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Discussion Starter #1
I recently realized that my steering head bearings were shot. Actually on the way from Oklahoma thats when i realized, but its been like that for a while. While riding . it would track straight, and a bit of binding when you twist the handlebars. So i decided to do my fork seals and steering head bearings. I put together a video to help whoever is doing this. The bearings inside the vstrom were pretty crappy, old school bearings. I bought tapared style from all balls, and the quality is quite amazing. The install is simple, but takes alot of time to remove everything and then having to be patient to remove the races. I hope this video helps anyone who wants to upgrade to tapared bearings.
 

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With all due respect, your use of gobs of grease is counter to what Grey Wolf had recommended. I'd be more careful about what grease I left around the dust seals too. Grease is a great collector of debris and will flow with time and enlarge the contact area for even more dirt to accumulate.
Freezing the races and using a bit of propane torch to heat up the the receiving side can make installation too.Same with installation on the stem. Freezing the stem and warming up the race would assist there.
Of course removing more of the body parts may be necessary if using a torch. Although, I got a little torch from Harbor Freight that would get into tight areas. Great for lighting cigars too.

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greywolf
FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT

Joined Jan 27, 2006
38,049 Posts
#7 May 19, 2016

I did that at 50,000 miles also with Japanese SKF bearings. Japanese, USA and Western European made bearings would be my preference. Tapered rollers have a lot more contact area. A pair of 32006 tapered roller bearings does the job nicely along with a new Suzuki lower seal which needs to be replaced as it gets destroyed in the conversion. About the only thing grease is for in the stock bearings is to prevent rust. There isn't enough speed in a steering head bearing for the bearing to need to be grease packed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The grease tip was gotten from delboy's garage, he used plenty. But the idea is that you get it nicely into the bearings. I think it's fine.
 

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I used to pack the wheel bearings as you did back when i fooled with stuff like that. enough is good and more isn't necessarily better. I do like the water proof idea. I know my shock pivot block needs new bearings and will get waterproof grease when I replace those bearing sets. I'm reluctant to try and remove the swing arm to check those bearings. They've gotta be crap after 100K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i have never removed the swing arm bearings. But how do you know that they need new ones? Is there a lack of motion you can tell?
 

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I recently realized that my steering head bearings were shot.
Did you notice that the lower tapered bearing was stiff to turn after installation?
This is caused by the failure to install a shim between the bearing and dust seal, causing the bearing to press on the rubber. The bearing must turn freely in order to function correctly. Suzuki makes a shim specifically for that purpose.

You will notice that your bike wanders from side to side at low speed because of the stiff lower steering head bearing.

In addition, pounding a new bearing into place with a screw driver is a surefire way to destroy the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did you notice that the lower tapered bearing was stiff to turn after installation?
This is caused by the failure to install a shim between the bearing and dust seal, causing the bearing to press on the rubber. The bearing must turn freely in order to function correctly. Suzuki makes a shim specifically for that purpose.

You will notice that your bike wanders from side to side at low speed because of the stiff lower steering head bearing.

In addition, pounding a new bearing into place with a screw driver is a surefire way to destroy the bearing.
No it doesnt seem that my bearings are stiff at all. Seems pretty smooth to me. But maybe in the future it will be stiff?

As for pounding the bearing, if you watch the video i had old bearing i was pounding. that old bearig was hittign the new bearing. So there wasnt much contact with the screwdriver with the new one.
 

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No it doesnt seem that my bearings are stiff at all.
At the 13:00 minute mark in your video, when you try to turn the lower bearing, you can see that the bearing does not turn easily and the seal turns with the bearing. This is caused by pressing the bearing on top of the seal without the required spacer shim between them.

The shim is Suzuki part number 09181-30184-000.
The shim goes between the lower steering head grease seal and the lower steering head bearing. The shim raises the bearing slightly to prevent the grease seal from grabbing the outer edge of the bearing and causing drag. If this shim is not installed, the steering will be stiff as if the bearings are too tight and cause the bike to wander at slow speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have been looking into this washer you mention, but there doesn't seem to be any in that diagram or anywhere in the fork.
 

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The shim is made for another Suzuki model that uses tapered roller bearings. It's not needed when using the ball bearings, therefore is not included in the drawing for the Strom.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The shim is made for another Suzuki model that uses tapered roller bearings. It's not needed when using the ball bearings, therefore is not included in the drawing for the Strom.
Ok, i thought you said i was missing a shim when i put it back? im confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ok, i think i understand what you mean. So if i use the rapered bearings I need the shim. But not with the old school bearings? Ok, that took me a while to understand. lol

But since its super smooth even with that, i think it's fine. Thanks for clearing up the confusion
 
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