Wasn't there away to ballpark the resistance with a small fish weighing scale? Could a screwdriver be held with vicegrips and tapped with a hammer...may take two people but if you are in a pinch.
This is the test to see if the bearing need tightening or if it is at the correct tension
Steering Stem Adjustment
Make sure the cables, hoses, and wire harnesses are routed properly, and that they do not bind in any steering position.
Raise the front wheel 10 mm (1 12 in) with a floor jack under the engine.
Position the front wheel in the straight ahead position.
Hook a spring scale on the handlebars 40 cm (1 5.7 in) from the center of the steering stem nut. With the scale 90" to the handlebars, pull on it and measure the force required to move the handlebars. Do this on both the left and right handlebar. Add the left and right measurements and divide the total by two to get the average initial force.
Standard Total Average Initial Force: 500-650 grams (1 7.6-22.9 oz)
Maximum Difference Between Left and Right Sides: 300 grams (1 0.5 oz)
If the measurements are not within these limits, adjust the steering stem.