replacing steering stem bearings, any tips?

I am about to replace the steering stem bearings in my 2000 WR400, does anyone have any hints or tips to make this easy? Suggestions would be helpful.

Grease the lover bearing before you press it onto the stem shaft. It's much easier to get the grease through the larger holes on the bottom of the bearing. These holes are blocked by the seal when the bearing is on the shaft.

Always check, and re-adjust if required after your first ride. The cups sometimes take a bit of time to settle in. It's a good habbit to check the head play on a regular basis. Lack of adjustment and grease are what kills steering head bearings.

my 2 cents worth,


If you need to replace the races as well, use a 2 inch trailer ball to press them back in. Works great.


I guess by 'the races' Joe means the bearing cups. I believe that they should always be replaces as a set. My method for installing the new cups is as follows:

1) put the new cup in the freezer for a few hours. Helps shrink it a tiny bit to make the installation process a bit easier.

2)Lightly linish or grind the outer surface of the OLD cup and use it to drive the new cup into place. You can either use a big hammer or make a puller using some threaded rod and large washers.

If you don't have a new lower seal, there is a way to save the old one. If you cut the outer cage of the bottom bearing and let all the rollers fall out. Then you can CAREFULLY grind almost all the way through the bearing inner and the bearing will then just tap off with the seal in tact :)

Never tried the towball method, but it sounds like it'd work too :D


I've recently replaced my top and bottom clamps. I added a zerek fitting to the steering column while I had everything apart. The issue I came across was; I really had no way of knowing how much torque I was applying when re-tightening. I second the mention of double checking the slack or free play after a few rides...

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