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steering dampers

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by dgmeister, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. who makes good steering dampers and how much $$$ are they?

  2. I knew you'd come around. What bike, year, application & budget?
  3. i personally think steering dampers are a bit of a wank and only serve to mask incorrect riding technique and bad bike setup.

    they can be handy if you're riding on fast open sandy whooped out tracks (like the finke desert race) or road racing (as in racing on proper roads, not on the track).

    but if you're looking at getting a damper i reccomend the scotts damper, its more adjustable than most of the other stuff on the market.
  4. Which toy is it for ??
    Scotts is great for off road. I would be dead long ago with the 525 if it did not have one. Way too out of shape for my ambition. Let alone potential.

    Ohlins make the best for road. $800 - $1200 with mounting kit.
    You can get brands like Sprint....My ZX ate two in one year.

    If you have one dialed up more than a third of it's range then yeah you got more probs than a damper can solve
  5. yamaahaa R6 '03
    high speed road riding (what idiot would think of doing that on a sportbike?)
    + track days once summer comes around

    front end gets very light and twitchy under hard acceleration over bumps (crappy road surfaces)

    has not caused any other problems yet, but not confidence inspiring. One day it will cause a problem

    I am still dialing in my suspension which may be part of it, but will prob want a damper to feel confident enough to put the hammer down

    budget not too much issue. Is a cheaper set okay, or only the best?
    those good ones (ohlins) are pretty exxy (who woulda thunk it?)
  6. R6's are a bit twichy. My 636 was horrible...but fun.
    I would be scouring the O/S web markets.
    The sprint one I had worked well. But had to be rebuilt twice in one year. 636's shake their heads bad.
    Make sure the R6 has a 70 profile front too. Earlier ones came with a 65 and that made the headshake worse
  7. r6 are twitchy in the front end. especially if you hang on too tight. headshake over bumps is a good sign of hanging on too tight. if you have most of your 'hold' on the bike from your legs/knees, you should be able to isolate your arms from the effect the bumps in the road have on your body.

    mine would move about a bit but it was because the springs were too soft and sometimes i would hang off the bars too much when changing direction. i ran a 120/70 front tyre but found it didn't turn as sharp as i would like, but i think that was just because the rear was too low.

    but bike setup is all about compromise, for the best road performance you wont run the same geometry or damping as you do on the track, because there's just more variables in road surface/bump size/speed/traction on the roads.
  8. There are plenty of deals on the older model mounting kits for ohlins, it's the newer ones that cost you an arm and a leg. Ohlins topmounted ones can be flimsy if thats the choice, gbr and pitbull rotary would be the pick although have been known to have some leak problems, but are user serviceable, scotts still requires frame drilling afaik-no thanks, and hyperpro make decent dampers but cost as much as a name brand one anyway. About 450 usd for the rotarys and 5-600 for the ohlins and mount kit, plus shipping. I respectfully disagree JimmyD, I wouldn't ride a sportsbike without one, wank or not if the bike, surface or riding is enough to lift the front wheel then get it. Good technique may ride it out, but its a moot point if you run out of road before you can recover it.
  9. Ohlins on my R1 '07.

  10. so how do you go about getting one?
    is ebay the go?, dealership?

    also need to get this suspension set up...
    lot harder than setting up a dirt bike
    anyone know what they're doing with suspension?

    power commander 3...

    notice how a bike is never set up perfect?
    even on a million$$$ gp bike made of carbon fiber with 250hp

    may we all be aliens for one day
  11. Depends on your luck with flee bay.
    Mine sucks so I would go the US online shops. All top mounts are flimsy, but they do work. And for mine the Ohlins works the best.

    Set up is trial and error. Also rider focused.
    R6 is around 30mm rider on sag F & R I think......Factory spec.
    Basically you want the rear preload on as much as you can till braking becomes a waltzing affair on every corner.
    The front on the R6 lol. It originally came out with a 65 profile to make it turn in real quick, and it did. But was far to nervous for most mortals to push to near it's limits.
    So yeah I also think raising the rear is more the go than sliding the forks up..triple tree down.
    I think stiffness would make it push a bit as well as amplify the nervousness... Hense make you take a fairly aggressive approach to cornering.

    It would be better to set the bike up as well as you can before fitting the damper. Seriously would be. Or you might find your riding nitro on the limit if the damper fails
  12. [MENTION=36058]RichiB[/MENTION] yeah i suppose different riders like different feels with their steering, i just found with a damper that i didn't get all the feedback i wanted but that may have been able to change with a damper revalve or something, but i just took it off the bike instead lol.

    going to have to disagree with the lower front/raise rear if you're complaining about a twitchy bike. i personally wanted my r6 to be sharper in the front end, rather than tame it down but i can see how some might not like the flighty handling.

    when you change from the 65 to a 70 front tyre you're raising the front slightly, which is increasing trail and making the steering head angle more relaxed. so this way you should get slower but more stable steering from the front. lowering the rear of the bike with less preload on the spring will give a similar geometry change in the front end.

    the issue you'll run into with a low rear end is when the swingarm angle changes under acceleration, the rear will squat that much that the swingarm goes 'over centre' (for lack of a better word) which means that front traction will be pretty crap and the bike will push wide at best or you'll have a big chatter issue and probably crash at worst. this is the issue i had with my early r6, when i would open the throttle to get it out of the turns the front would push more than i would like.

    my theory on how to fix this front end push would be have more progressive low speed compression valving with slightly higher rear spring rate. problem was that if i was to do this, the ride quality on the street wouldn't be too good and being a 10 year old 600, you're never really going to have race level performance out of it so i just left it as it was.

    what i did with my bike was have front race sag at 30mm, but i pulled the forks through the triple clamps 5mm to allow for the change in tyre size. then i added a fair few clicks of low speed compression but backed off the rebound. in most rear shocks the amount of low speed compression will change the amount of rebound damping you'll have. i think i had about 35mm race sag in the rear, but it really needed a stiffer rear spring so i could get the race sag numbers i was after but still have enough free sag.

    basically, a more progressive rear shock is what i wanted with the bike. you may want something different however.
  13. Everyone likes their bikes setup differently, so it's never black and white. For the track commonly accepted figures to aim for are 35-40mm fr sag & 25-30rr sag, add 5mm either end for road use. You need a 2nd or 3rd person to measure this properly, don't cut corners (you on the bike in RIDING position, 2nd person holding the bike vertical and 3rd person doing the measuring, and repeating all measurements to exclude errors or effect of stiction or take averages over multiple measurements). Rear is usually close as its sprung for a pillion anyway, it's the front that is commonly too soft. Make minor adjustments from there to dial out what you don't like. Also make sure your steering head bearings are in good condition and tightened correctly, the steering damper will only mask underlying issues. The 03 R6s are still well liked and running around in the states in club racing and some endurance circles (comfortable bike) and I'm sure there's a ton of information out there. Buy are steering damper or anything else shiny and expensive from a dealership at your own peril.
  14. BS. Tell that to any bike racer you find and they will punch you in the face.

  15. ^^ The Moto GP engineers have it all wrong..........get rid of the dampers and riders!!

  16. Hell the bike OEM's have it wrong. Silly Yamaha brings one out stock. They even wasted time on making it electronic.
  17. the bike is nice enough for me, just come from road trail
    so its getting me into plenty of trouble :s
    trying to be too aggressive when i should just be trying to ride smooth...

    if you are not an alien, you got to remember the bike ALWAYS wins the fight!
    there no such thing as throwing the bike around, forget that and the bike will throw you around!

    not done sag yet...
    rear preload is near max (1 down)
    front is softer (5 down)
    compression on both ends is semi hard, and rebound is on the softer side

    can't corner hard enough yet to notice any fault in the set up
    -turns in as hard as i want so far
    aim is to steer with the rear anyway no? :>

    putting the power down over bumps is about as good as i can get it without being a trailbike, although front gets light + twitchy

    rear end is lifting under not-so-hard braking (i think)
    ever had fun turning in with the rear wheel off the ground?

    i got a long way to go
  18. Ohlins, Bitubo, Scotts
    All good
  19. i'll try to harden up the front end a bit more
  20. What I was trying to say is....
    Set it up as best you can before you put a damper on it.
    If you need to go above a third of the available clicks on a steering damper....your not set up right and have a fairly big problem with your bike...or the way you are setting it up.
    I say some of the 600's shake a bit and they do. It's annoying, but not enough to back off the throttle. Like Jimmy said you just ride through it.
    For mine the best thing a damper does is control the front/ rear oscillation when you the front wheel touched down and your not really set strait....lol. Like when you gas it from one quick bend to another and the front comes up, and the corner rapidly. Sucks big ones when it gets the head shake there and your trying to brake and hit your line... and with a damper it doesn't. Same as coming over a crest under full throttle and that front lifts that little bit. Bout 3cm..if. That's where I find a lot want to really get hipy shakey