Steering head bearing type - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Does anyone know the steering head bearing type (or sizes) for the F800GS (top and bottom).
    Thanks

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    The upper and lower bearing are identical. TAPERED ROLLER BEARINGS size 28x52x16. The manufacturers have various part numbers for these but if you just ask for what I described your vendor will guide you. In any case you can simply measure the bearing to confirm it is correct.

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  5. #3
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    if you are going to replace the bearings there are dust caps top and bottom (with two different part numbers) that are likely to get mangled in the process.
    They are not very expensive, so worth having a pair of those on hand. Here in USA the price of the bearings from BMW is $54 each.... I think we can get a better price ...
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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    Somewhere online I read the following and saved it:
    "Napa Auto Parts. Part # BR32 This is an SKF bearing for 1/2 the price of the BMW OEM."

  8. #5
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    I don't mean to hijack this thread a little... I have a question to ask is how often does one tighten their steering head bearings? I have 10K on the bike and mine may possibly need tightening... is this normal? Thanks in advance.


    2011 BMW F650 GS 

  9. #6
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    My wife took her bike (09F650GS) in for the 48,000 mile service and they tightened the steering head bearings and the bike handled awful and a noticeable notch could be felt so we took it back and they replaced the steering head bearings at a cost of $250. My wife wasn't happy as the bike was fine before they messed with it but as I told her I had the steering head bearings replaced on my 800S about the same mileage time.

  10. #7
    snowprick's Avatar
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    TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS! Are you serious?

  11. #8
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    The BMW catalog lists the bearing cost at $55 USD each, add on the cost of a few other bits (dust shields and so on...) then maybe 1.0 - 1.5 hours labor (I'm just guessing),
    most shops are $90/hour or higher ...
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

  12. #9
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    Jim,

    My bearings cost less than $4.50 each in the hardware store. The BMW bearings are the exact same thing in a small white cardboard box (10 cents tops) with BMW stamped on it. Takes about two hours if you are a bit slow like me. Regards $90 per hour.... words fail me. As a long time aviation man I can tell you that if you take your plane "to the shop" then you are looking at $55 per hour for labour (Licensed Aircraft Engineers) TOPS. If you are not a tools person then may I suggest that next time buy your own bearing and take them to a generic motorcycle mechanic with a printout of the process (from the service manual) and save a bundle. It really is a simple job to do.

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    SP:

    Don't get me wrong, in the last 30 years the only time any of my vehicles have been in a garage is for recalls I do 99% of my own work.
    I have a van that I bought new in 1978 ... it's been in a shop exactly once since I've owned it.

    You are lucky to live in the in a place where things are less expensive ... Here in the USA I am quite thankful to be mechanically inclined!
    I've personally seen rates posted as low as about $55/hr and as high as $130/hr (that was near New York City).

    I don't understand why BMW charges $55 each for the bearings ... well actually I do ... because they can
    but I do expect that when mine need changing I'll be ablt to get a pair for $20 USD or less.....
    I was just trying to explain how the bill got to be $250 at a US-based dealer... as insane as it sounds....
    Blue 2009 F650GS - H-B crash bars, TT luggage rack, Pelican top case, BMW Vario Panniers & bash plate, 20mm handlebar risers, LED voltmeter, Sargent seat, MudSling, a few other trinkets ... I may be just about at the end of the farkle train  

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    Here is how it came to $250 2 bearings at $45.75 is $91.50 plus a spacer yoke for $3.75 plus 1.75 hours labor @$75 an hour is $131.25, Shop supplies of $7.88 plus sales tax of $16.54 for a total of $250.92 I couldn't have done it myself and they did get to it quickly and it was done by the time we went and had breakfast so I am guessing that the 1.75 hours was a flat rate charge?? Thankfully, we could afford to pay for it and this past weekend we rode 1300 miles and the bike handled great.

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    Your shop rate was a bargain. My dealer charges around $105 per hour, which you have to estimate as they don't actually provide a labor rate breakdown since they use a "flat rate" that charges you a lump sum for a specified service. Why? Because they can - mostly because all of the old independent mechanics have pretty much retired or past away and because the state of California makes it really tough and expensive for any individual to establish a business to perform automotive work out of their garage or a small shop. The various state and local agencies involved in auto/motorcycle repairs and their regulations and requirements are mind boggling for most greasy-fingered technicians to deal with, which discourages the old-style independent shops that would help to compete, and provide an alternative to, the franchised dealer's shop.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Anyone who pays a shop $105 per hour to work on their bike is insane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
    Anyone who pays a shop $105 per hour to work on their bike is insane.
    All of the authorized dealers in the Bay Area charge the same rates for similar servicing. I guess the reasoning is that it is very expensive to operate a business here and the technicians have to make a lot of money to even live around here. I used to know one of the shop technicians who claimed to be making over $100K USD a year, before the economy tanked and business dropped off. Last year he quit and moved to another state where the cost of living was less.

    You pretty much have to have the dealer perform routine servicing while the bike is under warranty, in my opinion. That way they go to bat for you when something goes wrong. I have never had a problem that my dealer didn't resolve on BMWNA's dime and if necessary they would argue my case - such as when they got BMW to pay for replacing my steering head bearings for free. Apparently if you have your bike dealer serviced ($$$), NA is a lot more agreeable to eating questionable warranty issues. Plus, the dealer has constantly updated my bike with new improved parts that were not under a recall program. Most likely this would not have been done if I had maintained my own vehicle, as I would not have known about the problem and the solution. Also, in the case of my F650GS, the number of hours to perform maintenance has been low (compared to a K-bike, as an example). I usually get away with 1 or 2 hours of labor on a typical service. So things are not as bad as they could be.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Fair enough, if they are giving you updated parts and acting like a real dealer should and supporting you.
    However, I wonder just how much you would pay for a cam chain change in parts and labour. It could run you a lot!
    I hope you are doing your own oil and filter changes, paying someone $25 bucks to watch the oil drain would get a little pricey.

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    I perform my own oil changes, which are very easy to do. In fact the entire 6K service is very simple. Checking the valves at the 12K service would also be easy, except for the hassle of removing all of the bodywork. Still, the F650GS is a easy bike to work on, compared to most. All you need is a good manual, some time, the proper tools and a little experience. The first time is always the hardest.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  21. #17
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    I notice the notch in my steering now. I was cleaning it tonight and it seems to hold right at center, it seems like a magnet is holding it there. So this means the bearings may be shot? The steering always falls to the right for some reason.
     

  22. #18
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    Our shop charges $105 and hour...they charged me 2.5 hours for my bearings...came to over $400...hence why Cheryl is doing her own bike and will be doing almost everything to my bike from now own. As long as we have the time...we have the tools...might even buy a lift and tire changer...screw techs they never do it right anyway....

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  24. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh9399 View Post
    I notice the notch in my steering now. I was cleaning it tonight and it seems to hold right at center, it seems like a magnet is holding it there. So this means the bearings may be shot? The steering always falls to the right for some reason.
    Their shot! If you can do it yourself its not hard, and the bearings are not expensive from a good hardware store. TAPERED ROLLER BEARINGS size 28x52x16. You need two. You will dent the dust cover when drifting out the old bearings. Remove the dents with a few hammer blows then reuse.

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    ahhh will do then Thanks!
     

  26. #21
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    Don't mean to sound as though I'm teaching people to suck eggs here as that is certainly not my intention. However, as a tip a lot of strain is put on these bearings when the bars are moved left or right when the bike is stationary. My wife's earlier thumper suffered from premature bearing wear as a result of her dragging the bars left (bike stationary) to apply the steering lock. Once she got out of this habit (result of dealer advice) no more bearing problems during ownership.
     

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    I had the stuck-in-the-center feeling on my 1993 Honda CB750 after riding the bike for 15 years, so I figured that the bearings were shot. I bought a new set of ball bearings from Honda for $100 (!) and seals. I pulled out the old bearings, cleaned them thoroughly and then discovered that they were in perfect condition! The grease installed at the factory had hardened and that was what was causing the bearings to bind. I did install the new bearings, since I already had them, but I sure was surprised that old hard grease could give the same symptoms as a notched bearing race.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  28. #23
    Ware, Herts, UK Pat H is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    My understanding of the wear headstock bearings suffer is the constant hammering of the front wheel on bumps and potholes while pointed straight ahead.
    This causes impact damage and compresses notches in the races. So it's not really wear and the laoding while turning the bars is really minimal compared to hitting a pot hole at 70MPH!

    I suspect mine are due as I changed them at around 30K miles and I'm on over 60K miles now.
    Flame red F800s as of Nov 2006. Watch for me around North London.


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  29. #24
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    Are the F650 Gs bearings the same as the F800gs? Dose SNOWPRICK have a bearing number?
    Riding for the SON 

  30. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Barnes View Post
    Are the F650 Gs bearings the same as the F800gs? Dose SNOWPRICK have a bearing number?
    Yes they are. Don't buy from BMW, get them from a good hardware store.

    "TAPERED ROLLER BEARINGS size 28x52x16". The manufacturers have various part numbers for these but if you just ask for what I described your vendor will guide you.

    FYI the BMW part number is 07119985070. Waste of money as you will get the exact same thing from the hardware store.

    Question. Would you go to BMW for your tyres? So whats different about bearings. I'll leave you with it.

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    I went to two local bearing supplyer and they could not find any that demension. They only handled Tinken. I went to Napa per BMWROADStera. and they will be here tomorow at one half the BMW price
    Riding for the SON 

  32. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Barnes View Post
    I went to two local bearing supplyer and they could not find any that demension. They only handled Tinken. I went to Napa per BMWROADStera. and they will be here tomorow at one half the BMW price
    GOOGLE!

    http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/6...nd-retail.html

  33. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowprick View Post

    Yes they are. Don't buy from BMW, get them from a good hardware store.

    "TAPERED ROLLER BEARINGS size 28x52x16". The manufacturers have various part numbers for these but if you just ask for what I described your vendor will guide you.

    FYI the BMW part number is 07119985070. Waste of money as you will get the exact same thing from the hardware store.

    Question. Would you go to BMW for your tyres? So whats different about bearings. I'll leave you with it.
    Hi snowprick,
    are you sure about the size of roller bearing for f800gs is 28x52x16? Because you wrote part# is 07119985070 but in catalog it says 31 42 7 663 941.
    Thanks

  34. #29

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    I have an 800 gs and the 650 dakar , the shbs are the same and agree with snow that that is the number, timken and skf I understand are superior bearings than the oem
    the part # in the catalogue was changed to the 941

  35. #30

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    For what it is worth
    Once I was doing a long distance trip (GSPD) when I noticed a problem with my steeringhead bearing. I was in a remote place and happen to meet someone with a small workshop and a decent set of tools.
    The bike was loaded to hilt , as expected the bottom bearing (carrying all the weight) was mostly effected.In short, I knocked out both bearing cups and switched top to bottom. Ans was able not only to continue my journey but did not have to change anything for a long time after.
    A few years I did the same on my F650 GS without any problem.
    regards Ric

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