Benefits of Ceramic Hybrid Bearings in Motorcycles
So you’ve heard about ceramic bearings and are wondering if they are really as great as people say. Well here are a few of the top reasons people opt for ceramic bearings in their motorcycle. A quick note of clarification before we get started, when people talk about “ceramic bearings” in their motorcycles, they are in fact referring to ceramic hybrid bearings. With ceramic hybrid bearings the balls are ceramic, but the races are made of steel. Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.
The first and greatest benefit of ceramic hybrid bearings in motorcycles over standard steel bearings is the ceramic hybrid bearings are able to achieve higher RPMs. Ceramic hybrid bearings are able to achieve approximately 30% higher RPMs than a standard steel bearings. This added performance benefit can be a game changer for people and competitors who are looking to get the greatest performance possible.
One of the other benefits of having a ceramic hybrid bearing is its ability to handle higher temperatures. The ceramic balls to do conduct heat, so when the bearing speeds up and slow down, heats up and cools down, the balls are not affected. This protects the bearing itself. In standard steel bearings where the ball and the races are metal, the heating up of the bearing can cause micro-welds to happen between the ball and race. Over time, these welds form and break, form and break, over and over again until eventually the bearing degrades far enough and fails. This is the number one cause of bearing failure in motorcycles. Ceramic balls do not conduct heat, and cannot weld to the steel races of the bearing, eliminating this potential failure point.
It may be a small thing, but ceramic balls are approximately 33% lighter than steel balls, meaning that the ceramic hybrid bearing is going to be lighter than a standard steel bearing. This weight difference may not mean much to the casual user, but for highly competitive or performance centered events, the reduction of weight is always a consideration.
Better Fuel Economy
Upgrading to ceramic hybrid bearings have another advantage, and that is they can help improve overall efficiency, meaning you can get better fuel economy in your motorcycle. Ceramic balls have a glass like surface and so offer almost no friction at all. In addition to having reduced friction, the lighter weight ceramic balls spin more efficiently at higher speed. Steel balls will have occasional skidding, where the ball slides rather than rolls at higher rpms. The lighter ceramic balls reduce centrifugal loading and skidding, improving the efficiency for the bearing, and therefore, the motorcycle.
The benefits of ceramic hybrid bearings in motorcycles boil down quite simply: the bearings last longer, they help improve performance, and improve efficiency overall. Ceramic hybrids are certainly worth considering next time you need to change the bearings in your motorcycle or when you’re looking for that little bit of an edge.