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Thread: Steering bearing - how to check if they need changing?

  1. #1
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    Steering bearing - how to check if they need changing?

    Hello All,

    I have Piaggio MP3 400ie, 2009 model. It is reaching 35,000kilos. I took it to change the rear tyre and the mechanic (Dealership) said that I need to change the steering bearings as soon as possible. From my past experience with mechanics, is that some are thieves, I got robbed twice by two different mechanics (one was a dealership). But I think this one is ok. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.
    Just for my knowledge: I like to know how can I check the steering bearing need changing. When I'm riding I don't feel any notch or glitches or hicks (or what ever you want to call it), it rides smoothly and turns without any hassle and I don't find any issues with it, of course Im just a rider with limited knowledge about scooter mechanics. Changing the steering bearing is a costly task, around AUD 1,600 (GPB 800). So it is not something to take lightly.

    Any advice or directions to teach me how to check the steering bearings status will be highly appreciated,

    thanks a lot...

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert
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    no problem. lets see whats up.

    ---
    get it on two wheels and shifted in neutral. with one hand grab the front brake full on and at the same time rock the bike forward and backward. with the other hand grab the bearing cup or area and feel for wiggle or slop. there should be zero or very near zero.

    your also going to want to listen for crunching noises but that suggests dirt not a bad bearing. i mean there should be nothing wrong with it but dirt at this point but im not the mechanic.

    --
    i suspect dirt and just needs to be adjusted correct? tightened up but dirt is giving bad results... that type of thing
    --- diploma for engine repair in 2012
    --- custom parts and machining --- porting and polishing
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---derbi bullet 2006 - piaggio AC - TPR 70CC - giannelli shotV4
    ---1992 lt250r suzuki quadracer - new and improved
    --- complete 2012 wethepeople volta bmx - full sanko seamless chromoly frame/fork/handlebars

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply, but does this apply to Piaggio MP3 scooters (they have the two front wheels, just to clarify), from your answer, I think you refer to the 2 wheels bikes, while my scooter has total 3 wheels.

    Cheers,

  4. #4
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    well thats why i have a diploma in the field and you dont.

    so you didnt tell us it feels notchy and that many others have this problem. i took 3 minutes and saw the 2 dollar chinese bearings that could be upgraded. keep fixing it with stock parts and cheap grease and it will be rotten in another few thousand miles.

    it looks like an easy enough fix for a novice mechanic. not unlike standard "steering bearings" after all. i keep seeing prices like 400 dollars is that per side? or together ? who cares..... if your concerned about the price then get more quotes. if u want it done right then provide better bearings and let them work by the hour.
    Last edited by sublunacy; 12-21-2017 at 11:53 AM.
    --- diploma for engine repair in 2012
    --- custom parts and machining --- porting and polishing
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---derbi bullet 2006 - piaggio AC - TPR 70CC - giannelli shotV4
    ---1992 lt250r suzuki quadracer - new and improved
    --- complete 2012 wethepeople volta bmx - full sanko seamless chromoly frame/fork/handlebars

  5. #5
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    if you cant find a tapered bearing kit for it from aftermarket shops then i would do this.

    -buy the replacement bearings for both sides.
    -measure the ball bearing then throw them away and the POS cage they sit in.
    -buy a tube of 20 dollar marine grease.
    -buy new ball bearings from a bicycle shop.
    -pack loose bearings in the cup side by side till you cant get more in.

    --- no more flat spots from sticking ball bearings--- lifespan? tremendous
    Last edited by sublunacy; 12-21-2017 at 11:55 AM.
    --- diploma for engine repair in 2012
    --- custom parts and machining --- porting and polishing
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---derbi bullet 2006 - piaggio AC - TPR 70CC - giannelli shotV4
    ---1992 lt250r suzuki quadracer - new and improved
    --- complete 2012 wethepeople volta bmx - full sanko seamless chromoly frame/fork/handlebars

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublunacy View Post
    if you cant find a tapered bearing kit for it from aftermarket shops then i would do this.

    -buy the replacement bearings for both sides.
    -measure the ball bearing then throw them away and the POS cage they sit in.
    -buy a tube of 20 dollar marine grease.
    -buy new ball bearings from a bicycle shop.
    -pack loose bearings in the cup side by side till you cant get more in.

    --- no more flat spots from sticking ball bearings--- lifespan? tremendous

    Hi Sublunacy,

    Thanks again for your reply, I appreciate, my response was not intended to offend you, but you wrote the bike and I understood that the MP3 is different from regular bikes in this aspect. You are a mechanic, Im not, I just wanted to make it clear, not to offend. I am just a regular user, I know how to change oil and spark plug, and that is my limit, I don't know about mechanics. Anyway, I have a friend who is a mechanic and hopefully he will help me with it,

    I don't feel it notchy, it rides smooth, and I don't feel anything in the steering when I turn it right or left, so what should i feel or look for if there is a notch in it? I never experienced it so I don't now what a notch is.

    thanks again for your comment and your time.
    cheers,

  7. #7
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    no worries .


    i hear that the bearing dont get greased enough and they get notchy feeling / then they need to be replaced becauase they are notchy. that does not mean yours are the same but it very likely. the bearings look cheap and the job looks like a few hours. maybe 2 hours for one side or 3 hours for both sides. with that said the job should be a few hundred dollars labour and the bearings are cheap obviously.
    --- diploma for engine repair in 2012
    --- custom parts and machining --- porting and polishing
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---derbi bullet 2006 - piaggio AC - TPR 70CC - giannelli shotV4
    ---1992 lt250r suzuki quadracer - new and improved
    --- complete 2012 wethepeople volta bmx - full sanko seamless chromoly frame/fork/handlebars

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert
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    there is a piaggio recall on the MP3s steering bearing and they will have to replace it for free in or out of the warranty
    the bearings are failing but once they are replaced no one has failed known to me, indications of the failing bearing is often the notch in the stearing while tourning

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