New steering head bearings

After 5 hours work I got new steering head bearings fitted to my Speedmaster. Half that time was disassembly and tying things out way to get access.

Had to resort to a Dremel with a tiny cutting disc to cut inner race on steering shaft. Just when I’d got as far as I could go without cutting shaft the race cracked with a loud ping and came loose enough to slide off by hand.

The tabbed washer that sits between lock nuts had it’s tab nearly sheared off, presumably when I last had this apart. So now waiting for new one to be delivered tomorrow before finishing the job.

The tabbed washer (part T2041306) is used on a wide range of Triumph models but is now marked as obsolete and unavailable. I checked with Triumph and the one on the newer models (part T2044183) is compatible.


I did the head bearings on SWMBO’s Street Triple not long ago. Exactly the same problem for the lower inner race, and the same resulting ping, although I went for a tangential cut to minimise risk of damage to the steering tube.

I don’t believe there’s any other way of removal, such a heavy press fit (hence the ping) and no access for drifts or pullers, I doubt heat would help much and just spoil the paint finish.

And you can see where the balls were giving that “self centering” effect.
Another example of the bean counters ruling over the engineers. :roll_eyes:
Replaced with a taper roller set which should last much longer.

Nice slippers BTW :laughing:

1 Like

I was planning on doing that a year or so ago, but the taper rollers I bought from Wemoto for my bike were too tall so the dust seal was a bit above the top of the head stock and so wouldn’t actually seal. The seal also pressed very hard on the race and warped. I saw from a Youtube video that is a common problem with the All Balls brand bearings and you need to make a spacer washer to increase clearance a little. Needless to say I binned the rollers and didn’t change them.

This time I bought the Triumph parts, the original ones had lasted 60,000 miles and I didn’t notice any effect on riding, though they were a little ‘notchy’ when checking with front wheel off ground. The reason I got in there and changed them was there seemed to be a little intermittent squeak, and if I’m going to the effort to get access again for regreasing it seemed best to replace them before they turned into a problem.

1 Like

New washer arrived nice an early. I greased it before fitting in an effort to prevent lock nut grabbing it and shearing off tab like old one.

Whilst bike was in bits there were some other jobs that needed doing. Most importantly cleaning up broken cable sleeving and wrapping it in loom tape, after first reinforcing high wear areas with a bit of thick tape.

Whilst Mrs Mouse had popped out to vote I decided to make use of the kitchen sink to clean some hard to reach parts on forks and mudguard :laughing:

By mid-afternoon bike was back in one piece and I went on a very short test ride to garage to fill up my empty tank. All seems fine so will go on a longer ride tomorrow. :smiley: