How Long Do Motorcycle Wheel Bearings Last?

Many people complain that the wheel bearings on their motorcycles show more mechanical problems. They have a shorter shelf life than other parts because they withstand more friction.

How Long Do Motorcycle Wheel Bearings Last? Motorcycle wheel bearings can last 20000 to 100000 miles or 5 to 12 years. You can make these last longer by proper cleaning, lubrication, damage inspection, and prevention from moisture.

Their life expectancy varies according to the model of motorcycle and riding schedules. You cannot leave them without replacement because damaged ball bearings can affect riding performance.

What is the lifespan of motorcycle wheel bearings?

The motorcycle wheel bearings comprise metal balls with outer and inner races. In their center, you can access balls that roll forward and backward. 

Due to the style, they can fit inside the tire assembly or the hub through the external interface. Due to wheel rotations, the middle balls can roll. 

They can roll according to the turning position of the tires. They work in rotating parts to reduce friction. 

With the lowest friction, the riding becomes smooth on bumpy grounds. In addition, they support the motorcycle and its frame to move forward. 

They can transmit the engine force directly to the tires without friction. Due to their presence, the engine energy approaches the transmission system. 

They increase the motive force for the transmission of engine power to the tires. They have an average lifespan of about 20000 miles to 100000 miles.

According to various surveys, their life expectancy is about 5 to 12 years. However, their quality, condition, and composition determine their lifespan. 

The method of use indicates their life expectancies. Due to vulnerable conditions, they can last about 2 to 7 years. In better working conditions, they have a life expectancy of 12 years.

The brand and model of the motorbike determine their shelf life. For example, the high-quality Harley Davidson has bearings with a lifespan of nearly 50000 to 80000 miles.

Unlike other motorbike parts, they have reduced life expectancy due to their style, design, and work conditions. However, the high-quality and efficient options can have a slightly longer shelf life. 

The low-quality options cannot complete a lifespan of about 4 to 5 years. However, you can replace them due to internal damages and reduced performance before completing their standard lifespan. 

How to make motorcycle wheel bearings last longer?

Their shelf life reduces due to excessive use and riding on uneven grounds. However, by the following methods, you can increase their lifespan. 

Cleaning the inner side

Cleaning motorcycle bearings can increase their shelf life.

They can last longer when you remove dirt, oil, debris, and dust from their inner corners. It is a small action that can make them last longer than the actual shelf life.

For their cleaning, you can remove them from the tire assembly. Also, you can disconnect them from the metallic hub and pull them off.

Then, you can soak them in a container of alcohol or spirit. You can soak them for about 40 to 60 minutes for thorough cleaning.

With this technique, you can remove debris and clogged dust from them. As a result, it improves their performance, and they can last longer.

Lubrication according to the schedule

They have a specific lubrication schedule. You can apply the lubricant on their inner and external sides after every three months.

It can stabilize the seal and extend their life expectancy. In addition, due to the application of lubricants, they become lightweight and efficient. 

The wheels can spin smoothly at different accelerations. In addition, they can roll without producing significant sounds.

It increases their reliability, operation, and efficiency. However, a lack of lubricant application can cause their failure and breakdown due to internal dryness.

However, lubrication can increase their smooth operation, and they can survive for several years. The manufacturer guides about the lubricant category and application method.

They can reach the optimized service span due to lubrication and maintenance.

Inspection for damages

The weekly inspection and troubleshooting of wheel bearings are essential on motorcycles. Through the diagnosis, you can identify minor damages and repair them instantly.

Due to quick repair, they stabilize with minimum internal issues, which makes them long-lasting. You can inspect them for their internal abrasion and tone changes.

For their removal of these problems, you can apply the cleaning agents and take professional assistance. You can make them last longer by repairing the damages and cracks.

You can do the inspections every month according to their appearance and performance. However, you cannot leave them without examination and diagnosis because it affects their shelf life.

Prevent moisture exposure

You can prevent moisture exposure to the ball-containing bearings. Due to minimum humidity, the metallic balls do not undergo excessive corrosion. 

It keeps them safe and stable for a long time. For rust resistance, you can apply grease repellent. It is a coating over their surface that prevents moisture-related problems. 

Due to the repellent, a barrier can establish between the contaminants and bearings. Therefore, in the absence of corrosion, they can work for several years. 

Things that affect the lifespan of motorcycle wheel bearings

Different things can affect their survival span and work conditions. The following factors can reduce their lifespan from the threshold.

Greasing and dirt

Riding in muddy road conditions can cause an accumulation of mud and dirt inside the wheel bearings. The road dirt is dangerous for their standard operation. 

During these ridings, the road salt and water flow inside the tires. In such circumstances, the road salt can break the seal.

The dust and grease move toward them through the damaged and open seals. Due to grease pollution, they cannot operate at standard operating levels. 

They undergo more internal cracks, which reduce their shelf life. Due to the grease effect, they cannot complete their standard survival period. 

Wheel condition

The condition of the wheels determines the life expectancy of the ball consisted bearings. The broken, cracked, or damaged tires put a higher strain on the suspension.

Due to more stress, the pressure moves from the outer parts to the internal components. In such circumstances, they undergo failure and require replacement. 

Their sudden failure shows their reduced lifespan. The pressure moves inside them and causes more damage. 

The wheel stability is essential for their optimized work span. Due to malfunctioning and broken tires, you cannot expect these to last for several years.

Wrong alignment

The ball-containing bearings require proper alignment and adjustment. Their improper installation can affect performance, and they cannot last long.

Due to improper alignment, they undergo premature damages and failures. The incorrect adjustment happens due to the surrounding contamination of the tire hub. 

The clean hub or assembly provides their proper alignment. However, you cannot keep them outside their factory packages because it increases environmental exposure.

By avoiding this wrapping technique, you can reduce their life expectancy. The foreign dust traces and contaminants can affect their seals.

The dirt can cause premature cracks and decrease their lifespan.

Wear and tear

These motorcycle bearings require replacement after a specific period. They become old and vulnerable and undergo more premature cracks. 

Due to their old and malfunctioning operation, they can affect the brake calipers and causes more vibrations.

In such circumstances, you cannot start or stop the motorbike without continuous vibrations. It is a dangerous condition that causes accidents. 

Due to their old working conditions, your motorcycle can gravitate towards the road. The old age and malfunctioning wheel bearings have a shorter lifespan than the well-maintained and new options. 

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