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· KNEE DRAGGER
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That's not a bad price for the whole deal since 1 Suzuki OEM bearing ONLY costs $37 bucks. :eek:hmy:

I'll try an industrial bearing shop first for just the bearing on the way to work today.

Oh yeah, I have about 50k miles on these bearings so not too shabby.

The AllBalls bearings are double sealed too.
But, I have not had the best of luck with them. In the rear they tend to fail earlier in my experience, 12-15k mile range.

Definitely replace the drive dampers at 50k miles. They are pretty beat by then. I replace them at about every 40-50k miles. It makes a noticeable difference in shifting when replaced.

-ms
 

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Which sealed bearings are the best upgrade?

I am in need of some new rear wheel bearings after overtightening my rear axle nut. What should I be looking for? This thread does not mention any specifics besides the OEM (sealed on 1 side only) or AllBalls (sealed but not that premium) bearings. Should we look just at the bearing dimensions and get something that is listed as "sealed" (on both sides)?
 

· KNEE DRAGGER
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I am in need of some new rear wheel bearings after overtightening my rear axle nut. What should I be looking for? This thread does not mention any specifics besides the OEM (sealed on 1 side only) or AllBalls (sealed but not that premium) bearings. Should we look just at the bearing dimensions and get something that is listed as "sealed" (on both sides)?


The All-Balls kits are nice because they come with seals also along with all three bearings.

If the axle was way over tightened also check the center spacer to make sure it is not damaged. If this gets crushed, it can cause more bearing issues down the road.

-ms
 

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I worked in ball-bearing manufacture for twenty years.

In terms of motorcycle wheel bearings, we are discussing "radial ball bearings".. (for the steering head, those would be "thrust ball bearings" or possibly taper bearings).

All Balls has carved a name for themselves by flooding the internet (mostly Ebay) with all their offerings, so many people who don't often deal in bearings have just assumed they are a Big Name somehow.

The big names in the world are:
SKF, Timken, NTN, ***, NSK, NMB, and a few others, who produce name-brand respected quality.

MOST bearings are made in, yes, China. Almost all the big companies have joint-venture factories there. And, (other than ones possible national sympathies), that's not always a bad thing, as long as they are produced under strict western Quality controls.

ALL BALLS appears to be just a distributor, not a manufacturer. They most likely buy their bearings from Chinese sources, (which most distributors do), and again, that isn't always bad, if the manufacturing Quality is being tightly monitored.
But keep in mind, the cheaper you go, the the more likely of running into a quality defect. There are MANY MANY Chinese bearing manufacturers, and they are all in tight competition with each other to provide LOW PRICE.

Cheap bearings run the risk of: steel chemical flaws, surface finish problems on the raceways, heat-treat (hardness) problems with the balls...roundness issues...insufficient grease in the assembly.. weakly-joined "cages" (ball separator), etc.
Any of these can lead to premature wear and failure.

I worked for a US bearing company for ten years at their joint venture factories in China.
One day I mentioned to a good-friend Chinese businesswoman I knew.. "You do understand that most of the world regards Chinese product as "sh*t, right?"
She coughed delicately and said, "Your businessmen come over here wanting to PAY "sh*t" money.. so they get what they pay for. If they want Quality, it's available".

Sooo... I'm out of the industry now.. but if I want good wheel bearings for my bikes, I go to a local bearing supply house, give him the OD ID Width sizes, plus whether it has seals... and then ask for a good brand name (see above).
 

· Disturbed, very...
2003 SV1000S
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The All-Balls kits are nice because they come with seals also along with all three bearings.

If the axle was way over tightened also check the center spacer to make sure it is not damaged. If this gets crushed, it can cause more bearing issues down the road.

-ms
...another thing to look at, if there is a persistant issue with wheel bearings failing or needing replacement is how they are installed.....

Lots of people dont use correctly manufactured bearing puller/installers, sometimes home made, too thin plates... and they can bow in the middle and place a serious side load on the centre race of the bearing, and, also when the hit "home" it is only the centre race, leaving the outer race not quite seated, then the centre race is left not in proper contact with the spacer tube. Once the axle is tight, that side load is applied again...and the balls are already wearing away at the races.
If a pin punch is used to hit the bearings in around the outer race, the opposite can happen, the outer race hits home and the inner race gets pushed outwards by the spacer....
And before all of this, the bearings need to be installed in the right order....the bearing on one side is seated completly, then the spacer tube, and then the other bearing goes in, which seats against the spacer tube only, leaving a small gap to the hub.....

On the SV (and plenty of others) the left side (seated) bearing goes in first. On the rear, it is the right side bearing that goes in first.
 

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Right... proper installation is key.

The one thing you NEVER want to do is place any side-load on the INNER RING of a bearing during installation. In doing so you will dent the sides of the raceways. Always install a bearing by applying force on the outer ring only.

My method is to take the old bearing and if possible, disassemble it however you can: (lever the seals off, smash the metal retainer through with a flat screwdriver, then twist it out with pliers, pull the balls to one side and separate the rings. It's not hard).

If you can manage to get the outer ring separated, and you have a bench grinder, you can grind the outer diameter of the outer ring down slightly (keep a cup of water nearby for quenching).

This just takes a few minutes and gives you have a dandy tool you can keep, to install new bearings of the same size later. Since the outer surface has been ground smaller, it won't stick inside the hub, but you can hammer on it all you want, using it to drive the new bearing in evenly.

This method works pretty well for wheel bearings, many steering head bearings, and even fork seals.
 

· KNEE DRAGGER
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5,238 Posts
Right... proper installation is key.

The one thing you NEVER want to do is place any side-load on the INNER RING of a bearing during installation. In doing so you will dent the sides of the raceways. Always install a bearing by applying force on the outer ring only.

My method is to take the old bearing and if possible, disassemble it however you can: (lever the seals off, smash the metal retainer through with a flat screwdriver, then twist it out with pliers, pull the balls to one side and separate the rings. It's not hard).

If you can manage to get the outer ring separated, and you have a bench grinder, you can grind the outer diameter of the outer ring down slightly (keep a cup of water nearby for quenching).

This just takes a few minutes and gives you have a dandy tool you can keep, to install new bearings of the same size later. Since the outer surface has been ground smaller, it won't stick inside the hub, but you can hammer on it all you want, using it to drive the new bearing in evenly.

This method works pretty well for wheel bearings, many steering head bearings, and even fork seals.


I just use a bearing driver.
-ms
 

· Disturbed, very...
2003 SV1000S
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The old bearing idea is fine for the first bearing in, but the second bearing needs to hit home on the spacer
on the inner ring without any extra side load on the outer ring, thats why a bearing driver (schmidt314) is the best
thing, unless you can spin up a good plate that is dead flat and at a minimum 1/4" (6mm) thick, preferably 3/8" (8mm)....
 

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Speaking of bearings... I replaced my steering head bearings with tapers about a year ago. I'm rather Old School (some just say OLD).. bikes in the deeper past used Ball Thrust bearings, and I always assumed tapers were superior in that application.

Now..I'm having doubts. I've owned this K6 for six years, and as long as I can remember it has always had this weird, unsettled , warble just at the centerline, most notable at highway speeds, especially if their is wind turbulence (while passing a truck) or maybe some pavement flaws. Sort of an...imprecision.. tendency to wander slightly. Drives me nuts.

When I changed over to tapers I found the old balls & races in there were badly notched. AHA! This will cure it now! Not so.

I have rebuilt and even replaced my steering stabilizer: no change.

I've checked for swingarm bearing play: none found.

I rebuilt the front forks and checked the tubes for deflection: straight.

Tires have been changed and wheels are true.

I'm thinking, maybe aerodynamics; I have a CNC top clamp handlebar unit in there, brings me up a tad from the clip ons.

I also have a Penske shock out back, which always seems stiff, even adjusted all the way out (and I have decreased the spring rate from 400 to 375 lbs)... maybe the rear being stiff will affect the front stability?

Hmm... other than that, could it be the TAPERS in front? I can't see how, physics speaking... but MAYBE.

Anyone had any similar issue? With tapers or with Centerline Wander?
 

· Disturbed, very...
2003 SV1000S
Joined
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2,064 Posts
Speaking of bearings... I replaced my steering head bearings with tapers about a year ago. I'm rather Old School (some just say OLD).. bikes in the deeper past used Ball Thrust bearings, and I always assumed tapers were superior in that application.

Now..I'm having doubts. I've owned this K6 for six years, and as long as I can remember it has always had this weird, unsettled , warble just at the centerline, most notable at highway speeds, especially if their is wind turbulence (while passing a truck) or maybe some pavement flaws. Sort of an...imprecision.. tendency to wander slightly. Drives me nuts.

When I changed over to tapers I found the old balls & races in there were badly notched. AHA! This will cure it now! Not so.

I have rebuilt and even replaced my steering stabilizer: no change.

I've checked for swingarm bearing play: none found.

I rebuilt the front forks and checked the tubes for deflection: straight.

Tires have been changed and wheels are true.

I'm thinking, maybe aerodynamics; I have a CNC top clamp handlebar unit in there, brings me up a tad from the clip ons.

I also have a Penske shock out back, which always seems stiff, even adjusted all the way out (and I have decreased the spring rate from 400 to 375 lbs)... maybe the rear being stiff will affect the front stability?

Hmm... other than that, could it be the TAPERS in front? I can't see how, physics speaking... but MAYBE.

Anyone had any similar issue? With tapers or with Centerline Wander?
The tapered bearings CAN cause the bike to track IF they are too tight, as they will bind a little....
I have always installed them (no forks in the triples) and tightened the threaded collar with my fingers only, the pain that the notches generate i senough to stop you going too far, then swing the triples back and forward to get a feel of the movement, then, place the washer on top of the first collar and tighten the second collar with a gentle tap of a punch....

Otherwise, weave in the front end CAN be be caused by the back end, tail wags the dog typ eof thing...
Rebound damping can be the culprit, assuming all other things are set properly, like the front fork protrusion and spring preloads....
A bit extra rebound damping on the rear can help.
Also, if the front end is too steep (forks too far through) or way too shallow (opposite) then this could be the problem too...
 

· KNEE DRAGGER
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5,238 Posts
Speaking of bearings... I replaced my steering head bearings with tapers about a year ago. I'm rather Old School (some just say OLD).. bikes in the deeper past used Ball Thrust bearings, and I always assumed tapers were superior in that application.



Now..I'm having doubts. I've owned this K6 for six years, and as long as I can remember it has always had this weird, unsettled , warble just at the centerline, most notable at highway speeds, especially if their is wind turbulence (while passing a truck) or maybe some pavement flaws. Sort of an...imprecision.. tendency to wander slightly. Drives me nuts.



When I changed over to tapers I found the old balls & races in there were badly notched. AHA! This will cure it now! Not so.



I have rebuilt and even replaced my steering stabilizer: no change.



I've checked for swingarm bearing play: none found.



I rebuilt the front forks and checked the tubes for deflection: straight.



Tires have been changed and wheels are true.



I'm thinking, maybe aerodynamics; I have a CNC top clamp handlebar unit in there, brings me up a tad from the clip ons.



I also have a Penske shock out back, which always seems stiff, even adjusted all the way out (and I have decreased the spring rate from 400 to 375 lbs)... maybe the rear being stiff will affect the front stability?



Hmm... other than that, could it be the TAPERS in front? I can't see how, physics speaking... but MAYBE.



Anyone had any similar issue? With tapers or with Centerline Wander?


I have seen issues with tapered bearing before causing some strange issues. I have seen several sets installed that were not properly seated in the frame or could not be properly seated due to them going in slightly sideways causing some aluminum to get cut out and wedged beneath the bearing seat causing it to be off axis slightly.

If this is the case you can never seem to get bearings tensioned properly. They either seem too loose or too tight.

There are lots of things that can cause issues such as you describe and you are checking many of them.

Other suggestions from folks also seem inline.

Here are my additions.
Tires and tire pressures
Too much damping in steering can cause oscillations.
Aero dynamics can play a big part. My bike with upright bars can get a bit of wiggle in turbulent rough air when in the vicinity of large trucks.
Under sprung rear can cause issues also because of load transfer to the rear. The other way around also. Wow, 375 lbs/in spring! How much sag on and then off the bike do you have? How is the front sprung? How is the chassis geometry in comparison to stock?

Cheers
-ms
 

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I have seen issues with tapered bearing before causing some strange issues....not properly seated in the frame or could not be properly seated due to them going in slightly sideways causing some aluminum to get cut out and wedged beneath the bearing seat causing it to be off axis slightly.
.
Hmm, I don't think this is likely; I have some decent experience of installing tapered head bearings in the past, and I was quite careful with their bottoming squarely. Also, this ..warble.. has been around for quite a while before I swapped the head bearings out. The old ball assembly WAS quite heavily notched, but when I changed it over, the Warble did not change. (a big disappointment!)
.
Aero dynamics can play a big part. My bike with upright bars can get a bit of wiggle in turbulent rough air when in the vicinity of large trucks.
'

YES! This is a major symptom! At most lower speeds I don't notice this problem that much, but get up to 60 or more, it becomes more obvious, especially with wind turbulence or road surface flaws.
I do have the CNC tubular handlebar conversion, AND a low-slung Corbin seat, which puts me in a weird squat position sort of like a dog with it's paws on the table! I'm working on lowering those pegs... But I AM a pretty large load: 6'1" and 270 pounds. I did try going back to the stock clamp and clip-ons... that didn't help.
.
Under sprung rear can cause issues also because of load transfer to the rear. The other way around also. Wow, 375 lbs/in spring! How much sag on and then off the bike do you have? How is the front sprung? How is the chassis geometry in comparison to stock?
.
I'm not sure WHAT spring rate I should be using; I bought a Penske 8795 used...sent it to Penske for rebuild.. it had a 400 lb spring that was like a rock, so one of you kind folks swapped me for a 375 (was that YOU, Mike?) .. which STILL seems too stiff. I'm 270 pounds and the only way I can get 40mm of sag in the back is to have the preload almost all the way out.
In front I have Sonic springs at 1.0kg as I remember... with a Gold Valve kit.. I think running 5 Wt (maybe 7.5 I'd have to check the notes). I get about 25-30mm sag up front.
Could this be an overly-stiff spring rate out back? Or, is it possible the shock length is too high? It's been a while...but I THINK it was the same as stock when I first installed it, pretty sure I would have checked that carefully three years ago.

Thanks for the help, guys. I really like my SV, but this Warble is drilling me!
 

· KNEE DRAGGER
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5,238 Posts
I have seen issues with tapered bearing before causing some strange issues. I have seen several sets installed that were not properly seated in the frame or could not be properly seated due to them going in slightly sideways causing some aluminum to get cut out and wedged beneath the bearing seat causing it to be off axis slightly.

If this is the case you can never seem to get bearings tensioned properly. They either seem too loose or too tight.

There are lots of things that can cause issues such as you describe and you are checking many of them.

Other suggestions from folks also seem inline.

Here are my additions.
Tires and tire pressures
Too much damping in steering can cause oscillations.
Aero dynamics can play a big part. My bike with upright bars can get a bit of wiggle in turbulent rough air when in the vicinity of large trucks.
Under sprung rear can cause issues also because of load transfer to the rear. The other way around also. Wow, 375 lbs/in spring! How much sag on and then off the bike do you have? How is the front sprung? How is the chassis geometry in comparison to stock?

Cheers
-ms


Interesting. I don’t weight quite as much as you and run a much heavier rear spring. My commuter is set a bit stiff because I often have 20-40lbs of motorcycle parts and work stuff loaded on.

With stiffer fork springs I often have to run more total sag on the front because of you measure the free length with wheel off the ground, the stiff spring, and soft top out springs make the measurement a bit longer than normal. My SV runs about 40mm total in the front due to this and I run a total of about 32mm in the rear.

It seems to me that your bike might be riding pretty tall in the front and low in the rear. I still am not quite sure why you can’t seem to get proper sag from a 375lb/in spring unless it is too long. I think I am on a 500lb/in or 525lb/in. I can’t remember. What shock length are you running?

-ms
 

· Disturbed, very...
2003 SV1000S
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It seems to me that your bike might be riding pretty tall in the front and low in the rear. I still am not quite sure why you can’t seem to get proper sag from a 375lb/in spring unless it is too long. I think I am on a 500lb/in or 525lb/in. I can’t remember. What shock length are you running?

-ms
....just a thought, he might have the right length spring, but the spacer tube hasn't been shortened to equal the original "stack" height of the OEM spring and spacer
 

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Okay! thanks!

First, I realized my spring rate numbers were off:

Checking my notes and the Penske manual, the shock actually has a 400 spring in there, after changing from the original 475. Still... it's quite less than what you're running (500).

Also, my rear sag numbers were not accurate. I get confused... I mistakenly didn't lift the bike off the ground (as the Penske manual calls for "A"), but rather just lifted the rear gently and then lightly settled it for the first number. Then I hoisted my carcass on-board for "B".
So, (until I can get another couple of assistants), I can assume that my rear sag is likely over-limit, as with my (incorrect) method we got about 45mm.

LENGTH

I don't have a measurement for this. (I don't recall there being any installation problem from being too long... but this was three years ago).

Shock spacer... not familiar with this part; I have the Penske manual in front of me and can't see what this would refer to..(?)

I did buy this Penske 8975 off of Ebay, used.. so it's possible that the length or adjustments have been futzed-with... But again, I did have it rebuilt at Penske before use. Hmm.

But I DO recall one thing: last year I reduced the rebound in back to almost it's max (out)... and the handling (warble) improved noticeably.

Thanx guys!
 
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