ok, yeah, but aside from the pulling and installing, is there any
magic to actually setting the preload and such for a steering head bearing?
Honest. It's real easy. Takes you about 10 minutes.
1) Remove switch "pad" (on an RS, at least). 2 capscrews.
2) Loosen pinch bolts in upper triple clamp. 2 capscrews.
3) Loosen locknut on top of triple clamp.
4) Loosen clamping nut on top of triple clamp.
5) Tighten/loosen big knurled wheel under upper triple clamp until there's a teensy-weensy bit of drag when you turn the bars side to side.
6) Tighten clamping nut and recheck drag (it shouldn't change, but ya never know).
7) Tighten/re-install stuff you touched in steps 1-3.
8) Go for a ride.
and just how hard do those races drive out?
Not very. Couple good whacks is all it takes. You will have to go to the dealer to get the bearing proper off the lower triple clamp - unless you have a hydraulic press handy.
Hope this helps...