Steering Head Bearing Project Thanks..

Paul Landry p_landry at
Sat Aug 25 19:11:31 PDT 2007

Thanks to all that provided suggestions, wisdom, and best wishes for success
in this project.
As of yesterday the GPz is all buttoned up and road worthy again.  Took
longer than planned / hoped but I had to think about it as I went.  Knowing
the theory and putting it into practice, well takes practice!..  ;-)
What started out as a just getting the fork seals replaced became a more
costly time consuming process.. 
When I discovered the battered bearings on Friday it was too late to talk to
the dealer about parts availability and Saturday already was full with
family commitments.  So had to wait until Tuesday to start trying to track
down the bearing as both the local dealers are closed on Mondays.  First
dealer quoted me $60 each!  rush shipment from Toronto to BC would add
almost $30 after taxes.   OUCH!.  and still take 2+ days to arrive.
Made calls to several local bearing dealers.  Got prices that started at $6
& $7 each but would have to be ordered up (taking up to a week), $19 each
for the KOYO and NSK branded bearings..  When all was said and done.  No one
could get me the lower bearing with the dust seal.  Trying to track that
down was just going to take too much time.  The damage the old bearings
suffered was water damage from that seal not being very good, lots of water
in the steering head.
The other dealer had the lower for the $60 ($67 after taxes) so got that and
had the upper ordered out of Vancouver for the next day at $21 taxes in.
Got the bearings home and found the upper was a "JA" not the "JE"..  Only
slightly different, not having a machined groove for the O-ring seal.  This
outfit is an NSK distributor but they could not get the JE as that is a
specialty OEM part!.. 
So, worked with what I had and was lucky as it fit fine and still had room
for the O-ring.
Suggestions from the list, worked great.  Had to use a hammer and punch to
remove the upper and lower races.  No problem.
Hammer and metal chisels of different sizes popped off the lower bearings
from the steering head.  With much greater ease than I anticipated.
Fabricated two brass "applicators" to use to drive the new races home and
not damage them.  
The races and the steering stem spent the night in the freezer before the
lower bearing and the races were installed.  That worked great!.
Again improvised using a large washer, to press the bearing surface, a large
nut and a length of pipe to take the hammer blows to drive it home.
Followed the GPz shop manual for the rest of the install.  Took my time and
got it all seated and re-assembled.
Test ride, yesterday afternoon before putting all the body work back on and
things were Great!..  
Now just need the weather to clear up and get some mileage..   
Was hoping to install the new 2" handlebar risers when everything was apart
but my new SS Brake lines from Murph have not arrived yet (No fault of
Murph), according to the web tracking they are in Vancouver, Customs..
Doh!..  That could add another weeks plus wait!..    ;-(   
Oh well, a project for another evening...
Lesson learned, when it comes time to do the wheel and swing arm bearings, I
will have them ordered up well in advance to save both time and money!..
Thanks again.. 
Paul W. Landry
P_Landry at

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