IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN STEERING HEAD BEARINGS?

 

DW FAN WRITES IN: “I have a 1985 Honda ATC350X that is in the middle of a ground-up restoration. The steering-head bearings are dry and notchy. I wanted to replace the factory loose ball type bearings with the new-style tapered roller bearings, but I am confused. It seems like everybody is marketing tapered roller bearings for 3-wheelers. And they all say theirs are the best. Boss, in your opinion, which brand should I end up purchasing for my 350X restoration? – Devin Thomas, Milton, FL.

Steering

OUR PRO ANSWER: I can see where you might be confused by all the purveyors of tapered roller steering head bearing kits. There are only two things you need to know; 1. Any of the bearing kits will be light years better that the loose balls and races installed as OEM back in the day. 2. As far as I know, none of the purveyors of the kits make them themselves. They all either come from Japan or China. And it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if someone told me most of the kits came from a single plant and just re-badged for the individual purveyor. Back in the day, when these kits first appeared, they were from K&L supply sourced from Japan. I remember installing a number of these kits with no problems. Personally I would use Japan sourced bearings over Chinese.

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