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Discussion Starter #1
So I changed my front tire last year and on my way to pittsburgh from Long Island I made it about half way and front bearings start to grind. Luckily I was able to find a shop about 5 miles from highway where I pulled over and was able to drive slowly to shop. The Nomad is in the shop now in Harrisburgh and I got a room in hotel. Ruby Tuesday next door had 5$ martinis so really feeling very lucky about the whole thing. They couldn't fix today because the Kawi dealer had no bearings, so waiting on ups tomorrow morning. The mechanic told me that it look like the person who put the wheel on last tightened the axle after they tightened the two allen bolts that hold the axle nut. When he loosened the allen bolt the forks sprung apart. So that isnt what happened, I put the wheel on and I did it according to the manuel and I tightened the axle first and then the inside allen bolt and the outside bolt and then the inside again. That is what the manuel says and I used a torque wrench on all three bolts. So what did I do wrong? The only thing I can think of is the wheel was on the ground when I tightnened the allen bolts. Now I will be scared to ever take my front tire off myself again and have to pay someone to do it. By the way the first time I took it off that thing was way tighter than specs The dealers dont use a torque wrench, that thing was at like 120lbs and spec is 94lbs I believe. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. The motorcycle has 16500 miles on it.
 

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Based on what I read here you might want to have the tech make sure all the wheel parts are there.

Also, when you put the wheel back on did you do the step where you put a block of wood in front of the tire and get on the bike and compress the front forks a few times before tightening the pinch bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Based on what I read here you might want to have the tech make sure all the wheel parts are there.

Also, when you put the wheel back on did you do the step where you put a block of wood in front of the tire and get on the bike and compress the front forks a few times before tightening the pinch bolts?
I did do about 1000 miles since the wheel was off and I just looked at the manuel the spacers are huge so I know they are there. There are no small pieces that I could have missed. I did compress the forks when I changed the tire but I dont think I used a block of wood.I was thinking that may be the cause too. I had it on the jack at home before I left the other day and both wheels were spinning fine. I didnt notice any friction.
 

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So I changed my front tire last year and on my way to pittsburgh from Long Island I made it about half way and front bearings start to grind. Luckily I was able to find a shop about 5 miles from highway where I pulled over and was able to drive slowly to shop. The Nomad is in the shop now in Harrisburgh and I got a room in hotel. Ruby Tuesday next door had 5$ martinis so really feeling very lucky about the whole thing. They couldn't fix today because the Kawi dealer had no bearings, so waiting on ups tomorrow morning. The mechanic told me that it look like the person who put the wheel on last tightened the axle after they tightened the two allen bolts that hold the axle nut. When he loosened the allen bolt the forks sprung apart. So that isnt what happened, I put the wheel on and I did it according to the manuel and I tightened the axle first and then the inside allen bolt and the outside bolt and then the inside again. That is what the manuel says and I used a torque wrench on all three bolts. So what did I do wrong? The only thing I can think of is the wheel was on the ground when I tightnened the allen bolts. Now I will be scared to ever take my front tire off myself again and have to pay someone to do it. By the way the first time I took it off that thing was way tighter than specs The dealers dont use a torque wrench, that thing was at like 120lbs and spec is 94lbs I believe. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. The motorcycle has 16500 miles on it.
See my response over on Vulcan Baggers.............there is no axle nut, and not possible to torque the axle after tightening the clamp bolts. Misaligned forks and/or over tightened axle will not cause a wheel bearing failure. Most likely cause is dirt or water, replacing the wheel seals regularly is the best preventative measure.
 

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Hard to say. No reason they shouldn't last a very long time, but there is no set time or mileage. You should never use high pressure water around the axles while cleaning the bike. Lots of wheel bearings are damaged this way. Also, the process of removing the bearings from the hubs ruins them and they must be replaced. Kawasaki uses bearings that have seals on their outside face, but completely open on the inside face. I really don't see why you couldn't use double sealed bearings in these applications; I would think they would last longer. Usually you don't use double sealed bearings in high speed, or high temperature applications, but neither of those apply here. You might want to call the dealer in the morning and get the bearing number if you need to call around for outside help. The bearing will have a number like 6004 plus some other numbers. The 6004 is the bearing size, all the other stuff relates to seals, etc.. Your bearings will be 6004 or 6014, something like that. Good luck!
Not always.
Sometimes when the outer race is the rotating member, the bearing will have a special internal clearance, etched in the bearing as C3, for example. Getting a replacement from a jobber by simply comparing the model number could cause problems.
I actually remove the bearing seal every 80k or so, to wash out the old grease and repack with new, the bearings do have a seal both sides, in addition to the replaceable seal beside the bearing.
 

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Not always.
Sometimes when the outer race is the rotating member, the bearing will have a special internal clearance, etched in the bearing as C3, for example. Getting a replacement from a jobber by simply comparing the model number could cause problems.
I actually remove the bearing seal every 80k or so, to wash out the old grease and repack with new, the bearings do have a seal both sides, in addition to the replaceable seal beside the bearing.
Good information. In addition, and I do not know how the hub is made on the VV, there has to be a means to prevent the inside race from being side loaded. Thrust bearings are designed for side loads. Cone roller bearings are designed for some degree of side load. Ball bearings are not. Many times there will be a spacer between the 2 ball bearings that contact the inside race of the 2 opposing bearings not allowing them to be side loaded. If this is how the VV is designed, the spacer must be there.
 

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The VN1700 hubs are very simple, bored in from both ends to provide a tight fit for the outer races and seals, and a smaller diameter bore between them to provide a locating shoulder for the bearings. No snap rings, spacers or any other parts.
The inner race spacer (between the bearings) is very slightly longer than the shoulder in the hub so no matter how tight the inner races are squeezed together the bearings are never pre-loaded.
Ball bearings are capable of carrying some thrust load, although not as much as a tapered roller bearing, but in theory there is no thrust (side load) on motorcycle wheels. All this great design and engineering bearing life expectancy goes out the window when people add sidecars and trike kits....:(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can usually take things apart and put them back together but I really appreciate the knowledge you guys have. I hope to keep learning about motorcycles. Thanks everyone for all the responses. I will post tonight and let everyone know how it goes.
 

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I can usually take things apart and put them back together but I really appreciate the knowledge you guys have. I hope to keep learning about motorcycles. Thanks everyone for all the responses. I will post tonight and let everyone know how it goes.
Ask to see the failed bearing, I'm guessing it has evidence of water damage (rust).
 

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I was going to say but I see it's already been said, that a high power sprayer is a bearings worst enemy. I see these guys at the car wash all the time trying to get the brake dust off the rotors and rim. It's like an obsession! I do mine with a bucket of soap and a sponge, then rinse it off with a hose with just regular water pressure. I would bet there are a lot of bearings blown because of this, let alone other areas of the bike like the switches and electrical components. I'm sure you didn't do this, you probably just got a bad set of bearings. What man has made, man can make wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I never considered washing my Nomad with anpressure washer. I did however wash my white walls with simple green a couple of days ago. Dont know if that had anything to do with it. So, It all worked out the shop had it fixed by 12p.m. And we were n our way by 1p.m. Made it to pittsburg by 5. High Strengh VTwin in Harrisburg is a great place and Pennsylvania is lucky to have them. They really took care of us and gave us a ride to hotel and back and had the Nomad up and running for $69.00. Really nice family owned place. I was very lucky to have this problem only 5 miles away from them and fortunate to find them.I will visit them next time I am going through PA as I do it at least once a year. Thanks again for all the responses I really do appreciate it.
 

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I never considered washing my Nomad with anpressure washer. I did however wash my white walls with simple green a couple of days ago. Dont know if that had anything to do with it. So, It all worked out the shop had it fixed by 12p.m. And we were n our way by 1p.m. Made it to pittsburg by 5. High Strengh VTwin in Harrisburg is a great place and Pennsylvania is lucky to have them. They really took care of us and gave us a ride to hotel and back and had the Nomad up and running for $69.00. Really nice family owned place. I was very lucky to have this problem only 5 miles away from them and fortunate to find them.I will visit them next time I am going through PA as I do it at least once a year. Thanks again for all the responses I really do appreciate it.
Glad they got you fixed up and on your way. Simple green does displace grease, but so do most soaps that folks use to clean their bikes. I know that when I service my steering head and swingarm that there was minimum grease on the bearings. But, what was there was still clean and showed no signs of degradation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I am home from my Pittsburgh trip and had no additional problems since the bearing failure. I rode about 750 miles since it was fixed and did 400 miles yesterday in about 8-9 hours. Bearings are working fine but now every little sound I hear I think is the bearings so I need to do a few more miles before I feel 100%.
 

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sound

What did the bike feel or sound like when the bearing failure happend?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What did the bike feel or sound like when the bearing failure happend?
I did not notice anything the first 150 mikes or so of the trip. Then we stopped for lunch and as I was rolling through the parking lot of Mcd's I noticed a click from the front wheel. So after eating I looked at front wheel and tried to shake it around and drove around parking lot with no helmet so I could here it better. I decided to ride a little further and see how it went. Afte about five miles I pulled over because there was a grinding coming from tye front wheel now. Luckily my phone was working and I was only Five miles away from a shop. I put my hazzards on and rolled slowy to the shop. As I got closer It got real loud. So my unintended stop was a little expensive 200 for the hotel 60 for martinis and dinner. 75 walking through the mall while we waited for the wheel to be fixed. And 69 for the bearings and install. I thought that to be a very fair price and considered us very fortunate. The next time I break down I can only pray that it is this convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did you get to speak to the wrench who changed out the bearings? Did you get the old bearings back?
I spoke to him, he said he thinks it was because of the way I had put the wheel on. That is possible because I don't think I pushed down on the forks properly to get the wheel to find a nuetral position. I also tightened the clamp bolts when wheel was on the ground. He showed me the bearings it was the right side that was not turning smooth but I was focused on finding a room for the night and the next day I forgot to ask. I was just trying to get to my destination.
 
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