Crank bearings aftermarket vs. OEM help


Oct 19, 1999
I’m getting ready to do a crank bearing repair on a 98 KTM 250exc. Right now I’ve been calling around trying to get prices. The prices I’m getting from KTM IMO are ridiculous. I’ve called a bearing distributor and their price was less than half of what KTM was, and he said it would be a better quality bearing than stock. The aftermarket guy also says that he only has the ball bearing as a sealed bearing and that he would have to remove the seal and flush out the grease. Does this sound o.k.?
Has anybody used an aftermarket engine bearing before? I’m a little bit leery about using them in the engine because of the quality of the bearing i.e. lubrication, material, wear etc.

Holeshot could you give me a price on them?

Diagnosis: The bottom end started to get a little noisy and then two rides ago I blew the clutch side crank seal (lost half of my tranny oil and killed alot of bugs). After doing that repair, I was talking to someone that use to own a bike shop and he said that the seal usually goes when the bearing goes bad (this would explain the noise). This past weekend I went for a ride and the engine was getting really noisy, started to sound like a diesel. At about 15 miles I decided to go back.

I checked it by removing the stator cover and pulling up on the stator. There is a knock type of noise when I lift up on the stator. Is this normal?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Vince


Oct 9, 2000
From what I have seen before in the quality and fit of aftermarket bearings, I would just spend the dough for stock. Gives me peace of mind.


Feb 29, 2000
I've replaced all our bearings/seals with aftermarket ones purchased from Applied Technologies. The sales person has been very knowledgable on what seals and bearings work best for the application. Many times, I get the same bearings that came with the bike. The bearings/seals have id numbers on them, so it's fairly easy to match them or get the sameones.


May 26, 2000
KTM, nor any auto/bike manufacture, manufactures their own bearings. They go to bearing companies first. If they (Brg. co's.) doesn't have it already, they will make one for KTM, etc... but at a cost and then it would only be avail. by KTM, etc... If your bearing dist (try worldwide brg, etc..) has them, just specify that you want equal of better quality than what you have. KTM nor any other manufature wants to be in the parts business, they want to make bikes/auto's, and the extra cost is for many more middlemen, where a Brg. dist is only second or third hand. Go for it. Usually US/Euro brg's are best.


Dec 15, 2000
Chris-NJ is absolutely right. The OEM bearings in any european motorcycle are probably either from SKF or F.A.G which are the biggest bearing manufacturers in Europe.
You have to make sure that you buy the correct bearings! Read the alpha-numeric code on the bearing and buy one with exactly the same code. Crankshaft bearings often have the code ending with ...C3 or ...C4. This means that there is a slight freeplay within the bearing which is necessary for high reving bearings I think

OurMan Flint

Aug 28, 2001
The other guys are correct, it is perfectly OK to go aftermarket. However, ensure that you use only a manufacturere of very high quality. SKF in Europe are one of the best (if not the best). The bike manufacturers never used SKF or F.A.G. a few years ago, but who knows, they may now. This meant that when I put SKFs in wheels and engines they actually lasted MUCH better.
It is VERY important to get a match on the exact code, as it gives not only the size but also the tolerences and in some cases heat ranges.
I rebuilt my KTM200 last winter and used aftermarket. The engine is still sweet despite a very very hard season.
Best of luck,


Aug 13, 2000
I agree with some of the above. I have had success with aftermarket bearings. As a matter of fact, I am always able to get higher quality bearings than OEM.

I installed SKF crank bearings on my Husky, purchased from the local bearing outlet for 1/4 of the original price. They have held up longer than the originals and the engine still feels tight. In addition the tighter tolerance on the SKF bearings I installed helped to reduce vibration.

Top Bottom