Well, I guess I am going to attempt to do this on Saturday, even though I am not experiencing any symptoms of failure yet at 2k miles. So, before I get started, I would love a few things clarified, so I don't end up stuck half way through, or worse... screw it up all together.
The seals... Which way do they go? No one ever seems to specify, short of other bike forums mentioning that the metal side is facing away from the bearing. Well, with the all balls version... both sides are metal. One just happens to have a rubber "lip" (as I recall, i haven't looked at em since I got them months ago).
Whacking the bearings and races into place. It is mentioned that a PVC pipe is best way to put the bearings in, is there a specific size that has been determined to work? And as for the races, same question... I read about using the "correct size" socket, but that is never specified. Though I suspect that PVC will work here too, but again... no sizes are ever mentioned.
Sorry if this sounds stupid, and I realize that I can find this out once I have everything torn apart. However I like to have everything squared away before hand, as running to a store for something, to find they are out of stock is kinda annoying. I would really rather not have my bike in pieces for an extended period of time if it can be avoided.
Well... installed the bearings. Wasn't as difficult as I imagined. Trying to get the the top bearing into place was the most annoying part. Then of course on my test ride I felt the bike periodically pulling right. Turns out I forgot to feed the brake line in between the forks, I had the line behind everything and that caused my issue.
I am 90% sure I did not "seat" the bearings enough while tightening that nut, but screw it, I'm done for today. Kinda pissed that I nicked the gas tank near the handle bars... gotta find touch up paint now, at least it isn't out in the open.
Did my install today. Used jack and wood under headers to lift. Used punch and rubber mallet for the funny bolt (It's soft so be careful folks). Knocked out old races with socket just smaller than stem. Tapped off lower race. Biggest pain I had was seating the lower bearing. Just had to keep circling and tapping as I didn't feel like going to get pvc at the time. Some slight knicks, but didn't seem to interfere.
Not certain I did it right. But rode to test, steering is a little tight so got to back off on top nut a bit. They are slightly taller than stock bearing. But it also feels like it's pulling either direction while trying to go straight. Gonna check my lines when I get home to see if that's the issue.
Turning felt awesome. But going straight and having the feeling like the bike wanted to go a different direction was unnerving.
Edit: after doing some more research I think I may have installed upper bearing upside down. Prolly just pull everything apart and make sure everything is seated and greased properly as well.
If I have to redo, I'll test the freezing and warming of parts to see if it's easier.
I wanted to get a good look of what I'm getting myself into before I do it myself. The N300 is my first bike and I'm not so mechanically inclined, but I've managed to do all my mods and maintenance myself.
Anyone have pictures or a video of their head bearing replacement? I want to see if I'm in over my head on this one.