Steering head bearings


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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offcenter
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Steering head bearings

Post by offcenter »



Time to replace my bearings.
I see that Cyclemax is selling the "All Balls" brand bearings.
I've heard rumors that these are not as good as some others.
Anyone know of any that are better than the ones that
Cyclemax carries?
I don't want to be doing this job again any time soon.

Also, how long do steering bearings generally last in a 1500
before they develop a detent in the middle?
My bike has 90,000 on it, but the previous owner says he
remembers replacing those bearings twice already.
30,000 between bearings seems awful short to me.

Thanks guys.


George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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cahaulah
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Location: Conroe, Texas
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by cahaulah »

Sorry, can't help with the 1500, but am curious about my 2012. After my last tire change (both front and rear, double dark) I seem to notice a wobble, not going down the road though. First noticed it hitting a bump with the rear tire, something felt loose. Checked the rear and front tire, everything tight. Now I can, either stopped or slow speeds, wobble the handlebars back and forth and the whole bike seems to tremble. Parked next to a friend's 08 this afternoon, and straddled his and wobbled it, nothing like mine. Did the steering head bearing test, and while I felt no clicking or "dead spot" in the middle, if I turn the bars all the way to either side, it won't stay, both directions it turns back toward the center. Bike is solid at speed highway speeds, can turn loose of the bars with no wandering. Is it steering head bearings? Bike has nearly 53000 miles on it. Thanks in advance.
Motorcycle riding is like romance, without the commitment...

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Rednaxs60
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I'll weigh in here. Bearings do not last forever. For the 1500, your bike is some 20 years old and bearings can feel good, but in reality are still failing. I would change them, inexpensive maintenance. All Balls kits are quite good actually. This way you know that the bearings are in good shape and you won't have to check or maintain them for a while. I've read where people will lube them on a regular basis. To do this you have to take the steering stem apart to get at the bearings. If you only want to lube the bearings might as well replace and start fresh.

The OEM 1800 steering stem bearings are similar to a bicycle type bearing - ball bearings in a cage/retainer. I had an 1800 and replaced this with tapered bearings because I upgraded the suspension to Traxion. I also read where the bearing lube had dried up which is not good. Replacing the OEM steering stem bearings with tapered bearings - All Balls - is good maintenance. If your bars turn back towards the centre, maybe check the wires and cabling to determine if these are too tight when you turn to full lock.

Cheers
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dadztoy
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by dadztoy »

All Balls bearings IMO are superior to the OEM ball bearings as they are tapered roller bearings, and as such, can absorb much more punishment that standard ball bearings... When I installed mine I preloaded them to about 24 ft pounds and they are working well... Still, it's been a while now and probably time to check preload again, as they most certainly have loosened up a bit from the original install or perhaps worn a bit too...

The steering head bearings on any motorcycle take a huge amount of punishment from bad roads, pot holes, curbs, etc and that will dictate just how lind they last in addition to proper preload and proper lubrication...

Switch to the All Balls, you will be glad you did...

Les

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cahaulah
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by cahaulah »

Thanks for the input gentlemen. Talked to a mechanic who's opinion and skill set I trust, and he said that's what it sounds like, steering head bearings, and he endorses the All Balls (a brand name I assume, I just thought it meant the roller type bearings as opposed to OEM!). Going to have him insert Progressive springs and go with new fork seals while he's in there. Hopefully problem solved. Had my 02 steering head bearings and shocks upgraded about 65k if I remember right. Don't remember a big difference, but then it didn't have the "shake" this one has either. I also have a Superbrace on this one that I didn't have on the 02, would that exacerbate worn steering head bearings? TIA
Motorcycle riding is like romance, without the commitment...

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geraldm
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by geraldm »

, possibly among other things the all balls bearings have smaller balls making for more of them in the same size race. I think most of the all balls products in general are as good or better than oem . JMO.
have a healthy day

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cihilb
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by cihilb »

geraldm wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:34 pm
, possibly among other things the all balls bearings have smaller balls making for more of them in the same size race. I think most of the all balls products in general are as good or better than oem . JMO.
have a healthy day
All Balls actually use a roller bearing, not ball bearing. much more surface contact.

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newday777
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by newday777 »

geraldm wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:34 pm
, possibly among other things the all balls bearings have smaller balls making for more of them in the same size race.
No.

The Allballs steering bearings, Are not balls.
They use tapered roller bearings to give long contact surface areas.

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offcenter
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by offcenter »

Thanks guys.
I already bought the bearings.
I just have to get around to replacing them.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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dnehasert
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by dnehasert »

Take your time, remember " Craftsman can't be rushed ! " :lol:

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geraldm
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Re: Steering head bearings

Post by geraldm »

Just make sure you get the brg. Races driven in tell they bottom out ,



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