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I spotted this lower clamp on the steering stem. Its appearance worries me, but I'm not sure if this normal. I have logged about 22,000 miles on my 2014, mainly country roads.

My bike's steering stem and chassis parts have never been lubricated either, as called for by the manual. I'm not sure if my dealership was every supposed to check for the lower clamp rust as part of those maintenance items.
115596
 

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It looks like surface rust, and is probably not harmful structurally - yet. If it was my bike, I would wash that whole inside area that you have pictured, perhaps just with rags and cleaning solution, and then hit the clamp with some method of rust removal. Not necessarily chemical means, but some scrubbing action, and maybe a light application of a rust remover.

My N300 needed a whole new head bearing at 12k miles, street ridden only. That was when I bought it used. Who knows what happened to it before then. I have had zero issues with the "All Balls" head bearing upgrade my shop put in, and I am at 50k miles now, street riding and a good amount of track. Given the bikes mileage, I would replace it soon anyhow if it wasn't kept up.

Plus, yeah, the head bearings need some love from time to time. Unless you have bearing press tools and experience jacking the front end of the bike up, have a reputable shop take care of either a replacement or just a lubrication. I think most shops wouldn't perform a "lubrication" job though, they would say if they are that deep in it, to just replace the bearing.

If you notice any steering oddities that are not remedied by a retorque of the head nut and clamp bolt, then have it serviced. But if I was you, I'd clean that whole area up by hand just for peace of mind.

-Mike
 

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The best thing to do, IMO, would be to pull it off and have it professionally powder coated.

They would media blast all the rust off, chemically clean and prep the metal, mask the openings and stem, and powder coat it. I do this type of work all the time.

You'd never have an issue again. And while it was off, I'd replace the bearings with tapered rollers as well.


Jay
www.apexcustomcoating.com
 

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I think you may be the only person I've heard of that made it that many miles without replacing the steering stem bearings. Mine were completely shot by 15k miles, and I should've done them long before that point.
 

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It looks like surface rust, and is probably not harmful structurally - yet. If it was my bike, I would wash that whole inside area that you have pictured, perhaps just with rags and cleaning solution, and then hit the clamp with some method of rust removal. Not necessarily chemical means, but some scrubbing action, and maybe a light application of a rust remover.

My N300 needed a whole new head bearing at 12k miles, street ridden only. That was when I bought it used. Who knows what happened to it before then. I have had zero issues with the "All Balls" head bearing upgrade my shop put in, and I am at 50k miles now, street riding and a good amount of track. Given the bikes mileage, I would replace it soon anyhow if it wasn't kept up.

Plus, yeah, the head bearings need some love from time to time. Unless you have bearing press tools and experience jacking the front end of the bike up, have a reputable shop take care of either a replacement or just a lubrication. I think most shops wouldn't perform a "lubrication" job though, they would say if they are that deep in it, to just replace the bearing.

If you notice any steering oddities that are not remedied by a retorque of the head nut and clamp bolt, then have it serviced. But if I was you, I'd clean that whole area up by hand just for peace of mind.

-Mike
Hi Mike, Ive recently had a slight clicking noise, at the head bearing area. My bike has only 8000 ml, mainly commute & track days, weird combo i know
. As a service was needed, ie valve check / replacement.including general checks therefore I decided to install taper roller bearings while the bike was in the garage.
Being an engineer, Ichecked out the ball bearing & seating all fine re torqued up no difference, but carried out inspection of the axle & usual brakes & wheel bearings again fine. Changed the ball bearings for tappered roller bearings, well greased & seated the new seatings, due to lack of space to lock an additional lock nut I deviced thee following
. Instead of lock nut &tab washer, I drilled & tapped 4mm original lock nut fitting 2 grub screws, securing the assembly, I am carrying out tests to ensure that this method is correct.
I will report in the near future + mileage hopefully before autumn, your fall!
 
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