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Steering Bearing



Steering Head Bearing conversion to Tapered Bearing on a 1971 Honda CB750




Please read the instructions from beginning to end before starting to "cut metal" and make sure you understand the risk. I can not be held responsible for your actions. >

For those who are planning to upgrade to tapered bearing, or are sooner or later forced to do it because of that "notch" (like myself) I have sort of illustrated the steps to a successful conversion using the bearing set part number 22-1011 which is distributed by Parts Canada and others in the US, I am sure. I bought mine at the local Honda dealer for C$ 39.95 (SKU 399014, OEM 22-1011). For those of you who might be offended by the technically incorrect description: the correct name is Single Row Tapered Roller Bearing but to keep it simple I will refer to it as tapered bearing.

Important Update September 2011:

A fellow CB750 enthusiast from Australia, Rick Highman offers a different explanation for the gap.
Quote Rick Highman: The problem had nothing to do with the 4mm washer under the lower bearing & everything to do with the top bearing race. You need the 4mm washer under the bottom bearing to give adequate clearance for the steering lock.The position you have in your pic of the lower triple clamp as it is pushed up in the steering head is correct,as the steering lock tangs on either side of the locking plate at the bottom of the steering head in the frame are sitting flush. The problem you have is the top race is not sitting down flush with the top of the steering head in the frame because the machined receiver that accepted the old race is not the same depth as the the new top race. Honda never machined the top of the steering head deep enough because they didn't have to. The manufacturers of the replacement tapered bearings have not allowed this & have made the top outer race too wide & this is why it sits above the top of the frame by 3-4mm (see the picture below) when driven down as far as the receiver recess will allow.

The only way to fix this problem is to use a tapered bearing on the bottom & a new original replacement Honda ball bearing on the top.This will work fine because the main load will be carried by the tapered roller bearing on the bottom.The top ball bearing is only used to centralize the top fork bridge. End of quote. makes abolute sense to me and if hadn't done the conversion already I would follow Ricks advice.

Two 1 1/2in washer from the plumbing department at Canadian Tire fixed that problem for me on the cheap (they had no black ones!). I might reduce that to one at a later stage, after everything has settled and eased.

So, overall it took a couple of hours work, a total of 3 days with waiting time to get it done. The stearing is pretty stiff, due to the grease packaging I did. It is going to take a while until this will ease. But it feels very nice already.

Any questions just email me at stephen_bottcher@yahoo.ca. Beware, I am posting this as my personal experience of how to convert to tapered bearing. It might not work in your case! But I don't see why it shouldn't.

Best of luck!



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