Steering Head race removal...?

Hey Folks-

Those bearing races for the steering head, does anybody have a quick down and dirty way of removal or is this just a brute force and ingnorance method as described in the manual?

I did do a search, but was wondering if someone's got a tricker method than justhammering the piss outta them! ???? :)

Of course Im sure youre talking about the one that has to be pressed onto the stem. (the lower one)

I had someone tell me once to put it in the oven at about 350 degrees for 1.5 hours. Then turn it over and baste. Cook for another hour untill tender. :)

Seriously though, heating the metal should allow the metal to expand and the lower bearing to slide off. I tried this on my old XR and it did not work for me but it might for you.

Im not sure I would cook it at 350 (that might be a tad high) for very long. Use your best judgement.

Worth a try mabye?

Plus your wife cant say you dont ever cook anymore.

[ April 18, 2002: Message edited by: MOmilkman ]

I think he's referring to the outer races. I have a bearing race chisel. It has a curved tip specifically for catching the small edge. And yes, you just need to hammer the old one out and the new one in.

The bearing on the steering stem is best removed by pressing the stem out of the triple clamp. This is quick and easy if you have a press and doesn't damage anything.


You are correct. I am refering to the outer races. The chisel you refer to, is this something I can get at the local autoparts store...something

like a ball-joint splitter ?

Oh, sorry. :)

You really dont have to hit the races all that hard to remove them. Reach up in the frame behind the races and there should be a small scalop in the sleeve for the race, for a punch.

a small but very effective trick to pt them back in(new ones)

Place the new ones in a zip back stick them in the freezer over night.

Pior to placing the new one in heat the frame area with butain for few minutes. Then just drop the Frozeen "Shrunk" Races into the heated "Expanded" head.

Works great for case bearings also

I've never seen a bearing chisel except on a tool truck. Mine is a Snap-On chisel.


The freezer trick works great - I've been using it on press-in ball joints on cars/trucks for years.

Couple of tricks:

1. Any sort of blunt bar stock works fine as a punch. Just remember to tap all the way around the race.

2. To re-seat use a 2 inch ball from your truck hitch, works perfectly!

Mr Toyz

Trailer ball really works, it fits perfectly in the bottom race. Try it...

Mr Toyz

I dont know about using ole trailer hitch method on the races, but the heat and freeze method is effort less.

You can warm the frame to help with removal also.

Just clean as much grease up as you can, and watch what your doing with the butane torch. Yer thumpers tank is thin, very very thin.

for race removal I run a bead of weld around them and when the weld cools it shrinks the race and it falls out.

I learned this one from working on a d-8.

There is also a tool that is a split spool that is a factory tool, you insert a driver into the center of the halves and drive the races out.

Some bikes are designed without clearance behind the outer race and you have to use the weld trick or the tool.

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