Bearings - By Jason Hiles
One of the most commonly over looked area's of
any dirtbike are the wheel bearings and linkage bearings. A neglected wheel
bearing or linkage bearing can cause serious unwanted or needed damage. A
few easy checks here and there can save bike down time and money.
the bike on a center stand, simply grab your tire at a 12
o'clock and 6 o'clock position, then try to rock it back and forth.
If no movement / clunking, move hands to the 3 and 9 o'clock position.
Still no movement, your wheel bearings are ok.
Make sure to
check both wheels, don't assume the other is ok.
If you did feel any play or
clunking, replace your bearings right away.
Riding it one more time could be
the differance between replacing bearings or bearings and hub. To prolong the
life of your wheel bearings, add grease to the seal and spacer every
time the tire is changed or wheel is removed.
Checking the linkage
bearings is also very easy, with the bike still up on the center stand, grab
the rear wheel and pull up while pushing down on the seat / rear fender.
and down play / clunking, replace right away.
Aftermarket linkage bearings
come in a complete kit, so you don't have to try and narrow down which bearing
is bad. I would just recommend getting the linkage kit that comes with the
lower shock bearing. Greasing your bike's linkage and swing arm bearings once a
year or every 6 months for lots of wet / water crossings and or lot's of
pressure washing will save your bearings from wearing out prematurely.