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i had an issue in the front end---i was having a hard time keeping a straight line at slow speeds. after reading about it, i thought i might perform a steering bearing adjustment. i had it apart 6 times before i got it straightened out. this is what i found on the last time in it....i first loosened the bearings, thinking they were too tight, ended up with a rattle when hitting small bumps. so i tightened them up a little, and i couldnt steer at slow speeds again. i figured i had done something wrong, so i made another adjustment. same as before...had a rattle. this went on two more times. the last time i removed the bearings for inspection, and the grease that was used in 93 looked more like glue than a lubricant. i checked the bearings and races for wear, and/or pitting. none was found. so i cleaned the old grease out of the bearings and used my automotive bearing packer to grease them up real good and reassembled. wow!! what a difference!!! the steering is smooth as glass now and no rattle. i was planning on replacing the bearings, but why? all the parts were in great shape. so i saved a little dough, learned some good info, and fixed my problem. a little hint i used...put your foot under the front wheel while checking for play in the steering...with the weight of the wheel on the bearings, it is hard to get an accurate adjustment if you dont have a gauge to set the preload...it worked for me anyway. if i ever have to do this again i will be sure to get a new lock ring...the little tabs wont take too much more bending. this forum is super helpful, thanks.
 

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If I remember correctly when I did mine I used a fish scale to determine the proper tension... It doesn't have to be a real exotic scale and there is a range of adjustment...

Les
 

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I've replaced steering bearings on smaller motorcycles, sometimes the book torque settings are too tight or loose. That's where a bit of judgement come into its own, like lordbradley used.
 

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Every time I have replaced steering head bearings I have had to retorque them again after about 1,000 miles. Then they are good to go.
Tom Bishop
`98 S.E.
 
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