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Offline NH

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Front Wheel Bearings
« on: December 28, 2018, 09:36:11 PM »
What kind of intervals are people changing front wheel bearings ?

My 2014 original bearings lasted over 30,000 miles before one collapsed completely without warning last April. I had a new set with seals fitted (not from Triumph as they couldn't get them fast enough) but I've just had them changed again as one was perfect but the other was completely wrecked. I suspect (hope) it must have been faulty from new and the supplier sent me the new kit no questions asked so can't fault that. Hoping they last longer than the last pair.
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Offline eps

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 09:44:03 PM »
Hi - been in same position - I try to use a good quality bearing make - not necessarily the cheapest. Also make sure you press in it - not hammer it with a socket. A threaded bar and some big washers will do if you do nt have access to a press.  Finally I alway keep my bearings in the freezer for a day or so before installing - every bit helps.
Good luck :001:

Offline unsubtle

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 10:34:56 PM »
I don't change them. In about 400k miles I've only had one bearing fail - that was a back wheel bearing on a Daytona 1200 at about 71k miles, probably from jumping it over the Mountain. I've always viewed wheel bearings as the sort of thing you change only when needed.

Offline NH

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 12:14:30 AM »
Thanks guys. I didn't fit them, they were changed by a mechanic as it's easier for the sake of a tenner. 🙂 As for only changing them when needed... the originals collapsed and the replacement had a load of play in it so that qualifies as 'when needed' I recon.  :028:
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Offline unsubtle

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 01:40:12 AM »
I usually do my own work, but at £10, I'd definitely get a mechanic to do it! It took me about four goes to get right on the D1200, as there's no positive stop for one of the bearings and you have to keep measuring the clearance on the spacer, then winch it down a little more. It easily displaced steering head bearings as Not My Favourite Job.

Offline Will Morgan

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2018, 10:51:06 AM »
*Originally Posted by unsubtle [+]
there's no positive stop for one of the bearings and you have to keep measuring the clearance on the spacer, then winch it down a little more.

From my experiences with another bike some years ago even the very slightest incorrect clearance caused premature bearing failure.....and the manufacturer's workshop manual did not specify what the clearance should be! It was a nightmare getting it right and there was no surefire way of telling if it was right except waiting to see how long the bearings lasted. How a supposedly performance bike could be manufactured with such an obvious design flaw could only be explained by the fact it was Italian!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 10:53:16 AM by Will Morgan »

Offline unsubtle

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2018, 03:43:02 PM »
For those lucky people who have never changed wheel bearings, I'd better explain what we're talking about, as it's not very obvious and I couldn't find a description in any of my manuals. When you tighten down a wheel spindle, you're tightening against the inner races of the wheel bearings. To stop them being crushed out of line, they are supported by a long spacer inside the wheel, which touches against both inner races. The spacer is shaped like a tall top hat, with the top missing so that the spindle can pass through it. The "brim of the hat" touches against a ledge on one side of the wheel, and that bearing can be pressed home until it bottoms against the spacer. Simples.

Because you need to be able to tap the bearings out when they fail, the other end of the spacer can be pushed to the side. In other words the spacer is captive, but can be moved around a little. Now for the bearing on this side, it needs to be pressed in until its inner race just touches the spacer, so that the spacer can support the bearing. Not far enough, and tightening the spindle against the unsupported bearing will knacker it. Too far, and the inner race will push against the spacer too hard and again damage the bearing. There's no specific clearance as far as I know, it's just dependent on the tiny amount of lateral play in the ball bearing. I think some wheels are designed so that there is a ledge giving a stop for the second bearing, but at least on my D1200 that wasn't the case and you had to do the job by feel.

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2018, 05:46:32 PM »
Regarding front wheel bearing failure, have you done any wheelies lately?   :016:

Thanks for the tip. I will be on the lookout for notchy bearings the when I get new tires mounted next spring. My Gen1 TEX is at that mileage. FYI, with the front wheel off, just stick two fingers into the hole and turn the bearings by hand. If they feel at all rough or 'notchy' when turning, then get them changed.

Years ago I read a similar posting on the ST1300 forum about the rear bearings (four of them) on that bike at about 40k miles. Sure enough, when I did the 'digital' inspection on mine, they were on their way out -- likely due to the weight of the ST13.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline NH

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2018, 08:46:13 PM »
Defo no wheelies by me, I try and keep both tyres in contact with the road at all times. 🙂

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Offline vsteel

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Re: Front Wheel Bearings
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2018, 04:21:52 PM »
I have never replaced a wheel bearing on a motorcycle but every time I remove the wheels I always feel for any issues.  If there is ANY tick, grind, rough place or anything else that is not butter smooth they get replaced. 

 


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