Notched: On 4th steering head bearing set in 52,000km

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by ThirdUncle, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. ThirdUncle

    ThirdUncle Dusting my teeth

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
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    Anyone else living this annoying and boring little repeating nightmare on their '09 F800GS? This set lasted 7,000 km. They've all been replaced by John Parker's crew at Budds BMW, Oakville on warranty. Every other bit of work they've done for me over the last two years has been spotless. So I don't believe it's them.

    Theories abound -- from crap bearings (NTN and one other lesser brand, made no diff), to overly bumpy front tires, (Tourance, K60, TKC-80 at present), to rough terrain (well yeah, I do live in downtown Toronto, but I give the bike a rest from potholes on weekends when I take her to the Ganaraskan trails), to riding too straight (rubbish).

    Tired of theories. Want a solution. Will Timkens put in the final fix?
    #1
  2. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    Consider front suspension mods to reduce steering head pounding and reduce front rim taco dings.:wink:
    #2
  3. Kiwirich

    Kiwirich Been here awhile

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    Hi Third Uncle,

    That's pretty crazy bearing consumption.I guess that installation issues are out of the question along with Lubrication.

    Have you considered Electrical Earthing.?

    I'm just wondering if there is some low current circuit passing through the bearings. This will effectively cause Arcs across the faces & over time it will destroy the hardening.

    It took me a change of Handlebars and 4 sets of bearings to find this issue on my 1150 GSA. The symptoms were similar and it was a nick in the loom on the Right hand side.............

    Good luck & let us know how you get on.

    Richard
    #3
  4. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Wow ... good on ya! :clap
    I don't know that I EVER would have tracked that down, but it is now etched into a couple of synapses for good ...
    I hope....
    #4
  5. ThirdUncle

    ThirdUncle Dusting my teeth

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    Forgot I'd posted this... thanks for the input. I got my fourth set put in no charge a few weeks ago and am waiting for the new set to wear out. That's about it. As for earthing, how the hell would I do that?
    #5
  6. grndzr0

    grndzr0 its Ground Zero

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    If you had something grounded to your handlebars, or tripples or forks. Essentially any part up front that moves. This would cause the electricity to flow through the bearings to the battery.

    Ryan
    #6
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Be sure it is not a case of same dealer, same crap quality bearings, and same tech using very little grease each time, and incorrect torque.
    Earthing in the loom is going to really show up in the wet, you'd need some decent amperage to destroy greased bearings and races.
    #7
  8. yety61

    yety61 Global Vagabond

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    G'day all,
    Just found this thread and thought I'd chime in. I have an '09 800 also and I am on my 4th set of steering head bearings in 40000km's so I'm having the same issue. Tried 2 different brands of bearings so far, made no difference. Currently waiting for the bike to get back from Russia, when it does, I'll be going over it with a magnifying glass trying to find any earth leakage to see if that is the problem. If I don't find anything then I'll just continue to ride the hell out of it and replace them every 12000km's, which is how long it takes them to wear out. I should know something in about 2 weeks, I'll keep you posted.
    #8
  9. deguoren

    deguoren 该出手时就出手

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    Same here.

    About 52000 km on the clock and I was advised that the bearing needs to be changed out soon.
    First swap was at ~ 30.000 km
    Next swap will not be done at my BMW dealer (good guys but using BMW parts might not always be the best choice). Last time they already told me the would only use original BMW parts.

    Yes I ride the bike in dirt....
    #9
  10. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    That's buullsht on the part of the dealer. Buy your own bearings, install them correctly, and be done with the problem.
    Dealers are installing poor quality bearings and not using enough of the right quality grease and likely torquing them incorrectly.
    Do it yourself.
    #10
  11. ThirdUncle

    ThirdUncle Dusting my teeth

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    Lads,

    I'll run the earthing idea past the Budds' techs, since I wouldn't know bad earthing from poor topsoil. I switched from a K60 front tire to a TKC80 last summer and got the new SHB in early Sept. I recall the the K60 front was noisy and one of the techs said that the SHB was worn evenly around the whole inside of the race, so maybe it was an evil resonance off the tire. Will report back if the new set wears out prematurely.
    #11
  12. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Electrically conductive grease maybe? :wink:
    Yes I've had a couple ... :freaky
    BUT ........Google says a company I know to be reputable supplier has such an animal:

    http://www.nyelubricants.com/products/elec_conductive.shtml

    Better of course to fix the root cause but ...
    #12