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Discussion Starter #1
Have any of you guys sourced quality wheel bearings for your bike from an online retailer? I don't mean something like All Balls, more along the lines of a place that sells something like Koyo, Nachi, SKF, etc. If you have, can you tell me what retailer you used? I've been trying to find a site that sells bearings at retail and gives the actual price of the bearing on line, so I can compare the price to the OEM bearings, but all I can seem to find are wholesalers that don't sell to the general public (and don't even provide bearing prices). Online retailers like The Big Bearing Store do sell bearings in the right size, but they don't disclose who made them, which always leads me to believe that they're Chinese made ones of unknown quality. The nearest brick and mortar bearing suppliers are a couple hours from me, and their websites don't provide prices; you have to email them for quotes. I'm really curious to know if there are any real savings over sourcing bearings from a bearing supplier as opposed to buying OEM ones from someplace like Rocky Mountain ATV.
 

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Most bearing houses don't list prices because [prices are different for every customer. Depending on how quickly you pay and how much you buy you'll get a multiplier to use against MRSP to factor your price. If some has a MSRP of $1.00 and you get a .5 multiplier your cost is $0.50.

Where I work we have an electrical motor repair shop that does a high volume of business and we pay vendors net 30 or sooner no mater if we've been paid by the customer or not. We do not operate pay when paid. It gets us extremely good pricing (most of the time) as vendor's know they will get paid quickly so they don't have to fluff the number to cover finance costs. Basically they know they are going to get paid most likely before they get an invoice for their supplier. So it a quick flip and pricing goes down.

We use mostly KOYO but can order anything. I get then at cost so as a barometer a common KOYO 62042RS I pay about $4. We also use TCM seal that are great quality and priced right.

All Balls and Moose pack up convenient kits but use questionably/unknown quality parts. If you shop around you can get the same size and quantity in known quality for not a whole lot more.
 

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I just go to one of the two local bearing suppliers who sell over the counter to anyone who walks in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Our situations are obviously different, Perazzi. I don't have an in with a bearing supplier, and I don't need to order bearings in bulk, so it's unlikely I'm going to get anything at cost, or even close to it. If the only way I can find out the price of a bearing is to email the bearing supplier and ask for a quote, I'll probably opt for just getting OEM ones from RMATV. However, since you do have some familiarity with bearing prices, maybe you can help me suss out whether this is worthwhile or not.

The bearing sizes I need, and the prices charged for OEM, are as follows:

The front wheel bearings and one rear wheel bearing are 22x44x12. They're coded as 60/22, and I believe they're 2RS. OEM price is $14.95 each.

One rear wheel bearing is 22x50x14. It's coded as 62/22DG. OEM price is $29.91.

The clutch hub bearing is 25x47x12. It's coded as 6005RD. OEM price is $29.99.

Based on your knowledge of the "guy walking in off the street" price, do those prices sound in line with the prices I'd get at a bearing supply house?

As for something like All Balls/Moose/Pivot Works, I'm not going to slam them because I know some guys swear by them, but I've heard enough bad experiences with them that I would probably steer clear of them unless I didn't have a choice.
 

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What about Grainger and that type of supplier? Seems if you have the bearings in hand, reading the part number stamped on them should help in chatting with the suppliers.
 

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Try Applied Industrial Technologies, or Motion Industries. They sell power transmission stuff to industrial, commercial, and refineries. I dealt with AIT alot in a previous position at work, and they have locations everywhere. AIT sells SKF, Dodge, and F-A-G bearings for sure, maybe others too. I also found that they were cheaper when my wheel bearing went out on my Honda Accord 10 years ago. Honda won't sell just the bearing, they force you to replace the entire wheel hub assembly. Local auto parts stores only had a listing for the hub assembly as well, so I ended up having a local machine shop press out the old bearing and I took it to AIT for them to match it. I don't recall how much I paid for the brearing and for the machine shop to press out/press in the bearing, but I do remember it was just a fraction of what the hub assembly would have cost me. Put another 140k miles on that car before I sold it and no more issues with that bearing. As notacop mentioned, Grainger sells them too and they have locations everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
D.T., I've tried that site (Motion Industries), but I don't get any results when I search for the bearing by either size or nomenclature. I've run into that on other bearing sites, where they don't recognize either a size like 22x44x12 or 60/22.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Try Applied Industrial Technologies, or Motion Industries. They sell power transmission stuff to industrial, commercial, and refineries. I dealt with AIT alot in a previous position at work, and they have locations everywhere. AIT sells SKF, Dodge, and F-A-G bearings for sure, maybe others too. I also found that they were cheaper when my wheel bearing went out on my Honda Accord 10 years ago. Honda won't sell just the bearing, they force you to replace the entire wheel hub assembly. Local auto parts stores only had a listing for the hub assembly as well, so I ended up having a local machine shop press out the old bearing and I took it to AIT for them to match it. I don't recall how much I paid for the brearing and for the machine shop to press out/press in the bearing, but I do remember it was just a fraction of what the hub assembly would have cost me. Put another 140k miles on that car before I sold it and no more issues with that bearing. As notacop mentioned, Grainger sells them too and they have locations everywhere.
Houstrom, thanks for the Applied Industrial Technologies site. I finally figured out where to look on there for bearing sizes, and they did have prices listed. I could find two of the three sizes I need, but they ended up actually being more expensive than OEM. I guess that does answer my question regarding whether it was cheaper to source non-OEM bearings.
 

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I got lucky with my last order of allballz, as they were Japanese bearings.
 

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Just out of curiosity, do you remember who made them?
I didn't pay attention to who made them, but this isn't uncommon for Al Ballz to have this happen, but most the time it's China's finest.
 

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I searched Amazon for SKF bearings in the sizes I needed and found all of them at decent prices.
The bearings ended up being manufactured in Eastern Europe, I think Slovakia from what I remember which is okay by me as the Czech and Slovaks know how to make stuff( CZ 9mms are impressive) and I’m hoping SKF has maintained their standards, only time will tell.
 

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I walked into Applied Ind. Tech (used to be called, Bearings, Inc. - headquartered here in Cleveland) and talked to one of the guys some years ago. Many bearings are OEM - designed by the bike manufacturer and then made by a bearing house for them exclusively. Sure, some companies use stock bearings, but not all, which is why you may not find what you want at a local bearing house even if you give them the numbers on the bearing (not Suzi's part number).

This guy also explained to me Tier 1 through Tier 3 bearings - basically the quality levels. Major brands - Timken, SKF, etc, are Tier 1, top quality and they go from there. If you are sourcing bearings from someone other than Suzi, you need to know the lingo and exactly what the specs were when the OEM bearings were manufactured. This info is hard to get, so you will depend on a knowledgeable bearing person at a place like AIT. If AIT has an outlet near you, walk in and strike up a conversation with the parts guy. AIT trains their people and while all people behind the counter are not equally knowledgeable, you should be able to get straight answers to your questions. (I too buy maybe half a dozen bearings for tools, cars, bikes, etc. every few years, so I am hardly one of their best customers.)

If you look at a bearing and it has a 4 or 5 digit number on it, (letters usually mean the presence or absence of a seal on one or both sides) it has a good chance of being a standard bearing.
 

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