OP
@oscarsass avatar
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Hooked
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Just a quickie - noticed the steering bearings had a bit of play (I could feel it under braking)…

I adjusted the collar/nut thingy 1/4 a turn (probably could have got away with tightening it less).

Top bearings look fine. Difficult to see the bottom ones.

For those mechanical oracles, is 1/4 turn anything to worry about?

Happy to put new bearings/races in, but if it's normal to need a bit of an adjustment once in a blue moon, I'd happy leave it as is.
@slowpoke avatar
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Hooked
1952 allstate (early), 1958 allstate, 2009 S150, 2001 ET2
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Hooked
@slowpoke avatar
1952 allstate (early), 1958 allstate, 2009 S150, 2001 ET2
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Posts: 226
Location: CT
UTC quote
You have two locking nuts on the scooter fork. There is a top one and a washer then a bottom one. Make sure the bottom one is tight first. To check for play, squeeze the front brake and then rock the bike back and forth to see if there is any play in the bearings
@slowpoke avatar
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Hooked
1952 allstate (early), 1958 allstate, 2009 S150, 2001 ET2
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Posts: 226
Location: CT
 
Hooked
@slowpoke avatar
1952 allstate (early), 1958 allstate, 2009 S150, 2001 ET2
Joined: UTC
Posts: 226
Location: CT
UTC quote
Excuses the rust this is on one of the parts bikes I am taking apart. You can see the top and bottom nut, there is nothing but a bearing race on the bottom of the fork.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
@californiacruising avatar
UTC

Addicted
2015 Sprint 150, 2018 GTS 300
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Location: SoCal
 
Addicted
@californiacruising avatar
2015 Sprint 150, 2018 GTS 300
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Location: SoCal
UTC quote
What Slowpoke said and…..If it feels smooth you should be ok, I like to jack up the front wheel of the scooter by putting a jack or block under the scooter floor and feel how smooth handlebars turns, then grab the front wheel and pull on it while sitting on the ground to see it I can feel any slop.

Also Do you think it is possible to take the nut and locking nuts off the steering tube/fork, drop the fork an inch or two and re-grease the upper and lower bearings without disconnecting the ABS brake line?
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liberty 1
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liberty 1
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Location: Eu
UTC quote
These are cup&cone bearing, exactly the same as in bicycle wheels and headset or pedals. Its better the bearings have a tiny hair bit of play then no play.

Unfortunately its not easy to feel it check on a motorcycle, as everything is rather heavy. I would tighten the lower nut by hand, then back it up ~5 min. Then tighten the upper nut.
@juan_orhea avatar
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Molto Verboso
S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
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Molto Verboso
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S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
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Location: Bermuda
UTC quote
The more-exposed lower bearings will always be in much worse shape than the relatively-protected upper bearings.

If you just had some play, and the play is now gone, you've probably gotten yourself a few extra months although it would have been better to add grease to the lower bearings before tightening the nuts up top. Cranking down on those bearings with years of grease degradation isn't going to do them any long-term good.
@jimc avatar
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Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
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@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
The last thing you want is too tight - they'll soon develop a notch dead centre, which if it becomes noticeable can be dangerous. A noticeable notch is an MOT failure in the UK, as it can lead to serious instability going round curves, and makes it impossible to go in a straight line slowly without wobbling. Filtering/lane splitting becomes impossible.

So as above, tighten up until there's no play at all, then loosen by a few degrees. Very similar to how you'd set up the front wheel bearings on a car.
OP
@oscarsass avatar
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Hooked
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Hooked
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UTC quote
Thanks for the replies.

So it appears my washer is missing. Top lock nut (whilst not loose) wasn't exactly tight. Hmmm.

I did "spray" grease into the bottom bearing - but yes, that was a blind effort. 😇

Feels smooth to me - will monitor. As stated above, difficult to do it by feel as the suspension/links make it hard to assess.

Service manual states a torque value, then to back it off 'x degrees' but didn't have a tool compatible with my torque wrench.

MOT in a few weeks, hence me checking over the bike more than usual.
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