Servicing and setting
Get your bike’s steering spot-on by following these nine simple steps
your head bearings
1Assessing play by pulling pushing
The first thing to do is make sure the front wheel is safely raised. There should be no weight on the front wheel or steering. The wheel can be raised by using the bike’s centrestand, or carefully using a jack. Hold the forks at the bottom of each side with the steering straight and pull the wheel towards you, and push in the opposite direction. Any movement will be headrace wear.
2Check bar movement
The second part of checking the bearings starts with the wheel in the air again. This time turn the handlebars from full left to full right lock. There should be zero binding or tightness; ideally you’ll feel a smooth action from left to right with the bars maybe falling from side to side once they pass the centre, but there should not be any ‘notchiness’.
3Quick way to lose weight
Taking the front wheel out isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does take a lot of the weight off the steering head assembly. It is also a good idea to re-check the movement of the steering with the front wheel out, as the action of the bearings can sometimes be masked by the weight or inertia of the front wheel.