those that are lazy like me...

    http://www.nestreetriders.com/forum/...Gixxer-Rebuild

    "Gixxer", not "GSX-R", it seems...

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  16. #16
    Bikeless in Blackstone The Snowman's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I think this is the thread, for those that are lazy like me...

    http://www.nestreetriders.com/forum/...Gixxer-Rebuild

    "Gixxer", not "GSX-R", it seems...
    Bearing racer? How many times did Jim say racer in that thread?

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  17. #17
    Lifer
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    This thread motivated me to go downstairs and knock the bearings out of the CB400 frame. Going to spring for a decent tapered set. She's earned it.

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  18. #18
    Member martia's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    I had a local machine shop press on the inner bottom race... The outer race on top and bottom tap them out with a screw driver. Then i tap the race back with a ruber hammer..

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  19. #19
    Bikeless in Blackstone The Snowman's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    I cut the inner race off my lower triple with a dremel cutting wheel and a blunt chisel, being careful not to hit too hard with the mallot.

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  20. #20
    Old School Fool. ZX11D's Avatar
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    Re: How to replace steering head bearings

    I just bought the HF set for 25.99 with a coupon. Prior to that I used sockets in the jumbo sizes to drive in both races and bearings. Just flip them over so the end that you put the wratchet in is facing up and once you have the right size its easy to do both.

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