How to Replace Honda Goldwing Steering Stem Bearings Part 1: Disassembly
If you notice stiction in your Honda Goldwing’s steering, or it’s not as smooth to turn the handlebars as it used to be, then it’s time to change out the steering stem bearings.
Replacing the steering stem bearings in a Honda Goldwing GL1800 involves a lot of time and effort, so we broke it up into two parts. The steps below cover the disassembly portion of this job. Watch the video above to see the full project, and follow the steps below to complete the disassembling portion of a Honda Goldwing steering stem bearing replacement.
Tools and Supplies – Honda Goldwing GL1800 Steering Stem Bearings Change
- Ratchet and extensions
- 8mm-30mm sockets
- 8mm-24mm wrenches
- 3mm-6mm Allens
- T40 Torx
NOTE: You can buy all the various bearings and seals individually, but the steering stem bearing kit includes all the bearings, races and dust shields you’ll need, and it’s cheaper than buying the parts separately. Also, the disassembly process involves removing a lot more parts than what's highlighted in the steps below. We suggest watching the video in its entirety to see everything that needs to be removed.
Replace Honda GL1800 Steering Stem Bearings: Removing the Brakes and the Front Wheel
Step 1. Secure the motorcycle by supporting the front end and anchoring all four corners so it can’t fall while being worked on.
Step 2. Remove the front part of the front fender and the side panels.
PRO TIP: Make note of which 5mm Allen bolts belong with which front fender part, because the bolts are of different lengths.
Step 3. Remove the right-side brake caliper by taking off the two 12mm caliper mounting bolts.
Step 4. Remove the left-side brake caliper by taking off the plastic cover and 5mm Allen brake pad pin beneath it. Drop the brake pads down and out of the caliper, then remove the 6mm Allen bolt from the caliper mounting bracket and the T40 Torx bolt at the top of the caliper.
Step 5. Remove the 22mm axle nut from the right side of the forks.
Step 6. Loosen the four 12mm axle pinch bolts from the bottom of the forks. Don’t remove the bolts, just loosen them.
Step 7. Remove the axle from the left side by putting a screwdriver through it, lifting the wheel slightly to release the pressure and puling the axle out.
Step 8. Remove the wheel and the spacers/collars on each side of the wheel.
Watch the clip below to see how to remove the brakes and front wheels on a Honda Goldwing GL1800.
Replace Honda GL1800 Steering Stem Bearings: Removing the Front Forks
Step 1. Remove the two 4mm Allen bolts from the top of the anti-dive assembly on the left fork, followed by the top of the assembly.
Step 2. Remove the rear part of the front fender.
NOTE: If your Goldwing has a fork brace or crossmember installed on the forks, remove that too. Also, as noted earlier, many more parts are removed during the disassmebly than what's highlighted in these steps. We suggest watching the full video to see all the components that are removed.
Step 3. Remove the meter panel by carefully pulling it upward until it’s loose, then reaching behind the speaker covers, disconnecting the speaker cables and removing the panel.
Step 4. Remove the four 8mm bolts holding the meter assembly (dials and display screen), then lifting the assembly and reaching beneath it to disconnect the three wiring connectors. Next, remove the meter assembly.
Step 5. Remove the top cover from the handlebar top bridge, then loosen the two fork pinch bolts from the top bridge and the four fork pinch bolts from the steering stem.
Step 6. Slide the forks out from the top bridge and steering stem.
Step 7. Remove the 8mm bolts holding the small bracket and remove the Philips screws holding the plastic wind protector on the underside of the steering stem.
Step 8. Disconnect the turn signal canceling unit, and slide its wiring down and out of the bottom of the steering stem.
Watch the clip below to see how to remove the front forks on a Honda Goldwing GL1800.
Replace Honda GL1800 Steering Stem Bearings: Removing the Shelter
To fully access the steering stem, it’s necessary to remove the shelter. Watch our Honda Goldwing air filter replacement video below to see how to remove the shelter.
Replace Honda GL1800 Steering Stem Bearings: Removing the Top Bridge, Steering Stem and Steering Stem Bearings
Step 1. Remove the bracket sitting above the steering stem.
Step 2. Remove the four 14mm bolts holding the handlebars to the top bridge, then pull the handlebars out of the way. Next, remove the 30mm upper steering stem nut and the top bridge from the Goldwing.
Step 3. Hold the steering stem from below to prevent it from falling down and remove the steering stem lock nut, lock washer and top nut.
NOTE: You’ll need a special Honda steering stem socket to remove the top nut.
Step 4. Remove the steering stem dust seal, inner bearing races and upper bearings, then lower the steering stem down and out from the frame head.
Step 5. Use a steering stem bearing race puller to remove the outer races from the frame head.
PRO TIP: If you don’t have a steering stem bearing race puller, you can knock the old bearing races out using a punch and hammer, being careful not to damage the frame head.
Watch the clip below to see how to remove the bearing races on a Honda Goldwing GL1800.
Step 6. Remove the inner bearing race from the steering stem by carefully cutting a notch into either side of the race with a cutoff wheel, then hitting it with a hammer and chisel to shear the race in half.
NOTE: Be careful not to cut into the steering stem itself when making notches in the race.
Step 7. Remove the lower dust shield from the steering stem.
Ready to move on to the next part of our GL1800 steering stem bearings replacement project? Watch the video below to see the continuation and conclusion of changing out the steering stem bearings on a Honda Goldwing GL1800.