Expected life of front wheel bearings? - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Expected life of front wheel bearings?

I had my front wheel bearing replaced 2 years ago, roughly 15- 16,00 miles ago. I have developed a bad wobble in the handlebars now and didn't think the front bearing should be worn out yet. Is this possible, or do you think I need to look at the "fork neck", sorry not sure the proper term for the area where the forks meet at the top. I think there are bearings in there that can cause wheel shake right?


It was badly worn when it was replaced by my local shop. I dropped off the rim to get a new tire fitted and they told me the bearing was bad so I had them go ahead and do it. They told me the bearing they ordered was not Suzuki that it was a better replacement, so I do not know what was put in it exactly.

Front tire only has about 7,00 miles on it.


I'll be taking the wheel off to check the bearing out soon as I have no wish to ride all season with this wobble. It's pretty serious, if you let go of the handlebars you can go into a bad wobble.


If I have to dive into the forks, how big of a job is that?


Wobble is the same as in Mitches Video.....

2004 Burgman 400
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 12:42 PM
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42,000 miles on my Reflex...no issues with wheel bearings.

I think yours should be lasting a lot longer than them seem to be lasting.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 12:47 PM
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That is a mild case of head shake. It has a few causes.
1. Loose head bearings caused by wear or not adjusted right.
2. Cupped or tire run out.
3. Bad wheel bearings.
4. Weight distribution, more so at higher speeds.
5. Aerodynamics due to uneven drag, like the Honda ST1100 Cop bikes and the radio top box at high speeds.

I have changed my wheel bearings every 2nd but no more than the 3rd front tire due to aftermarket bearings being about $10 a set. If you Darkside the rear, change ALL bearings every rear tire change.

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.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 01:31 PM
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Watched video. Jezuz. No way would I be riding that thing until it is fixed.

That said...you know, my Jeep does the same thing. I thought it was because I put the replacement steering stabilizer on wrong. So, I removed it, and installed a new one correctly. That DID solve my problem for a few months, but now it is back again.

So, I don't know what the problem is. It is scared though. Jeep doesn't do it until you are above 40mph or so. In Jeep circles, they call it the "death wobble" and it is closely associated with Jeeps that have been modified with increased suspension.


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 08:32 PM
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My wheel bearings have 58k and no problems. Often the easy problems present themselves first, or at least you should check the easy things first. I'd get your wheel rebalanced. Less than an ounce off could create that shake. Then I'd check the tire itself for cupping, abnormal wear. Then the wheel bearing and finally the steering head bearings.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liamjs View Post
I'd get your wheel rebalanced. Less than an ounce off could create that shake.
That is a good point. I had a terrible shake and thump in the front end of my Trooper. Got the wheels balanced - problem solved.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 09:30 PM
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Wheel bearings can last a long time but can also wear quickly. No way I know to put a definite time on them.

I'm still running the original bearings on my 06 400 at 43,000+ miles. Replaced the rear wheel bearings on my 650 at a little over 100,000 miles. Still running the original bearings on the front at 134,000+ miles. Others have not been that lucky.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 10:19 PM
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Is tire pressure good?

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 07:38 AM
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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.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolzen View Post
Is tire pressure good?
Yes

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