Getting Your Bearings...

When it's time to renew the bearings in your motorcycle's running gear (ie. wheel bearings, swingarm bearings, steering head bearings), DON'T go getting them from your motorcycle dealer or accessory shop. Why? Because you will end up paying twice as much as you should.

Like, take your average set of steering head bearings. Last time I bought some (for a GPz900), I paid over A$80 for a set of 'aftermarket' tapered roller bearings. It's a blatant rip-off.

So the other day when I needed a fresh set of steering head bearings for the Katana, I went around to my local bearing shop, and paid a comparatively miserly $38.

So, arm yourself with the correct bearing information (which is what the table below is all about), and trot on down to the nearest bearing supply joint. They are as common as supermarkets, almost. And much more interesting.

And who knows, while you're down there, you might bump into your local motorbike dealer, stocking up on bearings for his shop...

Anyway, below is some information on bearing dimensions for the Suzuki Katana GSX1100S (1981-1984). It's probably all the same for the big-bore Suzukis of this era, but obviously I cannot guarantee this.

In fact... you guessed it... I'm not going to guarantee anything.
All of the information here is for you to use at your own risk.

(Additional bearing specs for other Suzukis can be found on once on-site, navigate to PP's Pages, then to 'Bearings Guide'.)


Bearing Application

Type of Bearing

(in mm)

inner diameter x
outer diameter x


Steering head, upper

Tapered roller

25 x 47 x 15

One required.
Bearing no.

Steering head, lower

Tapered roller

30 x 55 x 17

One required.
Bearing no.
Be sure to obtain a bearing which comes with a sealing washer included... otherwise dust and road crud is going to get in and stuff the bearing in double-quick time.

Front wheel


15 x 42 x 13

Two required.
Bearing no.
It's best to get sealed bearings, ie. that have a plastic disc on the sides of the bearing to help keep the crud out, in case your axle seals are less than pristine.

Rear wheel


20 x 47 x 14

Two required.
Bearing no.
As with the front wheel, sealed bearings are preferable.



25 x 62 x 17

One required.
Bearing no.
The sprocket is bolted to it's 'carrier' which in turn has tangs which slot in between the cush-drive rubber blocks of the rear wheel. It is inside the carrier that you'll find the sprocket-drum bearing.


Needle roller

25 x 33 x 30

Two required.
Bearing no.
TA 2530
Be sure to also order a new pair of bushes to match your new bearings; they fit inside the needle roller bearings and around the swingarm spindle (see green-arrowed part in the picture at the top of the page).

Lots of further information re. bearing sizes, loads, rpm, part numbers and other data, can be found at

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