My dirt bike's steering has become increasing harder to steer. Other dirt bikes I've ridden have much smoother, almost effortless, steering. How can I have that same smooth steering? What parts do I need to remove and clean?
After a while, steering bearings can become filled with grit and grime, causing steering to feel not so smooth. Here are the steps to cleaning and greasing your steering bearings so that steering feels smooth and fluid again.
Disassembly - In order to keep up with bolts, hand tighten bolts back in their respective receptor holes after removing components.
- Remove front wheel
- Remove fork guards (can leave brake caliper attached to fork guard)
- Remove steering stem nut
- Remove front forks and front fender
- Remove top triple clamp (including attached handlebars)
- Remove castle nut and top steering bearing
- Remove bottom triple clamp
Cleaning - All components can be cleaned using contact-cleaner and/or WD-40. Remove as much grit, grime, dirt, and old grease as possible.
- Clean steering tube
- Clean top steering bearing
- Clean triple clamp tube and attached bottom steering bearing
Greasing - Grease bearings using waterproof grease. Example: 'Bel-Ray No. 2 Waterproof Grease'
- Grease top and bottom opening of steering tube liberally with an acid brush or finger
- Grease top steering bearing by putting a dollop of grease in your hand and dragging the edge of the bearing component in/out of the grease, making sure grease penetrates through bearings
- Grease triple clamp tube with a thin layer of grease along the entire tube
- Grease bottom bearing, attached to triple clamp tube, by 'stuffing' bearing with grease using an acid brush or finger.
- Place top bearing back inside steering tube
- Reinstall bottom triple clamp and tighten castle nut
- Reinstall top triple clamp, but do not completely tighten steering stem nut
- Reinstall forks, but do not completely tighten triple clamp bolts
- Tighten steering stem nut completely
- Tighten forks completely
- Reinstall front fender and fork guards
- Reinstall front wheel