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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm getting ready to have my 2017 RGS wheels powder coated gloss black. The tires, rotors and bearings are being removed and I was asked if I wanted to reuse the bearings?

I decided, no I want new bearings... so now the question: Steel or Ceramic.

I have read a lot about the advantages of ceramic and some claims of as much as 4 HP gain. This would require the 2 front, 2 rear and 1 belt sprocket bearing switched out.

The cost is about $110 per bearing (worldwide bearings), so total cost is about $550 for the complete 5 bearing set. We spend a lot on headers, cams, etc. for more HP, but if these bolt on bearings can really produce that much benefit, is it worth it? My installer is going to charge me $100 for the tires, balancing, and bearing (removal and installation of all). So total in the end would be $650.00.

I want to know your opinion and if you have used ceramic bearings (on a Harley, while I appreciate other applications my interest right now is Harley wheels).

Let the discussions begin!
 

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Rule of thumb for real horsepower is about 100 bucks ...so you are in the ballpark if the c/f is the much better.
If someone supplies you some sort of proof, i would go for it!
If not spend the 500 on something else.
 

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So I'm getting ready to have my 2017 RGS wheels powder coated gloss black. The tires, rotors and bearings are being removed and I was asked if I wanted to reuse the bearings?

I decided, no I want new bearings... so now the question: Steel or Ceramic.

I have read a lot about the advantages of ceramic and some claims of as much as 4 HP gain. This would require the 2 front, 2 rear and 1 belt sprocket bearing switched out.

The cost is about $110 per bearing (worldwide bearings), so total cost is about $550 for the complete 5 bearing set. We spend a lot on headers, cams, etc. for more HP, but if these bolt on bearings can really produce that much benefit, is it worth it? My installer is going to charge me $100 for the tires, balancing, and bearing (removal and installation of all). So total in the end would be $650.00.

I want to know your opinion and if you have used ceramic bearings (on a Harley, while I appreciate other applications my interest right now is Harley wheels).

Let the discussions begin!
i have not used them

have you read this article?
http://www.dragbike.com/worldwide-bearings-ceramic-bearings-are-they-worth-it/

you need to have the right grease
 

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To say and save 40 % rolling resistance and tested with a drill motor is not correct.
A valid test would be with a fish scale of sorts, on the tires, being pulled,
the same bike, same weight, the same speed, same everything, just different bearings.
What he is testing is called https://www.w8ji.com/rotating_mass_acceleration.htm

The biggest problem with a MC is the Cf of air.
At 45 MPH we have created what is called one slug (dependent on altitude and OAT)
Every 5mph from there it sq the energy to pass through.
A bike is nasty dirty compared to even an ugly car in a wind tunnel.
To boil this all down- the bearing is a nice add-on,
but will not be noticeable esp for the cost of the money.
What is really slowing ya dwn is somewhere between Reynolds and Bernoulli laws .

Black helicopters matter
 

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JMO but I would not trust a ceramic bearing to hold up well to pot holes etc. They run great and smooth but I will trust steel for the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting article....

i have not used them

have you read this article?
http://www.dragbike.com/worldwide-bearings-ceramic-bearings-are-they-worth-it/

you need to have the right grease
I like the data measurements.. while not exact it seem to support two other videos I've seen on youtube regarding ceramic bearings and compared to steel bearings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW7wKg6OSFg Wheel spin video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGjGmpKw8Dg Brock Performance video

The improved gas economy interests me a lot since I ride about 126 miles round trip every day to commute to work and back.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote from Article

JMO but I would not trust a ceramic bearing to hold up well to pot holes etc. They run great and smooth but I will trust steel for the bearings.
This part is from the article:

I heard that ceramic balls can fracture easily. Is this true?

When we have visitors at Worldwide Bearings, we get asked this question. So, we have a few 1/8” ceramic balls in a Ziploc bag. With a hammer and a piece of cast iron they can hammer on the ceramic balls, and they really beat down on them with the hammer! So much, so that the ceramic balls get embedded in the cast iron. We had an AMA Super Bike team put them in a press to test and they actually pushed the ceramic balls into the steel race with no ceramic balls breaking.

So far I haven't found anyone claiming ceramic bearing failure due to pot holes or other issues. Only complaint I've heard thus far is that is EXPENSIVE....

Unfortunately, I haven't run into anyone that has installed them.... maybe I'll do it as an experiment and report the results.

I promised my wife no more mods...>:) this is for safety though.... right?:grin:
 

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Don’t know anything about the ceramic bearings you speak of...but...What 2017 RGS??? I must have missed your post about this. New, old stock? Used? Color? lol... What happened to the Ultra? You promised her no more mods, but a new bike, well that’s different. Slick!
 

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So I'm getting ready to have my 2017 RGS wheels powder coated gloss black. The tires, rotors and bearings are being removed and I was asked if I wanted to reuse the bearings?

I decided, no I want new bearings... so now the question: Steel or Ceramic.

I have read a lot about the advantages of ceramic and some claims of as much as 4 HP gain. This would require the 2 front, 2 rear and 1 belt sprocket bearing switched out.

The cost is about $110 per bearing (worldwide bearings), so total cost is about $550 for the complete 5 bearing set. We spend a lot on headers, cams, etc. for more HP, but if these bolt on bearings can really produce that much benefit, is it worth it? My installer is going to charge me $100 for the tires, balancing, and bearing (removal and installation of all). So total in the end would be $650.00.

I want to know your opinion and if you have used ceramic bearings (on a Harley, while I appreciate other applications my interest right now is Harley wheels).

Let the discussions begin!
Add $110 to that. There’s two bearings in the pulley. I can’t believe they asked you if you wanted to reuse bearings that had been pulled out by the inner race. Do people really do this? For discussion sake I’d say spend your money elsewhere. I honestly don’t think you’re going to feel the lack of rolling resistance in a bike that big with all that torque. A pedal bike...sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don’t know anything about the ceramic bearings you speak of...but...What 2017 RGS??? I must have missed your post about this. New, old stock? Used? Color? lol... What happened to the Ultra? You promised her no more mods, but a new bike, well that’s different. Slick!
I should have clarified! I purchased 2017 RGS wheels off an individual who upgraded to RSD wheels to a 21" front and 18" rear. The wheels and tires were new, ridden less than 500 miles before the swap.
Can't see getting rid of my RGU! At least right now...
 
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