You ask, we answer! Does the bearing need changing?

Posted: 25 May 2013

Honda VFR

YOU ASK:
I recently had an MOT carried out on my Honda VFR800, and the mechanic showed me an issue with the steering by putting the bike on the centre stand and leaning on it to bring the front wheel off the floor. He then got me to move the front wheel left to right by about 40mm and pointed out the wheel centres itself indicating wear of the bearing.

Does the bearing need changing?

Thanks, Barry

WE ANSWER:
When you say he moved the wheel left to right by about 40mm, we assume you mean the complete front end of the bike i.e. forks, wheel, fork yokes and handlebars? If the front end does centralise, then yes, workshop time is required.

This will involve the time needed for a full front end strip to replace the headstock bearings (yes, there are upper and lower bearings). This is usually the case on a bike showing 12,000-plus miles because the bearing races (where the bearing rollers seat) become indented under the constant jarring effect of braking, suspension etc. An official Honda dealer or recommended service workshop should be able to quote labour and a parts price almost immediately as this is a common theme.

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