Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
One claim I've heard on the negative side is that a damper can affect slow speed steering inputs, making them sluggish and unnerving. I've only heard this about the cheap ones though, not the higher quality brands like Scott's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
really the only downside is the cost considering the fact that you don't really need one for the street IMHO...

I say you should ride your bike and if you notice alot of headshake or the roads you ride are really bumpy, then perhaps consider one if you have the extra dough laying around...


to be honest, if someone gave me dampener, I would put it on my bike, but I just can't justify the money considering any headshake I have had wasn't that bad....


My Drinking Team Has a Racing Problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
One thing you might consider though, is that if you are doing stunts on your bike, it is a good idea to have one. If you do wheelies, it will keep your tire straight when you pull up, and keep you from coming down sideways and causing a highside! Another thing, is that if you are riding without your hands for some reason(for instance you are riding on the back seat) and you hit a rock or a hole, the damper will keep the tire in line. Might cause sluggish slow riding, but that is why it is so easily adjustable. If you aren't stunting, move it to the lowest setting, it should be as if it isn't even there. Granted it is a lot of cash to fork over for such a simple piece of equipment. Just my 2 cents! [8D]

-Cops want a hot pursuit, so entertain them! -Shadee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
There are no negatives when it comes to having a damper. Yes, they are obviously more useful on the track because of the higher speeds, but they still maintain usefulness on the street regardless. They are also a little expensive, but the first close call that you have when you realize that it was the damper that allowed you to regain control of your bike will make you completely forget about that minor insignificance. So, even if the bike doesn't 'require' one, the bike will benefit from having one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
ive searched the board and found a bunch of discussions on the yes vs.no of steering dampers, especially the fact that the new '03s dont really require one unless youre going on the track with it. ive also read the counter arguments about how they can be useful on the street as well.

i read the good things: tightens up steering over bumps, potholes, turns, etc. but no bad things, expect of course the $400 that could be spent elsewhere.

are there any other downsides to a damper?


Rob
www.oldoldz.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Follow me if you will....

For the most part, we all want things that you see on race bikes, no? Staying true to this, there isn't a single racebike out there that I know of that doesn't have one, or at least - one that wins.

A good quality steering dampener will have two circuits: one for high-speed damping which is what you need when that front end starts to wobble fast and a second low speed circuit. The latter allows more fluid to flow at lower speeds. The consequence - effortless steering around town.

Cheap set-ups don't have this two circuit set-up, buy the good stuff! Öhlins, Toby, Scotts, and WP are all fine examples of kit. All steering dampeners slow steering, even at low speed inputs. With the high/low circuits on better made setups, the difference in youy dampener-less set-up vs. your aftermarket add-on are virtually imperceptable. We're talking joules at your average street pace. Once things livin' up, a good set up will go to work for you.

Do yourself a favour and buy one. You may never need this added insurance. Then again, a good wobble coming around a corner after you just schlepped some fresh road kill might just be what it takes to convince you to invest in one.

Friends don't let friends ride with chicken strips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
Considering...

A) our streets are usually in much worse shape (pysical condition)than the typical track

B) most of us do not pay much attention to the speed limit (at least not 100% of the time)

than we can assume that A+B = C

C) We will be going fast on crappy roads

Maybe not quite at track pace and lean angles, BUT with this in mind a damper on the street is not so far fetched.

There are other things to consider too, geomerty, suspension, tires etc etc etc.

Most guys I know treat their favorite twisty sections like their own personl track (within reason ;)) so... you do the math. Most people who try them (I mean on the street) agree it's beneficial.

I would like to hear if there's someone on the board who's tried one on the street (fot more than 5 minsutes) and didn't like it? It's one of those thing you can't really comment on till ya have firsthand experince IMO.

If you've never experienced a bad headshake in your street riding, than it's a safe assumption that you riding style doesn't require one. That's my take, your's may differ :D.

Personally I don;t see any negatives. Even if you don;t think it's required, it's not goign to do any harm. I will say this...probably any of the other 600's (expect the honda) would need one before the 6R. I'm talking pre 03 bikes, I have no exp with the 03's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I consider it a "want" rather than a "need" if you're not going to take the bike to extremes such as racing or stunting.

My J1 came with it, previous owner had installed a Toby side-mounted damper. Was on third to softest setting, I now have it on the softest setting so that it doesn't interfere with slow-speed maneuvering. I've raised my rear end (a tad more than the recommended +8mm) -- which is supposed to decrease stability to some extent -- and rode hard over the weekend in twisties and a few straights, and the bike is as stable as ever. Our bikes up the J series are known for stability and sublime handling. I've read that the '03s feel like they're going to slap or shake, but they don't -- probably just giving off some attitude :D

In short, I can't appreciate the damper yet because I haven't seen a reason for its existence. There are no negatives, I'm happy to have it, but I wouldn't buy one if there was something else my bike needed more ... like an Akrapovic or Blue Flame Ti-Oval race can, for example. [:p]

A tip: I mentioned this before, if you go ahead and get a damper, get a center-mounted one. The side-mounts restrict your clutch lever adjustment because it goes on top of the ram-air duct cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
Originally posted by CdnNinjaZX6R

on the 00-02's I dont think they are needed on the street, but for your 03 it might be a good idea, they have a quicker turn in speed, which also tends to mean the bike is a little more nervous.



-=Welcome To Canada=-

2002 Green 6R
1986 Gixxer 7/11
CDN, I would agree with you wholeheartedly, UNTIL, that is, I rode the '03... you would think that the tight turn-in and sharp handling would mean a real sacrifice in stability straight-line... but the truth is, the geometry has really solidified the stability like you wouldn't believe. I'm not saying some people wouldn't benefit from the addition of a damper, but the truth is I find it less nervous than my '98 due to the aggressive and reworked geometry and much lower center of gravity. Strange but true.

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
That's interesting dj dunzie. I guess I'll find out when I get mine on April 14th.
My old 2001 GSX-R 600 came with one stock. I dont no why, I guess liability reasons. I found myself always fighting it when ever I was counter steering hard into a tight corner. So I took it off and I had no loss of stability only a quicker steering bike in those tighter corners. That's Suzuki for ya.

www.bothendsup.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Solidified the Stability? Maybe for you. But on my '03 running through the twisties and pushing out of corners, the front end got violent on me. A steering damper is definitely on the way.

If you've never experienced the headshake or tankslapper, then you probably don't need one. But I can't think of any negatives either..:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
Well, I have experienced a tankslapper, so I don't need a reminder of how dangerous they are...

I believe the '03 is less nervous than my '98 was. I don't endorse anyone NOT fitting a damper because of my impression... if you feel the bike is in any way nervous, I recommend you install one.

I don't find mine "nervous" at all with the suspension setup I'm running though, and at this point, I don't have reason to look into a damper.

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
To answer the original question, a steering damper can hamper low-speed maneuvering. It can also be a bit of a band-aid to poor suspension setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
i would love to ride with some of your guys to see exactly how hard you are pushing your bikes on the street...

I must be one slow ass rider....or one scared ass rider...or one smart rider ;)


My Drinking Team Has a Racing Problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
Shadee, I haven't been able to do any further tweaking since I posted these settings (weather hasn't exactly been co-operating)...

/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2996

Keep in mind my size (6'1", 215 pounds), and the fact I set it up fairly stiff anyway for the riding I do, and the fact that I am a continuous "tweaker" - always playing with the settings. You can try these settings out if you're near my size and see how they work for you. Most of the magazine tests and shootouts post their settings too if you want more ideas from someone of different sizes and riding styles...

Good luck!

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
Nice thread here all!

First of all, a damper on the street is still a good idea. A bike on the track without a damper is insane. Road and track conditions change constantly, a damper properly installed and adjusted accordingly will always help with those unforeseen situations. The Scott's(an Ohlin's product anyways) top mounted rotary damper works well even though it's not for track use (even though many use it on the track...like Gobert with the R7, stamped on the product "Not for Track Use!"). A side mount will always work better due to the stroke of the damper length. My past race R1's with the top mount 916 style damper worked well but not as well as the side mount did. The only problem with side mounts, is the obvious ease at which the part can be damaged in a minor low side.

Stock dampers (such as the TLR, TL, GSXR, Biposto 748's) do not work very well and serve little purpose on the street. Hyper-pro works ok if you ride a Honda F4i (Freddie Spencers School uses them), everyone else(pro/amateur racer level)seems to hate them with a passion.

On a cold day of street riding, I'd highly recommend riding for a while until the oil in the damper becomes more fluid...I remember a ride on a cool morning when I wanted to show a group of riders my sparking sliders early in the ride...tires has some grip, but the damper oil was heavy. One attempted turn later and I was the punchline of the days jokes. The rider was leaning very hard with massive push steering inputs, yet the bike refused to turn...I went into the oncoming traffic and into a deep ditch.

It's a wise man who learns from his mistakes...but it's the wiser man who learns from the mistakes of others. Get a damper...you get what you pay for...and don't show off sparking knee pucks when your bike won't turn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top