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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any opinions on staying with the stock or going with the aftermarket tapered?
 

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Not worth the money IMO. It's just bearings...they make things rotate. Do they last longer? Sure...maybe. But it's not like they're that heavily loaded, so I imagine they'll last you a long time regardless of what type/brand they are as long as they're maintained well.

A better use of money would be to upgrade to some nice offset triples, that also come with their own bearings. I know a guy ;)
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tapered roller bearings are uniquely designed to manage both thrust and radial loads on rotating shafts and in housings. As opposed to ball bearings with only handle a single load (steering rotation but not the load of riding the bike down the road).

The small disadvantage of a tapered bearing is the large bearing surface area can cause increased bearing drag versus ball bearings (especially noticeable in un-lubricated applications), the advantage is the same increased surface area provides increased rigidity and overall control in riding conditions creating a more positive feel.

Many companies use taper bearings from the factory on their steering stems, unfortunately Ducati isn't one of them.
The best compliment when upgrading your suspension. Helps eliminate head shake and requires less maintenance than stock roller bearings.

Kit comes complete with both upper and lower taper bearings, races, and seals.


Not that I've experienced any head shake.
 

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Me neither
 

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I did tapered because the bearings came with a triple clamp i bought. The ball bearing i replaced was the original set that came with the bike in 2003. While im vigilant about maintaining and adjusting everything always, I've probably slammed down 10,000 wheelies, and pretty much every application of the brakes was as hard as i dared(think race track only) Not to mention, crashed more times than i can remember. And for most of its life it was used every weekend. And the ball bearing set was like new.
I think doing tapered bearings would just be busy work. There's no difference in feel, assuming that your bearings are properly adjusted and greased. I'd put that money tward tires :)
 

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Yeah I just upgraded to the tapered cause I was re-doing all my suspension, bearings and bushings and since I hadn't looked at my head bearings in 48,000Kms, I figured they'd be dry as a popcorn fart and falling apart. Not so. Bearings looked and rolled just fine after 100,000Kms.
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did tapered because the bearings came with a triple clamp i bought. The ball bearing i replaced was the original set that came with the bike in 2003. While im vigilant about maintaining and adjusting everything always, I've probably slammed down 10,000 wheelies, and pretty much every application of the brakes was as hard as i dared(think race track only) Not to mention, crashed more times than i can remember. And for most of its life it was used every weekend. And the ball bearing set was like new.
I think doing tapered bearings would just be busy work. There's no difference in feel, assuming that your bearings are properly adjusted and greased. I'd put that money tward tires :)
Just to be clear you are using tapered? and if so I would assume nothing noticeable?

Yeah I just upgraded to the tapered cause I was re-doing all my suspension, bearings and bushings and since I hadn't looked at my head bearings in 48,000Kms, I figured they'd be dry as a popcorn fart and falling apart. Not so. Bearings looked and rolled just fine after 100,000Kms.
Exactly where I'm at more or less.. I have to pull the top triple of to replace I will take a look at the bearings but figured if I need them I wanted some on standby although I'm only at 24k miles. As far as the investment 50 bucks come on guys you spend shit loads more on carbon :p
 

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Not me! I think 50 bucks is too much when talking about something that makes no noticeable difference at all and it's not even visible. Plus, I thought they were 50 each, and there are 2 of them (lower and upper).

All the money I've put into my bike were things that made it perform better in one way or another. I'm not really into aesthetics. I appreciate that part of it, it's just not my top priority. Only carbon I had was my Akrapovic exhaust and the exhaust guard that came with the slip-ons.
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
50 bucks for top/bottom/bearings/seals.. and this is suppose to be a performance improvement.

But I will be looking at the stock if they look ok I might just keep the tapered on my shelf.
 

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Oh well then that's not too bad. I was thinking you'll be somewhere around $100-130 by the time you're all done, but if it's 50 for everything it's not bad.
 

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Yes Tchase, im on tapered bearings. And there's no difference. Like i said, assuming your ball bearing head set is correctly torqued and greased. Please allow that although my bike is an 02, i have routinely serviced everything. And the Steering head, swingarm pivot and links get cleaned up, checked, and re-greased every 30 hours.. Ill also say, of all these things, the drive side swingarm pivot is the only thing to show wear.
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well now I'm worried! I've never had them apart, I've kept it clean and smeared grease up there 🤔
 

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If they've had the carrot you will notice notch-e-ness in the travel, or they may be sloppy even when properly torqued. To check, standing in front of the bike and facing it, pull the bar toward you firmly but not too quickly while applying front brake. If you feel it kinda clunk, you need to re-torque. Bear in mind there's gonna be movement in your brake pads and rotors. To check for movement in the head you need to pull hard enough to get the weight of the bike to sort of overcome the angle of the fork. I would be very surprised if you have any issues with the steering head. It's just not a weak spot on these bikes
 

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Yeah I never checked mine until I took the stock triples out and replaced with the Ducshop ones, and never had any issues in 3 years, but granted I had a lot less miles on the bike than you do. The triples I upgraded too were also used (got them from a friend) and I used the bearings that came with them. Didn't even re-grease them, because they had more grease on them than I knew what to do with lol. Just installed it all and again, no issues. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone have issues with that. Not saying it's impossible, as Aussie Bob has apparently seen it, but I'm betting it's a rare thing in the grand scheme of things that can go bad if neglected.
 

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I've read some information from Rich Stanboli of Attack Performance, which made sense to me, and he states that ball bearings are the way to go, not the tapered rollers, Moto2 and MotoGP bikes have the ball bearings, and properly set-up and maintained the result is significantly better front end feel.

Having said that, I use the tapered bearings, and my front end seems to feel fine, but I'm not able to feel it at that level. The aftermarket Ducati vendors seem to sell the All Balls tapered bearings or the Chinese knockoffs, and they are easy to service...

Just some more stuff to digest.
 

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I have never had a problem with the headstock/triple bearings, but I have had to replace my swing arm spindle bolt, do to excessive wear ie. deformed metal @ the non drive side bearing location (right side)... was kinda amazed by the wear!! Replaced it with a TI bolt and anti-seized a bunch.
 

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I have never had a problem with the headstock/triple bearings, but I have had to replace my swing arm spindle bolt, do to excessive wear ie. deformed metal @ the non drive side bearing location (right side)... was kinda amazed by the wear!! Replaced it with a TI bolt and anti-seized a bunch.
Thats interesting.. I mean the swingarm pivot bolt acts as an axle would. Holding everything together, but not as an actual race for the pivot bearings. Could it have been incorrectly assembled? Or subjected to a serious impact?
 

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Who knows why!! It was on my 1098R which is a pretty powerful motor, torque, etc.... it is interesting to look at the way the load is transferred to the frame from the SSSA... all the wear on my spindle bolt was on the right side, even though there is a bearing for the arm to move up and down, the bolt is in a stationary location...I think the wear/deformation was from the torque in a side to side movement, not up and down....just my opinion though.
 
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