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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a swap meet specail Triumph 650 motor and I tore it down and want to pick up new bearings. I ran my parts list past the British parts supplier I realized I would be paying the same price I paid for the motor it self for bearings, self locking rod nuts, push rod tubes and other odds and ends I need.


So ebay shows MUCH cheaper bearings out there, I've searched the board but can't find anything specific on the pros and cons of....(for example) a KYK bearing vs a RHP brand.

Anyone got some real world experince they can share on the matter? This is my first build (still) so any wisdom (beyond that "buy USA only" stuff) would be great.

Tre900
 

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Seriously if there is someplace you do not want to go cheap it would be the rotational surfaces of the motor itself.

It is worth spending a few extra bucks on to know they will not lock up or explode under strain .... Ie 3k+ Rpm.
 

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In everything, the possibilities of disappointment go up, as the price does down.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I have a different take on things I guess. I see prices in direct corilation with products (NOT value). As expectation increases I see disappointment increasing as well.

Its my first build so can someone tell me what I can expect from either RHP or a KYK based on some first hand experince?

I really respect of experince so thanks for the input but like so many things I'm left with a very Yoda like answer. I'm sure if I have the question someone else does too.

Any one have an actual fact on the topic as it relates to the science around ball bearings and or quality control?
 

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As expectation increases I see disappointment increasing as well.
Like...when you buy a cheap British motor at a swap meet.

Sounds like your mind is made up already, but I doubt you'll find any sort of side-by-side QC analyses of different main bearing components on here.

Consider this...if you get the cheap ebay bearings, will it always be on your mind when you're blasting along like Matt said over 3k?
 

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I so any wisdom (beyond that "buy USA only" stuff) would be great.

Tre900
Buy USA has nothing to do with it. RHP bearings are English.

KYK bearings are made in Japan, but they are not one of the "big" Japanese bearing companies.

You're not going to find a side by side comparison.

This is one of those situations like buying an alternator for your car. You can go to the dealer and buy stuff that is made to manufacturer spec, or you can go to Advance Auto parts and get one...every six months because it's built to god knows what specs.

Do whatever you're comfortable with, the cheap bearing *probably* won't fail....poersonally I'd rather pay more for a known quantity. If you're worried about saving $40 on a main bearing, you're in for a painful journey rebuilding a swap meet junk motor.
 

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I am not trying to go all YODA on you with the paying more for a product means you are getting a better product, but you get what you pay for.

With the bearing Knock-off market being a MULTI BILLION dollar ( about 4.3 Billion )a year grey market. Where you get your parts supplied from are just as important and what parts you buy. If you are buying cheap name brand parts of off ebay and getting it for a stupid low price you are prolly either getting somebody's left over parts or you are buying knock offs. Maybe both!!

Here is a good read on knock offs with pictures of two bearings from the "same" origin.
http://www.electronicsweekly.com/bl...ms/2007/04/bogus-bearings-look-more-real.html
The fake bearings have even ben able to leak into legitimate supply lines in some cases.

I prefer SKF or Timkin. SKF has a intentionally rough outter race that provides increased lubrication and extending the life of the bearing, but I have also used NSK bearings in everything from skateboards to cars without ever having one fail EVER. But I have always tried to source my vendors with as much thought on who I am buying from as what I will be buying from them.

I am not a parts dealer/shop owner/ sales agent for a parts company. I am just into piece of mind while riding and paying 10-20% more for my parts knowing that they are genuine parts is worth it. And being able to call your vendor and telling them what you are working on is often times a huge hassle saver as I have opened more boxes from ebay sellers being let down on the quality or year of the part I have purchsed than happy.

enjoy the article on fake parts it is a good read and worth looking at even if you end up buying on Ebay anyways.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the detailed input everyone. My mind is far from made up but I just need some addtional information since "I don't know what I don't know". Now I feel like at least I "Know what I don't know" so I can read some things and learn it.

RHP and KYK were just the ones I found so to see some other manufacturers helps me a great deal.

Matt - I'm reading that link now. I love that kind of information so fake items getting into the retail supply chain is yet another reason "buying the expensive ones" simply doesn't make sense. I like a recommendation to at least be a starting point and yet again the folks on this board come through.

Thanks a lot everyone. Hope this helps someone else in the future

Tre900
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well wait..while I have everyones attention, how would I go about getting say "timkin" only bearings? Does a Bearing retailer know how to convert a Triumph Part #? Or would I go to my parts supplier and say "I want these part numbers but only if they are Timkin"?

thx
 

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Well wait..while I have everyones attention, how would I go about getting say "timkin" only bearings? Does a Bearing retailer know how to convert a Triumph Part #? Or would I go to my parts supplier and say "I want these part numbers but only if they are Timkin"?

thx
You can't get the crank bearings in Timken. Dimensionally, it's a weird bearing, that's why you only find two choices of manufacturers.
 

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Velocette was the only Brit I know of that used Timkins.
 

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My 2 cents on the main bearing thing is like this, RHP was an original supplier of the bearings and they are a C2N tolerance bearing and on unit Triumphs the timing side it's an 1 -1/8 ID x 2.8+"OD x 13/16"wide ball bearing on the pre 1971 (ish) motors after 1971 it's a 30 m/m I.D. bearing it's a pretty special bearing, you can get other bearings that are a C2 or a C3 tolerance bearing but it really needs to be a 2N tolerance bearing for proper clearance under heat load. the drive side after 1964 is a single sided roller bealing and there is several good ones available.
In the past British parts were good quality and proper fitting but Japanese bearings were considered good quality, things have changed now to where many bearing suppliers will tell you what ever you want to hear to make a profit.
As a rule you can't go wrong with RHP products, others I'm not so sure.
We see many RHP bearings that are still usable after many years of use.
 

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...hello man, you say you are new about British motorcycles or new to put the hands on those
well, Im not new not too old regarding these bikes, but I have some experience with some Triumphs and some others
Also Im a every day rider not a Sunday biker so the engine should be the best I can for reliability more like mine that is a 1948 500cc
so,
first: you MUST have the best bearing to put on a motorcycle.
Some models DO NOT have normal clearence bearings, should have C3 clearence.
The last ones have C2 one side and C3 in the other side.
Best bearing is RHP, best quality English bearing, very difficult to find in some clearences.
If not you can buy *** or SKF.

Then start to think in the other brands.

A buddy put a cheapo ones in his SAROLEA and after only 500km failed and damage the crankshaft...
dismantle all, have problems to find parts, etc and still that bike is unbuild...
 

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I used to use my local bearing supplier in Orlando (Miller Bearing). They would work with me to find equivalents for obsolete bearings (usually inch pattern). All of the bearings I bought from Miller Bearing were top quality. They were often *** or Timkin. They were often manufactured in what I would think of as a third-world country, but the quality was always consistent with the name-brand. They would often work with me to source a German made ***, but we couldn't always do it. For those bearings they could not source, I went ahead and paid the premium from a British motorcycle parts supplier. For crank bearings I always bought 'Superblend' bearings from my usual British parts suppliers. Above all, I avoided any Chinese bearings. I have no first-hand experience but know several guys who bought Chinese BMW motorcycle knock-offs and ultimately changed every bearing in the machine with a name-brand bearing.
 

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And speaking of ebay, buy from someone you can call on the phone later and get help from. Don't bargain shop then call some shop for help installing your stuff. Pay a little more from an established shop who will pick up the phone and help you out. That is worth the extra $$.

Also, I can still buy a motor for $300 bucks through my local connections, but I am not gonna call my supplier and tell him that the motor only cost $300 and he should sell me all the parts to rebuild it for less than that. I get that here at the shop all the time. A guy pays $1500 for a basket case and thinks I can get it running for him for less than the $3500 he could have bought a runner for. Cost of the motor has NOTHING to do with cost of parts. Costs of basketcases have nothing to do with a shop's labor rates and parts prices.

Unless you get really lucky or wanna go Japanese, you are gonna have to spend some significant dough on your British bike hobby. Get ready for financial sacrafice unless you are well-heeled.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the input everyone. Its been very helpful. Is their anyone thats anti-RHP out there?

That link on fake bearings was great.
 

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Bought my basket for $800 have almost six maybe seven thousand in it.... I didnt skimp on anything though. A bike I dont have to worry about is more important than saving a couple hundred dollars here and there. Got my machine work done from wes and he supplied the bearings! And he helped out with information! A++ four aces!
 
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