The difference in dynamic behavior of the rotor-bearing system supported by the bearing model that considers both lateral and angular whirling motions of the journal (model A), and the model that considers only lateral whirling motion (model B) is investigated. The rotor model consists of a slender shaft, a large disk, and two small disks supported by a self-aligning rolling element bearing (REB) and an axial groove journal bearing (JB) of length-to-diameter ratio (L/D) = 0.6. Three positions of the large disk: 410, 560, and 650 mm measured from the REB, are investigated. Numerical integration of the rotor-bearing system which is modally reduced to the first forward (FWD) mode is performed at above the onset speed of instability until either a steady-state journal orbit or contact between the journal and the bearing occurs to identify the bifurcation type. Numerical results using model A indicate subcritical bifurcation with the contact between the journal and the inboard (IB) side of the bearing in all three large disk positions, whereas those of model B indicate subcritical bifurcation when the large disk position is at 410 mm, and supercritical bifurcation is observed in the other two cases. Finally, the experiments at the same three large disk positions are performed. Subcritical bifurcation with the contact between the journal and the IB side of the bearing is observed in all large disk positions, which conforms with the calculation result of model A. Hence, model A is essential in nonlinear vibration analysis of a highly flexible rotor system.