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Water in Steering Stem

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Does anyone have problems with water getting in the steering head of their pre '04 RM? I just had to replace the lower bearings in both our 125 and 250 with very few hours on them. Seems like the seal design is poor. It offers no protection against water intrusion. Has anyone tried a work around? I suppose I'll just keep them packed with waterproof grease and take care when washing the bikes. Also, if you don't mind, how tight to you all leave the lower stem nut? If I follow the manual's advice, I can hardly turn it. Should there be any resistance to rotating the stem?

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My guess is you use a pressure washer to wash your bike? The top is not sealed well. On the KTM's they have a cap over the bearings and I put one on my bike to help keep out the h2o. I had to do some work to fit it but it is on. Otherwise make sure the seal is not bent up and push it down tight into the stem. If you do not see grease squeeze out when you push the seal down repack it full.

If you are repacking the bearings torque the nuts down so that it turns tight and then back it off so that there is almost no drag.

Good luck,

Kevin

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I've pressure washed them a couple of times but gave up the practice after not seeing much benefit. The cap is a good idea but the 125 steering stem has zero length to spare. I've got new bearings and seals installed in the 125 now, haven't got around to the 250 yet, cleaned and greased all of the linkage on the rear suspension, repacked the wheel bearings front and rear and changed the fork oil, inner and outer. Moving on to the top end now...

Thanks,

Mike

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what my dad dose is befor we ride we wipe the stem down and grab some grease and put it around the stem then wash it

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The first thing I did on mine (03 RM) was move the fuel vent tube out of the steering tube. Gas and vapor will remove the grease you pack in there. When washing with a power washer, I am quite mindful of the areas that may be damaged with a powerful stream of h2o (where the cases seal, anywhere a bearing is).

Hope this helps.

Jay

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