Originally Posted by Tourdog
---------------Never should be a ball bearing there, rather a hefty tapered roller bearing. When I do this again it will be a non oem bearing of which there are much tougher examples available from various bearing houses.-------------------
Good luck on that! Please tell us what you know that we don't! I and other engineers have tried very unsuccessfuly to find any other replacement. I have spent hours looking through bearing interchange lists, manufacturer's catalogs, and web searches, to no avail. SKF France does make the replacement BMW was using for a while, but that one cannot be obtained with any reasonble assurance by BMW dealers. I had the SKF reigonal person here one day, asked about getting a quantity of them to be able to sell them to members. I was assured this would be no problem, but when I got the quote it was over $240 each
direct from SKF, in quantity! I told him that they were once being sold by the BMW dealers for around $135, and he had no answer. This is a standard bearing interchange size, but all have basically the same load/speed ratings, so getting a bearing that will fit, but be "tougher", is not really an option. I did buy one with a machined bronze ball retainer/cage, but the hope was that even if the balls/races fail the retainer would not fail catastrophically like the stamped steel ones do, and give you much more warning so that you are not stranded on the side of the road. I totaled my bike before I rebuilt the failed drive I had, and eventually sold the bearing and drive to another member here.
A heavier bearing could be used, but that would take major
machining and re-work, with housing parts likely made from billet.
A tapered roller bearing would have to have an opposing bearing of at least 50% the same size, preferably nearly the same size, but that is not feasable with the design of the drive unit.
BMW has totally redesigned the final drive for the later bikes, but we will have to wait a couple years for that to filter down to the hopeful future design for the LT. By the way, the new design still uses one large ball bearing for the main load support.
Now, if you really can find a "better" replacement, the LT world will beat a path to your door.