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Discussion Starter #21
Any idea what replacement seals that fits? Also, what procedure does someone recommend for removing and installing the new bearings? Thanks...
Here are the tools I use for changing bearings. The bearing installation tool a generic tool made for 25mm bearings. The part I'm pointing to holds the bearing. I had this part turned down to 47mm, the same OD of the bearing, so you can pull the bearing into the hub. Setting the left side bearing is easy, you bottom it out in the hub. The right side bearing is pulled in to where it just touches, no side loading, the wheel spacer. I use the tool to get the right side close and then tap the bearing in the rest of the way.

Duane
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A few summers ago I happened upon a Ducati rider who was righting his bike after a tip over in the parking lot. He said the front end just locked up on him and he went down. After we got the bike upright he expected to see locked brakes. What we found was the brakes were free but the wheel was bound up. Upon further review it was the bearings which had bound up and caused the wheel to stop spinning and the bike to go down. Thankfully it was at parking lot speeds in a parking lot.

From that point forward I've been more diligent about checking bearings at all tire changes. Last spring I was changing tires on a friends K1600GT with about 18,000 miles on the clock. The bearings were rusty and one was binding quite a bit but not quite locked up. No pressure washing or other obvious reasons the bearings would have been in this condition with such low miles.

Definitely make the checking of the front wheel bearings an item to at least inspect when you do a tire change. Premature bearing failures do not seem to be a widespread problem with these bikes but it is common enough and so easy to inspect and change if needed that it just makes sense to have a set on the shelf in case. Dealer prices for the bearings can be salty. Other options noted earlier in this thread are much more reasonable.
 

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Picture of my front wheel after the bearing went last year. The front wheel did not lock but wobbled horribly and front brake failed. Very scary at 70 mph!



This bearing failure resulted in an expensive U-Haul ride home, and then a new front wheel, axle and bearings, and new front brake rotors. I was glad my extended warranty covered all but new brake pads.
 

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Picture of my front wheel after the bearing went last year. The front wheel did not lock but wobbled horribly and front brake failed. Very scary at 70 mph!



This bearing failure resulted in an expensive U-Haul ride home, and then a new front wheel, axle and bearings, and new front brake rotors. I was glad my extended warranty covered all but new brake pads.
How many miles on the bike when that happened - and what year / model ?
 

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How many miles on the bike when that happened - and what year / model ?
90k miles on a 2015 K1600GT. Front bearings were checked but not replaced at 83K when new front tire was installed.
 

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That sucks, sorry to hear that :(
Yes, it was an unpleasant moment, but I think it reinforces Duane’s (@Gunnert) recommendation to replace the front bearings every 50K miles. Checking them every ~10K miles with a tire change is okay but, as I learned, will not prevent a catastrophic failure.
 

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Here are the tools I use for changing bearings. The bearing installation tool a generic tool made for 25mm bearings. The part I'm pointing to holds the bearing. I had this part turned down to 47mm, the same OD of the bearing, so you can pull the bearing into the hub. Setting the left side bearing is easy, you bottom it out in the hub. The right side bearing is pulled in to where it just touches, no side loading, the wheel spacer. I use the tool to get the right side close and then tap the bearing in the rest of the way.

Duane View attachment 140300
Thanks Duane. Really appreciate the info. Looks fairly straight forward to replace them.
Jeff
 

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How to change threads can be found here:



 

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Discussion Starter #30
@Ralphie, WRT to your quote above, "Wheel Bearing Remover..." you can order the whole set but you really only need the 25mm and large removal rod. You can use a large straight slot screwdriver in the place of the removal rod; I did for several years. But I recently picked up a rod off eBay for $11.00 and it does work better.

Duane
 

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On my 2012 GTL I replaced the front wheel bearings at around 40,000 as a preventative measure. On the next front tire change (7,000 miles or so) I checked them and one was crunchy when turned with my fingers. I replaced both and those were still in good order when I sold the bike at 92,500. This info is just to reinforce the fact that you NEED to check them thoroughly at EVERY tire change.

Even new name brand bearings can go south quickly. I will definitely be doing the Gunnert "add grease" technique on any new bearings I install. I may even remove the ones in my 2016 bike (40,000 miles) and if they look OK still add some fresh grease. After the last bearing change I built an install tool, similar but more involved, like Duane has but have yet to use it. What better reason to give it a go.

This is one of the better threads and the kind of information we all watch for on this forum.
 

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The seals come with a set of bearings when you order All Balls from Amazon. You can contact the company/link below to order just seals. Here's what I ordered from them a few years ago:

SKUDetails (2 total products)PriceQuantityAmount
SC SOA001791.125" X 1.875" X 0.250" Inch Oil Seal$2.77x 12$33.24
6005 2RS 6005 Z6005-2RS, 6005-ZZ BULK Premium Ball Bearings, 25x47x12

Options:
• Please Select: 2RS Bearing-Rubber Seals
• Bulk: Qty 10-Free Shipping (+$28.17)
$28.17x 1$28.17


Duane
So which is better the All Balls from Amazon or the USA Bearings?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
@joe schmoe, I can't tell the difference between the two. I don't "think" you can buy just one set of bearings from USA. So if you're just looking to change yours I'd go with the All Balls.

Duane
 

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It was the All Balls that went bad in 7,000 miles. The next set I purchased were from O'Reillys. They were from a US company that I can't remember the name of that is connected to Timken. I looked on O'reillys website just now and all I see is bearings from MasterPro which I've never heard of.
 

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Here are 4 Timken bearings for $27 at Amazon. I would like to think they are good ones but seem awful inexpensive.

 

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Discussion Starter #36
@Arizona Jim , that's a great price; 4 bearings for $27.00. Just need to order the seals.

Duane
 

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I took a look at 2 used bearings I have on the shelf. One was an OEM with 40,000 miles and the other an All Balls with 7,000 miles. I removed the seals and they looked pretty good and felt smooth but didn't have any "extra" grease. I added some fresh grease and buttoned them up. I should throw them away but that's tough to do. I'll order some new ones and set them aside (after greasing the wheezer).
 
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