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8th Gen head races - when do they need attention?

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Any owners of earlier Viffers have any input as to when these need greasing/changing?

 

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factory manual indicates 16,000 mile service intervals, and if not re-greased they usually need replacement by about 35-40,000 miles........in my experience.

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Are they still using balls instead of rollers on the 8th gen? I replaced mine with rollers at 20k and noticed an improvement. It wasn't terrible before, but it feels a bit lighter now. 

 

I don't understand the reason for ball bearings in a sport-tourer. A full race bike, maybe, but I'm betting that tiny marginal improvement in feel from balls is gone by about 5 thousand miles. Meanwhile, rollers will just keep on rolling. 

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1 hour ago, Marvelicious said:

Are they still using balls instead of rollers on the 8th gen? I replaced mine with rollers at 20k and noticed an improvement. It wasn't terrible before, but it feels a bit lighter now. 

 

I don't understand the reason for ball bearings in a sport-tourer. A full race bike, maybe, but I'm betting that tiny marginal improvement in feel from balls is gone by about 5 thousand miles. Meanwhile, rollers will just keep on rolling. 

Yep, service manual shows upper and lower steering bearings as ball. Shame they aren't roller.

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14 hours ago, Grum said:

Yep, service manual shows upper and lower steering bearings as ball. Shame they aren't roller.

I’ve just been thinking about replacing mine with tapered rollers when the time comes, I wonder if the same bearings fit, probably not 

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No more work to go to rollers. If you're going to do them, I think it's a no-brainer. 

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1 hour ago, Marvelicious said:

No more work to go to rollers. If you're going to do them, I think it's a no-brainer. 

My thoughts precisely, I’ve got the tool for the top nuts coming and am trying to cross check the bearings to see if 2006 parts are the same 

 

PS - they’re the same part, any chance you have the bearings reference numbers?

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The All Balls kit I used was 22-1020. 

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2 hours ago, Marvelicious said:

The All Balls kit I used was 22-1020. 

Did a check with Partzilla. The 8gen bearing part numbers are the same as the 6gen so I guess there's no reason why the above kit wouldn't suite the 8gen. 

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Thanks guys

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Having owned 5 2000 or 2001 VFRs I've had to replace everyone's steering head bearings. Front end shimmies developed in each of them, one as "young as" 28,000 miles. In each case the effect was noticeable and a marked improvment.

 

My first change out came around 70,000 miles on the Odo. The dealer first diagnosed a cupped front tire and he showed me why he thought that and they may have been a little cupped, so I had a new tire put on. It did not solve the symptoms completely. He then suggested replacing the steering head bearings. That solved the problem perfectly.

On 11/2/2019 at 7:27 PM, Marvelicious said:

Are they still using balls instead of rollers on the 8th gen? I replaced mine with rollers at 20k and noticed an improvement. It wasn't terrible before, but it feels a bit lighter now. 

 

I don't understand the reason for ball bearings in a sport-tourer. A full race bike, maybe, but I'm betting that tiny marginal improvement in feel from balls is gone by about 5 thousand miles. Meanwhile, rollers will just keep on rolling. 

I agree.

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I just replaced the stem bearings in my 5th gen this last summer at 54,000 miles.  I had the forks off for seal/bushing replacement when I noticed that there was a definite detent action on the triple clamps.  A knowledgeable friend assured me that the bearings were worn out.  It was not at the point where I noticed it when riding, but since I was already in that area, might as well do it.

 

The wear in the race was very apparent when I got them removed.  I think tapered roller bearings would be better, but I just went with OEM parts from Partzilla.  They amounted to $71.

 

Everything seems to be working well now.

 

 

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23 hours ago, Marvelicious said:

The All Balls kit I used was 22-1020. 

Thank you for the information, I can get that set over here for £22👍

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