Head bearings question - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Head bearings question

I have searched for this info and found some info but was looking for a bit more.

I noticed that there is quite a lot of grease on the frame where the steering stem and bearings meeting the frame. When I hold the front brakes and push down on the forks there is an audible "click" and I feel the click on the rebound.

My question is, is the grease on the frame normal (just carelessly applied, maybe) and is the click and indication that the steering stem is loose or could it be worse and maybe the bearings need to be replaced? Thanks for any info!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 01:12 PM
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The bearings are packed in grease. If the frame gets hot enough, the grease can sometimes ooze out of the next area, which is normal. But the bearing races are lubricated inside the neck and nothing is lubed from the outside.

The click may be an indication of some play in either top triple clamp or the head bearings. Usually, when the bearings are too loose, there is a stutter/shimy in the front end when the brakes are applied. I'd try just re-torquing the top triple clamp nut and see if the feeling goes away.

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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The bearings are packed in grease. If the frame gets hot enough, the grease can sometimes ooze out of the next area, which is normal. But the bearing races are lubricated inside the neck and nothing is lubed from the outside.

The click may be an indication of some play in either top triple clamp or the head bearings. Usually, when the bearings are too loose, there is a stutter/shimy in the front end when the brakes are applied. I'd try just re-torquing the top triple clamp nut and see if the feeling goes away.
That's what I was thinking. Do you think it could be from excessive wheelies?
It's not my bike but am looking at buying one with the above described issues and just wondering if its worth buying. Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 02:36 PM
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It could be. But I do a lot of wheelies as well, and the bearings have been fine. Sometimes the top nut isn't properly torqued from the factory and can back off a bit to give that clicking.

The easiest way to check the bearings is to raise the front wheel off the ground and pull and push the front wheel to see if you can feel any play in it. If not, the head bearings are torqued properly. Then move the bars side-to-side to check for any roughness or clunkiness. If there is some, the bearings are likely shot as they've developed flat spots. I'd bet the top nut just needs to be torqued a bit more.

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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I hope its just the top nut being loose.
If it is the bearings and the need to be replaced, do you know the rough cost it would be at a dealership since I don't have the right tools for the job?
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 04:28 PM
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You really just need a spanner wrench to tighten the bearing locknuts. The top nut either takes a large hex key or regular socket to tighten depending on the model. If you were to take it to a shop, I'd be surprised if they tried to gouge you for more than $150 to do the job. That would cover about 2 hours of shop time at most places, which is plenty to tighten them. If they actually had to disassemble the front end to replace the bearing races, I'd say probably closer to $400 including parts.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-25-2013, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Great, thanks. Its an Gen 1 Im looking at buying btw.
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