Watch those steering head bearings!!

Just tore down the front end on my E after experiensing some notchiness in the steering. The bottom bearing was dry and has worn ridges on the rollers. Cleaned everything up and regreased but the damage is done. Bike is a year old with probably about 2000 miles on it. Probably should put a zerk on the steering head if I wasn't too lazy.

Maybe you should have replaced the roller bearings while you were in there? What are your washing habits like? High pressure washer? Or do Suzuki neglect the head bearings like other Yamaha do?

Anyway, thanks for the heads up, one day when I'm feeling really energetic maybe I'll pull it apart and re-pack it and maybe try to fit a zerk as well.

Cheers, Patrick

Yeah, I had to replace mine, $80 ouch. :) A zerk fitting is not a bad idea, just make sure you seal up the bottom of the stem with some silicone, or else the grease will ooze out all over your fender! :D I sealed it up to also hopefully make it water tight. I packed the **** out the bearings with this all purpose red moly grease.

Just got done repling on crf post about greasing.

Galled my lower steering stem race after one riding season(300-400 mi.) on my Xr400. My friends 98 Wr400 steering stem brgs. went away @ around 500 mi.

My Crf had minimal grease in the steer. stem brgs. also. Seems like any make you get it might be good idea to go thru everything?

I would have replaced everything but my dealer was closed sunday and closed today and the jerk will probably be closed Christmas too. Just kidding. Hope to ride some tomorrow so I wanted to get it together. Not a REAL big deal tearing it apart anyway.

Wow! Sounds like tearing into it would be a good idea sooner rather than later! When my YZ250 head bearings went south Yamaha paid for them cause there was a bulletin saying they forgot to grease them period. So I guess the Dirt Bike mags are right when they say you should just strip your new bike down and check everything the first week you get it!

But you gotta love the DR's zerks on the shock lingage and swingarm bearings! I've had plenty of bikes without them and tore apart many with rusty needle bearing inside!

Cheers, Patrick

Just packed a head bearing set on a DRZ400E with good old disk brake wheel bearing grease. It is waterproof and holds up to the heat from the oil in frame. I like the black Valvolene grease with lots of moly. For anyone wanting to buy from a bearing company the part nos are 4TCR0843 on the NTN roller bearings and CR0643L on the seal. Top and bottom look the same. I did not get the part number of the race but the bearing companies are pretty good at matching them up if you know the bearing and the O D of the race.

The manual says to torque the castle nut to to 34.5 ft. lbs. then rotate lock to lock 6 times and back the nut off 1/4 to 1/2 turn. Then after installing the top clamp torque it to 65 Ft lbs.

I recheck the lock to lock movement after torquing the top clamp just to make sure it is not too tight.

This is most important when changing bearings as they sometimes have to seat. Check it a second time with new bearings. When just greasing old bearings it works right the first time just backing the castle nut off 1.5 flats. If you grease them when new and before winter storage they will last forever.

Sealing with silicon may do more harm than good. The steer head needs to breathe. It gets warm from the hot oil in the frame.

I bought my DRZ from Kientech eng.Jesse the owner was a prince as he took the steering head apart when it was new and regreased everything.He also installed a zerk in the head for me and it is right behind the rectangular hole in the headlight shroud (easy access).Every now and then I shoot some grease in there the frame gets hot up there due to the oil tank being right behind it and it melts the grease into the bearings real nice.Yea it gets on the fender but it comes right off and I know it is getting through the bearings.

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