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Let’s assume the bearings are originals (40 years old) with 23K miles on the clock and aren’t making any noise...and you have the wheels off for a tire change.

Do you or don’t you replace the bearings?
 

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I have put new tires on my Silverwing three times in the last two years and have not touched the original wheel bearings. I won’t replace them until they need it. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.
 

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It's not hard to do. It's a matter of if it ain't broke . . . I changed mine but it didn't need it. I didn't feel any improvement BUT one less thing to worry about. Mine had 60k on them, though.
 
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Let’s assume the bearings are originals (40 years old) with 23K miles on the clock and aren’t making any noise...and you have the wheels off for a tire change.

Do you or don’t you replace the bearings?
if its a true 23000miles and no noise/play it might be something for later....
 

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as per response #2...


yup-if there is nothing obviously wrong no need to tamper....think also of steering head and swing-arm and check these -these often suffer from poor lubrication/drying out again if all is good no need to tear-down as yet.

However if you think the bike will be a keeper....you may choose to do as fsj...
 

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Bearing are cheap and easy to replace.

Distance or age is not a guarantee against bearing failure.

If it were me, then for an extra $20, the bike would get new wheel bearings.
 

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FWIW, the first sign that my front wheel bearings were going was when I had to pump the brake lever several times before the pads grabbed the disc but not unless I had gone around a curve or turned a corner. I did not associate that with the bearings at first but when I was parked I happened to look down at the wheel as I turned the handlebars and noticed that the fender and tire weren't quite moving together.
Turns out the wheel was moving far enough side to side that the disc was pushing the pads apart when the wheel moved sideways during steering. After I replaced the bearings the brakes functioned normally again.
 

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As another data point, my 79CX500C still has the original wheel bearings working fine at 92,500 miles. I believe in the "If it's not broke..." theory.
 
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