Going Nuts

I took the steering head apart and greased the bearings. I followed the instruction in the manual for installation and adjustment. Before installing the crown I checked the free play and there was none and the steering was rotating freeley from side to side. When put the whole thing back to gether, the handle bar was not rotating effortlesly from side to side. So I tried to re-adjust it a few more times. To make the long story short I checked all of the hardware, automotive and bike shops in AZ for the Ring Nut Wrench in order to follow the spec. No one has the tool and the mechanic at the yamaha shop told me that I am splitting hair and a little bit of free play is OK if I want the steering rotate freely lock to lock. At this point I have about 1/8 inch free play (holding the fork legs and checking the front and rear play).

I have been riding for 30 years and owned over 25 motorcycles and have never had any problems with servicing and adjusting the steering head. I have a Y2K Honda XR 600 and a 97 XR 650L and have never had any issues with adjustment of the steering head. Is there a specific process for the WR?? I know free play is not good for the bearings---Should I leave the 1/8 free play??


No! It should be set at zero lash, no freeplay, no resistance.

Well,I just figured out my problem. First time when I disassembled the steering shaft, I was too lazy to go out and buy the Lithium Soap Base grease so I used the generic Chassis grease. This morning I disassembled the the whole thing again and the grease had turned into sludge!!

After re-assembling the unit with correct grease, I was able to tighten the bearing so there is no free play and no binding. It pays to do it right the first time!

Mount your horse, man!!!!!

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