How Often Should You Replace Motorcycle Wheel Bearings?

One of the smallest parts of the motorcycle that are most easily ignored is the wheel bearings. Most riders don’t notice and it’s very easy to ignore. But the truth is that the wheel bearings are one of the most important parts of your motorcycle that if you don’t replace and maintain them over time, they can damage other parts of the motorcycle.

So, how often should motorcycle wheel bearings be replaced? Motorcycle wheel bearings need to be replaced between 20,000 miles and 100,000 miles. In other words, between 3 and 10 years. It depends very much on the quality of your wheel bearings and the level of use and how you use it.

You have to understand that the wheel bearings do have a very long life span compared to other parts of your motorcycle. While it is important to note that most wheel bearings will last for between 3 and 6 years and most high-quality wheel bearings will last longer, so it is important to know this, but in any case, the life span of wheel bearing Is Not A Good Way To Know when wheel bearings need replacement. In this guide, I will discuss signs through which you can know when your wheel bearings are due for replacement.

Here are the topics I will discuss in this guide

How do I know if my motorcycle wheel bearings are bad?
Can you ride a motorcycle with wheel bearings?
How to maintain and extend the life of the motorcycle wheel bearings?
How to remove and replace motorcycle wheel bearings?

How do I know if my motorcycle wheel bearings are bad?

As I said before, knowing the life span of your motorcycle wheel bearings will not help you so much. Instead, you need to learn and know the signs through which you can identify if your motorcycle wheel bearings are bad and need replacement.

Additionally, it is important to note that, in general, you should check your wheel bearings consistently. But if the wheel bearings are not over 3 years of use, you don’t have to worry; however, your wheel bearings are old and so you must check them every time you replace the tires.

Weird noise

The easiest way to spot the bearings of your motorcycle wheels need replacement is when you start hearing strange noises from the wheel bearings.

When you hear a grinding or squealing noise from the wheels, it means that your wheel bearings need a variety of changes because the noise is caused by friction between moving metal parts. You can recognize that the wheel bearings make a lot of noise when you accelerate the motorcycle at high speeds.

It is also important to note that bad wheel bearings can also make strange noise not only from the wheels or tires but also from other parts like the squeeze or even the cobbler. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to this sign.

Tire wear marks

Another sign that can show you that wheel bearings are bad and need replacement is through signs of abrasion and wear on the tire.

Wheeling and vibrating wheels

If your wheels are rocking and vibrating, especially when you’re riding at high speeds, it means that the wheel bearings are bad. It is also because the wheel bearings fail to properly stabilize the wheels when riding.

Besides, you can feel the vibration not only from the wheels and tires but even from the handlebars or seat and even more parts of your motorcycle.

Loose steering

Another sign is when you feel the steering is loosed while driving. When this sign is noticed, it means that the wheel bearings are bad and need replacing.

Can you ride a motorcycle with bad wheel bearings?

I know that the wheel bearings look and sound like something very small and don’t make too much difference on how you ride but the reality is that it is not at all true; your wheel bearings are very significant to your riding.

So, the short answer to the question is, “No! You can’t ride with bad or worn wheel bearings.” The reason is that riding bad wheel bearings can cause instability, wheels and tire swings, and less safety when riding; therefore, you must understand that riding worn wheel bearings is very dangerous.

In addition to riding worn wheel bearings, it is very uncomfortable. Riding worn wheels will deprive you of that very smooth and comfortable ride since the wheel bearings help the wheels work smoothly. And by the way, you also can’t ride without wheel bearings in your motorcycle; it is even worse and can create loads of problems. So, it is better to spend the 50 dollars to replace the wheel bearings. It will only take about an hour to change the bearing and so don’t risk your safety.

How to maintain and extend the life of the motorcycle wheel bearings?

Wheel bearings are a part that most motorcyclists neglect and do not give much importance. But the truth is that when you get stronger and take care of your motorcycle wheel bearings, you can extend the life of the wheel bearings for years and your motorcycle will perform better and more efficiently when riding. So, it is important to take this into account.

  • The first and the best thing you can do to extend and maintain the life of the wheel bearings is to lubricate them at least every 3 months – While this is very important, make sure to seal the hub, hinge when lubricating the wheel bearings. You will see that lubricating the wheel bearings will give you lots of lightness and efficiency when riding and you will also feel that the wheels work and roll more smoothly when riding.
  • Another very effective thing you can do to make the wheel bearings work perfectly and have an extended life span is to clean the wheel bearings regularly when they get dirty – It is important to clean all the particles, debris, and dust in every corner of the bearings before applying the lubricant. This simple act can extend the life span of the wheel bearings.
  • Another thing you can do is perform routine wheel bearings tests. I recommend that you check the bearings when you replace the motorcycle tires. You need to be careful to check the bearings for wear, abrasion, corrosion, color change, and more. When you notice something suspicious, it is a sign that you may need to change the wheel bearings.

How to remove and replace motorcycle wheel bearings?

Replacing the wheel bearings is a very simple thing and you should not be afraid. It can take less than an hour and anyone can do it.

In addition, if you want to see the complete guide on how to replace your wheel bearings, feel free to click here to view the full guide.

  • Get the equipment you need – the first thing you need to do before you start removing and replacing your wheel bearings is to get the necessary equipment to complete the job. The necessary equipment includes a hammer, drift, flat blade screwdriver, pieces of wood, pliers, and new wheel bearings.
  • Remove the wheels – Once you have all the equipment you need to remove the wheels from your motorcycle, then start by removing the wheels between two supporting tree lengths and make sure to keep the brake disc away from the ground.
  • Remove the bearings – The next step is to remove the wheel bearings. You can do this with a punch or a hammer.
  • Install the new wheel bearings – After removing the old wheel bearings, you need to start installing the one. But before installing the new wheel bearings, make sure to clean the interior of the hub with a clean mop and also apply grease to the trunk of the new bearings and to the area where you will install the wheel bearings.

In general, this is how to replace your wheel bearings briefly but there are a few more things you need to do also. So, I highly recommend you click on the link above and read the guide I added and also watch the YouTube video there that fully explains how you can replace your motorcycle bearings.


If you have any questions or opinions about this article, please write us a comment and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thanks for the reading


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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