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Thank You Bolton Motorcycles

Blog Date - 27 October 2015

Sharon's Keeway has had a quiet gentle squeak from the rear wheel for a week or so. I suspected a bit of brake dust or binding shoes. We removed the rear wheel and found one of the bearing cages had collapsed. Phew! It's a good job we investigated. 

Bad news too. It was 1430 on a Saturday and I was fairly sure all the local bearing factors would be closed and I did not have a suitable bearing in my spares collection. There was no way I was going to let Sharon ride the bike another inch with the bearing in that state so it was looking like there would be no Sunday ride out and I'd have to run her back home on my bike. Damn and blast!

Sharon asked if any of the local bike shops would have one. Pfffft. It'll be Keeway part number XYZ334ABC-66 which they will have to order which will take 5 weeks to arrive and cost £45. I'm sure I can find a better quality bearing from the factors on Monday morning for £6. In fact I'm sure there'd be one out back of any bike shop for a Kawasaki or Yamaha as wheel bearings tend to be standard sizes. However persuading a bored, disinterested parts guy to get off his fat ass and go look will be like drawing blood from a stone. I'm rather embittered from years of lack-lustre shopping experiences. 

Still, she persuaded me to go. I guessed it's better than sitting around a sulking for the rest of the day.

The spares guy took one look at the bearing, still in the wheel and said "Oh! not good." Well done him for spotting that. Pffft. "Hang on, we've got a box somewhere, what number is it?" That's a good start at least.
"I dunno, it's eaten the dust seal with the numbers on it. Sorry."
"OK." And off he goes into the workshop. Maybe there is hope after all

He returns with the mechanic. The mech looks at it and says "Erm...probably mumble mumble 2 you want me to knock it out for you?"
"Oh! Yes, please." And with that the wheel vanishes into the workshop. 2 minutes later he returns.
"6302, we have one in. Do you want me to pop it in for you?"
"Oh! Yes please."

So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the parts dude and the mechanic at Bolton Motorcycles for being real, sensible and decent folks. It would have been easy to dismiss us with a "we'll order one in" rather than actually getting up out of the chair and looking. They both had enough experience to know that wheel bearings are usually standard sizes. They had the gumption to take a minute to establish the size. They had kindness to knock the new one in too. Above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you.

Bolton Motorcycles

Sharon and I had a smashing ride out with the club on Sunday. Sharon took to the motorway for the first time and knowing the wheel bearing was in good order was reassuring.

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Reader's Comments

Paul S said :-
Has Sharon passed her test then?
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yes Paul S - Sharon has passed her test! She not only passed her test she completed the FULL motorcycle test, not A1 or A2 as we thought she might have to do.
Steve Latchford said :-
I have heard good things about the head mechanic there, is he called Charlie?
Ren - The Ed said :-
What you mean Steve Latchford is that one of them once was a Triumph mechanic. You and that blinking Striple. I can't say I know the name of thre mechanic, I should have asked so I could thank him by name. How rude of me.
Bob said :-
Wheel bearings shouldn't be a problem on any bike, the manufacturers just pick an appropriate standard size.
Even in the engine many (ball and roller) bearings are a standard size. I've found however that Honda are buggers for using non-standard size bearings here and there, for no obvious reason I've been able to determine.
Ren - The Ed said :-
You know that Bob, I know that too. But there are many parts dudes that WILL NOT sell you a bearing of the correct size and number. It has to be the correct part number listed on the microfiche or online catalogue and come from the manufacturer in a box stamped with the brand.

I am thankful to Bolton Motorcycles for not being so ridiculous.
Jonathan hughes said :-
Thanks for the kind words, jonathan general manager at Bolton motorcycles
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Jonathan!
Ian Soady said :-
TBH I never buy bearings from motorcycle spares shops (unless they're special one-offs which is rare). Local bearing suppliers are my first port of call, or online bearing specialists like
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ian - I too would normally pop into my local bearing factors or get them off Ebay etc. But on that day at that time we needed a bearing ASAP, the factors were closed and Ebay would take at least a couple of days. Bolton Motorcycles came up with the goods :)
Ian Soady said :-
Fair enough.

Although I wouldn't use ebay as there are some very dodgy bearings about. Simply Bearings generally have a range from cheap & cheerful (for a while) to top quality.

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