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Author Topic: steering damper worth the money?  (Read 3280 times)

mmmbrownie

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steering damper worth the money?
« on: May 22, 2006, 07:32:22 PM »
even though they cost so much i keep hearing that ohlins steering dampers are the best upgrade u can make to 600rr's and they should have had a factory one in the first place.. can anyone tell me if it's worth  the money, i'm pretty sure i know what it does but if anyone has the time to explain it that would be cool.. also are the cheaper ones garbage? i guess u could take it from bike to bike cause i don't think u have to drill or anything like that
thanks
Graham

Zagan

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 05:15:26 AM »
I don't have one, read plently up about them I don't think I'll bother with one though ever.

They work like this.

Put one end onto the handle bars, put the other end ont a ridged part of the bike, Chasis for example.

Th middle is basicly an adjustable gas strut, it's adjustable so you can set how hard it is to push the handle bars to the left or right, the whole point behind them though is they help to hold the handle bars straight and they straighten up the handle bars after you push them left or right.

Stunters use them to keep the handle bars straight.

Racers would use them to keep the handle bars straight but I'd say it's more for bringing the handle bars back to the straight and narow again.

Some people use them to stop tank slappers.

They can cause problems though, have them set too hard, and you can end up with tank slappers as the dampener will try to hold the handle bars straight and a bike is made to flex a little bit to help it turn better handle bumps on corners etc.

Not allows for this flexing or wiggling can take thing bad and turn them into worse real quick, if you don't set it up right.

The other problem is not being able to push the handle bars far enough, to get the amount of lean you need, to get around the corner for the speed you are going at. in other words they could make you run wider than what you wanted.

lots to think about, lots of pros and lots of cons.

You also get different type of steering dampeners like the Scott's one which I believe allows for some of the flexing in the bike which reduces the chances of tank slapping.

Would also need to think about what you want it for as well, and what type will suit your need.

Fretless33

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 07:43:27 AM »
They're mainly for track/race or stunt use...I've been riding for decades without one and I'm still alive to show it. If you mainly or exclusively ride track, go ahead and get one, but if you ride mostly street it's not necessary, unless you want to park your bike at Starbucks and tell your friends how cool it is to have one. Many people buy them to prevent tank slappers (do a search) or experience a little head shake and run out and buy one because they thought they had a tank slapper, but if you stay relaxed on the bars (keep your elbows flexed, your arms and grip loose) and stay on the gas (don't chop the throttle), you can prevent a slapper from happening every time.
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badbilly28

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 07:59:48 AM »
Well.. I have a ohlins on my 05 CBR-RR.. and I do a lot of track days.. A lot of times when you pin the gas out of a turn.. its easy to put too much pressure on the bars as u shift your body weight around the bike.. That can cause a wobble in the steering.. and a steering damper will help you steady out that wobble and keep the bike going in the direction you want..  

Also if you gas it so hard on the road and suddenly hit a large bump.. it could cause a frantic wobble in the steering that can end up in a tank slapper.. if you have a steering damper it could save your ass from flying off the bike..

For me.. I think its worth it.. one time I entered a high speed turn too quickly while i was on the track and applied too much rear  brake and my bike almost slidered out from underneath me.. but as the rear gained traction again my bike franticly flickered from left to right afterwards.. it almost threw me off my bike.. but I guess I was lucky to have my steering damper cos it seemed to steady out that force for me.. and in the end I managed to stay upright only to end up running off the track..  So I guess.. Its worth having one for saftey reasons...

No matter how many people say that you might not need one.. in the end if something does go wrong and you end up on yr backside after a major tank slapper.. its your ass and not theirs..   So I think its a worthwhile investment.. if you are interested in ohlins.. you can probably pick up a cheap one from ebay.. anyway.. good luck with yr choice..
BadBilly..

Jeff

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 08:49:33 AM »
Here's what I wrote about this topic years ago.  Still valid comments...

My answer to this question is pretty straight forward. A damper provides a specific service to rider and bike. However, MOST OFTEN times, changes in the riders techniques (stop gripping the bars too tight, trying to man-handle the bike) will overcome common shakes. A damper is pretty common on altered bikes (race bikes), big torque bikes (VTR, TL, etc), and bikes with a lot of HP and steep steering angles (R1). However, the average street 600 simply doesn't need it.

Before you spend $400+ on a damper, spend $15 on yourself and decide whether you really need it. Buy Keith Code's "Twist of the Wrist II" from Amazon.com or other book retailer and READ IT. Once you read the physics aspects (very clearly explained and easily understood) of what a bike does and what it requires from the rider and the negative effects that the rider brings out of the bike, then decide whether to spend the money or not.

As Keith Code writes, "The most adjustable portion of any bike's suspension is the one that sits on top. The rider."

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Jeff

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 08:51:31 AM »
Also, whoever is telling you this is the "best upgrade" you can make to the 600rr should be shot...

A damper is basically an insurance policy.

The best upgrade you can make is to the nut on the seat...  Learn to ride and your bike experience will be incredible.  Throw money at the bike with no understanding of what the bike requires from YOU as a participant, and you will have nothing but a pile of spent cash on a wrecked bike...
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eezimob

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2006, 05:18:08 PM »
Also, whoever is telling you this is the "best upgrade" you can make to the 600rr should be shot...

A damper is basically an insurance policy.

The best upgrade you can make is to the nut on the seat...  Learn to ride and your bike experience will be incredible.  Throw money at the bike with no understanding of what the bike requires from YOU as a participant, and you will have nothing but a pile of spent cash on a wrecked bike...

Got to agree. You'll be better spending money on getting the suspension set up correctly first, which causes most front end wobbles.

I've got a Sprint damper on my race bike (CBR600F4) and it's only its lowest setting. It'll probably get taken off before my next race.

We have some of the worst roads in Europe (UK - comparable to a third world country) and my 'RR' has never got out of shape; even when going 'a bit' with a pillion. It's all down to technique, and being able to spot trouble before it happens.

cehoward600rr

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 03:45:20 AM »
Well, I am old, cranky and senile, plus set in my ways.. 8)  I ain't riding without a steering damper.

Got a Scotts right away for my 06 600rr. Got one on my other two bikes too.

There are a couple schools of thought on this subject. I make a point of trying to keep my skinny butt off the ground, and if in doubt, I am going with the safer option.

BTW, my 600rr is strickly race/track bike..Even if it was my street bike, same rule applies with me, gotta have a steering damper.

Just the 2 cents from an old geezer.. :)

Jeff

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 08:13:36 AM »
CEHoward, that's cool.  The point is to UNDERSTAND what a damper does, why it may be needed and how it should be used or can be more harm than good.  The original poster did not seem to have that understanding.
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U-235Splitter

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Re: steering damper worth the money?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2006, 09:55:40 PM »
Well after having a Gixxer 1k go into a slapper at about 130 directly in front of me on the main straight of firebird my race bike will have one on it. He was doing nothing but simply accelerating, we were about 2/3 the way down the straight when it start, scared me damn near as much as him, lol. Wouldn't get one for the street, it would be a waste of money.