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Thread: F-Twins Tech - F800GS Steering Head Bearing Adjustment

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  1. #1
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    F-Twins Tech - F800GS Steering Head Bearing Adjustment

    The articles, posts and comments in this tech section are posted by individual members and reflect their personal thoughts and experiences with repairing, maintaining, and generally working on motorcycles. This information may require specific knowledge and skills, may or may not be correct or current to model.

    The authors of information found here and the BMW MOA take no responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of any information (including procedures, techniques, parts numbers, torque values, tool usage, etc.), or further for any damage of any kind or injuries incurred or caused by anyone following the instructions or information found here.

    It is the duty of the individual to either assume the liability himself for responsibly using the information found here, or to take the bike or accessory to a Dealer or other qualified professional service.


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    Adjusting the steering head bearings on your BMW F800GS

    Making sure that you have the appropriate load on the steering head bearings allows for smooth steering and long bearing life. If the bearings are too tight, it's difficult to steer the motorcycle. If they are too loose, then you run the risk of ruining the bearings prematurely.

    To check if your bearings are loose:
    1. Raise the the front wheel off the ground, and grab the forks on the lower end of the bronze fork tubes (about midway up the fork tubes)
    2. Rock the forks back and forth as if you were rolling the front wheel back and forth.

    If you hear and feel a lot of clunking, then the bearings need attention.



    To check for worn bearings:
    1. Raise the the front wheel off the ground
    2. Turn the handle bars side to side from one stop all the way to the other stop

    If you feel a catch where they handlebars suddenly stop and don't want to move freely, you need new steering head bearings as the bearing cup has a groove worn into it.


    Motorcyclists Magazine has a very nice video that covers how to check your steering head bearings




    Note 1: The specific bike shown is a 2013 F800GS
    Note 2: The tools and materials used are by personal choice and are not due to any affiliation with any brand


    Tools Required:
    - T45 star (Torx) bit
    - 10mm hex socket
    - Ratchet(s) that fit the above
    - Torque wrench
    - Suitable way to raise the front wheel and keep the bike steady
    Last edited by drneo66; 04-19-2021 at 02:45 PM.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  2. #2
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    This service is done correctly with the bike's weight on it's wheels, so place the bike on the center stand. You may want to wrap a strap between the front wheel and the centerstand so the centerstand doesn't fold up.

    If you don't have a centerstand, then a bike lift would work, but a car or bottle jack could also work. The bike just needs to be held vertically, so however you choose to do it, make sure it's safe.


    IMG_9046.jpeg
    Last edited by drneo66; 04-23-2021 at 12:50 AM.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  3. #3
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    We need to remove the handlebars (if you don't have risers). Take a marker (I use a grease pencil), and mark the current location of your handlebars. Place a couple rags or a towel on your gauges to prevent any scratching. Use your T45 star (Torx) bit to remove the 4 bolts holding on the handle bars and remove the two clamping blocks. Gently set your handlebars on your padded surface. I use a bungee cord (orange in the picture) to secure the handlebar from rotating.

    IMG_9062.jpeg
    Last edited by drneo66; 04-21-2021 at 04:34 PM.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  4. #4
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Remove the BMW roundel that sits underneath the handlebars - a simple pull will release the plastic piece. If you have trouble, a small flat screwdriver can help you lever it out.


    IMG_9062.jpeg
    Last edited by drneo66; 04-21-2021 at 04:36 PM.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  5. #5
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Using your T45 star (Torx) bit, loosen the top fork clamping screws on both the throttle and clutch sides (as indicated by the green arrows)

    IMG_1430.JPG
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  6. #6
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Rotate the steering yoke to the left, and using your T45 star bit, loosen the clamping bolt (as indicated by the red arrow).

    IMG_1429.JPG
    Last edited by drneo66; 04-19-2021 at 02:49 PM.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

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