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Which years had ball bearning and which years had needle bearings in the head tube?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Beau, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Newb question but I see a lot of reference to needle bearings in the head tube but both frames I have are ball bearings? It doesn't look like I can pop any sort of cup or race out of the frame either?
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    You have to put the roller bearings in yourself (aftermarket kit). All the 650s came with balls from the factory.
  3. cpt137

    cpt137 XS650 Enthusiast

    None had needle bearings. All had loose ball bearings, you can get aftermarket kits to replace them with caged bearings. The races will come off.
  4. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Gottcha. Thanks. I looked at Mikes for those parts after I posted and saw nothing. If anyone can direct me to the right place that would help. I should have the Narrow glide front end on as soon as I get bearing.

    Also, I actually have the cups and bearings for the Harley front end. They are needle bearing.
  5. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Damn I'm blind. I'm gonna have to measure the cups I have to see if I can press those races in to the XS tube then. Otherwise I'll buy that kit.

    Thanks everyone.
  6. FYI, needle bearings are different than taper bearings which is what you're thinking of.
  7. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Ah thanks!
  8. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    bunch of vendors sell what you need, all balls is famous for their roller kits (oddly enough!) I think pyramid sells a set also. flea bay is full of sellers of tapered roller bearings.
  9. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Excellent. I'm sure this has been covered before. I apologize.
  10. No need to apologize!

    Anyway.. wait until you get a set in there.. From then on it'll be one of the first things you do to any old bike that doesn't have them. So much better! I'm pretty sure the same set that works on the XS650's works on the maxims and SR500 too. I put a set in a maxim 650 and the box from another set said XS650 and SR500 on the back. They'll probably work on a lot of other old Yamaha's too.
  11. PhatTony

    PhatTony I love twins

    You may need a set of conversion bearings if you are putting a Harley front end on an XS frame. I may be wrong as I have never done the swap. Hopefully someone with experience on the swap can chime in.
  12. PhatTony

    PhatTony I love twins

    "get the tapered roller kit, use the races that go in the 650 frame. The 1inch harley bearing will fit right into the races. You may have to thin the upper lock nut on the stem so the top tree of the springer will bolt down right." Quote from xsleo on 650 rider
  13. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Thanks! I'm not running a springer though. I'm doing the Harley Narrow glide up front. There is a great write up in the tech section on this site. I'm gonna try and push the race out of the Harley cup and measure it to see what the difference in size is compared to the XS head tube.
  14. pumps

    pumps XS650 Junkie

    This is whats supposed to come out. The upper and lower races . Two parts each. The ball bearings went on the floor..tink tink tink. Notice the new tapered bearings in the bottom of the picture.That black rubber dust to the left seal goes all the way down against the lower tree.


    Step by step
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v463/GoranXS650/XS650 Tinnis Project/Steering Bearings/

    New Tapered Steering Bearings to be Installed.

    Tapered Steering Bearings supplied by Mikes XS.

    Note the Difference between the Upper Bearing Outer Race and the Lower Bearing Outer Race.

    The Upper Steering Bearing is a 25Y/48YS. The Lower Steering Bearing is a 30Y/48KS.

    The Seat for the Upper Steering Bearing is Cleaned.

    The Outer Race for the Upper Steering Bearing is Fully Seated.

    The Seat for the Lower Steering Bearing is Cleaned. Note the Marks from the PO's Incorrect Installation of Bearing

    The Outer Race for the Lower Steering Bearing is Fully Seated.

    New Seal Installed. Yamaha Part No: 164-23462-00.

    Lower Steering Bearing Fully Seated.

    A Piece of PVC Pipe will act as a Grease Saver as I have Installed a Grease Nipple on the Steering Head.

    Upper Steering Bearing Installed.

    The Upper Bearing Cover and the Lock Ring Nuts Installed. Copper Grease have been used on the Threads.

    Lock Ring Wrenches are used to Preliminary Adjust the Lock Ring Nuts.

    The Triple Crown and Inner Fork Tubes are Installed.

    The Bolts have been Replaced with A4 S/S Socket Cap Screws and Dome Nuts.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2018
  15. Beau

    Beau I like metal.

    Thanks much! I don't know who the mods are, but this may be nice to have up there in the tech section!
  16. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    The old bearings can be greased and reused. New balls are about $12 for a box of 100 if you want to freshen them. If they are notchy the bearings and races have to be replaced to fix it. No amount of grease will do it. Thicker grease rather than thinner seem to be best to grease them with.
  17. Can anyone clarify on how to fit the tapered roller bearings into the neck of a '73 XS? I'm swaping out the factory front end for a Harley springer.
  18. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Put the races from the 650 bearing kit in your frame. Put the Harley bearings on the Harley tree, put the Harley tree in the 650 frame.
    The 650 bearings wont fit the Harley tree.
    The Harley bearings fit the 650 races.
  19. Well I didn't buy the kit to install the bearings. I simply purchased a set of tapered roller bearings which fit the Harley tree. The top fits fine but the lower is loose. I was just wondering if anyone knew how I could space them to fir or make something I could press the bearings into?

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