Steering head bearings, Tire pressure, etc - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Steering head bearings, Tire pressure, etc

....So the 919's maintenance manual shows that the steering head bearing should be replaced every 4000 miles?! Seriously?!

...Are those bearings reallyTHAT important?



Also, what tire pressure are you guys running? I'm running about 38 front and about 42-44 rear. Just curious.

Here's my little embarassing story for today. I took a jaunt up into the mountains today and became concerned about my suspension feeling more...bouncy...than usual. I examined the road surface carefully and discovered that the strange feeling was probably just the washboard-y pavement in the center of the lane. BUT, I took a moment during a rest stop to check over my bike, since I was like, super-hyper-aware of my bike's handling by this point. In looking at my front wheel I noticed that on the left side, the end of the front axle sticks out about a half inch and is just a hollow tube, and that it has a 1/4" hole drilled radially through it. It looked to me as if there was supposed to be a safety-pin or something else hooked on there...made me a bit nervous on the 2nd half of my ride! It turns out that that's exactly how it's SUPPOSED to look, and all my worry was for nothing...which is how I prefer things usually. Ok, storytime is finished!


Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 11:24 PM
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I will have to check my manual, but I really wouldnt think the steering head bearings need replacement that often, unless you land lots of hard wheelies! Grease and adjust at the most.

You can run bit lower pressures for more grip and a softer ride too, unless you are 2-up or carrying a heavy load. I tend to stick around 32 front, 34-36 rear, and I know lots of guys go lower for more grip. I tend to like my setting for a compromise between max grip and max carrying capacity.

You'll have to play with that Ohlins rear shock some, figure out how to dial that puppy for your weight and style and I bet you will be much happier. Hopefully someone who has one can chime in with advice on that!

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 12:01 AM
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Bearings will be absolutely fine unless you are a hard-core wheelie buff I've found it's usually 40-50,000 kms before they need replacing with normal use.


I run Pilot Road 2's - front 36 rear 39. I found the recommended factory setting of 42 rear way to harsh for my weight (73kgs) and lowered it - much better now.

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not very much of a hard-core hooligan...no wheelies or stoppies for me, thanks! I think I will lower my pressure a bit, and that should be that.

I was just curious about the bearings...decent, or even crappy bearings shouldn't wear that quickly. I was just suprised at what the maintenance table seemed to be saying!

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

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post #5 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 06:56 AM
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[QUOTE=AllanB;318422]Bearings will be absolutely fine unless you are a hard-core wheelie buff I've found it's usually 40-50,000 kms before they need replacing with normal use. QUOTE]

I still haven't done mine and my bike has 115 000 Kms. Steering is still smooth with no movement. I am watching it however.

Spoiler:

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 09:04 AM
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i think it would be a good idea when posting air pressures to give rider weight...

because some one weighing 150 pounds with 44lbs of air in the rear and someone weighting 230 pounds with 44 lbs in the rear is 2 incredibly different things



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post #7 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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fair enough...I weigh somewhere around 190-200

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

"The Shadow"
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 09:41 AM
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Well I'm around 200-205. But even at 230 44 lbs seems to be high, that's what you need for loaded 2 up touring, but not solo. I'm sure I could easily run lower than the 34-36 I usually run for max grip.

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post #9 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 10:40 AM
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I ran my Rosso front at 29psi for a month and I weight 200. the tire started to scallop. I have to raise pressure back up to 33psi to get things smoothed back out.

'04 919---40k----6/18/10 SOLD

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post #10 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
....So the 919's maintenance manual shows that the steering head bearing should be replaced every 4000 miles?! Seriously?!
The Honda manual I have doesn't show that. It says to inspect at 600 miles, then 8K, 16K, etc. Where did you see replace at 4K?

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post #11 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
The Honda manual I have doesn't show that. It says to inspect at 600 miles, then 8K, 16K, etc. Where did you see replace at 4K?
I just dug out my VFR manual and it has the same schedule. I in the block means inspect, if it has an R that is replace, I think he may have just not looked at the legend underneath the table that explains that, ez to misinterpret it.

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post #12 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Im thinking you may have found a typo - Probally an inspect @ 4k, more than likely just a grab the bars and while holding the front wheel with your knees , shaking the bar - if something loose you'll feel it - I wouldnt worrry or even mess with it =

As for your suspension, what year if your bike ? One of the most often overlooked/non-intentionally neglected fluid on our bikes is the fork oil. I dont rember exactly, but, I thik Honda reccomends replacing it every two years -- I'm not entirely sure of the time range, but, its something like that. Id look to that for your funny suspension issue if your bike is a couple of years old or has 10k miles or so --

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post #13 of 14 Old 06-05-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ohno View Post
Im thinking you may have found a typo - Probally an inspect @ 4k, more than likely just a grab the bars and while holding the front wheel with your knees , shaking the bar - if something loose you'll feel it - I wouldnt worrry or even mess with it =

As for your suspension, what year if your bike ? One of the most often overlooked/non-intentionally neglected fluid on our bikes is the fork oil. I dont rember exactly, but, I thik Honda reccomends replacing it every two years -- I'm not entirely sure of the time range, but, its something like that. Id look to that for your funny suspension issue if your bike is a couple of years old or has 10k miles or so --
ok... what is the proper procedure for draining and refilling the forks with oil... because the other day when i put those springs in i didnt care for the color of the fork fluid..



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post #14 of 14 Old 06-07-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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I have my steering head apart right now to check the bearings since the bike was an insurance writedown following a frontal with only about ~1000 miles on it. Although under normal cirumstances ball bearings may be adequate, I tried (without luck) to find some aftermarket tapered roller bearings to replace the OEM bearings. On disassembly, it horrifed me to find that the steering stem nut was no more than finger tight, possibly due to jarring the bearing races or stretching the stem during the impact. Therefore, if you have or do put any undue stress on your front end by pulling wheelies, running over kerbs or whatever, I would recommend checking your bearings soon afterward. Running them too loose (or tight) can only accelerate their deterioration. You guys in the USA can get tapered roller bearings for about $30 a set and IMHO these would be a sensible mod if you are hard on your front end.

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