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Discussion Starter #1
This is in reference to a 2002 FZ1 that I am praying for a answer on as I sit in a bank parking lot waiting on my brother to come pick me up. I am outside of Fredericksburg, VA if anyone knows that area

I get my tire replaced yesterday and the guy mentioned I had a wheel bearing going out. I asked if I could make it back to OH as I am on a trip and have the tools to do the job myself there, and he says it should hold. Well it gave out. I have a clunking in my rear so bad, I thought it was going to fall apart. I cant hear it as I sit here stranded and spin the tire while on the center stand, but riding around the parking lot says "don't get on the highway" pretty clearly.

So how much am I looking at here? My brother has a garage, but VERY limited tools. I can pull the tire with what I got on the bike and take it in. Is this bearing easy to find? online prices seem to be around $60-$90 which seems pricey, and I expect a shop to charge more. Will they have to order them, or are they a common bearing set? Any help would be appreciated.

I am near the end of my trip on the return leg and my wife just informed me that the tire (a new rear) put us in the hurt locker funding wise for the trip. Go figure right?
 

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When you get to your brother's house and can pull the wheel, look at the outside of the bearing. You'll see a number stamped, printed, or laser etched on the bearing. That's an industry number. You can then look up a local bearing supply company and see if that have that number bearing in stock. A well stocked auto parts shops might also be able to look it up by bearing number. Call around. As long as the replacement has that same number it doesn't matter what it was originally sold for, it will work in your wheel.

If you don't have a bearing puller your best bet is to take the wheel to a shop and have them replace the bearing. You can take the old one out with a hammer and drift punch, and use a socket to tap the new one in, but if you've never done it before be very very careful. Go slow and easy and keep it straight or you could trash your wheel.

Good luck.
 

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I'm not sure what style of bearing is used on the FZ1, but many use a standard sealed bearing. You probably need a blind bearing puller to get the old ones out if they are of the sealed type. These come in two different styles.

There are the slide-hammer type, which screw down and expand behind the bearing, then you use the slide hammer attachment to pull them. This is the kind I used most recently, and it takes a lot of work!

There are also ones that you can attach a socket wrench to and tighten the center screw shaft, forcing the bearing out. (These are easier)

If there is an Auto Zone or similar store that loans tools close by, they probably have one of these. That's where I went. They have you "buy" the tool as a deposit then will refund the entire price when you bring it back. I simply brought the wheel to their parking lot and they let me use it without a deposit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have done bearings and seals in a lot of things before, but after reading the description of this one, it seems that they take a ton of force to pop out. In my garage it would not be a big deal (plus I would not be on a trip with a deadline), but here...

Any idea what a MC shop charges for popping bearings out and pressing them in in this area?

I will add that I planned a trip report on this trip (2k miles so far) and will still do it. Just seems like a downer to add this chapter to it.
 

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The local Harley dealer here charges a 1/2 hour labor to pull and replace them with the wheel off the bike. (I did it in about 15 minutes, but got a workout as well)

So you are looking at about $40-$50, depending on the local shop rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure what style of bearing is used on the FZ1, but many use a standard sealed bearing. You probably need a blind bearing puller to get the old ones out if they are of the sealed type. These come in two different styles.

There are the slide-hammer type, which screw down and expand behind the bearing, then you use the slide hammer attachment to pull them. This is the kind I used most recently, and it takes a lot of work!

There are also ones that you can attach a socket wrench to and tighten the center screw shaft, forcing the bearing out. (These are easier)

If there is an Auto Zone or similar store that loans tools close by, they probably have one of these. That's where I went. They have you "buy" the tool as a deposit then will refund the entire price when you bring it back. I simply brought the wheel to their parking lot and they let me use it without a deposit.
It is a sealed type. I will check with Auto Zone as I hadn't thought of a loaner. I will definitely be taking the tire off my self. I could do that right here if I thought it would help. My brother has a trailer and is an hour or so out. So it should be apart in a couple hours or so. The big problem is whether the bearings are available anywhere. If forced to, I could get it out and replaced with some crude tools. However, without a part even that is not an option.

My wife just informed me that if the cost is more expensive than her bringing the truck out, she will come out and get me tomorrow from OH. What a way to end the first trip I have ever made for shear pleasure!
 

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After using the slide hammer and smacking the handle hard about 50 times, the bearing started to come out. My estimate is that it took about 75-100 whacks to release each bearing. Those suckers were really in there!

I'd recommend a using a pair of gloves if the slide hammer is the route you take.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great! And I have a 1200R (I saw your sig) that I was thinking of doing to next month as part of its 30K maint and prepping for my wife to ride.
 

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I had one side on the front wheel starting to feel slightly loose when I changed the tire, so I just replaced both sides to be safe since I had the wheel off anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am on my way to my brother's now, bike in tow. What a PITA this is. I guess it's all part of making a trip, and I get it that crap happens. It just ticks me off that I could have prevented it.

I have taken long rides before, but usually with a purpose. I had to be somewhere and usually with the family behind me too. This time I wanted a solo trip and just be free on the road. So much for that. I was planning to ride the Skyline Dr on my way and catch US250 all the way back to OH for the scenery. Best laid plans right? I did get to do Deal's Gap and the Back of the Dragon (same day actually), so I guess the trip wasn't bad till now on the last day.
 

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Don't kick yourself too bad. New bearings go out too. I've always been so worried about wheel bearings that I had in the past had new bearings installed at each and ever tire change. On my 85 Electra Glide, at 66k, I had yet another tire change and bearing install. Not more than 30 miles from the shop, my wife pulls up next to me on her bike and frantically points at the rear wheel. It was throwing sparks. By the time I got back to the shop, parked out front, walked in yelling and they came out to move bike, it would not move. Bearing got so hot it welded itself to the axle and frame. I sold the bike back to them on the spot. It was just the last straw of 3 years of problems with a new bike bought from that dealer. I had had enough. So don't kick yourself too bad. However, why did you not change the bearing when told it was going? You only have two wheels keeping that sucker up. I think I was doing over kill and still failed though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Bearing is mostly out. Yeah, it disintegrated. Looks like it may have been worse than I or the shop thought to begin with. Round balls turned to triangle shapes and some broke into pieces. I'm glad to body of the bearing held or this would have destroyed my rim!

Trying to get the rest out now. One seal on that side is a casualty of the process, but it was probably bad anyways.

We are on our way to Autozone now to see what they have for getting the outer race out. I pray they have what I need at a local shop tomorrow.

Usually, I would have replaced then, but I was being rushed by my bro's wife who was trying to control kids and keep her hubby from buying a bike right then and there. At the time I figured to replace it at home as I was on the last leg of my trip. I plan on sprockets and a chain already anyways, so I figured it would just be added to the list.

In a car (the only bearing failure I have had) I was always able to finish a trip and tackle it. lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It took a ton of work to get the old bearing out. thank goodness a Dremel was among my brother's meager tool collection. I ended up carefully grinding it down and splitting it. It shattered for me nice and clean.

Underneath, I found that I wasn't the first there. Next tire change I will be looking at a repair of the buggering I found in there, but for now it just needs to get me home. It isn't so bad that I expect it to be a problem now, but it could be the reason the bearing in there only survived 6k (since I owned it)
 

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Glad things worked out for you. Thank your lucky stars that the bearing didn't let go while you where driving down the road. I've always preached to my kids to change the wheel bearings if they ever buy a used car, cause you never know if the previous owners changed them or not. My son didn't listen to me and got into an accident. Thankfully, when the wheel fell off he listened to my other words of advice and rode the curb instead of hitting the brake, but he still snapped the unibody and car was trashbait.
 

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I have done bearings and seals in a lot of things before, but after reading the description of this one, it seems that they take a ton of force to pop out. In my garage it would not be a big deal (plus I would not be on a trip with a deadline), but here...

Any idea what a MC shop charges for popping bearings out and pressing them in in this area?

I will add that I planned a trip report on this trip (2k miles so far) and will still do it. Just seems like a downer to add this chapter to it.
All just part of the adventure…I was once was in the middle of a return leg from Michigan to central Florida when my shifter quit on my CB350. I got a motel room and disassembled the bike on the porch and found a hardware store spring to fix it, then got back on the road the next day. In a certain way, that was one of the best parts of the trip!

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All just part of the adventure…I was once was in the middle of a return leg from Michigan to central Florida when my shifter quit on my CB350. I got a motel room and disassembled the bike on the porch and found a hardware store spring to fix it, then got back on the road the next day. In a certain way, that was one of the best parts of the trip!

Cheers,

Mike
Well, as part of the adventure, today I got a bearing and seal from 60miles away as it was the only one available between here and home. My wife was actually gassing up the truck to come retrieve me when I found it.

Once I got it back to my brother's, I threw the bearing in the freezer and the rim under a space heater. It went almost right in after an hour of sitting. Then the bike was test rode 1/2 hour after that. So I guess tomorrow I get to head home. I am a little uncomfortable with the scoring I found from a prior replacement, but it should get me home where I will be able to find a new rim or get this one patched up.

I will not be able to do the full Skyline Drive, but I am looking at aproaching it from the south via I64 and riding it as faras US33 which I can then ride as long as neccesary to get home as it runs within 50 miles of my house. I figure I have ridden 250 back though VA and WV before so I might as well try a new route that also goes close to home.
 

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I have not been on 33 in years but it was a great road then and should still be now. Have a safe trip
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I got home safe and sound. Trip report will be posted this weekend. Thanks for all the advice. It really helped.
 

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Guy offered. I was taking a picture of the bike and sign and he offered to take one of all of us. He was on a bike so I trusted him :)
 
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