Success! I generously and specifically applied PB Blaster to the area where the stem and the inner circle of the upper bearing meet. Then I applied heat with my torch to the bearing and stem. I didn't heat the bearing very long, opting to spend more time directing the flame to the stem. I probably spent 1, maybe 2 minutes applying the heat before shutting it off and threading the castellated nut back (flush) onto the top of the stem. I then, unorthodoxically, tap, tap, tapped directly with my ball-peen. No wood involved. The taps never amounted to smacks, but a few of them had some authority, I'll admit. Eventually, I could see that the steering stem was succumbing to my persuasion. Continuing taps had it free in short time.
Thanks for all you-guys' time and input. Now if I could only figure-out how to re-assemble my damper-rod into its stanchion.
Congrats ! Your "BMW Apprentice Mechanic, Level 2" diploma is in the mail !!
Heat or no heat, you'll still need to replace the top bearing due to the shock of hammering. The races have now been impressed with small divots. If you don't, when you steer the bike, the rollers will jump from divot to divot !!