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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

A while back I started a topic about how you all felt about the Fury handling at high speeds. I was asking because from day one the bike felt somewhat unstable if the road conditions were less than 100% or there was even a hint of cross wind. I received some responses that ranged from buying a new jacket to accepting and getting used to it.

(NOTE: Before doing this, check the simple things first. The above symptoms can also be caused by improperly adjusted suspension, i.e. rear shock spring preload (see owners manual). I discovered this AFTER doing the bearing replacement - adjusting the rear shock to proper pre-load made me wonder if I should have done this first, it made a huge difference as well.

Simply set your spring pre-load to a higher setting and take the bike for a ride on a highway. If it makes a difference, you're all set. You may try to back off the shock a couple of clicks at a time and test again; to see if you can find an even better balance between softness and high speed stability. If it works, great! If not, read on. (This tip is provided by rks1949. Thanks, man!)
)

Deep down I knew the problem but was trying to deny it, because I already went through this with my old VTX 1300. So this past Wednesday I replaced the stock steering bearings with All Balls Racing tapered roller bearings (Part # 22-1037 for Fury). I held off posting this until I have tested them at all speeds and conditions. There is a huge improvement in handling at all speeds and highway riding is no longer scary. At least up to 85mph, which is more then plenty for my purpose.


I highly recommend this mod, this is the second Honda I'm doing this on. On my last bike it was done by the dealer, this time by me - HUGE THANKS to Clueless, 460brevill, Jay Cee and Toadster plus many others for providing information and offering help! If you can turn a wrench and have patience you can do this yourself, but if you are not comfortable with it, I feel that it's worth paying your trusted mechanic/dealer for this. As long as they don't charge you 5 hours labor.

For the DYI types, here are your starting points:

Picture and
video walkthrough. The process is the same for the Fury, but you will need the manual because the torque values are different.



HISTORY OF THE PROBLEM:

Few years ago complaints started coming in from Goldwing riders experiencing instability while riding, ranging from "death wobble" to generally loose steering. The culprit was traced to be the stock steering bearings, the ball type, that were too weak to properly handle the steering on the bike. Soon after, the same complaints started coming in from VTX1300 owners. A class action suit against Honda was filed by Goldwingers (VTXers were left out, the Goldwing lawyers refused to represent them). The lawsuit never got anywhere and Honda customers were left to fix this on their own dime. Youtube and bike forums are full of picture and video walkthroughs on how to do this.

Now it's 2011 and Honda has kept the same bearing in the new line of 1300 bikes. They didn't lose the lawsuit, so why bother?



This is a stock bearing it feels like it belongs on a bicycle. It also barely had any grease on it. If you look closely, you can see the of the balls loose in their "nests" or whatever you call them. Compare with the aftermarket bearing below:





THE PROCESS:


I had the dealer do this on my VTX and it cured the problems. This time I was left to fend for myself, because that dealer went out of business and others either refused to do it or quoted me 5-6 hours of labor, which is a robbery. So I bought a jack, service manual and ordered the bearings and replaced them 3 days ago. It took 3 and 1/2 hours, but we were going slow.

If you read about this procedure in the service manual, you may be discouraged by the frequent use of the words "special tool required". If you were to get these tools, they can run you between $200-$300 for things you will use once. I can tell you for a fact that you can easily get the tools for about $30:

  • Race Removal Tool - instead use long screwdrivers, claw hammers, angled punches etc.
  • Race Installer - A good old hammer, using the old races as guides. I froze the new races for a day before the job, and they went in in under 2 minutes.
  • Bearing puller - some people are able to walk the lower bearing inner race off the stem by just knocking it with a cold chisel. It didn't work for us, so we cut the race with a dremel tool with a cutting wheel. You can't cut it all the way because you would damage the stem, so you can just make one or two cuts and hit it with a chisel at which point the race will crack making it easy to take off:



  • Bearing Press - You could take your steering stem and the new bearing to your local mc/auto/machine shop and have the new bearing pressed on (upper bearing just drops on without difficulty). But for me it was much easier to use this high- tech tool I bought at Home Depot for $5-6, based on VTXrs recommendations. It slid over the stem perfectly and with the help of a large hammer and a toaster that I used to heat the bearing, drove it on in no time:


    This is a 12 inch long 1 and 1/4 steel pipe, found in the plumbing section. It fits right over the steering stem

  • Steering Adjustment Nut Tool - This is a good one. All this work would be for nothing if you can't set the proper torque on the steering adjustment nut. Honda wants something like $90 for a special tool that you'd be lucky to use 2-3 times in your life. Sears offers a much cheaper alternative - a 12pt 3/4inch drive, 1 and 11/16 inch Craftsman socket for $20. You can return it after, but I suggest you keep it for future - it fits many Hondas. It will make you popular and improve your social life:



So that's my story. Chances are I might have to adjust the torque again, once everything in the stem settles into place, but based on my past experience with this mod, I should be able to enjoy it for miles and miles to come.

P.S. Forgot to mention - if you have 8* rake kit - it came with All Balls bearings, so you should be cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great write up! You may save some lives with this one! Thank you.
Thanks,

I do want to point out that as far as anyone knows there have been no injuries or accidents due to this, otherwise the lawsuit would have been one. I would classify this one as an improvement rather than safety issue.
 

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They were installing these a few weeks ago at the spYker get together in Columbus. Wish I would have seen this a few weeks earlier, I would have had mine done. Thanks for all the info.:)
 

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They were installing these a few weeks ago at the spYker get together in Columbus. Wish I would have seen this a few weeks earlier, I would have had mine done. Thanks for all the info.:)
That was done to your bike when you had the raked trees put on. :rolleyes:
 

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They were installing these a few weeks ago at the spYker get together in Columbus. Wish I would have seen this a few weeks earlier, I would have had mine done. Thanks for all the info.:)
I went over that in the original thread Richard. Those with the trees have the better bearings.
You didn't notice a difference in handling this year at higher speeds?
 

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well he does have a blue Fury so maybe he can't get it to go fast enough to even test out the new bearings lol, oh calm down I'm just playing lol.
 

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Okay girls, I remember the new bearings now, had a small mental lapse. As far as getting up to speed, the fastest I have gone this season is around 85 or so. Road condition or high winds have been a detriment to trying to open it up to much. Thanks for reminding me and setting me straight. AGAIN.:rolleyes:
 

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Okay girls, I remember the new bearings now, had a small mental lapse. As far as getting up to speed, the fastest I have gone this season is around 85 or so. Road condition or high winds have been a detriment to trying to open it up to much. Thanks for reminding me and setting me straight. AGAIN.:rolleyes:
gotta smack you around at times huh?
 

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Thanks,

I do want to point out that as far as anyone knows there have been no injuries or accidents due to this, otherwise the lawsuit would have been one. I would classify this one as an improvement rather than safety issue.
Great write up VA!
Funny how a small part can be the most crucial in the operation of the machine!
You can see that the tapered/roller bearings are superior in strength, girth and structure
Sad to see the OEM ball bearings basically DRY and look like a Mountain bike head set!!!!

I sell machines that need and use large bearings to RUN FANS at 300 rpm the shafts of the fans are 3-4 inches of steel and the quality of the metal in bearing, type of grease also plays a factor in the bearing life and function.. Throw out a bearing and you dont make ANY MONEY...
 

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Hey Fury brothers—here I am again refreshing an old thread.

Thanks for that great post @va_bank!

But I have a question or 2 still. What did you use for the "Top Thread" in lieu of the called for "special tool".."steering stem socket" part # 07916-3710101 or part #07916-3710100?

When seating the new races did you simply hammer the new tapered ones in and then as you said used the old ones as a "guide" to nail em flush? Did you use a piece of wood or such to cover the entire race as you hammered it in to keep it from cocking to one side or the other? In regards to the VTX Cafe Walkthrough linked in the original post, they reference some homemade tools for the job such as (back to the initial question) a 4-prong steering stem socket for the specialty top thread, and (back to the races) a tapered plug type head to hammer in the tapered races. Did you really not need em?

What is the proper method to ensure the new tapered races are properly seated in the frame neck?

What grease did Clueless, 460brevill, Jay Cee, Toadster, or the others recommend to use for the bearings? Bel-Rey Waterproof OK, or a good choice?

Once buttoned up again, how do you do the steering bearing pre-load test? I don't have or want a "spring scale."
 
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