Expected life of front wheel bearings? - Page 2 - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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That is a mild case of head shake. It has a few causes.

I crashed in April 2015 due to a flying tire hitting my front wheel causing a head shake and snatching the bars out of my hands. I could not get the bars under control and hit the concrete barrier at 70+ MPH.
My shake it a little worse than the video Yes, I worry about losing it on the freeway. It's to the point that I can feel it while holding on to the bars, so it's not good.


Last time it was solved with a new bearing and new tire. I think I will replace the bearing no matter what just to be sure. Tire looks good, no cupping. Put it on last spring. A re-balance is a good idea too, hadn't really thought of that.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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more than 90,000 based on an exhaustive empirical study of one sample.

To answer your last question, getting the forks apart isn't a big deal. The steering head bearings are 3 part devices - outer race, roller cage and inner race. The top bearing is pretty much a piece of cake. The lower bearing can be much harder. On mine it took a determined mechanic with an oxyacetylene torch about 90 minutes to get the lower outer race removed and the inner race off the fork. That was 30Kmiles ago.

Others on this forum have done it with few issues. Like many things, the range of difficulty falls somewhere between easy and impossible.

Any quick way to tell diagnose bead steering head bearings without tearing the bike apart?

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 01:03 PM
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Any quick way to tell diagnose bead steering head bearings without tearing the bike apart?
In the service manual it should have a test procedure for the steering head bearings. You have to lift the whole bike off the ground and using a fishing weight scale, measure how much force is required to pull the bars from straight a head. I do not know the procedure for the 400 but I have done it on the 650 and 9 times out of 10 its just a quick tightening and all is well.

"Never mount a passenger car tire on a motorcycle rim; the flat profile of a car tire is incompatible ....." TOTALLY HOG WASH!!!

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:21 PM
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My experience has been that you will notice a very definite notch when traveling straight forward. Very much like a detent in a switch.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 02:30 PM
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Any quick way to tell diagnose bead steering head bearings without tearing the bike apart?
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Originally Posted by Dave_J View Post
In the service manual it should have a test procedure for the steering head bearings. You have to lift the whole bike off the ground and using a fishing weight scale, measure how much force is required to pull the bars from straight a head. I do not know the procedure for the 400 but I have done it on the 650 and 9 times out of 10 its just a quick tightening and all is well.
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My experience has been that you will notice a very definite notch when traveling straight forward. Very much like a detent in a switch.
If the steering head bearings are bad you will get a notchie feeling. But if just loose you may just get head shake. It is worth just doing the adjustment alone or repack the grease in the bearing and then adjust them to spec's.
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On a Achilles ATR-K Economist 155/65 HR 14,
Prior GT Radial Champiro VP1 185/60 HR 14, Potenza RE92 165/65 SR 14 and 155/65 HR 14 Formosa D2

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 04:18 PM
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^ what he said

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 05:20 PM
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Also, if it was not a sealed type bearing in the wheel, it could have been installed dry.

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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 06:21 PM
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If you have hit something have you checked the wheel for run out on both axis?
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 11:46 AM
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To check you head bearings jack the front wheel off the ground and grabbing the bottom of the forks pull back and forward to see if there is any movement. Another way is to remove the handlebar shroud take the bike off the stand apply the front brake and putting your two fingers against the underside of the top yoke see if there is any movement. If there is you need to tighten up your steering stem. To test for notchiness [bike on centre stand] jack the bike up stick two bits of plastic sheeting under the front wheel with a little oil between them so they slip easily then lower the front wheel is just kissing the plastic with light pressure and turn the steering gently from one side to the other this will show if there is any notching on the bearing cups.
To check front wheel bearings Jack up the front and grabbing the wheel top and bottom give it a wiggle any movement bearings are shot and if you spin the wheel and the bearing is on its way out you can normally hear it grumbling the best test though is to remove the wheel stick your finger in the bearing and turn it left and right and you will detect any issues immediately. If all is good alter you rear suspension preload by a few notches so it is stiffer at the rear. Check your front tyre by looking down it from above this will show any distortion as will rubbing your hand over it. It may well be a combination of things making the steering oscillate.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Guess I have work to do. Thanks all.

I have hit many a pothole here in Ohio, not good on these small wheels. Wheel could be out of wack.

I have never detected any type of notch so far.

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