Steering stem bearings

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1/20/2018 8:06 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/20/2018 8:06 AM

I'm looking to put in new bearings and race. I've watched the YouTube videos. I'm looking to do it with basic tools, dead blow, punch, sockets, old bearing, whatever.
I don't have bearing pullers or race drivers. Any suggestions?
I already have the bike disassembled. Just need to pull the lower bearing off and on. And pull races out and in.


1/20/2018 5:20 PM

Shouldn't cost more than $20 to have a shop press the old one off and the new one on. I have no problems opening up a bottom end or doing a 4 stroke top end but I don't own a press so I pay to have it done. You don't want to fuck up that stem. I've never been a fan of pounding on bearings. If you really want to do it, it probably isn't a bad skill set to have but see if you can find someone have that has done it and can walk you through it.


The older I get, the faster I was.

1/20/2018 5:38 PM

If you’re using the ol’ swing press (hammer), not really a big deal but you have to be extremely careful driving them on. Only contact the inner race or you’ll screw up the bearing cage.

In a pinch you could use a cut off wheel setup to remove it but again be careful you don’t nick the stem.

The fellow above really has the best advice. Call around to a couple local machine shops. They’ll do it right and inexpensively.


1/20/2018 6:07 PM

I have access to a press, and can press the stem out. I was just looking for a way around it as it's not my preffered method.


1/20/2018 7:47 PM

If you dont have the bearing puller then use the press. I dont even want to do stem bearings at all. Let alone with basic tools - f that


2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

1/20/2018 11:03 PM

I bought a piece of 3/4" 16 gauge tube from Home Depot and cut it down to about 16" long. Used that to catch the edge of the races to knock them out. Worked great.

The outer bearing you can pry off or knock off easy so just the inner part is left. Use a Dremel with a really small cutting wheel to cut a deep notch into the inner bearing about 1/2 way through. Heat it with a small propane torch. Then use a punch and hammer in the notch to try to make it spin. The deeper the notch the easier it will be. Once you can get it to spin, it will come off easy.

Use the old inner bearing as as tool when installing the new ones.


1/21/2018 9:52 AM

Zesiger 112 wrote:

I have access to a press, and can press the stem out. I was just looking for a way around it as it's not my preffered method. ...more

A press is the proper method. Using the right tool for the job reduces headaches and some times bleeding and cussing.


The older I get, the faster I was.

1/21/2018 10:51 AM

This video shows how to do it using the special tools and without.


No brains, No headaches.