WHEEL-BEAR­ING WOES

Cycle World - - Service -

Q:My 2013 Har­ley-david­son has 30,000 miles on it. Re­cently I felt a sud­den vi­o­lent shimmy as the rear wheel began to wob­ble from a worn bear­ing. I have friends who have 100,000 miles on their Har­ley­david­sons with the orig­i­nal bear­ings. On Face­book, oth­ers tell me they change them ev­ery other tire change as part of rou­tine main­te­nance. What would you rec­om­mend? PHIL CENCI STATEN IS­LAND, NY

A:You don't men­tion if you pres­sure-wash your mo­tor­cy­cle, but if you do, stop now and never do it again. The vast ma­jor­ity of wheel bear­ing “fail­ures” are due to cor­ro­sion caused by wa­ter forced past seals into bear­ings. On re­cent mod­els, Har­ley­david­son rec­om­mends check­ing wheel bear­ings for play or rough­ness at ev­ery 5,000-mile ser­vice. You cer­tainly may re­place them ev­ery other tire change (your mileage may vary), but given proper checks, why not save money and ef­fort by con­tin­u­ing to use per­fectly ser­vice­able bear­ings?

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