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    1. · Registered
      1,705 Posts
      Changed my steering head bearings today. Another first for me.

      My bearings had never been changed so the original ball bearings were still in there. I was surprised at how well the grease has held up over the last almost-20 years. Also, I could feel the notch when everything was still on the bike, but once I got the bearings out they felt really smooth.

      Changed them for All Balls needle bearings. Other than grease, the kit (#22-1003) contained everything I needed. Took me five hours, and made a few rookie mistakes.

      Most time consuming mistake was not checking the routing of wires and hoses when installing the steering head assembly and the forks. I was able to correct that mostly without a fuss, but I had to dismantle the throttle cables and the front brake hose to put things right. That was quicker than disassembling the wheel, fender, forks and everything. Oh well, changed my front brake fluids at the same time.

      I got a cheap bearing driver kit on AliExpress. Was not happy that none of the disks fitted this size. In the end I used my Dremel to cut a slot in both the inner and outer race of the old bearings and used those races together with the Ali kit to get everything seated. 17.0US $ 15% OFF|10 Pcs Bearing Race & Seal Driver Installer Set Remover Automotive Tools|tools automotive|tool tooltool removal - AliExpress

      I'm surprised at how little torque is needed on the preload adjuster nut to get the right resistance in the steering. On my test ride I had things way too tight, but I found a convenient parking lot and was able to loosen things up with an adjustable spanner for the top nut and a c-spanner for the lock nut and adjuster nut. No disassembly required.
    1. · Registered
      1,705 Posts
      Yes, from my K9 650 Service manual.
      Thanks for posting that picture. It solves a puzzle that I was facing.

      I bought a cheap bearing driver set on AliExpress. In there is a series of pucks for various bearing sizes, but there's only one of each size. If you follow the Suzuki instructions you'd need two pucks of the same size, and I was thinking about how to solve that. Your DL650 service manual suggests using an old bearing to drive the new bearing in - something that was not in my DL1000 manual. But it's a great idea, because this means that the old bearings protrudes, and that means that you can use an oversize puck. Puzzle solved. I think I am going to dremel a slot in the outer race of the old bearing though, so that it doesn't get stuck.

      The bearing driver kit that I got was this: 17.4US $ 13% OFF|10 Pcs Bearing Race & Seal Driver Installer Set Remover Automotive Tools|tools automotive|tool tooltool removal - AliExpress
      Obviously this kit is intended for hammering in the bearing - that's why that handlebar piece is there. I have used it for the sprocket bearing and the steering head bearings already that way. I have now added a length of M14 rod, two nuts and two washers to use this on the wheel bearings the way the Suzuki manual intended.

      I would guess they tell you about it so you won't think the bearing isn't in far enough should you detect it.
      The spacer effectively hides any access to that clearance, so I can't see how you would detect it in the first place, let alone measure it. I mean, short of putting the wheel on an x-ray machine. But I'm glad they tell you about the clearance. It helps explain why the process (left first, then press, not hammer, the right bearing in) is designed as it is.
    1. · Registered
      1,705 Posts
      Hey BP, thanks! Any chance you have links to those two items on Alli?
      Here's the stuff I got. But remember that I have an '02 DL1000, so check that they actually fit your bike.

      Swingarm tool: 12.91US $ 33% OFF|Swingarm Pivot Nut Tool For Suzuki SV650 S/A/SA SV1000/DL650 DL1000 V Strom GSX R GSXR 600 750 1000 Replaces OEM 09940 14940|Covers & Ornamental Mouldings| - AliExpress
      This one was 'cancelled by customs' - a very weird story. So I never received it, but did get my money back. And I won't be able to tell if it works or not. Still need to order a new one.
      BTW the other "special tool" that's mentioned in the service manual for removing the swingarm pivot is just a regular 19mm hex socket, available from any hardware store. The DL1000 front axle needs the exact same tool or alternative, but I believe the DL650 front axle is smaller.

      Bearing driver tool: 17.0US $ 15% OFF|10 Pcs Bearing Race & Seal Driver Installer Set Remover Automotive Tools|tools automotive|tool tooltool removal - AliExpress
      I have so far used this for the rear sprocket bearing, which worked fine. But this set did not include the right size for my steering head bearings, so I had to use the old bearings (with a slot cut in by my Dremel to prevent it getting stuck) together with an oversized puck from this set to drive the new bearing in.

      Bearing puller tool: 29.6US $ 50% OFF|Motorcycle Inner Bearing Puller Tool Car 9mm To23mm Repair Remover Tool Hand Tool,Set,Gear Remover Pulling Extractor herramienta| | - AliExpress
      Have not used it yet, but plan to use it on the wheel bearings. This kit does not include a puller that's big enough for the sprocket carrier bearing, but that one could be pushed out really easily from the other side.

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