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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I would share my experience with wheel bearings on the V2K. Last spring on our trip through the states the front wheel bearings went out, a bit of grinding noises came out of the front but made it to a motel in Bowling Green Kentucky, late afternoon on Friday. Called 3 Kawi dealers around Nashville and none had any front bearings, these bearings are used on most of Kawasakis big bikes. One dealer said he could get them in a couple of days but would not be able to install them for two weeks, not too impressed with the dealers. Luckily there was an independent shop in Bowling Green that had the right bearings and changed them on Saturday morning, good people. The bike had 70,000 km on it, had plans of installing new bearings at the same time as front tire when we got home but alas didn't make it. Once we got home, went on another trip to BC and the new bearings went out again after only 2500kms, found some in a bearing shop and me and my buddy changed them in a truck repair shop. This winter before our spring trip to the states, installed new tires, new rear bearings, new belt and new bearings in swing arm. One rear bearing was slightly rough and the swing arm seal had went and their was moisture in the bearings. The belt had three small holes in it from pushing through rocks, one was on the edge so replaced it. From now on am going to replace all bearings about every 40,000 km. Also, before I install the new bearings I pull the bearing seals off and stuff them full of grease, not enough in there from the factory in my mind.
 

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I feel your pain lol. We were in Deadwood SD when the bearing on the drive belt vibration dampner let go, dropping the driven pulley to the side and locking up the rear wheel. Wifey launched, tucked and rolled but I tried to stop the bike from flopping. Ended up under it and it took 3 little people to lift it off my leg. Burns weren't too bad and I was able to rig up the pulley to stay in until we got back to Canada. Looked all over southern Saskatchewan for a bearing and finally found one in a Heston Farm Machinery dealership:surprise:. Installed it, got home, went on the Forum, found out that the 2006 models had 2 bearings....... ordered a hub from Japan..... Now I change my front bearings and rear bearings every other year, so about 20K miles give or take. In truth tho, I was a wide load back then, and my wife was no ballerina so we NEEDED to change the bearings more often than we do now. (Keto diet....-124lbs between us). I ordered the front bearing puller doohickey and I had all the equip to do the others in my shop. Last three bearing changes were done with OEM bearings from a dealership in Spruce Grove.... As for the belt, I punched a half inch hole thru on a ride thru the glaciers. Rode like that for two more years with no problem (The belt is almost twice the size and thickness of a "comparable" Harley). Changed the belt out, trimmed that plastic junk "protecting" the belt back a bit to stop it from funneling gravel from the hub right onto the belt and I have had no other issues.
 

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Bearing lubrication

Hello there , contrary to popular beleif bearings need a small amount of grease to work properly , overpacking them will only increase it's working temperature and will cause premature failing . Here is one link that will shed light on this and many other lubrication themes
https://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/29528/common-lubrication-problems
Hope you find it helpful
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Danad Wow, must have been quite a ride, glad no serious injuries. When the front bearings went it handled the same, just god awful sounds coming out of the front end. Gonna look at trimming that plastic so called guard, on the wifes Yamaha there was no rock damages, she travels the same routes I do.

Archie Interesting article, but, in my experience, the bearings I repack on trailers, sleds, etc seem to last a lot better, think I'll keep stuffing them but going to see if there is more research on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AFAIK, the bearings of topic are all pre-lubed, sealed bearings.
How true, but , pull out the seals on both sides of the bearing, stuff with grease and push the seal back in, quite easy and does not hurt the seal. It really is amazing how some prelubed bearings have next to no grease, a lot have a little grease on one side, when I am done a shortage of grease is not a problem.
 

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You are, of course, free to do as you wish but I'm not opening new, sealed bearings. I may tear in on a used one if I replace it, but not a new one.
 

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Oil seal

Hello alll , another thing you must take into consideration is to replace the oil seals also IMHO bearing failure in most cases is caused by grease degrading because it becomes contaminated (water , dirt) rather tajn not enough grease in them , and the oil seals are the first barrier .
 

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These are sealed bearings.

I do not believe the seals of that type bearing are available separately as maintenance/repair parts.
 

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You can get them from Partzilla or any other vendor that sells OEM parts , for the front wheel part #92050 (two) ·and for the rear wheel part #92049 and #92052.
 

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Yeah, I see that.

To me, those are more like what I'd call a trash shield rather than the oil/grease seal because the bearings themselves are sealed.

But, to the point, if I was replacing bearings, I'd give strong consideration to replacing those parts too.
 

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To me, those are more like what I'd call a trash shield rather than the oil/grease seal because the bearings themselves are sealed.
And you are right that is what those seals do, they keep dirt, trash out and oil/grease in, only that in this case there is no oil/grease to keep in, and if they are worn water and dirt can seep into the space between the seal and the bearing and that gunk with time may compromise the actual bearing seal and contaminate the grease, and also I totally agree with you I never mess with a sealed bearing no matter how carefully you remove the seal you can still damage it and that will lead to grease leaking out but more important dirt and water coming in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Seems most folk are loathe to pull the seals on a sealed bearing, it's quite easy, never ruined a seal yet and will not install a bearing without first checking inside, especially if it's made in China, then again I won't install China bearings, seen to many early failures. For curiosity sake I suggest pulling one apart, an old one or better yet that new one that everyone seems to have in a drawer and doesn't fit anything. I use a small flat pocket screwdriver that I hammered to make it thinner, then gave it a slight bend and filed and sanded it, gently slide it under the seal and pop it out.
 

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One other little thing to remember is never use high pressure hose or pressure washer anywhere close to those bearings. You will wash the grease right out of them!
 
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