I like the canned air used inside the stem after heating the bearing inner race. Good idea. My steering is fine with no notch feel, etc. but this is a good time for the service after reviving the bike from a 14 year sleep. The steering head bearings are the last on my 78 that have not been re-greased. Every bearing had adequate grease that (I believe) was factory. Thanks for sharing.
No doubt, the steering head design was the best of it's time. Tapered roller bearings require very little lubrication, have good axial load capability, and can operate at very close tolerances. Based on rumor, even old bearings with dried out grease can be revived after a thorough cleaning.
A light coat of anti-seize on the stem should be ok. Even a light coat of grease would work as well. I expect a light coat of grease was on the stem from the factory.
Edit: I thought about reducing the steering head bearing pre-load and ride the bike some before servicing the bearings - but that turns out to be not so simple of an adjustment.
Update: Got the upper bearing out! From start to that point it took me about 1-1/2 hours. Not too bad of a job, everything considered. Heat was needed at the inner bearing race - then shop air blown in the stem (didn't have canned air) - the stem adjusting nut was put on and tapped repeatedly with a metal hammer - and finally a piece of 3/4 NPS PVC pipe put on the stem and a good whack with a rubber mallet dropped the stem. Note the forks are still attached in the photo along with part of the electrics resting on the Hannigan fairing frame:
Last edited by Stan_R80/7; 07-12-2012 at 10:37 PM.
Reason: Added content