Honda CRF450R Steering Head Bearings Replacement
As part of our 2005 Honda CRF450R complete rebuild, we cover replacing the steering head bearings for our stripped down Honda motorcycle.
Watch the video above and follow the steps below to replace the steering head bearings on a Honda CRF450R motorcycle.
Tools and Parts - CRF450 Steering Stem Bearings Replacement
NOTE: We had the frame on our Honda CRF450 pulled apart as part of our complete motorcycle rebuild project, but you don’t have to pull the entire frame off the bike to get this job done.
Honda CRF450R Steering Stem Bearings Replacement
Step 1. Use a steering head bearing/race tool and some wrenches to pop the old bearings out from the head stem. Remove the bearings from both sides of the neck.
NOTE: Before driving in the races, find a steering head bearing driver with a tapered edge to prevent damaging the edges.
Step 2. Add a little bit of grease to the openings on each side of the neck to make it easier for the bearings to glide in.
Step 3. Place a new head pipe bearing into a steering head bearing race driver, then use a dead-blow hammer to drive in the new bearing.
NOTE: Make sure you've got the steering head bearing race driver tool completely perpendicular when you drive the bearing in, since you don't want it to go in at an angle.
Repeat the process for the other side of the neck.
Step 4. Remove the old steering stem bearing by cutting the rubber sleeve off with a set of needlenose pliers, then using a steering stem bearing tool and a ratchet to extract the bearing itself and remove the dust seal below it.
Step 5. Grease up the steering stem, then slide the new steering head lower dust seal in.
Step 6. Use contact cleaner to clean up the steering stem, then pack the new bearing with grease and slide it onto the steering stem.
Step 7. Use the steering stem bearing tool to drive the new bearing onto the steering stem, then use a soft-blow hammer to seat the bearing in.
Step 8. Put the front wheel into a clamp, then bring the frame over and lower it down onto the head piece.
Step 9. Pack the upper bearing with grease and get it into place, followed by the steering head upper dust seal.
Step 10. Add a little bit of grease around the bottom of the steering stem nut so that friction doesn't throw off the torque wrench, then torque it to 22 foot-pounds using a Honda steering stem socket. Next, work the frame back and forth three or four times, then set it back down, loosen it up, and torque the nut to its final 5.2 foot-pounds.
Step 11. Slide the top clamp over the forks, then use a soft-blow hammer to seat it down.
Step 12. Install the washer and upper retaining nut, then torque the retaining nut to 80 foot-pounds and you’re done.
As mentioned above, this steering head bearing replacement is part of an entire 2005 Honda CRF450 rebuild project. Watch the playlist below to see the Honda CRF450R rebuild from start to finish.