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Inspect and Adjust M8 Harley Steering Head Bearings

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Incorrect Harley steering head adjustment is a common reason for wobble on a Harley Davidson. A loose adjustment will cause wobble on deceleration or at high speeds. Harley steering head inspection and adjustment is an important service point on a major service that should never be overlooked. The Milwaukee Eight Softail and Touring model inspection process is different than Twin Cam and prior models. The adjustment process has also changed.

Mike demonstrates the inspection and adjustment procedure on the Milwaukee Eight Heritage Softail. To complete this procedure, it is important to have access to a fish scale or a similar scale that measures in foot pounds. Before starting, it is very important to look in the factory service manual for the correct adjustment for your specific model. Make sure that you are referencing the correct model number for your Harley Davidson.

Start by removing the front side panels to have access to the pinch bolts on the upper tree. Turn the handlebars to full lock. You can slide a punch into the end of the front axle where you can clip the fish scale. Now, gently pull on the scale to measure how many foot pounds of force it takes to turn the front end until it is straightforward. Repeat the process until you continuously achieve the same approximate measurement.

To make the Harley steering head adjustment, loosen the upper pinch bolts. Then, tighten or loosen the adjustment by turning the center adjuster with a T45 torx bit. Turning in only small increments will make big changes in adjustment. Remember, over-tightening can be just as bad as a loose adjustment.

After Harley steering head bearing adjustment is correct, tighten pinch bolts and torque them to factory specifications. Reinstall the side panels and the procedure is completed. The true test for this adjustment is on the street. Go for a test ride. See how the bike handles.

Repeat the procedure if you feel that you can make further improvements.

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Tags: harley repair videos, harley steering head bearings, Member Videos, Milwaukee 8 Softail maintenance, motorcycle maintenance, Softail maintenance tips