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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone replaced their stock ball bearings with tapered?

I have the dreaded front end clunk and I'm going through a process of elimination.

Thanks.
 

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Mike said:
Has anyone replaced their stock ball bearings with tapered?

I have the dreaded front end clunk and I'm going through a process of elimination.

Thanks.
I have...can't say that it really eliminated the clunk though...
 

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I've replaced mine with tapered, but that was because of too many ham-fisted wheelies.... Didn't maka a difference to the occasional clunk you get going over the odd gutter. I think that comes from the instrument cluster, or overfilled forks..

If you want to know if your bearing are stuffed, two ways:

1) put the front wheel against a wall, push it backwards and forwards listen for the cluncking.

2) put a jack under the engine, lift the front end, turn the forks from side to side, and pull/push forwards and backwards. Any binding movement or clunking and it's the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay.

Any differences with the tapered bearings then? Smoother steering, less stability? Anything?

Did you replace just the bearings or do you have to replace the races too?

Thanks for the replies.
 

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I chaned mine when I powdercoated the frame cause you need to pull them and replace them....I had no intention of puting in the tapered ones...just what my shop orderd for me. you need to replace the races...they are totally different than stock.

I can't honestly notice a difference.
 

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Mike said:
Okay.

Any differences with the tapered bearings then? Smoother steering, less stability? Anything?

Did you replace just the bearings or do you have to replace the races too?

Thanks for the replies.
Can't really tell the difference, the only thing is that if the bike's front end get's light often, then there is less chance of bearing damage with tapered rollers, dues to more contact area on the rollers.

Yes, you have to replace the races, which can be a bitch of a job unless you have the proper puller tools.
 

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I just replaced mine with Tapers. I got mine out of a Vistory cruiser as they have integral seals.

For me... it was what we had on the shelf (we supply the bearings to Victory) and my balls bearings were shot. I like the robustness of the tapers ofver a ball bearing any day.

Adjustment is a bit tougher, feel should be a tad tighter/stiffer than athe ball bearing.

They are so much easier to obtain than the stock ball bearings, hence why that's all the aftermarket carries.
 

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Here's one of my very few original tips- if you're pulling bearings or races (or anything else large and metal with an interference fit) damp them a little and get a tin of chewing gum remover (available from big hardware stores/janitorial supplies places, I "borrowed" a tin from my work since I'm a pikey) and spray the bearing/race.

This will chill it dramatically and locally and will, hopefully, contract it and make it easier to drift out. Certainly works on wheel bearings... DISCLAIMER: If you freeze yourself to the frame, or cause some expensive tool to embrittle, don't blame me- you should be using an old screwdriver to belt out your bearings like everyone else :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
punkjumper said:
you need to replace the races...they are totally different than stock.
I've got a tapered bearing set with seals. No races. Where do I get them? Brand?
 

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Races are there

The outer race is the external part of the bearing you can see. The inner race is what the stem goes through. The races are what the rolling elements roll on. No races, no bearings. A sealed bearing will not come apart because of the way the seals are installed.

Timken makes the best tapered bearings. You need to find an industrial bearing supplier, like Motion Industries or American Bearing Service. You can bring your old bearing and they can match up a sealed, tapered roller bearing for you.
 

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Mike said:
Has anyone replaced their stock ball bearings with tapered?

I have the dreaded front end clunk and I'm going through a process of elimination.

Thanks.
The clunk is NOT caused by the bearings.

It is caused by the springs in the forks hitting the side of the slider tube on a sharp bump.

If you ever rebuilt your forks, then it should be very easy to visualize what is going on.

I was only ever able to get rid of the harmless clunk by putting AK-20 cartridge internals
in the fork.
 

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Currently said:
The clunk is NOT caused by the bearings.

It is caused by the springs in the forks hitting the side of the slider tube on a sharp bump.
Wow, I'm glad I saw this thread. You're talking about the whack that you hear over sharp bumps? I've been really paranoid, thinking I was bottoming out the front suspension (and thinking the bump wasn't as high as the suspension travel should be). So it's harmless?
 

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Yup ... if it was the bearings, you would hear and feel it on little bumps
to a lesser degree.

The clunk comes from the spring bending before compressing and it
raps the inside of the slider tube.

Even Zoran agrees with this assessment.
 

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Not all clunk is caused by that, though... It can be loose head bearings, or the gauges, and sometimes stuff like loose mudguards, worn discs... All sorts. It drives me nuts when you see people say "Just tighten the head bearings"- great, now you probably have overtight head bearings and a clunk.
 
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