Help!. Steering head bearings

Marilyn Mason masonjs at
Mon Aug 20 06:36:42 PDT 2007

When I did mine a few years back, I drifted one bearing out of the steering
head using a piece of 1/2" brass rod for a punch.  I took the triple tree to
a local garage.  They just put it in a vice and beat it off with a punch and
hammer--pretty crude but effective.  They didn't charge me for this so I
went and brought a round of coffee for the 5 guys in the shop. I cleaned up
the triple tree, sanded it down with scotch bright then lubed it a bit to
slide on the new bearing.  To replace the bearing in the steering head place
a flat block of wood and tap it in with a hammer or if you have a socket
large enough to fit on the outer race you can place it on the bearing outer
race only and tap it in with a hammer.  Be sure to pack the bearings well
with a good grade of grease.  I used Mercury Quick Silver marine grease just
because I had some.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Landry" <p_landry at>
To: "Kawasaki GPZ1100 Discussion (Kawasaki GPZ1100 discussion)"
<gpzlist at>
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2007 4:43 PM
Subject: Help!. Steering head bearings

> Working on the GPz and I might be getting in over my head!.
> History, fork seal in the left fork started leaking 2 weeks ago.  Made
> arrangements with the local dealer to do the internal work on the forks to
> replace the seals etc. as I don't have the required tools and knowledge to
> really do this.
> Friday I went to reinstall the refreshed forks and checked the steering
> bearings (did this with the weight of the forks on the bike before
> disassembly and all seemed Ok) with the weight of the forks removed I
> the movement to be rough and notchy.  Damn!..
> Took the triple clamp and steering head apart to inspect the bearings and
> found water damage (water still in the head).  The evidence of rust and
> corrosion on both the bearings, races and cages.  Cleaned out the old
> and inspected, does not look too bad but running your fingernail on the
> bearing surfaces and on the races reveals the extent of the damage.
> These need to be replaced..
> Now my problem..  The front of the bike is totally disassembled.  To get
> to the dealership requires I largely rebuild it so I can transport to them
> to have it taken apart again!..   @ $85/hr and 1+ weeks wait for shop time
> would rather avoid this!.
> I feel comfortable doing the work myself but do not have the specialty
> to remove the bearing, races and then install the new ones.  The manual
> shows bearing puller, wrench, tool for installing the new races, and one
> installing the new bearing on the steering stem.
> I know others on the list have done this on their bikes and am looking for
> the tips, tricks, alternate tools that I can use to do this.
> Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated.  I am running out of
> summer and have not gotten in nearly enough riding yet this year!..
> Thanks...
> Paul W. Landry
> P_Landry at
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