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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am currently redoing the frontend on my 02 954 and I have replaced the steering head bearings. My bike had the ball type bearings in which were shot, so I upgraded to the tapered roller bearing type bearings.

Here is my question. Would the torque setting for the steering stem nut be the same for the roller type bearings as it would be for the old ball bearings, ie 29nm as per the Honda manual I have?

Thanks in advance.

Jacques.
 

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Hi All,

I am currently redoing the frontend on my 02 954 and I have replaced the steering head bearings. My bike had the ball type bearings in which were shot, so I upgraded to the tapered roller bearing type bearings.

Here is my question. Would the torque setting for the steering stem nut be the same for the roller type bearings as it would be for the old ball bearings, ie 29nm as per the Honda manual I have?

Thanks in advance.

Jacques.

The OEM bearings are excellent, tapers are not an "upgrade", they're just different. I prefer the OEM races myself.
I never torque steering head bearings, set them by feel. I tighten it down until it just stops the bars from falling freely from side to side, then back it off just a touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Bladereacer,

Thanks for the quick reply.

As I live in South Africa, most of the 929's and 954's were Japanese imports, so getting hold of OEM spares from Honda is not very easy and is usually very expensive. Local dealers are not keen on helping when it comes to 'imports'. I bought the MSD set of roller bearings from a local spares importer, that was the only type they stocked, obviously came with the lower and top dust seals.

My concern comes in that I do not have a steering damper fitted to my bike, and as stupid as this sounds, my riding style has always depended on the steering head bearing preload, thus me wanting to get it right. I have already bought a 36mm deep socket, and modified it to fit the steering stem nut.

Thanks,

Jacques.
 

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Hi Bladereacer,

Thanks for the quick reply.

As I live in South Africa, most of the 929's and 954's were Japanese imports, so getting hold of OEM spares from Honda is not very easy and is usually very expensive. Local dealers are not keen on helping when it comes to 'imports'. I bought the MSD set of roller bearings from a local spares importer, that was the only type they stocked, obviously came with the lower and top dust seals.

My concern comes in that I do not have a steering damper fitted to my bike, and as stupid as this sounds, my riding style has always depended on the steering head bearing preload, thus me wanting to get it right. I have already bought a 36mm deep socket, and modified it to fit the steering stem nut.

Thanks,

Jacques.

I don't see any connection between steering head tension and a steering damper.
I never use steering dampers and do everything possible to remove all drag on my steering so the bars are free to flop from side to side with zero force required.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just want to point out that I am a social rider, and that I have never taken any of my bikes even in the vicinity of a racetrack, so I am no professional by any means. Its just my opinion that a factory torqued steering head minimizes the chances of a tankslapper... I have had experience before on a bike with an under-tightened stem nut, where it tankslapped repeatedly on the same bend on a stretch of slightly bumpy road every time I rode it, and after I tightened the stem nut to factory torque specs, the problem disappeared, never to return again. I do also realize that tankslapping has a lot to do with steering geometry of the specific bike, as well as riding style and riding position of the rider, but I would just like to have all my bases covered.

I will follow what the manual says, and test it with a spring scale as indicated.
 

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I just want to point out that I am a social rider, and that I have never taken any of my bikes even in the vicinity of a racetrack, so I am no professional by any means. Its just my opinion that a factory torqued steering head minimizes the chances of a tankslapper... I have had experience before on a bike with an under-tightened stem nut, where it tankslapped repeatedly on the same bend on a stretch of slightly bumpy road every time I rode it, and after I tightened the stem nut to factory torque specs, the problem disappeared, never to return again. I do also realize that tankslapping has a lot to do with steering geometry of the specific bike, as well as riding style and riding position of the rider, but I would just like to have all my bases covered.

I will follow what the manual says, and test it with a spring scale as indicated.

Under- or over-tight can both lead to problems, that's why I don't use a torque wrench to set the tension on the bearings.
The bearings need to allow movement without any drag, if they cause drag then they are over-tightened.
As you said, it happened every time you rode that piece of road, and yet you never crashed, clearly it wasn't a significant problem.
 
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