Wheel Bearing Maintenance

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Old Fogey
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Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #1 by Old Fogey » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:55 pm

A question was asked about wheel bearing maintenance and replacement.

This is one of those questions where everyone will have their own favourite answer.

These are only my opinions.

OK. Lets check the bearings first.

Obviously(?) the wheels needs to be off the deck. One at a time will do.

Make sure that the brake pads are not rubbing.

Spin the wheel slowly and listen closely at the hub for any grating/ rumbling noises.

The front should spin freely; the back one, having the drive shaft and gearbox to turn will not spin anything like as free.

Grasp the wheel top and bottom and try for lateral movement (rocking).

Any noises or movement mean the wrenches are coming out to play!

As for when to do this, the favourite time would be when tyres are being replaced. When the back wheel is off is may be easier to feel for grittiness in the bearings with your finger.


Bearing life is firstly very much dependant on the qualilty of the bearing.
Honda always fits top quality stuff. Do the same if you have to replace them.

Secondly it depends on the way the bearing is used /abused. On a road bike they don't really get abused like, say, a dirt bike but these machines of ours are heavy. If you tour a lot two up at speed with a load of gear you should reasonably expect the bearings to last a lot less mileage than someone who uses it for a slow trip round the corner to see Aunty Nellie!

Plus you probably don't know how the previous 376 POs have treated it. :-?

Thirdly. it depends on the maintenance and the type of bearing.
The original one open side/one sealed side type originally fitted to the wheels inevitably looses some of the lubricant into the hub. Also on the ones I have removed which seem to have the original grease in them (maybe), the grease has hardened up until it no longer seems like grease.

I would suggest that a reasonable figure for stripping these out for cleaning and relubing would be say 25K miles.

I would also suggest that, once you have stripped them out of the hubs, heave the bloody things as far as you can into the nearest dump and fit the double sealed type ie. 6204 2RS. Then you can just forget about them as far as your maintenance schedule goes. :-D :-D

These are standard bearing numbers used by all the bearing manufacturers.

The suffix RS or 2RS simly means one Rubber Seal or two Rubber Seals!

Front wheel needs two 6302 2RS

rear Wheel needs one 6204 2RS and one 6304 2RS.

These numbers suit both the 1000 and 1100
These are readily available from any bearing distributor.

Be aware. there area lot of cheap Chinese bearings around. I have opened one up and found NO grease whatsoever inside.

Buy good stuff like FAG, SKF . Youll be surprise how little difference there is in price between stuff that will last for ever and total sh*t.

To remove the bearings I used an adjustable peg tool made for tightening up wheels on an angle grinder on the rear retaining ring of mine; a very cheap tool that I had to put a weld on the back of the pegs to strengthen them but it did the job without wrecking the retaining ring.

The front one is easier as it has flat notches instead of round holes. I used a piece of flat bar about 18" long with another bit that fitted into the retainer welded to the bar in the bar in the centre of it.

On both the retainers you will probably find that they have been punched (staked) at the threads. Use a small drill and carefully drill out the punch marks. Only drill out enough to remove the damaged thread.

DO NOT try and remove them without doing this.

When replacing the retainer just use some BLUE Loctite; it's more than secure enough without staking the threads.
Don't use Red or that retainer ain't never, ever coming out again!
Last edited by Old Fogey on Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Q
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Post #2 by Q » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:43 pm

Every few years I repack the original bearings. Never had one fail.

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Roady
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Post #3 by Roady » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:17 am

An excellent tutorial.

Off it goes to the ShopTalk page!

Thanks, OldFogey.

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wheel bearings

Post #4 by tlcdmc » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:25 am

dont remember where i saw tip to use 1/2 bolt with slot cut in it to remove bearing. didnt work good when i put screw driver into slot from outside wheel and bolt thru wheel, then hitting bolt. unsure if bolt was proper size or i just didnt understand instructions i had excellent luck putting bolt in from outside wheel just enough to get into center of bearing, then putting screwdriver through center of wheel and driving bearing out by hitting screwdriver. bolt dug into center of bearing and out it came.
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Post #5 by siebo » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:41 am

I even lube the bearings with 2 seals by putting needle on end on grease gun and piercs the rubber seal and pump fresh grease in.
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Post #6 by rcmatt007 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:01 am

on the slotted bolt you need one that is just small enough to slip into the hole, so 1/2" may have been too small
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #7 by bum » Thu May 06, 2010 6:48 pm

remember you can overheat a bearing by over packing it.
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #8 by BlueThunder » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:01 pm

I went to buy SKF bearings but found that they are manufactured in China. So are these any good? Or are they just the best of the Chinese crap?
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #9 by Cookie » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:41 pm

In general if sold by a reputable company and manufactured to western standards you are fine. Honda makes a lot of parts there now. On Ebay I'd be concerned.
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #10 by Hoosier Daddy » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:45 pm

SKF or Timken are top notch in my book.
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #11 by Old Fogey » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:37 am

Chinese quality is improving all the time in leaps and bounds. I'm sure if you are buying quality brand names that have their products manufactured there, you will find the parts as good as any.
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'The Swan' complete rebuild album - See the result here!

ENGINE REBUILD TIPS - Stuff you won't find in the manuals!


"Impossible Is Just a Level of Difficulty!..."
If I'd wanted you to understand, I would have explained it better! (Johann Cruyff)
I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous! :-D

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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #12 by rcmatt007 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:55 am

and, unfortunately it seems all products today orginate there
-Rodger-
The question is not how much time do you have, it is what you do with the time that you have Gandalf
"One of the greatest dignities of humankind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare of each new generation." Fred Rodgers
"it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert" ancient saying
78 constantly modified/customized since 1978,
76 Ltd "cookies bike" up and running,
79 project, finished,
'86 1200 (Beth's) with motorvation sidecar, (being repainted and apart)
05 HD Road king and 08 HD Heritage softail (Beth's). I guess you can say we have MBS
http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=35846
http://s199.photobucket.com/user/rcmatt ... ion?sort=2
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #13 by Placerville » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:34 pm

Nice post. Thank you. For myself, whenever I see a post as detailed as this on NGW, I print it and place it in a binder for future reference. I'm now putting tabs in the binder as I've got so many pages!. :orange
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Re: Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Post #14 by Jimbo1 » Mon May 07, 2012 8:52 am



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