Author Topic: Steering Head Bearing Grease  (Read 266 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jeffrey

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 29
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 12338
  • Membership Level: Active
Steering Head Bearing Grease
« on: February 13, 2019, 04:53:33 pm »
In the middle of the 26,000 mile valve check - actually I'm done and have the new shims in - just need to put it all back together.  But 'while I was in there' i wanted to grease the head bearings.  I've spent a fair amount of time searching, but I can't find a grease recommendation.  I'm pretty close to using the Red & Tacky stuff I use on my boat trailer bearings and boat out drive and calling it a day.  What do the forum gurus say?  I have not seen a good reason to switch to tapered bearings, maybe I missed it someplace.  Besides, I did the dumb thing and called Traxxion..."while I was in there"
2015 Candy Green C14.  Two Bros slip on.  Steve's 2017 EVO flash. Phil's rack. Front & Back Canyon Cages - already paid for themselves! MCcruise, Traxxion AK20 & Penske.

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • **
  • Posts: 3654
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Steering Head Bearing Grease
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 08:30:11 pm »
I think I would tend to use a grease thick enough to hold the little ball bearings in place while messing with it.   ;)

I put All Balls in my 900. The OEM bearings were shot anyways. One of the better things I've done to that old bike. Definitely an improvement in the steering compared to the old worn OEM bearings. (the bearing races were pitted and dry)

Be aware when I took the stem out of the head on the 900, some of those 1/4 inch or what ever diameter they are ball bearings, managed to run off.   Might be a good idea to have something other than the floor to catch them in. Remember they all have to go back in.

I had the shop grease mine on the 09 when I had the oil changed in the forks prior to the Cortez rally. The bearings were slightly loose and when they greased them took they out the looseness.  (stopping and speed bumps would cause a thump felt in the handle bars) Other than that being gone I did not notice anything different with the steering of the beast. 
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Online MAN OF BLUES

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 8781
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 5977
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Steering Head Bearing Grease
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 08:43:05 pm »
the red tacky wheel bearing grease is perfectly fine to use... :great: :great:
simply clean the old grease off with a mild solvent (like kerosene), and repack the cages and coat the races well..

I'll also note:
DO NOT torque the cleaned old bearings to 40 ft/lbs....
simply follow the instructions for "adjusting" the bearings.... per the "periodic maintenance" of the stem bearings.

too many people read and follow the procedure for "replacing/installing NEW bearings",
where the instructions call for torque to "seat" the race... this is not required when just cleaning and packing existing bearings...

(Tim, I had the same thing happen on my old Kz, which is still in my garage....  the C14's are improved, and the balls aren't "loose", they are caged)
 :))
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 09:05:01 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline TimR

  • Global Moderator
  • Iron Butt
  • **
  • Posts: 3654
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9032
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Steering Head Bearing Grease
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 06:43:26 am »
MOB, caged ball bearings are a fine thing indeed. Too bad they didn't think of that 44 years ago.  :??:  It would have saved me looking in the nooks and crannies.
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline Jeffrey

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 29
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 12338
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Steering Head Bearing Grease
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 01:32:36 pm »
Thanks MOB! Red and Tacky it is.
2015 Candy Green C14.  Two Bros slip on.  Steve's 2017 EVO flash. Phil's rack. Front & Back Canyon Cages - already paid for themselves! MCcruise, Traxxion AK20 & Penske.

Offline Salish14

  • Salish14
  • Mini Bike
  • **
  • Posts: 170
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 12507
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Steering Head Bearing Grease
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 03:55:21 pm »
i just did this on my 08 at about the 25K mark, and I used my standard Valvoline Synthetic back grease. It's a tacky high quality general purpose grease that I use on most things over than the drive system. where I use a Moly.

I think your red and tacky will be fine. It is a very low heat, low friction environment. Main things there are compression and banging forces, and water. Something thick and sticky will hold on and be better than anything more likely to melt out.

I found doing the torque on mine was much more by feel than numbers. It was like doing every bicycle I've ever done. Too tight you can feel as grainy and rough. Too loose and you get wobble. Just right is butter.

Good luck.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.

2008 ABS Silver with 26,000 and counting