Greasing Headset Bearings

I am not sure when my headset bearings were greased last, bought the bike about 1 year ago. How hard is it to do? What should I watch out for? Any pointers to getting started? Have to get ready for a few thousand miles this summer. Ryan

I also have a 93, it was no big deal. With the bike on the stan remove the handle bars and just let them hang to the side, the center bolt is a 30mm, remove it, and then the top fork clamp bolts and the clamp will side right off, remove the spaner bolt and the front end will come right off, I block up the front wheel and remove it as needed to lower the headset down to get to the lower bearing and race.

My lower bearing was pressed on, so I only wiped it off, but the top bearing was cleaned. By the way, tork the fork clamp bolts to 15, you don't want to over tork these, and the spaner get the play out where it feels nice, and then back it off a 1/16 so it won't be to tight when you tork the center bolt of the top clamp.


When I did mine last year after owning the bike for about 3 months, I found that the bottom bearing was rusted/stuck to the shaft there. I had to use a chisel between the lower tripple and the bearing to dislodge it. Not a fun thing to do!

I replaced both bearings while I was in there and lubed them with a ton of grease. Just expect that you may need to replace one or both of those bearings. Also use really good grease liberally in there!

I reccomend water proof grease and service at least once a season!!!MIght as well change fork oil at the same time also!!terry.

I just finished this project on my new (leftover) '01 XR650. There was very little grease on the bearings from the factory. The only tricky part for me was tightening the star nut under the top triple clamp. You want it tight enough to not allow the bearings to move in the races and loose enough to not bind. Overall it is an easy job.

Now taking the swing arm and linkage appart to grease those bearings was a little more of a pain, but also well worth the effort.

On my 96 XR600, after I greased the steering bearings, we put in a zerk fitting on the right side of the steering (on the frame) head before we re-installed the triple clamps and forks.

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