wheel bearing longevity - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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wheel bearing longevity

curious, at what mileage have any of you had to change your wheel bearings, if at all?
do you preform maintenance on them, like repacking them periodcally, or do you simply let them "roll on"?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 07:37 PM
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curious, at what mileage have any of you had to change your wheel bearings, if at all?
do you preform maintenance on them, like repacking them periodically, or do you simply let them "roll on"?

Bearings should be 2RS ( 2 ring seals), standard practice on electric motors in the outdoors, pack grease on either side of the sealed bearing, this acts as a barrier to the sealed bearing. The days of using open bearing or 2ZZ ( 2 dust shields) are ancient history.
Many bearings come as a C3 or C4 which is a clearance used for large ambient temperature changes. https://www.ntnglobal.com/en/product.../2202E_a08.pdf
Generally a sealed bearing has the exact amount needed for the lifetime of the bearing under normal conditions, FYI I have seen a bearing fail in under 2 minutes due to improper packing. Think about a roller bearing being a hydraulic pump, packed with all housings and bearing 100% full. Running a motor under these conditions with a grease plugs and fittings in place = failed bearing. Very easy on a 50 HP or greater electric motor for a situation like that to have the bearing exceed 290'F, ( permanent failure temp) in two minutes.
Second reason, at one time mixing greases = chemical reaction = bearing failure. Today"s greases are high temperature EP2 or better grease, multitude of greases, for specific applications.

Short Answer, changed the bearings on the DRZ400S , due to inner race rotating on shaft and they had used 2Z bearings instead of 2RS. My 07 Versys at 30,000 KM when I sold it was OEM bearings.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:03 AM
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The best thing you can do to extend the life of your wheel bearings is to leave them alone.
The worst thing you can do is to wash your bike often, or to use a pressure washer - and if you DO wash your bike take it out for a good ride afterwards to rid your bearings and seals of any moisture.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 01:59 PM
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curious, at what mileage have any of you had to change your wheel bearings, if at all?
do you perform maintenance on them, like repacking them periodcally, or do you simply let them "roll on"?
EVERY time I remove a wheel (to change a tire, etc), I check the bearings by sticking a finger INTO the bearings, and turn them, checking for any roughness, etc, then put wheel-bearing grease on my finger and put some inside (axle-side of the bearings), as well as some from the outside of the bearings, then some along the shaft of the axle before I re-install it.

SO FAR (79,054 miles on my '08// 62,5xx kms on my '15// 62,790 kms on my '09 when my insurance "wrote-it-off") I'm STILL on the ORIGINAL wheel (and steering-stem!) bearings....



BTW - all of my Vs are 'garaged' between rides, altho' they've ALL been ridden in multi-day rains, and I DO wash them w/ a pressure washer but I do NOT spray anywhere near the wheel-bearings.

-
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 09-23-2018 at 02:03 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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thanks. the question just came to mind. when i take the wheels off (usually changing tires), before reassembly, i use plenty of general purpose grease on the axle and inside the wheel hub. i've never disassembled the steering, but do check for grinding and play periodically. one does read of guys periodically taking out the wheel or steering bearings to "repack", but i was always taught as a kid to leave well enough alone in this regard, only to change bearings when they start to scream (they're asking for it !)
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:15 PM
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https://www.rideapart.com/articles/2...heel-bearings/

some basic information on how to make your bearing last.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:30 AM
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Most wheel bearings in modern bikes are sealed and can not be greased without damaging the seal that holds the grease in. Check the bearing for play or rough motion when you replace tires. Before you unbolt the wheel grab it at the top and bottom and try to move it side to side. Push the caliper pistons in and spin the wheel, then take it apart and look at them for damaged seals or rust.
Wheel bearings can last a long time or can go bad in short order. A pressure washer or car wash directed at the hub area can wash out the grease or damage the seals that then let the grease sling out.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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good article.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Most wheel bearings in modern bikes are sealed and can not be greased without damaging the seal that holds the grease in. Check the bearing for play or rough motion when you replace tires. Before you unbolt the wheel grab it at the top and bottom and try to move it side to side. Push the caliper pistons in and spin the wheel, then take it apart and look at them for damaged seals or rust.
Wheel bearings can last a long time or can go bad in short order. A pressure washer or car wash directed at the hub area can wash out the grease or damage the seals that then let the grease sling out.
per the article, given modern bearing anatomy, you really can't grease the bearings. fortunately, i've never pressure washed the bike nor used a hard hose sprayer. i did ride pretty fast and hard the bombed out section of the alaska highway in the western yukon in 2013 where i bottomed out a couple of times with gear on board, but if i damaged the the bearings, i figure they would have failed shortly thereafter. i'll probably just put the bike up on the stands and check for wheel grinding or play.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 08:40 AM
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Grease On Shaft / Bad Idea

I noticed Several Posts About Grease on Shaft

FYI, your inner race is to be a friction fit on the shaft, having grease on the shaft enables the inner race to turn on the shaft. Since the bearing was not designed for the inner race to be the moving surface, heat is generated and wear occurs, this leads to the grease heating up and the bearing failing, plus a worn shaft. I used locitite 609 on many a motor also used loctite quick metal 660 and a center punch when shaft was worn beyond the 609 tolerance.

So lube of any kind, oil, grease or other, and that includes the inside of the inner race of the bearings ( generally the bearings come in a plastic sealed package and have a oily film to protect from rust, this should be cleaned off before installing), a Bad Idea
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:40 PM
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The bearing is an interferance fit on the outer race to the wheel, the axle will slide in with hand pressure. When you torque the axle bolt you tighten the spacers to the sides of the inner races to prevent them from turning on the bolt. A little greese on the axle bolt is to prevent corrossion so you can get the bolt out again. If you change tires every year no big deal. If you only change tires every 5 years that axle bolt may get hard to drive out.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 12:20 AM
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The bearing is an interferance fit on the outer race to the wheel, the axle will slide in with hand pressure. When you torque the axle bolt you tighten the spacers to the sides of the inner races to prevent them from turning on the bolt. A little greese on the axle bolt is to prevent corrossion so you can get the bolt out again. If you change tires every year no big deal. If you only change tires every 5 years that axle bolt may get hard to drive out.
You are correct about the outer race and the spacers on the inner race, you also have seals on both sides, packing grease behind each seal acts as a moisture barrier, however you will always get condensation through extreme temperature changes. I can say the largest problem / root cause of bearing failure is improper installation , the second being taking short cuts and putting shielded bearings in where sealed bearing should go. Theoretically our Versys could use shielded bearings since we have wheel seals protecting them, that would be a mistake, sealed bearings are the correct application.
I am not a mechanic, however I have installed 1000's of bearings, some very expensive bearings, that were in short supply during the Vietnam war ( helicopter bearings made by SKF ). High spots on a shaft or high spots in a housing, will distort the bearing and cause premature bearing failure, this was shown to me by SKF engineers , hard to believe that a 0.005" high spot on a 2 inch thick spigot could distort the outer race housing by 0.005". So if you have premature wheel bearing failure, have a close look at the housing and shaft, look for shiny high spots, make sure you are careful installing the new bearing, if you don't have a proper driver, you can use the old bearing to drive the new one into the housing, make sure everything is going in staright. I used bearing heaters and dry ice on larger bearings ( wax pencils are made, colour coded for the safe installation when using heat).

95% of what I just posted probably has no application when applying to the Versys --I figure if I keep posting stuff like this, all those thoughts may just leak out and never come back
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 11:36 AM
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...95% of what I just posted probably has no application when applying to the Versys --I figure if I keep posting stuff like this, all those thoughts may just leak out and never come back
WELCOME to being 'elderly', Glen...!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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I thought bearings would be a interesting topic ....... i'm taking notes. no play nor grinding at this point. some thing to keep an eye on. had two changed on my wife's forester over past year ...... the entire bearing housing has to be changed !
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 07:29 AM
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I use a long drift made out of a ancient, large bladed screwdriver to remove old wheel bearings by putting it through the wheel hub to gently drift the old ones out. To fit new ones I have a 1/2" drive socket set and use the appropriate size socket that will push ONLY against the outer race of the new bearing while not directly impacting the wheel.
Keep the bearing and socket square as you tap it in, and don't forget the inner spacer. Yep, done that once or twice.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 12:46 AM
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Never in normal conditions.
About 10 years ago the guy who installed the new tyres tightened the wheel too much and riding in that conditions I damaged the bearings...

Nobody thinks that something is so easy like who is totally unable to do it.

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