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Old 12-24-2014, 09:06 AM   #1
Strawdog OP
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F800GS Lower Steering Bearing

Picture from lower steering bearing race. The rollers have made impressions the race that are fairly deep. Upper bearing race were fine both had fair amount of grease from factory.

2012 with 64000 KM on it bike had unnatural feel to when in going into corners it would feel like the bike would want to fall over.

I have never seen this before the few bikes I have done steering bearings my experience has been they were worn due lack of grease or water damage. Was curious if any one else has seen this happen to there bikes ?
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:40 AM   #2
Rgconner
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Looks similar to what happens to ball bearings when there is failed lubrication, as you surmised
Commonly called "Brinelling" in cycling.

http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/indexed-steering.html


Of course, you have lines where they make contact, not divots like a ball produces.
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
sarathmenon
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Yup, they all do that

I am impressed that your bearings lasted 64k kms, that's more than twice what people usually get. On the other hand, that lower bearing may have been toast a while ago
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
jengel451
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Every bike I get brand new. EVERY one, I pull the head bearings and grease them myself.

When I pulled the ones on my 13, they had minimal grease from the factory. Grease is your friend, use it liberally.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
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I find it odd that's there no zerk fitting to grease them I had a 1994 Harley Low Rider it came with a factory accessible plug to screw in a zerk fitting.

Since its apart figure will install one
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawdog View Post
I find it odd that's there no zerk fitting to grease them I had a 1994 Harley Low Rider it came with a factory accessible plug to screw in a zerk fitting.

Since its apart figure will install one
Harley's have an inherent need to have lubrication added due to their "total loss" systems. ;)
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawdog View Post
I find it odd that's there no zerk fitting to grease them I had a 1994 Harley Low Rider it came with a factory accessible plug to screw in a zerk fitting.

Since its apart figure will install one
Are you going to drill and tap the headset housing for a zerk?

I never thought of doing that .... the inner cavity is fairly large so the first top-up would consume a lot of grease, but after that it should only take a few pumps then a clean up with a rag.... is that your plan?
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
wizze
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My races looked like that at 25,000 miles. As far as adding grease fittings, that will had WAY too much grease weight to the front end causing wobbling and head shake at around 180 mph! JK A racing buddy did that to all his MX bikes but he had a pneumatic grease gun for the first fill-up otherwise a lot of pumping by hand.
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #9
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Can you imagine the grease mess as you squeeze out the old? top and bottom.
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jengel451 View Post
Can you imagine the grease mess as you squeeze out the old? top and bottom.
Creates a mess takes a second wipe it away, grease is cheap takes less time to pump a few shots then pull the front end apart again.
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:39 PM   #11
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I'm lucky to get 10k miles out of a set although my forks are 60mm longer than std and i ride it pretty hard on and off road.

46k miles total probably on my 7th lower bearing
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:05 PM   #12
jengel451
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I don't get how these are getting destroyed that fast. If you set them up right and pack them with good grease, they should last a lot longer.

The only time I've ever had ANY head bearings go bad, was when they were left dry, or got a lot of water in them (Dropped the bike in a stream) and I forgot to pull them to clean it all out.

I have over 10K Miles on mine and they are perfect, no uneven wear marks etc, and I beat the crap out of it. I'd be willing to bet only 2K of it is pavement.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:34 PM   #13
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I'm having problems with mine, and am planning to take them appart this winter. The idea of wear over time with little or no grease makes sense, however I don't think a grease zerk is the best solution.

Considering I'm one of the folks that had problems with a "soft" chain, maybe I go a "soft" bearing as well.

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Old 12-26-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Lower bearing takes almost all of the load; upper gets very little in comparison.
If the bearings are too tight they will brinell sooner.
I think the zerk is overkill.
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #15
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I imagine it is difficult to keep a good oil film no matter how much grease is in the bearing if the bearing is too tight. However with your suspension working all the time, there should be some moments when the lower bearing is unloaded enought to get some lube under the rollers, provided there is some clearence.
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