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25-1-2018 Buell XB wheel bearings change

1-2-2018 - 25-1-2018 On request, some more detailed info how to replace wheel bearings on a Buell

A job we do very often in our shop is to check and replace bearings. We First check the wheel bearings from the Buell XB model on wear, as these bearings can go bad sooner then you think. Some causes can be: spacer to short, bearings not pressed in properly, pressure washers cleaning , mounting a new belts  and not running in propper.

Check your wheel bearings whenever you have the wheel in your hand, or in cause of a service, remove the wheel and check the bearings every service. (5000 miles 800KM), this to prevent these to fail during riding,  

The best way to check is with your fingers, put your fingers in and turn the bearing if they feel gritty, or are stuck al to getter and you are not able to turn theme by hand replace wothout resitance they are bad. Other signs are rust water coming out the bearing, Or having a loose spacer.

We use in our shop a so called blind bearing puller, and press this out with a drift and hydraulic press  

To remove the bearings,  and support plates to press the bearings back in. So we begin here with a rear wheel bearings that feels bad

We use a blind bearing puller tool (home made)

mount the blind bearing puller in the wheel expending the grippers in the opening between the spacer and the bearing

you see here the puller that is mounted in the disk side, and i'm pressing the bearing out from the other side with a large extention tool

the bearing comes out with the spacer

and now the bearing puller mounted to press out the pully side bearing

now mounting new bearings.  very important that the inner and outer racer are supported !! (big mistake by a lot of shops)

i made our own pressing tools, so the spacer is located and the tool douse not fall out turning the wheel over with a o-ring

with the bearing it looks like this

BEaring ready to go in the wheel. Do a light coat of grease on the outer of the bearing and inside,  to protect the aluminium of the wheel on wear , as these wheels only have so many bearing replacements in theme before the hole becomes to large, pressing with some care will make theme last longer 

Another thing. As the spacers are not exact to size it is important to understand what makes the wheel line out in the bike. looking at the constuction of the rear swing arm and front fork,  the alignment of the wheel is on the brake disk side. So the disk side bearings needs to go in first and pressed down to it's seat fully

pressing tools and wheel needs to be kept level now i need to put a pressing support plate on our press

We now turn the wheel around , leaving the press tool in the wheel to support the inner and outer bearing race, and put the wheel spacer in , sometimes you can see on the spacer ends the inner race inpressions

spacer in the wheel, check if the top off the spacer is higher than the bearings seat in the wheel , if not take a new spacer , you can eye ball it, or take a caliper to check.

You can order them from us off course: 

all ok in this case,  now pres in the pully side bearing also using a press plate

and press the bearing in untill it toughes the spacer,

if everything worked out it should look like this , the spacer should be fixed in between the bearings, can be moved but not be to loose and the bearings should turn nice and smooth

mounting the wheel , with a cleaned and lubed axle, it should turn in easy

set the axle torque to 66 Newton meter.

and tighen the pinch bolt


Front wheel about the same story, bearing is smaller

puller mounted and pressing the old bearing out


checking the spacer on bearing marks

pressing in is the same as in the rear rear. Disk side bearing needs to go in first , also using press tools

checking the spacer lenght

good to go, and pressing in the last bearing

nice and smooth, pressed in without any pre tension on the bearings so they will last longer

if you have any questions, feel free to email us at