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Old 02-21-2021, 12:43 PM
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farmerj farmerj is offline
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Default Factory Links Linkage Bearing Kit #LRK-G-021

Bottom line - A "shout out" to Factory Links for great service and what appears to be a good product.

More information about Linkage Bearings here:


Checked linkage bearings at about 65 hrs. on a 2018 XC 300. While the pins (bushings) looked pretty good, one of the Rocker Arm bearings was bad. The ends of the needles in the stock bearing (at least for 2018) have small protrusions that keeps them from falling out during installation - but these ends break off, and ruin the bearing.

I tried ordering SKF parts from my local bearing shop. As in the post mentioned above, they sent me the HK2016 (caged) instead of the HN2016 (cageless). Those HN2016s are hard to find or not available!

For those who haven't seen them, a caged bearing encapsulates or holds the load-bearing needles in the housing, and the design results in far fewer needles per bearing - and thus a lower load capacity rating.

BTW I noticed that my swingarm bearings are different - they are caged (HK2016), while the linkage bearings were all cageless (HN2016). I assume the swingarm loads are not as high as the linkage loads are. I would not suggest running the caged bearings in the linkage - they likely will not hold up.

Since I was unable to obtain bearings from the Parts House, the options appeared to be - OEM from the dealer, All Balls, or Factory Links (Prolinks does not currently list a kit for the GG). Rieju may have upgraded their bearing source - but my dealer didn't have any, and I didn't want to take a chance on the stock product. I went with Factory Links (kit #LRK-G-021).

I called Factory Links when I got the product, since the pin/bushing lengths & washer design were different from OEM. They use a longer pin, and the outside thick washer is machined to accept the pin. This is unlike the flat OEM washer, which butts up to the end of the pin with no overlap (see pics attached). FL says that this is like the Honda design, and they feel it is superior to the stock GG design. I don't know if this is true or if it's easier for them to source the "updated" design. It does appear to me that it may be harder for water to penetrate to the sleeve.

The FL seals don't have the metal ring or interior spring like the GG seals do, but they appear to be of a standard design, and the material may be thicker.

During installation, I lost a needle out of one of the bearings . I contacted Factory Links, and they sent me a replacement bearing free of charge . Very helpful and responsive customer service.

The bottom line is that trying to source linkage parts can take a long time and be tedious. At some point, I look for someone to give us an update on the Rieju bearings. Until then, IMO Factory Links is a good option!


'18 GG XC 300
'05 GG DE 300
'01 GG txt 321
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:30 PM
Gez Gez is offline
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Yeah I went down the path of trying to source aftermarket bearings. HN2016s are not available for whatever reason. I didn't know Factory Links did a kit for the GG, nice info for next time.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:29 PM
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cbutler cbutler is offline
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I have used them for about 2 years now top notch. My first set was for a 02 model they did not know the swingarm was changed in 03 (made biger) I called them and they said I could send them back(I had them installed already) so he asked me to measure the axle and he would make a sleeve for me if that would be ok. Two days later they showed up and fit like a charm.

02 EC 200
03 MC 250
88 VT 800
01 TXT 280
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:50 AM
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Anders Anders is offline
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Originally Posted by Gez View Post
Yeah I went down the path of trying to source aftermarket bearings. HN2016s are not available for whatever reason. I didn't know Factory Links did a kit for the GG, nice info for next time.
You could try to look for DL2016. They have more rollers than HK2016 and may be available. I think they are still caged, but with a different type of cage. I have used them in my 2015 bike.
HN2016 are available from e.g. simply bearings in the UK

"So you know, that you're over the hill when your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill" (Little Feat: Old Folks Boogie)

2015 EC200 Racing: TE bars, Rekluse Core Exp 3.0, 38mm Lectron & Ohlins S3 steering damper
2006 EC200: 2011 plastics, Rekluse Z-Start, revalved KYB forks & Scotts steering damper
1998 Bimota Supermono
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:42 PM
Gez Gez is offline
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HN2016 are available from e.g. simply bearings in the UK[/QUOTE]

I shouldve been more specific, I could get them but the cheapest good quality I could find were $20aud each before shipping and that was without seals. So financially it made sense to go OEM. Wish I knew Factory Links was an option though.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:53 PM
5valve 5valve is offline
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If linkage bearings get toast, I'm using caged bearing, and untill water comes in, they hold without problems, just like cageless.
No damage or wear on bushing with years of service. If maintained regularly, they hold forever, just like cageless. No extra play etc...
Doing it for 19 years now, so hard to counter it.
EC 300 2008
EC 300 2018 GP
tenere 700
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