Squeaking from front - wheel bearings?


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johnny42
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: Lancaster, NY
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Squeaking from front - wheel bearings?

Post by johnny42 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:04 pm



I'm getting a bit of a squeaking sound from the front of my 1983 Interstate I've had since new. I currently have 72,000 miles. I noticed the squeak at parking lot speeds when turning. It's not from turning the handlebars.

I lifted the front and the wheel spins fine with no noise with just a very slight drag on the brake rotor on one side and only in one spot. There is no side to side play of the front wheel. I can't recreate the sound in my garage.

Researching front wheel bearings on this site, some replace them every tire change and some still have the originals and have never replaced them. My bike has the original seals.

OEM seals apparently are only sealed on one side with new current aftermarket seals being totally sealed?

If that's the case, can I remove the dust covers and re-grease the existing bearings? If so, would I clean out the existing grease with a solvent and then re-grease? If so, do I fully pack the new grease in or go sparingly?

If that's not possible and I get new OEM bearings, how do I ensure they are properly greased? Just because they're new doesn't mean they're greased enough. How do I tell if they're greased enough?

In either case, if I need grease, what's the best stuff to get?

If I end up getting new seals, any suggestions? Are All Balls any good?

Or....... might the squeaking noise be from something other than the bearings?



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WingAdmin
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Re: Squeaking from front - wheel bearings?

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:14 pm

A lot of the time you won't see/hear bearing noise when the weight of the bike is not on the wheel.

I've typically gotten around 40,000 to 50,000 miles out of a set of wheel bearings before they need replacing.

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2003Cobra
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Re: Squeaking from front - wheel bearings?

Post by 2003Cobra » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:03 am

If you are uncertain where the noise is coming from, you and a friend go to a parking lot and ride the bike around and see if your friend can get a better idea where the problem may be, if your friend is mechanically inclined the better.

Have you changed out your front brake pads lately? Sometimes they will make noise. I had a 92 Dyna that would squeal when I backed up and it was coming from the right brake.
If I end up getting new seals, any suggestions? Are All Balls any good?
I've never had an issue after installing one of their products. I had an issue with the starter clutch on a Heritage, replaced it twice (its like replacing the air filter on an 1800 a real PITA), then the third time I installed an All-balls and never had another issue.
2003 Goldwing GL1800 with CSC Cobra trike kit.
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West GA Chapter 89 Southern Cruisers riding club.

johnny42
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: Lancaster, NY
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Re: Squeaking from front - wheel bearings?

Post by johnny42 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:43 pm

I removed, cleaned and lubed the speedometer cable. I ran an errand of about 10 - 15 minutes away. On the way back I did some slow, tight turns in a parking lot and could not hear any squeaking. One thing to note, when I noticed the squeaking on Saturday, it was after 30 minutes or so of 65-70 mph speeds, in a parking lot, after shopping in the store for 15 minutes or so. When I came out and drove thru the parking lot, that's when I noticed it. Even if something expanded by the high speeds, a 15 minute cool down should have negated any effect of heat. But I still suspect that a long high-speed ride might have something to do with it.

The brake pads look great.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the speedo cable needed lube and resolved the squeak.

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ride dont hide
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Re: Squeaking from front - wheel bearings?

Post by ride dont hide » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:25 pm

I am going to bet that you found the problem in the speedo. Had what sounds like the same thing on my '83. Squeak started small and became louder by the week. DROVE ME CRAZY trying to find it. Replaced bearings, timing belts and tensioners. One day while riding I just reached down and felt the speedo and it was buzzing like mad! Eventually had to replace the speedo itself, same thing happened to the tach also.



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