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Types of Bearings Used in Motorcycles

Monday, March 13, 2017

Types of Bearings Used in Motorcycles

Motorcycles are one of the most popular modes of transport today, especially in dusty and traffic-filled streets. With so many moving parts, it should come as no surprise that the average motorcycle has between 20 to 30 bearings of a number of varieties. Your average motorcycle would not enjoy smooth handling or transmission without them. Take a look at Bearing Centre’s breakdown of just some of the bearings used in motorcycles.

Deep Groove Ball Bearings

The deep groove ball bearing is the most common bearing found in a motorcycle. These bearings can be found in the wheels of the motorcycle, as well as the camshafts and transmission cases. The manufacturing of ball bearings is stringent because of the immense pressures they must withstand. This type of ball bearing must tolerate high speeds and radial loads, whilst also having low torque capacity.

Tapered Roller Bearings

Similar to deep groove ball bearings, tapered roller bearings have inner and outer ring raceways. However, these raceways are tapered and contain tapered rollers. This allows these bearings to withstand combined loads ‒ including simultaneous radial and axial loads. In motorcycles, tapered roller bearings are present in the steering head ‒ allowing for smooth handling.

Needle Roller Bearings

Needle roller bearings are a type of roller bearing which uses small cylindrical rollers. Found in the crankshaft, chain drive systems and the chassis (among others) of motorcycles, needle roller bearings allow easy movement with minimal noise. Needle roller bearings are especially useful considering the compact design of motorcycles, as radial space is limited.

Thrust Bearings

Thrust bearings differ from other types of bearings in that they are designed specifically to tolerate axial loads. Thrust bearings come in both roller and ball varieties, both of which are present in motorcycles, depending on the model.

All these bearings come together to ensure that the revolving parts of your motorcycle run seamlessly. These bearings help reduce friction between mechanical parts, turning motive power into kinetic energy. Ultimately, the performance of your motorcycle relies heavily on the condition and quality of your bearings. Be sure to check if your bearings are worn, and ensure that you always purchase genuine bearings from a reputable supplier.

To take a look at some of the bearing products we stock, visit our product page.

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