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Ceramic wheel bearing gain info

Old 06-27-2010, 05:51 AM
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Ceramic wheel bearing gain info

Here is info I was given from the chap at Worldwide Bearings (who reserached and later sold me the two ceramic bearings for my transmission). BTW, I had already placed my order for the tranny bearings and was running ceramic bearings in my wheels (bought from another supplier) when I aksed him about the dyno gains from going to ceramic wheel bearings. Here is his reply:

"We dyno lots of different bikes at my friends shop, most are wheel bearing kits, on a Sportbikes from 600cc all the way to 1400cc ZX14's. all average 4hp at the back wheel. That's just measuring what you free up thru 3 rear wheel bearings, we have seen anywhere from 3.7 to over 5hp so I tell people 4hp as an average. We have also done 100's of Yamaha R6 trans kits, they are a 4 bearing kit and lots of builders tell me 5hp on that kit. What you get is a bearing that has 60% less rotating weight, ***** that don't transmit heat the way a steel ball would, a ball that is held to 5 millionths of an inch in roundness compared to a steel ball that is held to 100 millionths round. , a ball that is 78 c on the Rockwell hardness scale compared to 60 c of a steel ball. In the end you have a bearing that is 40% less friction and last 3 to 5 times longer than steel."

One point to note is that the gains from reduced friction in the front wheel will obviously not show up on the dyno, but do on the road.

In a world where decent gains are had to come by and typically un-Godly expensive, it seems ceramic wheel bearings may be a good deal after all.....
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mikstr View Post

"We dyno lots of different bikes at my friends shop, most are wheel bearing kits, on a Sportbikes from 600cc all the way to 1400cc ZX14's. all average 4hp at the back wheel. That's just measuring what you free up thru 3 rear wheel bearings, we have seen anywhere from 3.7 to over 5hp so I tell people 4hp as an average. We have also done 100's of Yamaha R6 trans kits, they are a 4 bearing kit and lots of builders tell me 5hp on that kit. What you get is a bearing that has 60% less rotating weight, ***** that don't transmit heat the way a steel ball would, a ball that is held to 5 millionths of an inch in roundness compared to a steel ball that is held to 100 millionths round. , a ball that is 78 c on the Rockwell hardness scale compared to 60 c of a steel ball. In the end you have a bearing that is 40% less friction and last 3 to 5 times longer than steel."

Wow, pretty awesome sales pitch!
I don't suppose he has a link to some before/after dyno runs, eh?


Rex
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:44 AM
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Deja vu all over again....

BTW, I recall a bunch of sceptics holding out on velocity stacks pending dyno proof.... lol

I haven't dynoed mine since putting them in but I can say in all certainty that it rolls much more freely (both moving it around the garage and when coasting). Also, the fact that practically every drag racing bike and roadracing team is using them would seem to indicate they offer some benefit (unless they're all posers and just using them so they can, in good conscience, post the stickers on their bikes....) BTW, the tech for these was initally developed for F1 cars, but then again, what do they know about speed anyhow.....

In the end, no one is forcing anyone to buy them (I could swear I typed that line before somewhere.....), so do what you want with the info....

Last edited by mikstr; 06-27-2010 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:02 AM
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I read a nice write up in SportRider a few years back by andrew trevitt I think. Went through much of what you wrote above. Sounded all positive though at that time the cost was quite high. Still makes sense for the wheels and for the engine it sounds like another piece of blueprinting which is all about tolerances and miniscule improvements in decreasing friction so what's to argue. I am sure some of the pre- and post-dyno runs would show some benefit from simply replacing old bearings with new, but don't doubt that the ceramics have some added benefit when comparing new vs. new.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:23 AM
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mikstr.. where did you source your wheel bearings? Part numbers? Cost?

VBX, my normal on line bearing dealer,, has
6204-2RS Bearing Hybrid Ceramic Sealed 20x47x14.. Which are double sealed. For $34 each.

I need to do wheel bearings anyway.. might as well go for the Hybrid Ceramic... ..No really honey. this is a repair, not an upgrade, so it's not coming out of the MOD budgit..,,,
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:37 AM
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Having had extensive experience with ceramic bearings I can say it won't make more horsepower but it will allow that horspower to be delivered more eficiently as you won't have to overcome the inherent drag of steel bearings. The only thing I am apprehensive about is that ceramics do not handle lateral loads very well. In that I mean that as long as they rolling in the bearing race, they are fine. However once a little side load or stress is placed on the side of the bearing they begin to roll on the shield which can pit the ***** and cause premature failure.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:43 AM
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I got mine from VXB in California, 6204s for the rear, 6004s for the front....
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:48 AM
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Bearings do not "make" power, what they do is cut down on drag, which frees up hp for other uses, like driving the bike forward. Like the old saying, a penny saved is a penny earned, the same holds true for torque (which is what hp is anyhow, once multiplied by speed).

The same holds true for blueprinting a chassis,.... If some choose to want to argue otehrwise for a million different reasons, it is entirely within their right to do so. At the end of the day, ceramic bearings are used by people whose job it is to cut friction and shave thousandths of a second from lap times to win races, and that's proof enough for me.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mikstr View Post
I got mine from VXB in California, 6204s for the rear, 6004s for the front....
Thanks..

VXB is who I order from as well.. pretty sure my name and picture are on the wall as a preferred customer (they prefer to take my money).

OK that covers 2 out of 3 rear bearings.. what about the 63/22 in the rear wheel (sprocket carrier)
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:05 AM
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I never replaced that one as I fit the ceramics in my PVM wheels (rear uses three 6204s). I have a brand new (still in the box, never taken out of the package) 63/22 (Nachi brand, a Japanese bearing). If you want it, let me know, I can give you a sweet deal on it (Ron Ayers is asking $26.83, I'll let it go for half of that).
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mikstr View Post
I never replaced that one as I fit the ceramics in my PVM wheels (rear uses three 6204s). I have a brand new (still in the box, never taken out of the package) 63/22 (Nachi brand, a Japanese bearing). If you want it, let me know, I can give you a sweet deal on it (Ron Ayers is asking $26.83, I'll let it go for half of that).

I''ll keep that in mind,, I saw your ad on Fireblade ..

But if I'm going to do Ceramic Hybrid bearings, might as well do all three.

I found a company that has a hybrid 63/22... And I wrote VBX to see if they can source one.

We'll see what we see on Monday.


Thanks
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:56 PM
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I agree with doing all three if possible. Good luck
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:04 PM
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ceraminc bearings numbers for stock wheels?

I would like to replace the bearings on my stock wheels soon and prefer ceramic-could you please clarify the type and numbers of bearings I would need for front and rear wheels and who to buy them from? thanks-Mort
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mikstr View Post
I agree with doing all three if possible. Good luck
While the wheel bearings will make a big difference, I'm not sure how much is to be gained with the 63\22. The reason I feel this way is the the bearing really has very little contact with the axle. I mean the I.D. of the bearing is 22mm and the axle has a O.D. of 20mm, so while you might gain a slight bit, it is the lest important bearing in the wheels but of course YMMV.
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:02 PM
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They got taken if they paid $395.....
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:07 PM
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Wow. Wish I could upgrade mine, as I know I am due in the rear, and I plan on doing chain and sprockets in the next month or so, but damn...being back in Nursing school full time and with a 7 month old, I think the wife would kill me in my sleep if she found that invoice for ceramics. I'm sure it's come down in price, but they're still nearly 5x the price... Standard this time around, and ceramic when I graduate and become gainfully employed again in two years.

-R
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RWhisen View Post
The only thing I am apprehensive about is that ceramics do not handle lateral loads very well. In that I mean that as long as they rolling in the bearing race, they are fine. However once a little side load or stress is placed on the side of the bearing they begin to roll on the shield which can pit the ***** and cause premature failure.

That pretty much mirrors my experience with ceramic hybrid bearings in my racing kart a few years ago.

As to dyno testing, I used a 16 oz plumb bob and a length of cord to do the comparison testing of both the front and rear bearing sets.

With the kart on it's pit stand, I wound 4 wraps of cord around the front tire and released the plumb bob from 36 inches above the floor......with all steel bearings the tire would continue to spin for about 18-19 seconds......with the ceramic hybrid bearings the tire would spin for an additional 11-12 seconds!

The rear axle had provisions for 3 bearings, but I usually only ran 2, not to mention that the ceramic hybrid rear axle bearings were just a bit over $400.00 each at the time!! Using the same technique with the cord and the plumb bob, the rear axle would spin for 14-15 seconds with the all steel bearings.....with the ceramic hybrid bearings I got an additional 9-10 seconds!

The lateral load issue showed up before the feature race on the 2nd weekend ( race weekend was 2 10 lap practice sessions, 2 10 lap heat races and a 15 lap feature) with the ceramic hybrids all feeling a little "gravelly" after the 1st heat. A quick thrash in the pits to clean and relube the bearings (which was usually done in the comfort of my garage after each race weekend) had things rolling pretty well, but not as good as when the bearings were fresh. After running the 2nd heat, they were worse than before the clean and relube, so another thrash got the all steel bearings back in place before the feature.

The ceramic hybrid crankshaft bearings, on the other hand, were spinning smoothly inside the methanol burning Briggs& Stratton "Animal", and continued to do so throughout the season.

A bike isn't capable of generating the lateral G forces like a race kart (my Alfano data acquisition system showed peak lateral forces of 1.4-1.5 Gs on this particular track, a 1/3 mile sprint course), but on turn in and and exit of corners there will be some lateral load. If I were going to run ceramic hybrids in the wheels of a street bike I would check them fairly frequently.


Rex
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