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Steering neck bearings...

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I have read and seen the horror stories due to lack of grease in DRZ/KLX necks. I was looking at mine ('03 KLX, About 2k miles)and saw that there IS a small amount of grease around the bottom of the neck, and also at the top. Is this a problem with EVERY bike, or did some actually get some grease, as it appears mine did.

I'm kinda reluctant to tear it all apart, only to find greased bearings, But I also don't want to end up screwed.

I also wouldn't begin to know how to get it all apart. :cry: How big of a job is it, and what's the procedure? :cry:

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Easy job, just nuts and bolts..Do a search,, I posted the procedure start to finish not that long ago.

Here is a thought for ya.. Yes there may be some factory grease in there,, but even if there is,, it will be that light weight, junk used at the factory.. Not the better stuff you would use,, like BelRay waterproof, or the like.. Plus,, You would get to spend an hour or so of quality time with your bike :cry:

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After hearing all of the horror stories I also decided to do the steering stem bearing inspection and grease, my bike has low miles, about 400, and hasn't seen much wet weather, it had a light film of grease on them but I could see that over time this would fade away and could cause problems.

But another thing I noticed was that the nut that preloads the bearings was about hand tight if at all, with the dust/moisture seals for the stem needing to be tight, I was thinking maybe another source for all the rust is that the steering stem loosens over time which then allows moisture to enter the stem and is trapped inside because the lower seal is held in place by the weight of the bike. With the moisture trapped inside it would definitely accelerate the deterioration of the bearing. In most of the pics I have seen the lower one was always more rusted, which may hold up my hypothesis. It was just a thought.

The entire process took me about 3 hours including a trip to the tool store to get a 32mm socket, and I was working slow and kept getting interrupted by my kids, the manual was almost completely useless, it wanted to take everything off the handlebars, I just removed the front master and left everything else on them and left them with the bike, then pulled the upper triple clamp and then the entire front forks and wheel as a unit.

This weekend I may tackle the rear suspension if it is raining too much and can't go riding. :cry:

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It's a pretty simple job so don't take the chance of ruined bearings,ect., tear it down!. Lack of confidence is what prevents most people from doing there own repairs or maintenance. Take your time and pay attention to what your doing, the more knowledge you have of your bike the better, once you get the steering head done go ahead and do the swingarm and suspention linkage. It may take you awhile to do it but the skills you'll learn + the confidence you'll gain wrenching on your bike will be worth it. :cry:

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Thanks, again, Bronco!

Yep, you guys are right, I didn't think that I could do the 3x3 and rejet, But I did, and got it right first time... I think I will just "sack-up" and do it tomorrow, when I get in from work. :cry: :cry:

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"SACK UP" Does that mean go to bed y'all??

That is different from "SHACK UP"???

Have fun working on you own bike?

Its cheaper too!!

More money to buy other stuff for the bike.

Good luck, Corky :cry: :cry:

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What size is that big nut that holds the triple clamp on? I don't have any sockets that big, and I can't get a wrench in there :cry:.

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Don't forget the rear suspension. I actually thought it was easier to do, if more time consuming.

Even though there was a fair amount of grease on everything from the factory, I'm glad I did the whole thing at about 400 miles. The rear pivot just slid out after a light tap!

The only bearing I couldn't disassemble to grease was the shock top bearing. Kind of a "floating" multi-axis dealie. How do you get this apart? :cry:

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Where can I get the bearings I need if I take it apart and find the kind of mess Aspencop had? I hesitate to open it and look as I have a ride in 10 days and would hate to be side lined because I could not get replacement parts in time.

The look kinda like automotive wheel bearings. Is there any chance I could find a replacment at autozone?

I don't trut my dealer to have sqaut on hand...and ordering with them is unreliable at best.

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I just did mine last weekend. There was some grease in there, but not tons. My bike is less than a month old so the bearings are still in good shape. When I took the stem apart, I was lazy and didn't take the front wheel or forks off first. It when apart no problem, but putting it back together was a bit tricky since I had to hold the front wheel and forks in place while I thread that nut back on. It's not all that heavy, but to do it with one hand is not easy. I would definitly take the front wheel and forks off the next time.

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Based on that reply...I think I will leave well enough alone until after I return from the Fall Color Tour. Thanks!

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I just got done doing mine. The top bearing had a little corrosion on the shaft. I guess I did it just in time. It really was simple. I took the front wheel off, and the right fork. I left the left fork on, because I have that stupid California OHV sticker on there, and its a pain to take off because of that. Once I got the big 1 1/4 socket, it was easy. Maybe an hour. Im glad I did it before I ran into any real problems.

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