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Old 06-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #16
Navin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR View Post

I won't touch the debate between the 'tapered roller' and 'ball' bearing people, .

It isn't a debate about the type. There are bikes that have perfectly fine ball bearing steering heads, (Aprillia Touno) for example. The Ninja 250 and 300 are not one of them. The bearings are Huffy bicycle quality on these bikes.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:11 PM   #17
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sounds exactly what my xr did when i put new bearings in. i over tightened them just a bit and i thought my bike was messed up! i loosened the steering head nut just a tad and it was perfect. you shouldnt have any resistance when turning the bars left or right.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:06 AM   #18
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
It isn't a debate about the type. There are bikes that have perfectly fine ball bearing steering heads, (Aprillia Touno) for example. The Ninja 250 and 300 are not one of them. The bearings are Huffy bicycle quality on these bikes.
You didn't recommend replacing crappy ball bearings with quality ball bearings, you recommended replacing crappy ball bearings with quality tapered rollers. Presumably you did so for a reason. OTOH, the liability-averse engineers who designed the motorcycle in the first place chose ball bearings, and presumably also did so for reasons (yes, cost was surely one of them). There is at least an implied debate there.

The point that I am making is that engineering decisions are choices that trade off various operational and economic characteristics.

IMO, one should have a good understanding of the engineering trade-offs involved before going ahead with design choices. AFAICT, the OP has more pressing issues right now than whether or not to replace the SH bearings with tapered rollers, so I thought that I'd try to side-step the issue.

If the OP's interested in the subject, there's lots to learn, and it's definitely worth knowing more about how a steering head works.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:51 AM   #19
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Sounds like pitted steering head bearings . ALWAYS replace bearings and races together. You've also damaged your wheel bearings. NEVER reuse a bearing you've pounded or pulled out by the inner race. You had probably already damaged them tightening the axle without the bearing spacer. Don't be cheap , do it right.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:08 AM   #20
Navin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR View Post
You didn't recommend replacing crappy ball bearings with quality ball bearings, you recommended replacing crappy ball bearings with quality tapered rollers. Presumably you did so for a reason. OTOH, the liability-averse engineers who designed the motorcycle in the first place chose ball bearings, and presumably also did so for reasons (yes, cost was surely one of them). There is at least an implied debate there.

The point that I am making is that engineering decisions are choices that trade off various operational and economic characteristics.

IMO, one should have a good understanding of the engineering trade-offs involved before going ahead with design choices. AFAICT, the OP has more pressing issues right now than whether or not to replace the SH bearings with tapered rollers, so I thought that I'd try to side-step the issue.

If the OP's interested in the subject, there's lots to learn, and it's definitely worth knowing more about how a steering head works.

As far as I know, there is no complete kit to replace the loose ball bearing components with higher quality, loose bearings and races. Perhaps he could source them at a supply house, but the All //balls kit is complete, cheap and solves the issues these bikes have with poorly fixed steering stems from non caged balls.

He has more issues than the head bearings, but they are a known flaw on these bikes with a known solution.

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Old 06-27-2013, 10:20 AM   #21
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Is this what you're talking about?

http://www.allballsracing.com/22-1014.html
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by indr View Post
Is this what you're talking about?

http://www.allballsracing.com/22-1014.html
That is indeed the kit that we're discussing.

Whatever sort of SH bearing you end up with, and wherever you get it from, it's crucial to replace all parts of both bearings. In the parts diagram you posted, the upper SH bearings is parts:
11012
92047
92140
92048

The lower bearing is parts:
92048A
92140
another bearing race pressed onto your steering stem, not labeled on that sheet

Getting the bearing race off the stem is the most difficult portion, because of the need to avoid marring the surface on which the race sits. You cannot just pry the race off.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #23
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On my 300 that stem race fell off with a single light tap of a hammer on a regular screwdriver. The fit of these super cheapo parts is quite suspect. No wonder they wobble all over the road!

Whatever you do, avoid OEM Kawi replacements, and yes, that is the kit I used. It is very good quality parts, no complaints at all. The whole bike became more stable and "tighter" that it was off the floor.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #24
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Update: Went out for a ride. The problem is still there. But less pronounced. The main stem nut isn't all that tight either.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:03 PM   #25
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indr View Post
Update: Went out for a ride. The problem is still there. But less pronounced. The main stem nut isn't all that tight either.
Since you did not replace the bearing races when you replaced the ball bearings in your steering heads, you may very well have left behind dimpled races, which might be causing this effect.

It could easily be something else, though, and you've got enough stuff going on with this bike to make any sort of internet diagnosis difficult.

I can confidently recommend replacing your steering-head bearings (balls and races, both), since you didn't replace the worn races the first time around. Find sources (local bearing supplier, all-balls, etc.), and see what some comparison shopping can do for you.

I can also confidently recommend finding local, in-person expertise to assist you. There are real limits to what one can do over the internet, and based on this thread, I've reached the end of my expertise.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:56 PM   #26
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Thanks for everyone's help so far.

Also, I noticed that I'm an idiot. The steering head bolt, and the stem nut are two different things. I was spinning the bolt on the very top of the triple clamp, hoping to notice a difference. It doesn't do anything.

What I should have been adjusting is the little nut that goes below the top part of the triple clamp. Using a hooked spanner.

Will try that tomorrow and see if it makes a difference.

I'll also definitely replace the balls and races with the ones from All Balls in the near future. Not too expensive. Cheaper than OEM stuff.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:05 PM   #27
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Update. Took it to a local mech that showed me the play between the steering stem and the frame when braking. Bought All-Balls bearings. Installed. All is good.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:10 PM   #28
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They should be good for many tens of thousands of miles!
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