Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Hendersonville, NC in summers and The Villages, FL in winters
I have changed or helped change probably more than 50 steering stem bearings on Honda VTX1300's. They have notoriously bad steering stem bearings and groups of VTX1300 riders gather for tech sessions at which help is provided to the owners to do maintenance items like these bearings, valve adjustments, etc. The steering stem on the Victory XR looks very similar to that of the VTX1300 so perhaps the easy method I use to remove old and install new bearings will be helpful.
1) Using a 1/2" wide cold chisel held perpendicular to the stem and a 3 lb sledge, drive the "point" of the chisel into the gap between the bearing and the metal of the stem. The goal here is to drive the bearing upwards about 1/8". This may take several whacks to get it moved that far.
2) Place one end of a 1/4 to 5/16" diameter x ~12" long steel rod against the bottom of the bearing in the 1/8" gap that was formed in step #1. Angle this rod as close to parallel to the stem as you can while still getting a "bite" on the bearing. Note that the rod will be coming up at the bearing from below the bottom triple tree brace. Whack the other end of the rod with the 3 lb sledge thus driving the bearing upwards. Continue this whacking until the old bearing has moved about 1" at which point it will be free of the larger shaft diameter portion and come off easily.
1) Put the dust cap on the shaft if there is one.
2) Grease the bearing
3) Place the bearing onto the shaft
4) Find or make some small donut shaped (sort of hollow cylinder shaped) steel object that will just barely fit loosely on the larger diameter portion of the stem/shaft and will press on the INNER race portion of the new bearing. For the VTX1300, we use the old bearing race with a groove/notch cut through it so that it will not bind on the shaft. Perhaps there is a part of the old bearing on the victory that can be removed and used for this purpose. Place this object onto the new bearing on the shaft.
5) Place a pipe nipple of 1.25" NPS x 12" long onto the shaft. This presses on the "object" in #4.
6) Grip a 4" x 4" x 1/4" steel plate firmly with vice grips and place this over top of the pipe nipple
7) Using the 3 lb sledge, bang on the steel plate which hits the pipe nipple which hits the "object" which hits the new bearing driving it into place. You can usually tell from the sound of the sledge hit when the new race has been driven into place.
Hope this helps. It is an easy-peasy operation on the VTX1300 once you get the front end off the bike and once you have all the right homemade tools.
Our patriotic stable:
Red 2012 XCT (wife's bike in NC)
Red 2012 XCT (my bike for NC)
White with custom flames 2012 XCT (wife's bike in FL)
Blue custom fire on a black 2012 XCT (my bike in FL)
2006 HD Softail Heritage (my bike when I was in MI - sold in Oct, 2017 after putting 45,000 miles and 20 states and one province on it - My first big bike and most of us will always remember our first with fond memories)