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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

After many years of riding other marques, I bought a 2014 ZZR1400 late last year and commuted to work through the winter.

In for it's 7,200 service yesterday and has been marked unsafe due to front wheel bearing collapse! :scared:

The mechanic showed me that the wheel was literally rocking around the hub shaft; perhaps I'm not the most sensitive of drivers then :loco:

However, I'm not keen on fitting 'genuine' Kawasaki parts if this is the quality.

Any suggestions on how I can maintain warranty and use aftermarket parts?
 

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Factory bearings are of fine quality. Seems like a very rare event. I would let them use OEM for replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Appreciate your reply, Shane.

Given you ride and race these machines, I'll defer to your experience and stick with OEM.

Hopefully just a one-off as you say.

cheers Stu
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice Dave - I'll get them to load OEM bearings to get me back on the road, and then look at the benefits of the ceramics.
 

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So can someone tell me if ceramic bearing for a street application is worth the higher expense and why? Also, how much higher of an expense are they?

I always inspect my bearings every time I change my tires but I always consider replacing them around 25K miles. The OEM can be had for fairly a cheap price and I know people leave them in for much longer than 25K miles that I do with no issues. If I switch to ceramic what can I expect for reliability and longevity?

Is it a good idea to consider these for touring/cruiser as well? My concours is going to get them replaced end of this year and I may want to go that route.

Lou
 

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Most of the benefit of ceramic bearings can be had by purchasing a good bearing with a non-contact seal. That type of bearing is about $110 for a set of five. Ceramics, on the other hand, will set you back $350.

The main advantage for a street bike is that the bike is easier to push around, back up out of parking spaces, etc.. You are not going to be able to measure any performance gain on the street. And, when ceramics fail...boy is it expensive to replace them!

I have had wheels with all three options. I refuse to pay $350 for a set of wheel bearings to put in OEM wheels. If you are ponying up for a $4k set of BST wheels, then yeah, sure. The OEM bearings are definitely designed with longevity in mind...from the seal, to the grease.
 

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Most of the benefit of ceramic bearings can be had by purchasing a good bearing with a non-contact seal. That type of bearing is about $110 for a set of five. Ceramics, on the other hand, will set you back $350.

The main advantage for a street bike is that the bike is easier to push around, back up out of parking spaces, etc.. You are not going to be able to measure any performance gain on the street. And, when ceramics fail...boy is it expensive to replace them!

I have had wheels with all three options. I refuse to pay $350 for a set of wheel bearings to put in OEM wheels. If you are ponying up for a $4k set of BST wheels, then yeah, sure. The OEM bearings are definitely designed with longevity in mind...from the seal, to the grease.
Thank You for the details, it's just what I needed. I don't have problems pushing the bike around, not yet anyways. So the only benefit for me to consider would be longevity. As it is I could go longer before replacing the bearings but at the current price of OEM I feel more comfortable replacing them sooner rather than getting the most time out of them. My reasons for this is because I do wash my bike with water, I do have winters here and although the bike is inside I have seen failures after winter on several other bikes. With that in mind they get replaced sooner.

Lou
 

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Discussion Starter #9
New OEM bearings fitted today, and back on the road :)

Will monitor this set, and ensure I've got an alternative to hand just in case.

Thanks for the advice guys
 

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Factory bearings are of fine quality. Seems like a very rare event. I would let them use OEM for replacement.
It troubles me when dealers, mechanics and companies say
"Oh! Never heard of this before"
"Hmmm, this a rare problem"
Fact is, it's not rare. It's an ignored design fault and should not happen.
I had mine collapse last year. It started with an insignificant noise. I checked everything and saw chain needed adjusting.
Rode again and it was OK until a loud knocking that I thought was engine and got bike rescued to main dealer as it was under warranty
They rang me and told me that it had ruined the swing arm, the sprocket support assembly, sprockets and chain.
I got it repaired and as usual I found 5 others had similar problems of varying damage. And mileage a from 7000 to 20,000
I now change the bearings baring a at every tyre change regardless of wear.

Kawasaki shrugged their shoulders and just say it's not a warranty issue and do not accept its their problem. They tell me it should be checked at service intervals. I have my bike serviced every 6 months
I have ridden many different bikes even Moto X bikes and never heard of this
I never use high pressure washers
I was a police advanced rider
I have ridden motorcycles for 47 years and find this totally unacceptable but just insure the situation with bearings changed at every tyre change all the time I will have the bike
 

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It troubles me when dealers, mechanics and companies say
"Oh! Never heard of this before"
"Hmmm, this a rare problem"
Fact is, it's not rare. It's an ignored design fault and should not happen.
I had mine collapse last year. It started with an insignificant noise. I checked everything and saw chain needed adjusting.
Rode again and it was OK until a loud knocking that I thought was engine and got bike rescued to main dealer as it was under warranty
They rang me and told me that it had ruined the swing arm, the sprocket support assembly, sprockets and chain.
I got it repaired and as usual I found 5 others had similar problems of varying damage. And mileage a from 7000 to 20,000
I now change the bearings baring a at every tyre change regardless of wear.

Kawasaki shrugged their shoulders and just say it's not a warranty issue and do not accept its their problem. They tell me it should be checked at service intervals. I have my bike serviced every 6 months
I have ridden many different bikes even Moto X bikes and never heard of this
I never use high pressure washers
I was a police advanced rider
I have ridden motorcycles for 47 years and find this totally unacceptable but just insure the situation with bearings changed at every tyre change all the time I will have the bike
I work work a bearing manufacturer in the testing department and we also carry out competitor benchmarking. There is very little to choose between the manufacturers and in most cases the problem is caused by the poor standard of fitting.
My original 12R front bearings were NTN brand which we regard highly. Any one who judges by brand is not looking at it correctly, even a highly regarded Japanese bearings are actually manufactured in Poland to save on manufacturing cost, but oddly the quality is still good. Having spoken to one of our materials engineers recently about cheep Chinese rotors and the negative comments I'd seen online ( most with no real evidence too back up) he was surprised as he'd experienced more problems with German steel, which most would think was premium as most disc manufacturers quote it's use, than Chinese.
 
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