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Hi all, I'm looking for a bit of advise. I'm going to be replacing the tires on my 14' GTL/E with 24K miles. The front end is solid and not doing anything or making any unusual noises. While the tire is off do you think any maintenance to the front wheel bearings or replacement is worth performing?
 

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Hi all, I'm looking for a bit of advise. I'm going to be replacing the tires on my 14' GTL/E with 24K miles. The front end is solid and not doing anything or making any unusual noises. While the tire is off do you think any maintenance to the front wheel bearings or replacement is worth performing?

I think I would entertain the idea and plan on replacing them. I replaced mine with about 30,000 miles on the bike just because. Then I was on a trip in Oregon last year and the front wheel bearings failed with about 60,000 miles on it. Cost me about $300 bucks to have the Beemer shop replace them. They didn't have them in stock, so they overnighted them from California and did the install the next day. What a pain.....


I would recommend just replace before they fail unexpected like what happened to me.
 

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Can't really guess them, i just have spares in the garage, though for the cost, they could be worth doing every other change or so. Ebay carry many. just make sure you get new seals at the same time
 

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Every time I pull my front wheel off I inspect the bearings. Put your fingers in and turn the bearings, they should be smooth and a bit hard to turn. If they are easy to turn and/or ruff feeling they are done. Bearings could last 20k or 80k. I say don't replace them unless they need it.
 

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I believe they are sealed bearings so not really any maintenance you could do. Replacement at 24k miles is a bit early, but that's up to you.
 

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Every time I pull my front wheel off I inspect the bearings. Put your fingers in and turn the bearings, they should be smooth and a bit hard to turn. If they are easy to turn and/or ruff feeling they are done. Bearings could last 20k or 80k. I say don't replace them unless they need it.

^^^^^ This. :tb



Check them every tire change, change them as soon as you detect any loss of smoothness. If you just change them for no reason, you are just pulling more material off the wheels unnecessarily.
 

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I replaced mine on my Goldwing at 140,000 miles. I figured it was time. Funny thing, is that it is over in Europe. I have been riding it there, for the last two years. There are no REAL Goldwing shops in Europe!!! Well, ok, there are but not like here in the states. I found someone in Milan, Italy, who was not a dealer but ran a Goldwing specialty shop. He took a bike of the rack, to get me in. Changed the bearings ($50/each and there are four), and got me out in about a half hour. When I asked how much, he said nothing. I ended up giving the mechanic a tip of 10 euros. So, good things can happen if you wait to long to change your bearings. :)
 

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Buy a couple and throw them in your tool kit then you'll have them when you need them. You don't need to buy BMW bearings just good ones from the internet or even O'Reilleys or Auto Zone. I replaced a set years ago on my first GTL just for good measure after about 40,000 miles. On the next tire change one of them was shot so I replaced both again and they were still good after another 40,000 miles. So there is no magic miles for replacing them.


There is a specific procedure for installing new front wheel bearings which is spelled out on the Shop Manual DVD or get yourself a cup of coffee and a comfy chair and read this thread https://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-general-discussions/101865-installing-front-wheel-bearings.html
 

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I believe they are sealed bearings so not really any maintenance you could do. Replacement at 24k miles is a bit early, but that's up to you.
Yes, they are sealed bearings, but I always add a bit of high temp lithium grease to new sealed bearings before I install them.

Duane
 

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My GSA still had the OEM bearings at 150,000 miles when I sold it. They were fine. If someone thinks front wheel bearings are toast at 32K why not worry about final drive bearings too*? Swingarm bearings? Steering stem bearings?

My opinion, which is worth what you pay for it, is to check them at whatever frequency suits you and replace them if they show signs of impending failure. Prophylactic replacement is a waste of money.

* FD issues from ~10 years ago were, as I understand, related to improper assembly at the factory, which has evidently corrected. Not defective bearings or some inherent characteristic of single-sided swingarms. IIRC Goldwing forums are rife with stories about FDs only lasting 400K - 500K miles. :wink:
 

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Mine at ~80k miles. Perfectly smooth right up until I pulled the wheel when all of this fell out...



 

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My R1200 R had the original bearings when it was totaled with almost 100,000 miles on it, while an F800R that I had needed it’s wheel bearings replaced at 8,000 miles. At the time, I suspected that the failure was a byproduct of a jaw jarring hit of pothole that dented the wheel’s rim a few thousand miles earlier. I note that wheel bearing changes are not on the list of any of the K1600’s maintenance items for either BMW’s minor or major services.
The moral of the story for me is: Don’t fix what ain’t broke. But do check each time your front wheel is off your bike to insure that it ain’t broke.
 

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I replaced mine on my Goldwing at 140,000 miles. I figured it was time. Funny thing, is that it is over in Europe. I have been riding it there, for the last two years. There are no REAL Goldwing shops in Europe!!! Well, ok, there are but not like here in the states. I found someone in Milan, Italy, who was not a dealer but ran a Goldwing specialty shop. He took a bike of the rack, to get me in. Changed the bearings ($50/each and there are four), and got me out in about a half hour. When I asked how much, he said nothing. I ended up giving the mechanic a tip of 10 euros. So, good things can happen if you wait to long to change your bearings. :)



Try these guys.............https://www.goldwing.de/
 
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Mine at ~80k miles. Perfectly smooth right up until I pulled the wheel when all of this fell out...


The brown sludge is the one to watch for, when you see it the bearings are on the way out
 

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My GSA still had the OEM bearings at 150,000 miles when I sold it. They were fine. If someone thinks front wheel bearings are toast at 32K why not worry about final drive bearings too*? Swingarm bearings? Steering stem bearings?

My opinion, which is worth what you pay for it, is to check them at whatever frequency suits you and replace them if they show signs of impending failure. Prophylactic replacement is a waste of money.

* FD issues from ~10 years ago were, as I understand, related to improper assembly at the factory, which has evidently corrected. Not defective bearings or some inherent characteristic of single-sided swingarms. IIRC Goldwing forums are rife with stories about FDs only lasting 400K - 500K miles. :wink:

Front wheel bearings and steering stem are the same part number, so you can have a pair for either :)
 

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When you check the bearings and they are a bit hard to move that's the grease. If the bearings spin freely the grease is gone and they should be replaced. (some people just don't know this)
 
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