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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i went around a corner sat with my 14 chieftain and started hearing a noise. I slowed down to listen and started feeling a catch in the front wheel. It felt like it was about to lock up so on went the blinkers and I very slowly drove the 3 miles home. I put it on the lift and found a catch in the front wheel that was causing the noise and it was pretty clear it was probably a wheel bearing but maybe something strange with a caliper. I had it picked up.....(first Indian picked up by the aaa towing guy).... dealer called in the afternoon that it was a wheel bearing... the bike has 22000 miles on it. I will hear Tuesday if it is covered on the 5 year Warrantee. Very surprising since I haven't had a wheel bearing issue on any bikes back to 64. Any comments?
 

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i went around a corner sat with my 14 chieftain and started hearing a noise. I slowed down to listen and started feeling a catch in the front wheel. It felt like it was about to lock up so on went the blinkers and I very slowly drove the 3 miles home. I put it on the lift and found a catch in the front wheel that was causing the noise and it was pretty clear it was probably a wheel bearing but maybe something strange with a caliper. I had it picked up.....(first Indian picked up by the aaa towing guy).... dealer called in the afternoon that it was a wheel bearing... the bike has 22000 miles on it. I will hear Tuesday if it is covered on the 5 year Warrantee. Very surprising since I haven't had a wheel bearing issue on any bikes back to 64. Any comments?
Has happened to me in the past(on a different brand from Milwaukee),caused by using high pressure water blaster to clean the wheels.If it hasn't had that then just bad luck.It always pays to jack the bike up and check bearings regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never had high pressure wash but the tires had been changed 3 times when the dealer didn't have the right tires. I wonder if that action got some dirt or the bearing got hit once or twice... I haven't taken the front wheel off myself so don't know what risk there is to the bearings...
 

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That's fairly low mileage for a failed wheel bearing, especially since you have never used a pressure washer. I doubt it's been damaged from the dealer changing your tires, they are sealed bearings. Since unlike Timken bearings, these don't need to be setup, failure most likely a defect from manufacturing or the seal failed.
 

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Thank god you weren't do 80 when it could have failed
 

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Glad you're safe man - good catch by paying attention to noises, vibrations and the like while riding. Hopefully it will be covered under warranty (not sure why it wouldn't be), and you'll be back on the road soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
  1. Follow up is bearings were replaced in front wheels under warrantee. All is good and the weather for bike week looks great...
 

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I had to replace the front wheel bearing on mine at 31,585, but I think the dealership used a high pressure washer and probably blew the seal.
 

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I
Never had high pressure wash but the tires had been changed 3 times when the dealer didn't have the right tires. I wonder if that action got some dirt or the bearing got hit once or twice... I haven't taken the front wheel off myself so don't know what risk there is to the bearings...
I don't want to believe it either but something tells me the tire changer was going through a learning process.
 

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Do you happen to know the bearings country of origin? If it's China. We probably shouldn't be surprised.

Do military aircraft, space exploration and motorcycling now have something in common?

Like the lowest bidder. :(excuse me - just thinking out loud
 

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Do you happen to know the bearings country of origin? If it's China. We probably shouldn't be surprised.

Do military aircraft, space exploration and motorcycling now have something in common?

Like the lowest bidder. :(excuse me - just thinking out loud
Agree, my Vic had a rear brg fail. Seal from the bearing showed Made in China.
 

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I was entering a ramp on Hwy 35 in heavy construction area. The ramp was a temporary one and turned rather sharp so I had to lean into it quite a bit. Just as I did I heard a CHOCK-CHOCK-CHOCK-CHOCKING sound coming from my rear tire that was so loud I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the end. As soon as I straightened up it immediately quit. I had to stop and see what was falling apart. Just as I did heard the noise again. It was a bulldozer just a few feet away. He started forward just as I leaned and stopped just as I straightened up. The tracks were making the noise. That's the kind of breakdowns I like to have. They're easily fixed.
 

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Do you happen to know the bearings country of origin? If it's China. We probably shouldn't be surprised.

Do military aircraft, space exploration and motorcycling now have something in common?

Like the lowest bidder. :(excuse me - just thinking out loud
I have my wheels off of my chieftain right now (getting new tires tomorrow) so I was able to look at the bearings. Mine are Koyo bearings. (Japan) I think that Koyo bearings are used by most of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. I'll probably replace them with new bearings from All Balls Racing the next time that I buy tires.
 

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I have my wheels off of my chieftain right now (getting new tires tomorrow) so I was able to look at the bearings. Mine are Koyo bearings. (Japan) I think that Koyo bearings are used by most of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. I'll probably replace them with new bearings from All Balls Racing the next time that I buy tires.
Thanks, and just ran across this link. A good idea that seems to have floundered a bit.

Common parts cross-reference thread. | Indian Motorcycle Forum
 

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I have my wheels off of my chieftain right now (getting new tires tomorrow) so I was able to look at the bearings. Mine are Koyo bearings. (Japan) I think that Koyo bearings are used by most of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. I'll probably replace them with new bearings from All Balls Racing the next time that I buy tires.
Before I remounted my wheels on the bike today, I looked at the bearings. The pulley bearing was the only one that was a Koyo, The wheel bearings are made in China.
 

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Before I remounted my wheels on the bike today, I looked at the bearings. The pulley bearing was the only one that was a Koyo, The wheel bearings are made in China.
Thanks for the update:)
Interesting find. Different subs using different suppliers so they can deliver the goods within their bid price?

I have no real problem with bearings made in China. If, and that's a big if, their quality control procedures consistently meet the specs laid out by whom ever their buyer is, and that is suspect at minimum from China. imo

Motorcycles to me, are like aircraft. They generally aren't forgiving creatures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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I did talk to Steve (President motorcycle division) and he was surprised they had any bearing problems. He said he was going to check statistics on this issue. The dealer said they thought the seal may have failed first but like I said before I have only hand washed the bike with no end on the hose. Steve felt like I did that these should be 100,000 mile parts. Just worth looking at a little closer as we change tires and put the miles on. Last week I had my first check engine light code. It appears the oxygen sensor has a ground issue. I assume it can wait until I stop at a dealer since the bike is running great....
 
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