ON OUR BENCH
Trail bikes get lot more hammer than road bikes, and need plenty of love and attention
Al’s 900SS gets its crank fixed, MG’S XL nearly ready, KH1F nowhere near ready, Mick’s ZX7R hits the road, plus Al and MG prep for a hill-climb
My 1989 Honda CRM250 has brought me to my knees on more than one occasion, and not only on the trails. This time I’m grovelling around on the workshop floor attempting to extract some spectacularly seized bearings from a spare rear wheel. I’m reduced to the floor because my dismembered Ducati 900SS is occupying the workbench and is likely to do so for some weeks to come.
This is all in a good cause, however, as I’m overhauling the spare wheel so I can fit a pair of Anlas Capra knobblies courtesy of UK importers Cambrian Tyres to that and an additional front that came with the bike.
It had taken some considerable effort to even get to the point where I could attempt to hammer the bearings out. There’s a threaded aluminium retainer on the drive side. This particular component has quite a reputation for doing one of two contrary things; either backing out in use or seizing solid and defying all attempts at removal. Mine had done the latter, aided and abetted by the amount of threadlock deployed by a previous owner. A comprehensive demolition job involving heat, hammers and drills finally got it out.
Definitely beyond re-use, a replacement was duly ordered from Leisure Trail. When that arrived I plucked a replacement pair of 6203 and 6303 bearings from the shelf and equipped myself with the standard bearing removal tools of old bars and mullered screwdrivers. However the crush spacer was tight between the bearings and could not be easily moved. My knuckles took more whacks than the bearings at first.
They were absolutely knackered. I decided to run the replacement bearings with the seals left in on both sides. In they went with considerably less effort than the old ones had required for removal.
Not quite a home run just yet. The new bearing retainer was most reluctant to take up its position. Big G suggested I hacksaw some diagonals across the thread on the old one and use it as a homebrewed thread chaser. Quicker said than done but eventually the thread recovered sufficiently to take the retainer.
Hard work, this trail riding business.
Knobblies by Anlas, Capra is the model, 140/80
So short of grease, looked like they’d catch fire