So we've all heard/seen the 650 xchallenge...let's see your XCOUNTRY!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Olas, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. solarheir

    solarheir Adventurer

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    Sorry for the delay. At the moment, I just have stock X-Challenge forks on there. But I as well also just ordered Hyperpro springs. They should arrive next Tuesday or Wednesday. So I have a 2009 X-Co with a 2007 X-Co height shock(brand is TFX), the X-Challenge forks and X-Challenge wheels(21" and 18"). Not sure yet how the new springs will affect the mounted length of the forks, but currently I think the bike geometry is pretty close to the original 2007 X-Co's. Haven't gotten the chance to dirt test it yet and probably won't until after the new springs are on. But have to say, pretty happy with how things are at the moment.

    Don't know much about the X-Ch air shock. But I would probably say you'd be better off with non-BMW suspension. I would assume any shock made for the X-Challenge would work, but I'm not sure. As for me, being at 5'9" and with baby legs, haha..... as much as I welcome greater ground clearance, I also like still being able to reach the ground. So 2007 X-Co height is fine with me. Maybe one day I won't need the comfort of being able to reach, but for now it helps.
    focal likes this.
  2. solarheir

    solarheir Adventurer

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    I'm going to say that's probably going to depend on how you feel on the bike at the moment and how complicated you want to get. :lol2
    I'm 5'9" and 285 lbs(working on it! :D) and I was definitely putting that stock rear shock to work!! Just had a TFX rear shock in July, just before a trip. Rode it all the way to Canada and back from Central California, doing the entire WA Backcountry Discovery Route along the way. It performed great on the dirt, I loved it, never bottomed out once or lost traction. And the 2500 miles or so of street riding was nice, smooth sailing.
    The forks..... if you're primary concern is the street and money is no object.... I would tell you to buy a Traxxion AK-20 cartridge kit. They give you rebound and compression adjustability and are superb on the street. Otherwise, not a ton of options in replacing fork springs. You're pretty much looking at Wilburs, Hyperpro or Ohlins. Don't think you could go too wrong whichever you chose. I myself went with the Hyperpro that I just ordered, will be installed in about a week.
    Seeing as how you're a 6 foot guy, if you happen to be on a 2009 bike, you may want to think about changing the bike's height, but that is a much wider discussion. :evil
    EODender likes this.
  3. leafman60

    leafman60 Long timer

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    I still have a BMW air shock that appears to be new for sale.

    .
  4. leafman60

    leafman60 Long timer

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    Another re-post-

    Also requested-

    From original post 8518 (corrupted from ADV conversion)


    After 24,000 miles, I have finally replaced my worn steering bearings on my XCountry.

    I’ve read several other accounts of notchy bearings after low mileage. Reasons have been given that allege no or little grease from the factory and/or poor bearing pre-load due to the original set-up or lack of owner maintenance.

    These are tapered roller bearings and the problem is that the rollers can wear into both their inner and outer races and create detent pockets that grab the rollers and try to hold the wheel in the straight-ahead position.<o

    My inner and outer races from the lower bearing that supports most of the bike loading-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Examining my bearings shows grease from the factory. My lower bearing after removal and its inner race after removing the roller cage-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Based on this info, I assume my bearings ran loose without proper pre-load and the rollers vibrated around on races creating those scars.


    This is not a step by step guide for doing the replacement but I have, a few tips on removing these bearings.

    The X series bikes are designed different from the GS cousins. They have an all-aluminum triple clamp/steering stem assembly. The stem fits into a clamped receiver in the top bracket and an aluminum stem bolt threads down through the top bracket into the stem. Tightening this bolt pre-loads the bearings. When proper pre-load is obtained, the fork tube and center stem clamps are tightened to hold that pre-load. There are no castle ring nuts or any of that stuff as found on other bikes.

    View of top bracket and center stem bolt. The center stem clamp bolt can also be seen.

    [​IMG]

    Once you have removed the wheel and for tubes, simply loosen the center stem clamp, remove the center stem bolt and drop the stem and lower bracket out. You do not have to remove the handlebars and all the instrument/headlamp assemblies.

    Removing the lower bearing from the aluminum steering stem is the fun part. I used a Dremel tool and cut-off wheel to cut the roller cage and then used a screwdriver to pry it apart.

    [​IMG]

    Once some of the rollers fall out, the cage and remaining rollers fall off and leave only the inner race that must be slipped off its stem boss.

    Follow the factory manual and in spite of anything you see for other bikes (with steel stems), heat the entire lower bracket and stem to 180-200 degrees F. You can use a home oven and the silver bracket paint will not be damaged with this temperature.

    Then, clamp the stem assembly in a protected vise. Having a heat gun or hair dryer to keep heat on the race is also a good idea.

    [​IMG]

    With a suitable tool, you can then drive the inner race off its boss. It will slide under impact without too much trouble. You drive against the little ridge around the race that retains the rollers.

    [​IMG]

    Once off the boss, I cut the race through with my Dremel and wedged-in a chisel to spread the race and allow it to slip over the top boss that’s not as tight of a fit as the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Use the old split race upside-down as a driving tool to seat the new bearing on the lower boss against the bearing shield cup. This is not difficult.

    [​IMG]

    With the new, greased bearing in place, reinstall the stem assembly to the bike along with the upper greased bearing. You will have two protective shield cups piggybacked on top. Position the upper bracket on the stem and thread in the aluminum center stem bolt and snug it down enough to hold the bearings together for now.

    Install the fork legs and wheel assembly. Tighten the lower clamps on the fork legs but leave the upper bracket fork legs clamps loose for now in order to properly set the bearing pre-load.

    Setting the steering head pre-load:

    The factory manual procedure for setting steering bearing pre-load is to tighten the stem bolt to 20 NM, turn the forks lock to lock a time or two, loosen the stem bolt completely and then torque it back to 5 NM. Then tighten the center stem clamp and fork tube clamps and lastly torque the stem bolt down to 20 NM to secure the stem bolt.

    The time-honored traditional method of steering head bearing adjustment involves tightening the bearings down to put a slight drag on turning the front wheel while elevated and then slackening the stem bolt until the elevated front wheel will just fall from side to side under its own weight once bumped off centerline.

    I tried both methods with the X bike and ended up with a hybrid approach. I am skeptical of simply using a fixed torque number as suggested by the factory manual.

    First, I tightened the stem bolt down to 20 NM and turned the forks lock to lock two or three times to center and seat the bearings. I then loosened the stem bolt and then hand-tightened it with an Allen wrench until my elevated front wheel was hesitant to fall away on its own weight. I then backed the stem bolt out until the wheel would barely just fall away after a nudge from center.

    I then tightened the center stem clamp to 25 NM as well as the 4 upper fork clamp bolts to 25NM and finally went back and tightened the center stem bolt to 20 NM to secure it from backing out.

    After about 500 miles, I will re-set the bearing pre-load and then hopefully be set for many miles.

    ____________

    Steering head bearings are the same sets used on older BMW airheads and other models.

    SKF part number is SKF 320/28 (X or XQ etc) and includes the race, $30-40 each with race from suppliers.
    [​IMG]


    .
    NSFW, focal, DGR and 1 other person like this.
  5. Craig Cutright

    Craig Cutright Been here awhile

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    perfect timing....I need to do this.
  6. leafman60

    leafman60 Long timer

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    another resurrection-

    While I had my fork tubes off to replace my head bearings, I changed the oil and added a 1 inch longer spring pre-load spacer to tighten everything up and reduce my sag.

    I went from the stock 7.5 wt BMW oil to the 10 wt BMW oil. Viscosity ratings for fork oil is a controversial matter that I won't labor upon here. Basically, the "weight" classification is not dependable and one brand's 15 wt may be as thin as another brands 7.5 wt.

    That's why I used BMW oil- to insure I was going one step up in viscosity. The heavier oil increases compression and rebound dampening.

    I removed the cap and spring, pulled the spring out and dumped out the stock black plastic spring spacer. It happens to be exactly the same diameter as a 1 inch PVC pipe coupling. The PVC coupling is about I inch longer than the stock spacer and I replaced the stock spacer with it.

    My total front laden sag is about 2 inches now. That's on the low end of the rule of thumb 25-30 percent of travel suggestion but my forks now work much better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  7. EODender

    EODender Adventurer

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    Thanks solarheir for the input. I went with the hyperpro spring that was hanging around on ebay for awhile. It's been doing well so far. I'm going to take it for some fun in Moab this week and put it to some real tests.
    solarheir likes this.
  8. Craig Cutright

    Craig Cutright Been here awhile

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  9. focal

    focal 2009 G650 XCountry

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    At 10k miles now, is it worth resetting these when I change my fork oil? I would assume mine are looser than they were at the factory install, but would tightening them at this point extend the life or are they at point where they are broken in and wouldn’t improve? Thanks.
  10. leafman60

    leafman60 Long timer

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    You should definitely check and re-tighten them. Loose steering bearings will move around, vibrate etc and wear grooves in their races. Properly tightened bearings will enjoy better life.

    There is some breaking-in usually with new bearings which I why I mentioned re-torqueing them soon after installation. However, they should be periodically checked over time to avoid them running loose.

    If you do not feel a notch in them. That is, if your steering assembly moves back and forth through its arc without the feel of a detent notch that wants to hold them in the straight position, you are probably ok and do not need new bearings.

    However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to drop the triple clamps, grease the upper and lower bearings and then re-tighten them.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.

    Just dropping and greasing is not so big of a job as actually replacing the bearings and races. You'll get a direct look at the races and the condition of the rollers in the process.

    .
    Dutchgit likes this.
  11. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

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    glad to see this thread is very much alive.

    this weekend i'm ready to join this forum

    bike on it's way to L.A.
    [​IMG]
  12. tbarstow

    tbarstow Two-wheelin' Fool

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    Viva Lost Wages!
    I see you are finally tired of your rides getting KTMd Joel!
  13. Defender63

    Defender63 Adventurer

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    Great news NSFW !!!
  14. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

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    haha. tim, i still like my KTM, but the 701 will fix it all.

    truth is i'm tired of getting on and off a tall bike....:nod

    thanks.

    been wanting one and finally. this will be my commuter bike. i like the 19/17 set up, lot easier touching the ground even with my 32" inseam.
    tbarstow likes this.
  15. Dutchgit

    Dutchgit Completely clogless

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    You'll love it for commuting. Very easy to scrape the pegs on an XCo ! Easier on that one as I assume it is the lower version. That's easy to remedy though.

    [​IMG]

    Looking for that pic above I also found this one again.
    Can you tell what I did there ? :D

    [​IMG]
    NSFW and Defender63 like this.
  16. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

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    the po lowered the bike and now, i'm restoring it to the tallest possible setting. been turning the upper nut clockwise but won't turn anymore.

    not sure if the shock length on my 09 is at its fullest? picture below.

    [​IMG]
  17. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

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    nice artwork. it's seems the puddle of water is of high quality.
    Dutchgit likes this.
  18. EODender

    EODender Adventurer

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    Looks about as high as I could get mine.
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  19. EODender

    EODender Adventurer

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    Took mine out in Moab today. This is how high it sits. 1008171401.jpg
    solarheir, waylongway, Zeus99 and 4 others like this.
  20. cgguy09

    cgguy09 Scientiæ Cedit Mare

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    Make sure to adjust the fork bridge too!
    EODender likes this.