K-Bike Wheel Bearing Replacement

By Jack Gilbert
January 2001

While riding my '85 K100 I'd start to notice a slight droning noise similar to the noise you'd have from aggressive AT tires on a light truck. Since the bike was relatively new to me and I had not logged that many miles, I chose to log the noise in my things to check memory as I got more accustomed to the bike's general characteristics.

After logging a brisk 300 mile run south on Florida's I -95, again the noise started to infiltrate my senses, I started to try a highway diagnosis by shifting my weight right to left and paying strict attention to listen for any audible change. When the lean was hard to the driver's side the roar became more pronounced, which led me to a bearing diagnosis. At 39k showing on the odometer, surely the bearings were due for a replacement. I retired to my "Clymer" manual where I found the recommendation to purchase BMW tool #008 570 "bearing extractor". A quick call to "Bob's BMW," whom I use for all my parts, informed me of a purchase price of approximately $190.00! Time to fall back and punt!

Since I did not believe I'd change enough bearings to ever recover the price of the tool, I would need a reliable alternative method, better call Fred (of CYCLE RECYCLED). A quick comical dissertation on the ridiculous price of tools brought us both to the following method of replacement.

Before you even begin to start have these things ready:

Some sort of 2 x 4 wooden cradle to allow you to work on the wheel while it is laying on its side without putting pressure on the discs. Tire changing levers, rim protectors, tire valve tool, brass or aluminum dowel, two brand new wheel bearings to be placed in your freezer at least 2-3 hours before installation, and a socket in which to drive new bearings in with (should put pressure only on the outer rim while driving them in).

Of course you will also need your usual acumen of tools for the various jobs entwined here.

Now comes the good part! You will need an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Hope this helps you all out, I depend on you out there for your help too,

God bless you all,
Jack Gilbert