Do you have a head bearing issue on your Ninja 300? - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
View Poll Results: How are your head bearings doing?
Head bearings OK. Under 5,000 miles on odometer 42 35.29%
Head bearings OK. 5,000 – 10,000 miles on odometer 30 25.21%
Head bearings OK. 10,000 – 20,000 miles on odometer 13 10.92%
Head bearings OK. 20,000 – 30,000 miles on odometer 2 1.68%
Head bearings OK. 30,000+ miles on odometer 5 4.20%
Head bearings FAILED. Under 5,000 miles on odometer 13 10.92%
Head bearings FAILED. 5,000 – 10,000 miles on odometer 8 6.72%
Head bearings FAILED. 10,000 – 20,000 miles on odometer 4 3.36%
Head bearings FAILED. 20,000 – 30,000 miles on odometer 1 0.84%
Head bearings FAILED. 30,000+ miles on odometer 1 0.84%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

 10Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
Post Whore
 
cadd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: 41°21'13.1"N, 74°41'37.4"W
Posts: 1,780
Thanks: 432
Thanked 352 Times in 264 Posts
Do you have a head bearing issue on your Ninja 300?

Choose the best answer in the poll.

I'm tired of hearing

Quote:
You might have solved the issue for now as your steering head bearing most likely isn't worn yet. You will eventually develop a wobble due to the stock bearing because it's inevitable.
Quote:
You're just one of the lucky ones or you're not checking for it correctly. You're the only person with the 300 who claims no wobble from the head bearing. The design and quality of the stock bearings are crap and when it wears you will get the wobble. There's absolutely no way to prevent it.
Quote:
The best way to test for it is to accelerate to about 55-60mph, close the throttle, and let go of the handlebars. As the bike decelerates through the 40s and 30s watch the bars for a wobble. Do this test every 1,000 miles and you'll eventually notice a wobble.


A lot of strong and powerful language used, and I don't think it's true. I don't want new riders or potential Ninja 300 owners to be turned off if they read opinions like this when they're researching their purchase. According to the member quoted above, it clearly states that pretty much all (if not all) Ninja 300s will develop this issue.

I, on the other hand think only a tiny fraction of bikes have this issue.

In some sense, that member is correct. Eventually it'll fail. The question is....will it fail at 1,000 miles? 10,000 miles? 100,000 mile? 500,000 miles? 1 million miles?

What's a reasonable number? Well, that's really up to you to decide.
RidingBear and Gables_Ninja like this.

Last edited by cadd; 06-06-2015 at 11:46 PM.
cadd is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to cadd For This Useful Post:
PG-13 (06-09-2015)
post #2 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 12:36 AM
Veteran
 
PG-13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 108
Thanks: 17
Thanked 19 Times in 17 Posts
Garage
Around 7-8k I developed a wobble on decel. Replaced tires at 11k with cords showing. No abnormal wear on the front tire, but the rear was squared off (I had been monitoring the squaring at 8k) had some cupping on the sides as well. New front and rear tires seem to have cured the wobble. I have already purchased the all balls bearings but not installed due to no work shop.

I believe my rear tire was the source of my wobble.
PG-13 is offline  
post #3 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 12:42 AM
Seasoned Vet
 
alan903's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sammamish, WA
Posts: 585
Thanks: 216
Thanked 124 Times in 108 Posts
Garage
Do you have a head bearing issue on your Ninja 300?

I had the wobble around 2k. I tested it by let go the handlebars, I did a couple tests it only did it once. That's with the stock tires.

Didn't worry too much because I don't ride without hands on the handlebars. Traded in the bike before knowing if it gets worse or not.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App

2014 Daytona 675R
2014 Ninja 300 SE - ABS (Sold)
- K&N Air Filter / Two Brothers Slip On Exhaust / Philips CrystalVision / Zero Gravity Light Smoke Double Bubble Windscreen / RAM GPS Mount / Black Carbon Fiber Swingarm Spools / Short Adjustable Levers
2010 Audi A4
2011 Lexus CT 200
alan903 is offline  
post #4 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 12:53 AM
Seasoned Vet
 
Gawernator's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Posts: 887
Thanks: 369
Thanked 72 Times in 65 Posts
Garage
Hmm, I have noticed this, 2,500 miles. It's pretty minor, more of a vibration than wobble I guess. I thought it was normal on decel at certain speeds.... Odd.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Racing AFM #725
Thanks to my 2017 Sponsors:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| Armour Bodies |
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| Forcefield Armor |
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| Incipio/Incase |
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| Matrix Racing Concepts | ODI Grips | OGIO | Outlaw Racing/Pit Posse Motorsports | Shorai Inc. |
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Gawernator is offline  
post #5 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 01:26 AM
Forum Champion
 
Muilisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Commack, NY
Posts: 5,398
Thanks: 1,064
Thanked 902 Times in 732 Posts
Send a message via AIM to Muilisx
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadd View Post
According to the member quoted above, it clearly states that pretty much all (if not all) Ninja 300s will develop this issue.
You could have quoted my name in the quote if you're already quoting what I said.

Indeed I deeply feel that's the case. It's just the design of it that's poor and they wear and fail prematurely. The reason some bikes take longer is because their bearing was packed and greased correctly, and that's prolonging the life of it. As soon as that grease starts getting used up it will start to wear. The only way to prevent it would be to keep regreasing the bearing every so often but if you're going to have it apart to do that might as well replace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadd View Post
I'm tired of hearing
Tired of hearing it? It's something you will ALWAYS hear on these forums until Kawasaki does something about that stock bearing. It was well mentioned way before I ever started talking about it so I don't know why you're holding it specifically towards me. It's a safety concern and I will make sure every 300 owner is aware of it. New riders have no clue what they should be feeling and they have no clue what's normal or not. If I personally can inform people and have people test for it every so often it could save their life. All the replies here so far are of people stating they noticed some form of wobble. It would be very odd and strange that all of these people have it because of their tires or rims, and not because of a known corner cut that involves a poor quality and poor design steering head bearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadd View Post
A lot of strong and powerful language used, and I don't think it's true.
Strong language indeed because unfortunately it has happened to too many 300s to be considered a fluke. I could see maybe a a good handful of 300s only having it but the fact that so many owners throughout the world has had their head bearings fail means that it's a known issue and it's something that shouldn't be ignored. There's way more owners who have replaced them than owners who haven't. Greased properly or not they will eventually fail it's just a matter of time. Again it's a unfortunate thing but it's a present possible issue and every owner or future owner should be aware of it. For those who do have a wobble the upgraded bearing is under $40, and is a major improvement, and you'll no longer be gambling with your life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadd View Post
I don't want new riders or potential Ninja 300 owners to be turned off if they read opinions like this when they're researching their purchase.
You rather them not know and possibly get injured or killed due to it?

They shouldn't be turned off as the 300 is a great first bike or a great bike in general. However, this is a known possible issue with the 300, and they have a right to know that there's a STRONG POSSIBILITY that in as little as 1,000 miles they could develop a wobble due to the bearing. There's no reason why this should deter people from purchasing the bike. I feel it's better for them to know than not to know as this can be a serious safety concern. I just don't want to see people ignore it, and be put at risk. There's no reason for someone to get hurt which CAN happen. My wobble was so bad it was scary, and I don't wish that risk on anyone I really don't. The people who claim they have no wobble is a wonderful thing, and I'm happy for you guys not having to deal with it but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and it doesn't mean it won't eventually happen. There are too many owners who have had the problem, and replaced them and it went away. Sure, sometimes the tires or a bad rim can cause a wobble but that kind of wobble will be felt no matter what speed you're at or no matter the pressure you have on the bars while the head bearing wobble causes the bike not to be secured to the ground if you will. Again, it's a safety concern that should be checked for every so often. Again, I just don't want to see someone lose control of the bike because of it. My handlebars slapped back and forth some quick and hard that my bike could have easily veered off. A $40 part can save your life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadd View Post
Muilisx is wrong. I'm saying less than 50% of 300s have this problem....not the 100% Muilisx claims.
How am I wrong? There's nothing to be wrong about. It's a poor quality part, and a poor design. I'm not the who who originally informed people about it. This was plastered all over the forums, and different forums as well. There are only a VERY FEW of you guys who claim not to have it while everyone else has had the issue. It's way more than 50%. I never said every single person will have to replace it at the same exact time but every single 300 will " eventually " develop it because it's just the design and quality of the bearing. Again, all because a few of you don't have the symptoms yet doesn't mean you're in the clear and it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It just hasn't happened to you yet. There's also no reason to point the finger at me specifically because I'm only repeating what was already said. This isn't the only forum or source on the internet that says the stock heading bearing is garbage and will fail. The Ninja 250 forums mention it about the 300, other sources from Google mention it, people on YT mention it. Even the service manager and their head mechanic at my dealer are in agreement about it. He was the one who told me to not even bother with trying to do a warranty claim with it because it the job was approved it would just be replaced with the same part, and the issue will most likely come back once millage is put on the new one.

You're basically calling me a liar and telling people I'm wrong when I've personally had the issue myself so I have experienced it first hand and I can honestly say not only is it scary, and could cause an accident but it's far from normal and should not have happened after 1,000 miles. You can say whatever you want but it's there, and it should be known, and everyone should be doing the test that's quoted above to make sure they aren't developing the wobble. Again, I wasn't the first person to ever mention this, and this isn't anything new that we're hearing from the first time. This has been greatly discussed and mentioned over the years by too many different people because it exists. Again, not sure why you're pointing the finger at me. Even YT is full of videos of people doing the swap. It's well known in other places than just here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadd View Post
I bet there are more 300s out there that doesn't have a head bearing problem.
There are WAY MORE 300s that ALREADY have had the issue, and replaced them. This forum alone has more people who have had the issue than people who haven't so not sure how you can even say that. There's only like 2 or 3 of you who claim you don't have it while way more than that has so that isn't the case. Until that number grows and the ratio balances out to all the owners who have had the issue it's safe to say that it's something to be aware of and it's something you should be testing for.

You're making it seem like it doesn't exist and you make it seem like you don't want people to know about it because it hasn't happened to you yet which isn't cool because this could possibly cost someone their life. There are too many members here who have encountered it and replaced them for it not to be something to be concerned about. It can be a major safety hazard as it has to do with the steering of the motorcycle and has to do with the bike being secured on the ground. Again I just don't want to see anyone get hurt over it because they ignored it or was told not to worry about it.

Definitely test for it every so often which is the only thing I can recommend to do. There's no reason to ignore it or not check for it, and risk the possible injury or death because of it. If I would have ignored mine when it became really bad I could have killed myself. I felt the bike dip too many times in a turn to where I didn't feel secured to the ground. It was a very scary feeling, and as soon as I replaced it the wobble went away, and everything else regarding the steering was 100% better in every aspect.

I'm sorry cadd but don't go around telling other people someone is wrong or implying they're a liar all because you personally are lucky and haven't experienced the issue. All because you and Dave don't have it doesn't mean anything. That's 2 people who claim they don't have it while there are WAY MORE who have. I mean not sure how you can say less than 50% when you two are pretty much the only ones who claim they don't have it in the history of the 300 while everyone else has mentioned they have a wobble on decel, and again it's not because of a tire or a rim. Sure, a bent rim can cause a wobble but that wobble would be felt no matter the speed. The head bearing wobble is very specific and if you do the test above and you notice even the slightest back and forth movement from the bars then you have it, and it will progress over time.

Again, it's a safety concern, and that's the only reason why I jump into the conversation about it when it's mentioned. It doesn't hurt to test for it every 500 - 1,000 miles to see if it's developing, and if it is just bite the bullet, and replace it with a much better quality head bearing, and much better design, and be done with it. The only reason I would not replace it is if you don't plan to keep the bike for a while but if you do plan to keep the bike for a while then there's no reason not to swap it out. I rather pay the $40 for the part and $200 in labor than go down damaging the bike and injuring myself or risking my life.

Accelerate to about 60mph, close the throttle, and take your hands off the bars hovering them over them in case you need to grab them. As the bike decelerates through the 40s and 30s watch the bars for movement. It could either be a slight wobble or if bad enough they will literally slap back and forth. The bike won't necessarily veer left and right but you will clearly see the handlebars wobble back and forth. This isn't your tires, or your rim this is the free play within the bearing that reveals itself as a wobble. If your rim was bent and caused a wobble it would be felt and seen any any speed. This test is specifically for a head bearing. Removing your hands is the most important part because you need to take all the weight and pressure off the bars. If you have a wobble from the head bearing and you're holding the bars during the deceleration you won't see it because the weight / pressure on the bars is going to prevent them from moving so make sure you're not holding them as the bike slows down through the 40s and 30s. As soon as you reach 30 you can grab them again and accelerate back up and keep riding. Do it a few times to really test for it. It really doesn't matter what gear you're in but I recommend doing it in 3rd. You're not going to go down by doing this test. I've done it so many times when I had the issue because it's all I thought about when riding. Every single ride I went on consisted of me doing the test about 10 times, and my wobble was really bad probably the worst it could be. I wish I had a GoPro back then so record how bad it was but trust me it was bad, and very unsafe.

Again, it's unfortunate and a shame but it is what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan903 View Post
Didn't worry too much because I don't ride without hands on the handlebars.
No one does that but that's how you test for it. Having your hands on the bars pretty much stops the wobble because you're holding it. It's like when your car pulls to the left or right. It's because you need a wheel alignment. The car only pulls when you let go of the steering wheel because when you hold the wheel you're countering the pull but it's still there and can still cause an accident. It's the same idea with the wobble If you're holding the bars you're countering it but it's still there. If you let go of the handlebars during deceleration the bike should have no wobble, and should go straight as an arrow for as long as the bike has momentum.

For the members who are noticing a wobble on deceleration or for those who have tested for it using the above method and do notice a slight wobble developing you can buy the new ones here. As a member here you get free shipping. You'll submit the order with shipping tacked on, and Hard Racing will adjust it before charging your credit card. There should be a information box. That's where you can mention you're a member or you can send a PM to Hard Racing and just let them know you're submitting a order and would like the free shipping forum discount, and tell them your name so they can look out for the order.




©•Muilisx•©


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Last edited by Muilisx; 06-07-2015 at 03:31 AM.
Muilisx is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Muilisx For This Useful Post:
Gawernator (06-07-2015)
post #6 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:25 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: India
Posts: 246
Thanks: 0
Thanked 27 Times in 26 Posts
Have not done the test on mine because didn't think a new bike will have problems so soon.

Why don't owners make the warranty claim? If bikes don't visit the workshops with the same warranty claim/issues repeatedly, Kawasaki would not rectify the problem(If it is the problem- I donot know).

I think the problem is that owners are upgrading the bearing on their own & not making the warranty claim.

I remember KTM recalled & upgraded the cooling fan of the Duke 390 here in India when owners complained of engine overheating(There were no such complaints from owners in colder countries). If people were upgrading the fan on their own, the recall would not have happened.

Regards,
Kaustav
Kaustav is offline  
post #7 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:32 AM
Veteran
 
John8x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 410
Thanks: 168
Thanked 63 Times in 60 Posts
Garage
no problems with mine, ~9200 miles with DRIIs

Ebony '13 Ninja 300, Pirelli DRII tires, Shogun swing arm sliders, plasti dipped windscreen, TechSpec SnakeSkin Tank Pads, TST Fender Eliminator, LifeProof Bike & Bar Mount
John8x is offline  
post #8 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:33 AM
Forum Champion
 
Muilisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Commack, NY
Posts: 5,398
Thanks: 1,064
Thanked 902 Times in 732 Posts
Send a message via AIM to Muilisx
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaustav View Post
Have not done the test on mine because didn't think a new bike will have problems so soon.
It's not because of the bike. It's because of the design and quality of the head bearing. Kawasaki cut some corners with the 300, and the head bearing unfortunately is one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaustav View Post
Why don't owners make the warranty claim?
This was mentioned above as well as in every other head bearing thread but we'll answer it again since you're new and probably haven't come across any of those threads yet. If they were to approve it as a warranty claim it would be replaced with the same poor quality poor design part, and within a few thousand miles the problem would most likely return. Members are upgrading and not using the warranty for that very reason. They also can't warranty it using the better part as they have to use their OEM part which is why no one uses the warranty for it. The idea is to get rid of the stock bearing and go with the tapered ones.




©•Muilisx•©


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Last edited by Muilisx; 06-07-2015 at 03:44 AM.
Muilisx is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Muilisx For This Useful Post:
cicixie (06-08-2015)
post #9 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:44 AM
Seasoned Vet
 
alan903's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sammamish, WA
Posts: 585
Thanks: 216
Thanked 124 Times in 108 Posts
Garage
Do you have a head bearing issue on your Ninja 300?

Muilisx,

Again. I Didn't worry too much because I don't ride without my hands on the handlebars...

Everyone is here to share their knowledge and their experience. And that is what you are doing too. I get it.

But, some people have wobble issue and some don't. And you are here to convince everyone that all of them will have this problem and need to fix it ASAP.

And that is why Cadd started this poll.

Don't take everything so personal man. Move on, life is good.



Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App

2014 Daytona 675R
2014 Ninja 300 SE - ABS (Sold)
- K&N Air Filter / Two Brothers Slip On Exhaust / Philips CrystalVision / Zero Gravity Light Smoke Double Bubble Windscreen / RAM GPS Mount / Black Carbon Fiber Swingarm Spools / Short Adjustable Levers
2010 Audi A4
2011 Lexus CT 200

Last edited by alan903; 06-07-2015 at 03:47 AM.
alan903 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to alan903 For This Useful Post:
2y4life (06-10-2015), cadd (06-10-2015), Gawernator (06-07-2015), howlinhoss (06-07-2015), littlebrock (06-07-2015), Spacep0d (06-13-2015), Vladius (06-24-2015)
post #10 of 200 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:45 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 113
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muilisx View Post
Because as members have mentioned if they were to approve it as a warranty claim it would be replaced with the same poor quality poor design part, and within a few thousand miles the problem would return. Members are upgrading and not using the warranty for that very reason. They also can't warranty it using the better part. They have to use their OEM part which is why no one uses the warranty for it. The idea is to get rid of the stock bearing.
This would be hard to believe, especially in this day and age, and for a Japanese mass production manufacturer.

Once a defect has been discovered in the field, they may not want to do a recall, but they certainly would want to fix the production line, and send out corrected parts to the dealers.

For example, in the fairing gap issue, Kawasaki did send out fixes to the dealers.

One member claimed that the loose balls were out-of-round. Come on. If this was a wide spread problem, no way a Japanese mass production manufacturer would not want to fix it.

Last edited by techyiam; 06-07-2015 at 03:49 AM.
techyiam is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steering issue after steering head-bearing install 707 Ninja Ninja 300 Issues and Troubleshooting 18 04-01-2015 09:15 PM
Head bearing install Jesse602 North-East 0 01-03-2015 02:50 PM
Head bearing grease jaya Ninja 300 General Discussion 2 12-15-2014 08:46 PM
WI head bearing install xephona Mid-West 2 09-23-2014 07:43 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome