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Steering Head Bearings

Steering Head Bearings

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Steering head bearings for Harley-Davidson

A Sportster, Softail or Dyna would not even go straight without a steering head bearing. Every motorcycle needs this "joint" in the chassis so that the rider can control and influence the gyroscopic forces of the front wheel. Otherwise, the bike will simply fall over at the first turn.

Adjusting the steering head bearing

To avoid unnecessary friction in the steering head bearing, adjust the ball or tapered roller bearings so that no more play can be felt. The bearing must neither be "squeezed" nor be too loose. Bearings that are too tight hinder movement, and those that are too loose do not allow precise control. Sounds logical, but steering head bearings are one of the most underestimated and neglected components on a Harley.

To prevent the bearing from tightening or loosening itself, the bearing adjusting nut is clamped over the upper triple clamp and the end nut after tightening.

Of course, you jack up the Harley beforehand, the front wheel is unloaded, and the clamp bolts of the lower triple clamp are loosened.

There is a lot more

Along with the actual bearings go the bearing cups and races in the frame. The older frames with cast steering heads had pressed-in bearing cups for this purpose. And of course, the steering head bearing also includes the adjusting and corresponding lock nuts and dust caps.

The steering head bearings are available as ball bearings for the older models or tapered roller bearings for contemporary models, which, by the way, Harley-Davidson introduced as early as 1960 for the 1200 FL and FLH models. The Sportster didn't get the benefit of tapered roller bearings not before 1978. Many are also converting Springer forks to modern bearings. With our Cannonball forks this is no problem at all, the steering axle with 1" Ø is equipped for this bearing type.

Smart accessories

Fork stops on the triple tree are not every mechanics taste and therefore they wrap rubber or foam around the legs – holy cow! that's not possible! For this purpose, there are bearing cups with integrated travel limiters, often from Tolle or CPV.

The steering head angle - i.e. the angle at which the steering axis is positioned in relation to the frame neck - can be changed without sawing and welding work with bearing cups that have an integrated rake.

Have any questions?

Our service team will be glad to help out: Mondays - Thursdays 08:00-17:00 CET, Fridays 08:00-16:00 CET, Phone: +49 / 931 250 61 16, eMail: service@wwag.com