Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone added a steering damper to their 14? Which one? Will it work with bar risers? pics?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
i have a gpr black w/ red dial...like it a lot.
the first one I got the seals were leaking...they replaced it no questions asked.
I don't know if I need it or not...if it saves me from head shake in an untimely event...it was worth it...can't use it after the fact.

don't know about bar riser interference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
I fail to see the need for a steering damper on a bike with such mild geometry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I fail to see the need for a steering damper on a bike with such mild geometry.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I just recommend riding one without a damper, then with a damper, then without again. I bet you notice a difference. I know I can tell the difference. My main reason is because at the strip when the front wheel comes off the ground I want to make sure it is still pointing straight when it reunites with the pavement.

Then even if it doesn't help it certainly won't hurt. My life is worth the relatively low cost in the event that I do need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I have had head shake twice now and fixed it with a new front tire. I plan on getting one this winter because the last time it shook was at 135-140 mph at the drag strip. Last run had no problems the next........tank slap. A damper won't stop head shake, just keep it from being deadly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
I have a Scotts on my 14. I will not have a bike now without a damper :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I just recommend riding one without a damper, then with a damper, then without again. I bet you notice a difference. I know I can tell the difference. My main reason is because at the strip when the front wheel comes off the ground I want to make sure it is still pointing straight when it reunites with the pavement.

Then even if it doesn't help it certainly won't hurt. My life is worth the relatively low cost in the event that I do need it.
You might be right. I definitely know you will be able to feel a difference and that it will feel more stable, but proper technique will keep head shake from becoming deadly (relaxed on the grips) and won't inhibit your ability to turn quickly if you need to.

A steering damper shouldn't be used to mask any suspension, mechanical or rider problems. I was just suggested to not use a steering damper on my zx-6rr on the local race track because it's very tight/technical because it would slow my turn in. A lot of people don't run dampers on the street because it might slow your ability to avoid a pothole/gravel/car.

There are very different concerns with a race track and a drag strip though. I would have to look into it more, and ride it at the strip to be 100%. I'll have to hold my opinion that a bike with sport touring geometry doesn't need one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
I'll have to hold my opinion that a bike with sport touring geometry doesn't need one.
I don't know of any bike that actually needs a damper and I really don't think they should be used as a band-aid solution for other chassis issues.

I do think they're a great idea however and ever since bitting the bullet an purchasing one for myself I'll never own a bike without one again.

Truth of the matter is any bike can develop headshake and ultimately go into a full blown tank slapper. Sure the 14 is more stable than a super sport, but with the raw power of a ZX14 you're more likely to get yourself into a situation that initiates it regardless of the bike's inherent stability.

A lot of people don't run dampers on the street because it might slow your ability to avoid a pothole/gravel/car.
If you're running one so hard that it interferes with maneuverability, it's simple cranked up too high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
I don't know of any bike that actually needs a damper and I really don't think they should be used as a band-aid solution for other chassis issues.
Certain race bikes need them. They're mandatory in a lot of racing leagues. 03-04 zx6r's should have had them. Almost every supersport comes with them stock now because of the extreme geometry. But you're right, it could be argued that it's not needed.

I do think they're a great idea however and ever since bitting the bullet an purchasing one for myself I'll never own a bike without one again.

Truth of the matter is any bike can develop headshake and ultimately go into a full blown tank slapper. Sure the 14 is more stable than a super sport, but with the raw power of a ZX14 you're more likely to get yourself into a situation that initiates it regardless of the bike's inherent stability.
I certainly don't agree that any bike can develop head shake that turns into a tank slapper. Even most supersports don't NEED one if you're using proper technique. If you're too tight on the bars you can get headshake, and if you try to muscle a headshake out it will often turn into a tank slapper.

In fact I've never heard of a zx6rr having headshake, from anyone; and they're used mostly for road racing. I think putting one on a bike that doesn't have very extreme racing geometry is covering a rider error.

If you're running one so hard that it interferes with maneuverability, it's simple cranked up too high.
Maybe. Although there could be some truth when it comes to very extreme situations, like emergency countersteering to avoid a car or switchback s turn's on the track.

If it doesn't concern you then get one. Do what works best for you. However, if an experienced racer advised me not to use one on the track, I don't think I would consider it necessary on the street with a zx14. It might help if you're doing a really high speed wheelie or almost wheelie on a drag strip, but I still think it would be masking a rider error. Just my opinion, and again I've never ridden a zx14 on the street or track/strip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Certain race bikes need them. They're mandatory in a lot of racing leagues. 03-04 zx6r's should have had them. Almost every supersport comes with them stock now because of the extreme geometry. But you're right, it could be argued that it's not needed.



I certainly don't agree that any bike can develop head shake that turns into a tank slapper. Even most supersports don't NEED one if you're using proper technique. If you're too tight on the bars you can get headshake, and if you try to muscle a headshake out it will often turn into a tank slapper.

In fact I've never heard of a zx6rr having headshake, from anyone; and they're used mostly for road racing. I think putting one on a bike that doesn't have very extreme racing geometry is covering a rider error.


Maybe. Although there could be some truth when it comes to very extreme situations, like emergency countersteering to avoid a car or switchback s turn's on the track.

If it doesn't concern you then get one. Do what works best for you. However, if an experienced racer advised me not to use one on the track, I don't think I would consider it necessary on the street with a zx14. It might help if you're doing a really high speed wheelie or almost wheelie on a drag strip, but I still think it would be masking a rider error. Just my opinion, and again I've never ridden a zx14 on the street or track/strip.
If you can learn from experience, head shake and tank slap are real on the ZX-14, it is usually caused by the front tire, with wear, snags on a slight cup in the tread pulling it over to that side then exposing the other side to pavement of greater surface area then that surface grabs the pavement creating oscillation. It will do it!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top