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  • Headset bearings shot -


    The triple clamp lower bearing is pitted and in need of replacement.
    The OE site for parts shows a taper roller bearing replacement for the 25x37x15 mm bearing to replace the stock ball set up

    Does any one have recent experience / insight with replacing the ball system with the taper system?
    Does the taper fit exactly like the stock ball unit or does the taper unit push the triple clamp out a bit?



  • #2
    You mean these? Caged/captive ball bearings, not tapered rollers.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Talon; 03-01-2022, 07:29 PM.
    ASMA #139


    • #3
      I stuck tapered roller head bearings in once and didn't like them. Aside from being a little finicky to set up, I just prefer good old ball bearings in the headstock.
      ASMA #139


      • #4
        You can replace with OEM ball bearings and everything will be the same.

        If you replace with tapered roller bearings, the forks will have to be lowered in the triple as measured from the top triple to keep original fork angle. This is because the roller bearing set is taller than ball bearing set, so top triple will be further up (farther from ground?) than original. So when you measure fork height from top of triple tree to top of fork, this number needs to be smaller. Or you keep OEM distance and the bike will have sharper turn in.


        • #5
          I'm not sure why I never hear about guys using the FSM procedure to preload the head bearings. Whether you use caged roller bearings or tapered bearings name brand bearings are going to be better than All Balls brand. Hordpower can get you Japanese bearings for probably a fraction of OEM bearings.


          Last edited by SPA; 03-01-2022, 10:42 PM.
          "Hawk Porn" 1990 NT650-Penske 8981, Race-tech Springs & Gold Valves, Steve Lenac six-piston caliper & EBC rotor,SS Brake lines Ft / Rear lines through SSA ,VFR brake lever, F2 front wheel, F-120/70 R-160/60 Dunlop Roadsmart, Full-Supertrapp Exhaust, Stage 1 Jet kit, K&N Filter, Corbin Seat, Pro-Tec Clip-On's/ Past Rides...1986 VFR700F2 Interceptor / 1979 Yamaha Rd400 Daytona Special


          • #6
            tapered bearings last longer but the added frictional resistance to movement reduces feel from the front tire contact patch, why racers prefer balls.

            one thing i learned is that bearings adjusted too tight will have the front end constantly wandering left-to-right in an S-shaped manner.

            many bearing replacement kits don't include upper or lower oil seals, which would need to be sourced separately.

            big, heavy bikes need tapered bearings more than lighter bikes like the hawk.
            Last edited by squirrelman; 03-02-2022, 06:21 PM.
            "It's only getting worse."

            MY rides: '97 VFR750, '90 Red Hawk, '88 Blue/Black Hawk, '86 RWB VFR700 (3), '86 Yamaha Radian, '90 VTR250, '89 VTR250 (2), '73 CB125, '66 Yamaha YL-1

            Sold: '86 FJ1200, '92 ZX-7, '90 Radian, '73 CB750, '89 all-white Hawk, '88 blue Hawk, '86 FZ600, '86 Yam Fazer 700 , '89 VTR250, '87 VFR700F2, '86 VFR700F.


            • #7
              I did the tapered bearings a couple times. Went back to using standard ball bearings. Wasn't worth it to me.

              I think the idea behind it is that the larger surface area holds up better to braking forces and helps reduce binding and give better feel/feedback turning in under hard braking on the track. I'm no engineer.. and I never felt a substantial difference nor do I wear out head bearings in a hurry on race or street bikes.

              ​​​​​​Wouldn't advocate for or against them.. some guys like them. Don't know if it's real world feel or placebo, but some people do like them.

              Sticking with the standard ones is just easier for .e..

              Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.