Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Bearings came in today so I stopped on my way home from work and picked them up. Then I went to Canadian Tire and "borrowed" a race and seal install kit (the same one in your pic, Les). Had supper then went to work at around 6:30.
The races went in easily with the kit. I loaded up the bearings with grease, then got the triple tree out of the freezer. It took some very careful tapping with a punch, but I got the bearing seated without too much trouble. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been that easy if I hadn't used the freezer trick. Everything else went smoothly - at first. I had the forks on, the handlebars in place and was about to put the front wheel on so I could lower it off the jack when I noticed the two chrome sleeves that go over my forks sitting in the parts bin.
So I took the forks off and installed the chrome trim, then put them back on. It wasn't too bad, took about 20 minutes. Lesson learned.
Got the wheel on and I went to work on installing the headlight. I checked my pics to see which way a wire loom holder bolted on when I noticed that the cables were all behind the forks, instead of in front like in my before pic. Sigh. Once again, I had to loosen the forks and slide them down enough to move the cables around front. After that I was getting pretty good at removing and reinstalling the forks - lol. That was the last snafu and I got it all back together around 9:30 and went for a short test ride. I had to unbolt the front brake hose from the reservoir so the front brakes need to be bled. Unfortunately I only have DOT 3 fluid and I need DOT 4 and nothing is open this late. But, the catch in the steering is gone. She steers smooth and predictably. I'll retorque the head nut tomorrow and check all the other bolts on the forks, etc, then bleed the brakes and she'll be good to go.
Overall I'd rate this as a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 as far as difficulty goes. I am at best a mediocre mechanic, but if I know what needs to be done and I have good instructions I can usually get it done. I did this alone, with only a few basic tools and motorcycle lift. I figure a shop would've charged me at least 4 hours labor, if not more. The bearings were $50 with tax, so I consider it well worth doing myself. If you do decide to tackle this job, read up on it, watch videos, and get a manual. It took me a couple of hours to take it apart and 3 to put it back together. Remember, because I missed a few things I had to do parts of it 3 times. I bet if I had to do it again I could do it in half the time.
2007 Vulcan Nomad
2000 V Star 1100 Classic (Sold)
All stock except for:
Switchblade Quick Release Windshield
Ugly but somewhat functional saddlebags