Page 1 of 1

Steering Bearings Issues....

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:26 pm
by luigipasto
I disassembled my steering expecting to catch many free ball bearings (as per users manual) but discovered the original bearings have since been replaced with tapered bearings. I found that the steering head nut at the top was hand loose when I disassembled, and even hand tightening results in a locked steering. It appears to me (untrained as I am) that the upper race is sticking up above the frame. I'm wondering if the upper race was not properly seated, or maybe even wrong size, before I start hammering away? Should I just go ahead and replace the bearings?

Re: Steering Bearings Issues....

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:10 am
by Shadowjack
Pictures look normal for a swapped bearing. If the races don't LOOK cocked, they're probably seated right. If they were off, I believe it would feel different from right to left vs left to right.

I believe 77-up had tapered bearings, but I have an older manual, so it doesn't address this. On a 1200, however, which has tapered bearings from the factory, there's a whole procedure on how to tighten them.

Tighten the nut to 200-250 kg-cm (174-217 in-lb).
Turn the steering stem lock-to-lock five times.
Loosen the nut and retighten, and turn the stem five more times.
Repeat everything once more.

At this point there's supposed to be about 500-650 grams (18-23 ounces) of force to turn the handlebars, measured by a spring scale hooked to the grips, and both directions should be about even. Nobody has a spring scale like that, though.

Book says if it's too loose, you may get a wobble. If it's too tight, it may handle weird. I had to tighten mine more than I liked to get rid of a wobble. On my other bike, I left them a shade loose and it threw me into the ditch...

Re: Steering Bearings Issues....

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:54 pm
by luigipasto
Thanks for the reply. I should have specified that I'm working on a 1976 USA model.

Any suggestions for replacement bearings? There seem to be different makes....