Steering head bearings: how to replace and adjust without special tools



Need to replace, adjust or repack the the grease in your steering head bearings? Watch Pete from Garage Night TV fix the steering head bearings on his bike.

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30 Comments to “Steering head bearings: how to replace and adjust without special tools”

  1. John Borron says:

    That's friggin' genius, all that vice improvisation. Great video.

  2. bajajimy07 says:

    I have seen some people use a piece of all thread and some washers, sized the same as the outer race, one on top and the other on bottom. then tighten a nut on either side and it would press the races into place, rather than trying to tap it into place with a hammer or drift and risk deforming the the outer race.

  3. Easier if you freeze the races and grease the frame and races to press in

  4. Pedro Alves says:

    I did that many times in my mountain bikes.
    But now i´m building a caferacer, and i´m thinking of change the front suspension.
    Are all the steering head bearings, standard diameter for bikes as they are for bicycles?

  5. chriss4365 says:

    I just checked mine i have a Chinese 150cc. The bearings looked ok so i re greased them they were a little dry. But when im tightening the upper one the point where they lock the wheel to hold it straight keeps getting set where the wheel is turned slightly how can i fix this so the wheel locks straight?

  6. John Conner says:

    the best way to pack em!!!

  7. John Conner says:

    this here is an aluminnieum bar chaps

  8. Tracer 165 says:

    Your video proved to be very helpful for me. Thanks guys for thinking about all of us out here and sharing your knowledge with us.

  9. Installed a set of Ball Race in my motorcycle, handling is good. but after a 40km ride, the handle bar becomes stiff (on a center stand) but after moving the handle bar from left to right, it becomes smooth again. what seems to be the problem? is this normal for a new ball race installation?

  10. kwakkers68 says:

    You can use your freezer to contract a bearing, prior to inserting; or in this case, the steering stem itself (so you might need a chest freezer, for the size of the object), – worth trying, as it minimizes the stress applied to the bearing during fitting. Equally, you can use heat to make a part expand. Physics can be damn handy, sometimes :-)

  11. JD Yamaha says:

    Man dude, thanks a million! You should change your heading to "changing steering bearings with no special tools" because that is what I and many others search for and yours is the only video that actually shows that. It took me forever to find your video. I have been riding with a bad bearing for over a year because I did not want to spend hundreds of dollars buying special tools. Almost everyone has a grinder or dremel tool and a vice or something similar they can use.

  12. arebrec says:

    Educational, informative and funny too. Nice one fellas.

  13. toenocs22 says:

    Thanks Guys! Some handy tips there, especially the lover bearing remove and install were a great help. The Mushman have done it again.

  14. Troy Angelo says:

    Real easy way to remove a bearing race if you have a welder is to run beads along the race. After about three beads the race will shrink up some (not sure why it does that) and you can remove the race with pair of pliers.

  15. 7A says:

    put the steering stem in the freezer to shrink it for the bottom bearing

  16. SlingBlade79 says:

    Great vid guys!! great subject and the accents add to the entertainment..lol

  17. I'm literally just about to start this job on my KTM450. Hope it's even close to as easy as this looks.

  18. 14meatloaf says:

    great video guys, after watching those ideas I was able to replace the steering head bearings on my YZ125 with no specialized tools!

  19. centuryfreud says:

    Awesome! I was able to swap out both races and bearings on my DRZ400SM really quickly due to this video! THANKS!!!

  20. Charlie Tate says:

    Just a little advice, you can buy the tools to do this task for around $100.  And you'll be able to service your forks, and wheels as well. Good tools are always a great 

  21. coyote m says:

    Nice tutorial. It sure made it easy for me to see how it's done without specialty tools

  22. What you can do s put the bottom race in first, use some threaded rod, a plate, draw in the bottom using the old race and
    then do the top one..

  23. You know I am really glad BM designed the ball joint steering they last 100,000 miles, over the years I have had to change
    and adjust more than my fair shear of these, I glad to see the back of them. And the ball joints are so much easier to
    replace.

  24. powerdec says:

    Good and clean job dude!

  25. zaran1 says:

    Thank you so much for this video. I have to replace the steering bearings of my Yamaha Majesty, I got the fork off, but I was now wondering how to remove the bearing races. For adjusting the bearings, the service manual mention two torque, first tighten at 25 ft-lbs, then loosen a quarter turn, then tighten at 17 ft-lbs… Why is that? Is 25 ft-lbs enough to seat properly all bearings if they are not fully inserted? 

  26. ariseno says:

    Excellent tutorial, I've just subscribed. I'm going to replace my head bearings on my vtr 250. Thanks heaps. You guys are awesome.

  27. I will be changing the bearings on my F800 soon and there were some great tips in this clip. Cheers.

  28. Brian Moore says:

    Thanks guys. Had actually done the job a few weeks earlier was good to see I got it right

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