Head bearing grease job


Grease the head bearing is a routine maintenance item. Spurred on by a loose head bearing, denoted by klunking sounds during braking.
The pain is having to remove a number of parts before can get to the bearings. To hoist the bike front end Pulled the airbox to run nylon straps on a cross member on the frame. Hoisted on ceiling rafters using a ratchet nylon strap. Your method may vary

Every part connected to the forks have to come off. The clip on plate. A brake hose clip. Both front calipers. The steering dampener, front fender and wheel.
After that job is much easier. Require a specxial spanner wrench to loosen the head retaining nuts. Found a set of adjustable spanners on Harbor Freight. Not only used for this job. They fit the rear shock nicely to. No more wacking away with a punch

Note how the nuts, cover plate, washers and bearings are on the head. Need to reassemble same way later.
Pretty straight forward removing the forks. Careful not to drop after the nuts are off.
Grease pack the bearings. clean up the forks and head shaft and frame bearing races. Grease up the races. It time to mount the forks again. There is an option before remounting. Is to have the forked serviced. Can leave them connected on the lower Tee. Take them in to a shop. for new seals and fluid change. The tools required to work on the forks are highly specialized. DIY may be able to change out the fluid at most.
Anyrate time to mount the forks. Two people would make this easiest. One to hold the forks up while another, fits the bearings, washers, cover plate and lastly the bolts. Decide on doing a one man job. Going to need a strap that'll force the forks up and mostly into complete position. I used a second ratchet nylon strap around the axle and frame. With enough slack to move easily to center the head to the bearing races. First time used too much force and popped the lower bearing out of it's cage. Argh. Pulled the forks all the way off again. Popped the bearing back in it's cage. then back to assembling the forks to the head again

Tighten the head nuts to allow easy free movement left and right. And tight enough to take up any slack in the head. Shop manual uses a fish weigh spring scale to measure the force of turning left and right. Heheh it's easy force, we're not weigh fish here. It's a throw back anyway.

After getting the head adjusted just right. The fastest I could get that front wheel back on was my greatest concern. Unnerving seeing Busa in the air like that with only a nylon strap holding it. Only replacing the Steering damper and brake line holder before replacing the wheel was easiest. Got the wheel on lowered it to the ground. Finished up with everything else while on solid ground.
End result no more klunking, steering is very easy turn left and right. Even got to lessen rider sag adjusting the rear shock easily with the new tools




Hmmm  Shouldn't ya just replace w/ new roller bearings?  Stock used BALL bearings?
Your right on here.

Nice write up that I may have to use in the future as I do my own work. Should just replace the bearings though. The slop and adjustment problem likely came from the bearing becoming worn and that is why the play appeared. Doubtfull anything came out of adjustment so no where else for the slop to come from. replace, replace, replace.  
Two replaceable parts the Bearings and Bearing Races. I was counting on that the Races worn a little. I inspecting the bearings and races. They both looked in excellent condition. I don't know why it became loose.
A few miles away a Suzuki parts department with bearings in stock. Just in case