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Discussion Starter #1
So, I decided to take the bearings out of the frame as I took it to powdercoating. Probably didn't really need it just now, but I thought, stuff it, may as well get them done too. The decision though... I took out 2 of Koyo SAC2647-1, which I can find reasonably cheap at a random internet bearings merchant (7-odd quid each ) Or there is an analogue of them in tapered form from the same merchant (at 15 quid each). [Only looking at premium brands (Koyo / NTN)

So the question... is it better to go for the tapered ones for twice the price or just stick to the OEM? Any opinions out there? Thanks.
 

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Having got it stripped out I would denfinetly fit the taper roller bearings. They have a much larger load bearing area so will last a lot longer. A big upgrade on the ball type.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The cheapskate in me knew you're going to say that. :)
Thanks Hoppicker. Appreciate the advice.
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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I preferred the OE, they can be set up with a torque wrench as the setting is in the manual, I just butchered a socket from Halfords with an angle grinder to make a tool to fit the adjuster. They are not separate balls like they appear in the exploded diagrams, the balls are set in a plastic ring which drops down onto the shell. Maybe the same torque setting can be used for tapered bearings, or you prefer to set them up by feel. I found that if greased properly and adjusted correctly it was a fit and forget operation for the life of the bike. Make sure the OE price includes the races and the bearing ring.
 

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Another for taper bearings here if i buy a bike its one of the first upgrades i do (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the balanced viewpoints guys. I am still pondering. The bit about torquing is quite an important one. I have no idea how to torque the tapered bearings...
 

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Thanks for the balanced viewpoints guys. I am still pondering. The bit about torquing is quite an important one. I have no idea how to torque the tapered bearings...
That's easy just grab the bottom of the fork legs with the wheel off as you can feel any play easier and tighten the steering stem nut until there's no forward or back play, also check that they rotate lock to lock smooth and freely (y)
 

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Thanks for the balanced viewpoints guys. I am still pondering. The bit about torquing is quite an important one. I have no idea how to torque the tapered bearings...
Ive never 'torqued' up head bearings, just nip up the top collar so there is no play & no drag.

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I agree with Freds method. A taper roller bearing is much more tolerant of being slightly over tightened than a cup type ball race. Its all about the contact patch of the rolling elements.
 

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If the OEM have done the 45K on the clock then I'd say not as major concern whether you fit roller or taper.
Keeping steering bearings lubricated during ownership is more of an issue as few do it (me included !)
I'm one for keeping things standard on Honda's - OEM get my vote and I too "torque" by feel as mentioned above by pigulglyshandydrinker
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah... I am pretty sure that the previous set did not do 45k. It must have been changed at least once. There was very little marking on the races, and the whole thing was pretty smooth, but I am thinking that I may as well change them when the frame was easy to flip over and ping them out. I remember DS99 having major issues getting them out recently, I always found the frame ones a 10 minute job. Particularly when I just flipped the frame for the top ine. Now, getting the one off the bottom of the triple-clamps may be another story...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone. I am still on the fence. I am expecting the bike to be pretty much a garage-queen when it is restored... and only ever do fer miles, only on the sunny days. So not sure if it is worth worrying about longevity...
 

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If I were buying the bike off you and you told me that you had changed the head races, I would ask what type you had put in. This would give me an idea of how well the bike had been loved and cared for. If a few pounds had been saved on the head races what else should I be looking at!! Just saying.
 

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Yeah... I am pretty sure that the previous set did not do 45k. It must have been changed at least once. There was very little marking on the races, and the whole thing was pretty smooth, but I am thinking that I may as well change them when the frame was easy to flip over and ping them out. I remember DS99 having major issues getting them out recently, I always found the frame ones a 10 minute job. Particularly when I just flipped the frame for the top ine. Now, getting the one off the bottom of the triple-clamps may be another story...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone. I am still on the fence. I am expecting the bike to be pretty much a garage-queen when it is restored... and only ever do fer miles, only on the sunny days. So not sure if it is worth worrying about longevity...
The bearing race on the triple clamp can be a very tough job. Pros use a puller but I've always used an angle grinder fitted with a cutting disc. Just go steady down one side and this will break the grip. Use the old race to install the new one - pop it on top and drive it home with a length of pipe. if you look on YouTube there's some Aussies demonstrating the approach.
 

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I would stick with standard. Just cleaned and regreased at 45k and they are fine. Regrease them every couple of years. Try not to overtighten them. Stay well clear of ALL BALLS bearings if you do go for tapered. Had to remove a newish set fitted to an XR I bought. Poor quality
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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I used to remove the bottom bearing by hammering a chisel (as a wedge) between the underside of the bearing and the triple clamp until there was enough room to get a large flat head screwdriver in to lever upwards a small amount,which in turn gave enough room to get a tyre lever in and off it came. However, the last time I tried to do this I had chronic tennis elbow and the hammering was killing me. Then someone on here mentioned using a Dremel with a cutting disc instead, bless you whoever it was.

I shot over to B&Q, bought one and returned to my garage. I opened the box and laughed when I saw what appeared to be tiny paper cutting discs, but decided to have a go anyway. WOW, what a revelation. I had already managed to accidentally lever off the ball part of the bearing and was just left with the inner ring which was hanging on for grim death. The little disc bit into that and with sparks flying it started to cut deeper into it. I never even got all the way through, once the cut was deep enough the bearing inner ring just broke on its own, became loose on the shaft and I was able to lift it off with my fingers (once it had cooled down).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Yen. Yes, those wee discs can be a real bugger as they shatter like crazy, but man do they cut through things. I am slighly concerned at how easy it would be to cut into the stem with one of those. I guess a tiny half-mil-wide score on the stem wouldn't really do any harm anyway.

Definitely a more elegant solution that banging away at it... Now, I will need to find the little seal-washers thingies and order from bearing suppliers and some pipe to drive them down. .

Thank you all for the input. very good to have opposing views and even some ideas about things not so obvious things like the quality of the resto being judged by the parts used. Valid point, that, too.
 

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Thanks Yen. Yes, those wee discs can be a real bugger as they shatter like crazy, but man do they cut through things. I am slighly concerned at how easy it would be to cut into the stem with one of those. I guess a tiny half-mil-wide score on the stem wouldn't really do any harm anyway.

Definitely a more elegant solution that banging away at it... Now, I will need to find the little seal-washers thingies and order from bearing suppliers and some pipe to drive them down. .

Thank you all for the input. very good to have opposing views and even some ideas about things not so obvious things like the quality of the resto being judged by the parts used. Valid point, that, too.
I never got near the stem with the cutting disc, I think they are on so tight that once a slot was cut into the bearing inner the pressure made it crack open.
 

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I use a Dremel on a lot of projects but on a bearing race a grinder with 1mm cutting disc is far easier going. As Yen says, once it pops open things are easy.
Far better than hammering away and doing serious damage to the lower yoke.
 
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