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YZ250 steering steam bearing

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Hey everyone,

been slow getting to my new to me 2014 YZ 250 but i finally got to wash it off last night and will start to work on getting it in mint condition for the season this weekend. i happend to notice as i was moving it around the garage that the steering was fetching up, and upon a couple twists of the handle bars i noticed a deffinate spot where the steering steam bearing is catching. this bike was bought as a hold over and rode a summer and a half or so with pretty much no maintenace according to the pervious owner. i am just wondering if this is common on these bikes? i have had a pile of bikes and never had the issues i see with this one (steering steam bearing, rear shock seal blown and no rebound). its all fixable stuff just wondering if anyone else is having these failures on a bike this new, as well as should i replace the bearings or just give it a good greasing. thanks!

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Get in there and look at it first. Sounds like to me the bearings ate rusted and potted quite a bit. If so, then you will have to replace them. You can take a brand new bike an maintain it well, but if you pressure wash it around the steering stem then that water gets in there and causes havic.

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Chronic, premature rusting of the steering bearings (especially the upper) is real common on the aluminum-framed YZ 2-strokes.

There are a few threads on the issue. The best solutions seem to be;

1 - Replacing the top seal with a 4-stroke seal (YZF or Kawi) - they are thicker and do not deform.

2 - Replacing the top bearing with an All-Balls or late-model unit - these both appear to have a built-in seal.

Good luck, and keep us informed with what you do. :thumbsup:

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36 minutes ago, CaptainKnobby said:

...You can take a brand new bike an maintain it well, but if you pressure wash it around the steering stem then that water gets in there and causes havic.

This appears to be a common denominator - frequent power-washing. The stock upper seal does not fit tight to the frame, allowing water pass straight to the bearings.

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thanks for the replys, i was just wondering hadnt had that issue on any other bikes, the bike looks very clean just needs to be freshend up i think (hope). i will start another therad with pics once i get going on it tomorrow!  

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I'm wondering too if the upper bearing problem is compounded by the mount post if you have a stabilizer?  It seems to channel the water in there.  

My solution has just been to keep them heavily greased.  As long as they are not pitted, a good cleaning and greasing should get them back into shape.  Chassis bearings are certainly subject to stresses, but they don't have to be as pristine as, for example, crank bearings.  

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I bought a 2 year old YZ that had less than 5 hours. Upper bearing was completely rusted. Luckily it is an easy fix for a bike that is otherwise pretty stone reliable.

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2 hours ago, rpt50 said:

I'm wondering too if the upper bearing problem is compounded by the mount post if you have a stabilizer?   It seems to channel the water in there.  

My solution has just been to keep them heavily greased.  As long as they are not pitted, a good cleaning and greasing should get them back into shape.  Chassis bearings are certainly subject to stresses, but they don't have to be as pristine as, for example, crank bearings.  

no stabilzer on this one, bone stock right down to the tires. i think with a little elbow grease i should have close to a brand new bike for about 1/2 the cost.

 

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