Steering head bearings

Thought it might be an idea to check and lube the steering head bearings on my LM3. Top yoke off, long adjuster nut off, cover off, OK can see the top of the bearing, but do you think it will move?. NO!. The only thing that can be stopping the bottom yoke coming out, apart fron the top bearing being very tight on the shaft, is the steering lock, but I don’t really see how. I don’t have a key for it so before I drill it out, any ideas?, I just don’t see how the steering lock could cause the problem. I’ve done the block of wood on the steering shaft and clout it with a hammer, but it doesn’t budge a bit, and I mean not one thou’.
I’ve done this many many times on lots of different bikes, they always just fall out.

Try some WD or similar and remember heat is your friend…

If the steering isn’t locked by the steering lock i.e. the yokes turn from side to side, then I can’t see how the steering lock can be your problem. When you tap the stem put your finger on the lock and see if you can feel the tapping directly through the lock. One thing I do know is that the threads on the stem bruise/mushroom very easily and I had to purchase a dye to sort this problem out on mine, so I would fit the top nut on a few threads before doing any tapping / bashing and hopefully that wont just lock the nut onto the stem. Unless the bottom bearing has been put in upside down (very unlikely) the only other reason to stop the bottom yoke dropping free must be a tight top inner bearing onto the stem (unless it is a lot different to a LM1…which I doubt).

ReggieV2012-12-15 18:48:16

Use an old top nut if poss and use a copper headed thwacker or copper pipe twixt hammer and stem!

And if you are taking the lot out I would drill and tap a hole in the headstock and fit a grease nipple then you can grease the whole lot without dismantling it in future.

god only knows why they are not fitted as standard to any bike

The scientific application of a bloody great hammer with a large piece of timber between head stock and hammer did the job, it was just very tight on the shaft, and I do mean very tight!. Couldn’t see how it would have been the steering lock unless there was a track worn or machined into the shaft, that was the main reason for asking the question before I persuaded it out.
New taper roller bearing now methinks, looks and feels fine but has been subject to trauma so better be on the safe side.
Many thanks again.

very correct, PlusGas is better but WD40 is better than nothing,I have lost count how many times I have replaced these bearing on different bikes over many many years and most times the top bearing comes out easy but the lower one more offen than not has needed a fair amount of heat,new bearing can be got from the normal Guzzi outlets or your local bearing stockist, but be carefull as over the past few years there have been more and more ‘budget’ bearing coming onto the market and these are mostly ‘Made in The Far East’ and are according to one bearing shop manager “not a item I would put on a motorcycle”, if they are cheap the odds are they are nasty, it is a long job to replace steering head bearing put cheap ones in and you could be replacing them again in no time. the head bearing on my 850T3 and also my Cali Ev are the same, 30205 I presume the Mark 3 Le-Mans will be the same.
northwest2012-12-16 19:43:01

TonewUK had some head bearings a while ago, might have some still.
mo_biker2012-12-17 00:45:41

Yes, 30205, and I always use SKF bearings when I possibly can.
The hole for the steering lock has had a hard life, looks like someone has tried to break it by forcing the steering thereby distorting the hole, I’ll have to grind the high spot off before I can remove the bottom bearing.