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Grease Zerks - install on frame for steering head / swingarm bolt / shock linkage?

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After reading a few posts regarding possible issues on XR's (steering stem bearings failure due to heat from the oil cooler, and swingarm bolts seizing up), I am thinking out loud here if I should drill and tap some threads for grease zerks for these areas.

As I was considering having my frame powder coated, I figure this was something I could do to my steering head area before I send it off? (my bike is a 1988 XR250R, which I am currently restoring)

Has anyone added grease zerks to the steering head / swingarm bolt area / shock linkage area?

Is there any issues to look out for / consider as you do this? Does anyone have any pics?

I'd rather hit them with a grease gun every couple rides, so I can keep maintenance to a minimum (in true Honda fashion), instead of pulling apart and cleaning / greasing.

Any and all input appreciated.

Mike

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Mike, i had not had great success with the zerks on the steering head , i installed them used them for one season and what I i personally found that eventhough i was greasing them often the bottom bearing was getting just as full of water as without the steering stem guide full of grease . So i went back to the old fashioned way of doing it. They seem to rust either way and often they have to be changed just the same . This Xr (98) is particularly bad as opposed to the say previous 250 or 500 i had .The grease selection with the heated environment has to be selected properly. I think i have found a run free grease . its Full synthetic high temp food grade grease , supposed to be used in kitchen equip ect. its done better than expected.

As far as suspension pivot, what did on another bike was to drill a hole througt the bolt and put a zirk on the end , the grease goes to the required places , you can also install a zirk on the swingarm if you feel its better access.

The shock linkage i remove often enough for shock maintenence so i opted to pass on that .

What i did add is a zirk on the kick starter pivot lever,and one on the brake pivot, the brake pivot does elongate with time so grease reduces the wear as a concequence reducing the slop.

I did 6 yrs with the first kick start lever before i bought an new one, even greased they become sloppy. The brake pivot I remachined and a oilite and zirk was installed . good to go as they say.

I use a pressure washer every ride so i do change all wheel bearings at least once yearly and steering sytem every 2 yrs , i find the bearings just dont last.

My final comment whatever method you decide as long as they get grease it will help alot, the problem i found with zirks is that you never get to take stuff aprat to look and see the wear or condition , usually when you get a sign of wear its too late.

stu

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I too use a high pressure power washer. Given this, it's best to squirt a little grease in the zerks after every wash - you will see a little water forced out almost every time. This will avoid the issue that stu saw with his bearings rusting out regardless of the zerk...

I didn't install the zerk on one XR250 I owned (I have had five) - replaced the steering head bearings on that one - all others, never had to do it - what a pain.

For those with newer XRs - no zerks on the suspension linkage; Probably not a good idea to drill the cast - gives a place for a crack to start. Will the older linkage arm with zerks fit the newer XR?

- jeff

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day one of ownership greased steering head bearings.

1 year later lower bearing rusty and notchy.

drilled and tapped head for a zerk, filled full of grease no problems with bearings years later. when it gets real hot pukes some grease on the back of the fender

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