Tapered roller steering head bearings?

Discussion in 'Australian Motorcycles' started by Iain Chalmers, May 23, 2005.

  1. So how do you know when your new t apered roller steering head bearings
    are done up tight enough (but not too tight)?

    I've just replaced them in the Spada, but the original Spada ones were
    ball bearings but the currently supplied parts from Honda are tapered
    rollers (as used in VFRs and VTR1000s, apparently), so I'm not sure that
    the specs in the manual apply to the new bearings. (also, the specs in
    the manual don't actually make much sense to me, they claim "Steering
    bearing pre-load: 1.1 - 1.6kg" - how am I supposed to measure _that?_)

    So, does anyone have any vaguely credible "rules of thumb" for torquing
    down the steering head bearings that are applicable to tapered roller
    type bearings? Or does anyone have a VFR or VTR service manual that they
    could look up the steering head bearing torquing instructions from for


    Iain Chalmers, May 23, 2005
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  2. Iain Chalmers

    Moike Guest

    Same as ball bearing ones.

    tighten them until they just start to feel a bit 'tight' then back off a
    bee's dick.

    Moike, May 23, 2005
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  3. Iain Chalmers

    sharkey Guest

    Doesn't sound very scientific, but it seems to work!

    sharkey, May 23, 2005
  4. Iain Chalmers

    Burnie M Guest

    VTR come with ball bearings but everybody replaces them with roller
    Use lots of grease
    Burnie M, May 23, 2005
  5. OK, sounds like something to try at least :)

    Iain Chalmers, May 23, 2005
  6. Iain Chalmers

    sharkey Guest

    With the bike on the center stand on flat ground, and the
    front wheel in the air, you should be able to balance the
    bars easily in the center, and a small nudge should make
    them fall gently to either side. If they don't move, too
    tight. If they won't sit in the center, or they hit the
    stops with a clank, too loose.

    Or at least, that's always worked for me. The usual
    disclaimer about programmers and screwdrivers applies.

    sharkey, May 23, 2005
  7. Iain Chalmers

    Kevin(Bluey) Guest

    Get one of those spring balance weight scale ,with the front wheel off
    the ground tighten the bearings until you can pull the steering around
    with the spring balance and you get a reading between 1.1 and 1.6 kgs.
    Kevin(Bluey), May 23, 2005
  8. The scientific way is to back it off an eighth of a turn, I believe.
    Pisshead Pete, May 23, 2005
  9. Iain Chalmers

    Moike Guest

    I saw a bloke a couple of years ago who was trying to ride a big chookie
    with steering bearings nearly that tight.

    About every ten metres he would lurch one way or the other as the
    steering head caught or gave way to his hauling on the 'bars. It was
    kinda scary. I stopped and talked with him, told him it was the head
    bearings, but neither of us had tools for it. He'd just picked it up
    from a workshop, and if he could get the MF to turn around he was going
    to take it back again.

    Moike, May 23, 2005
  10. Iain Chalmers

    Smiley Guest

  11. Iain Chalmers

    BT Humble Guest

    I've installed them on both The Jackal and Minx's bike. I found that
    on both machines they needed re-torquing after about 50km, once they'd
    bedded in (or something).

    My rule of thumb is this: If they click when you brake, they're too
    loose. Tighten them by about a quarter turn and try again, repeating
    as necessary until they don't click any more. They're pretty easy to

    BT Humble, May 24, 2005
  12. Iain Chalmers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    That makes sense as 1/8 turn would be 0.1 mm or .004".

    I remember that the manual for my Morris 8 that said to snug up the valve
    adjustment and back it off a quarter turn. A quarter turn being exactly the
    ..008" required. If you know what thread you have it makes for an easier
    adjustment than feeler gauges.

    Theo Bekkers, May 24, 2005
  13. Iain Chalmers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    You're kidding. Even my bicycle came with tapered rollers in the head.

    Theo Bekkers, May 24, 2005
  14. Iain Chalmers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    I overdid the head bearings just a little when residing in Sydney in 1982.
    The effect it had was a slight constant weave at 60km/h. Backed it off a
    smidge and it was fine.

    Theo Bekkers, May 24, 2005
  15. Iain Chalmers

    GB Guest

    Mine (all of 'em) came with ball bearings top and bottom.

    GB, May 24, 2005
  16. Iain Chalmers

    GB Guest

    .... headed out of town one day and couldn't turn around to go
    back to Sydney.

    GB, May 24, 2005
  17. Iain Chalmers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    Why would you want to?

    Theo Bekkers, May 25, 2005
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