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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I could not find on line anything pertaining to upgrading/replacing Cross bike steering head bearings, so I will document the procedure with words and photos as I progress.
Inasmuch as I am also changing the fork oil, I have removed the entire front end and won't document that cuz there are many videos already out there.
There's some good news here for XR owners: the top triple tree can be lifted off the stem and set aside, exposing the stem and the top bearing. This is contrary to the manual, which calls for disconnecting all cables, wires and hoses. A big hour generator for shops. XC owners; eat your hearts out!
Top photo: With top tree aside, just loosen the round adjusting nut and catch the lower tree as it slides out.
Middle photo: Lower stem bearing is a tapered roller, but the top is a sealed ball type which I'll attempt to replace with a thicker roller. Will it work? Hmm.
Bottom photo: Yes you can do it without disconnecting cables and hoses. Now don't you wish you bought a XR? :)
 

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Well Ric, we now know what your PMS winter project is to keep you busy... :^) Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Well Ric, we now know what your PMS winter project is to keep you busy... :^) Good luck.
I'm having more fun than an old fart retiree ought to. :grin
 

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now the big challenge will be getting the bottom bearing off.
A local shop might have the tool to take it off and press a new one on.
Grease the hell out of the bearing
 

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Discussion Starter #5
now the big challenge will be getting the bottom bearing off.
A local shop might have the tool to take it off and press a new one on.
Grease the hell out of the bearing
A big 10-4 about the grease VJ. If the lower brg won't tap out easily, I have a puller that should do the trick. There's a gap of about 1/8" between the brg and the bore and the fingers of the puller should be able to get a grip in there. There's a link to it below. I'll be talking that today and taking photos. Stand by.
3-Jaw Pilot Bearing Puller
 

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RICZ,
I got the old Fart down, but can't seem to get the retired part yet. Have fun on the repair.
 
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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.

Removal:
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.

Installation:
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.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate your suggestions Vinish and will be applying some, but not all because I refuse to pound on one side of an internal bearing, I prefer to tap. If tapping doesn't budge it, I'll use a puller. The repair biz I had involved rebuilding hubs very similar steering heads and I learned that if you pound on one side of a stuck bearing, the metal around it gets deformed as the bearing gets angled against it.
I do have the old top bearing removed and it required the puller. However, the puller did an excellent job. Gonna attack the lower one now. Stand by.
 

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You should probably do your wheel bearings while your at it! And do a write up for me. Haha
 
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RicZ, Use a heat gun on the steering head before removal and later install. We do this on aluminum wheels and the races almost fall out.
 

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Thanks Ric for the write up so far isn't hands on a lot of fun? Being a "do it yourself'er" I appreciate what you're doing.
 
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Sorry, visionjohnny
I was talking about the race side not the bearing. The stem, put in dry-ice and the bearing will come off it very easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You should probably do your wheel bearings while your at it! And do a write up for me. Haha
Wheels will have to wait. They are a lot easier to get to, so those can be done anytime.

Stymied by a stuck lower stem bearing. Tried many things with no luck, so I have to locate a hydraulic press like the one I had for decades but went when I sold my biz. Ironic.
 

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Fun Job

Repacked the steering stem bearings on my XR already. It is a fun job. Yes I am thankful I have a Cross Roads! Next time I am going to try and get a new set of bearings from "All Balls" or it may be "All Ballz". I got a set for my Triumph from them. The Triumph actually came from the factory with ball bearings both upper and lower. I got a set of tapered roller bearings for it. Steering seemed a tad heavier at first, but I quickly got use to it. I personally think they hold up better, much more bearing surface area to carry the load. Good luck RICZ. Let us know if you find a set.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
SB, I will be posting the universal numbers of the steering head brgs so they can be purchased for a lot less at brg supply stores. All brgs and seals are off-the-shelf items.
 

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Thanks

Appriciate that RICZ. One funny thing about Victory X bike frames. If you notice the steering stem bearings are exposed to the air. Take out the air filter and you can look towards the front and see the lower one. I try to use a good synthetic grease also. I fill it is kind of a poor design allowing the dirt easy access via the air intake for the engine/air filter. They could have put a tube steel or aluminum in the front of the frame to seal the bearings off from the elements. Now that would have cost more money......ha, ha. Again thanks!
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19

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Discussion Starter #20
Appriciate that RICZ. One funny thing about Victory X bike frames. If you notice the steering stem bearings are exposed to the air. Take out the air filter and you can look towards the front and see the lower one. I try to use a good synthetic grease also. I fill it is kind of a poor design allowing the dirt easy access via the air intake for the engine/air filter. They could have put a tube steel or aluminum in the front of the frame to seal the bearings off from the elements. Now that would have cost more money......ha, ha. Again thanks!
:D
At least it gets filtered air in there. That area was super clean.
 
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