William’s Tech Tips – Steering Head Bearing Change

Welcome to William's Tech Tips!   Need to replace your steering head bearings?  Here's what you do... The condition of the steering head bearings drastically affects handling and safety. If the bearings are too loose, a dangerous head shake can occur. Often, if you tighten the bearings, the steering will feel notchy, and it will be hard to keep a straight line, especially at low speeds. This can be due to the outer bearings actually having notches worn in, where the bearing rollers make contact. It can also be caused by hardening of the grease, where the stiff grease prevents the bearing rollers from rolling smoothly. Very often, it’s a combination of both, and the steering head bearings need to be replaced for optimal and safe handling. This is a job that you can do yourself with the proper tools. When changing the steering head bearings on your BMW, the most difficult part is removing the old bearings without doing damage to the motorcycle. Here are some tips and suggestions for this job: [Refer to a repair manual for detailed information, torque specs, etc. This is just a generic overview and not intended to describe the entire procedure.] Begin by removing the handlebars, the front wheel, and the fork assemblies. You may also need to remove the front brake assemblies, depending on the model, or maybe you can leave the brake calipers dangling or temporarily secured somehow. Depending on your particular model, you’ll need some rather large sockets or wrenches, [...]