950 Supermoto Chronicles

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by wpbarlow, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. MotoSteve

    MotoSteve Functioning Motard

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    I want to install a steering damper on my '06 KTM 950sm. So far I can only find 2 options:

    Scotts: http://www.scottsperformance.com/Stabilizer_Purchase2.php?Make=Ktm&Model=&Bike_ID=4591&Year=2006&Size=950&Add_On=%20SM&BI_ID=71049

    and

    Emig: http://www.ktmtwins.com/950supermoto/er950sm-evo2-kit.html

    Both are pricey as you have to buy the tripple clamps and mounts.

    Has anyone mounted a damper on there 950sm?

    Are there other brands or mounting options available?

    You would think ohlins, gpr or the like would make one to fit the best bike ever.:evil
  2. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    I was all ready to plunk down the cash on the Scotts this past Friday then got a $800 bill for auto repairs I wasn't expecting.... guess I'll be waiting a bit for the damper. I'll be interested in hearing other options for the SMR/SE too. I'd prefer not to have to use an under bar mount as I feel the stock bars are high enough as it is, 20-25mm higher doesn't sound wonderful.

    Thanks all
  3. MotoSteve

    MotoSteve Functioning Motard

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    25mm is less than an inch and I'm 6'6", so not too worried about the raise. The Scotts look great, just wondering if there is a less expensive yet effective option.

  4. Taipan

    Taipan Adventurer

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    Thanks for checking. Is your play damped as if the wheel is hitting rubber or does it clocnk like say tapping a screwdriver handle on the wheel rim, if you see what I mean?
  5. aeronaut

    aeronaut Been here awhile

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    FYI, I had a strong desire for a steering damper also. But, once I installed lower and more forward handlebars, and revalved/resprung forks, I never find myself wishing I had a steering damper.
  6. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    It's metal on metal. The bushings in the wheel have metal sleeves in rubber, and the sprocket carrier has steel pins. I keep mine greased, but never noticed any noise or vibration coming from that area.
  7. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated

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    The cush drive bushings on these bikes are rubber with steel sleeves on the outside and inside diameters, so the pins on the sprocket carrier are actually contacting metal on the ID of the bushes.

    Edit: Dang it! You're too fast fer me, Chuck.
  8. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    :D Great minds think alike... :D
  9. Bofaxrunner

    Bofaxrunner Adventurer

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    Just Curious, what spring/valving changes did you have done to the fork?
    Also, what's your weight and height for reference?
    Thanks in advance.

    BTW, I installed a Scotts and love it. I've been wanting to work on the forks, they just don't feel quite right.
  10. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    Yeah I was thinking of waiting on the damper until after I did my forks but after 650 miles of windy miles this past weekend I thought I'd go ahead and get the damper. I've been running the forks moved up in the tripple clamps by 10mm. Really like the way it turns into corners now but the stability in cross winds at highway speeds has diminished somewhat, esp in traffic. I don't think the modified fork dampening would affect the stabiliy much on the highway. I could drop the forks back down but as I said it turns so sweet in the twisties I enjoy most that I think I'll keep them raised and run a damper.
  11. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    Natty, what tires are you using?
  12. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    I’m using the stock Scorpion Syncs. Just installed my third set. Thus some of what I was feeling last weekend may have been due to the worn tires (4500 miles on them at the time). That said I've always felt a bit of wiggle at highway speeds in traffic and I've been playing with the idea of a damper for some time now. I know Walter and a few others are using the SD fender and find the bike a bit more stable in turbulent air, I was considering that idea as well. I don’t think the damper is a MUST have more of a nice to have item for the type of roads I’m on 80% of the time. Still having used dampers on other bikes I keep thinking one would be a nice addition to the SMR.
  13. MotoSteve

    MotoSteve Functioning Motard

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    I'd like to here more from people who have used a damper on the SM/SMR.

    My understanding is it will help absorb deflections (and keep you on line)when you hit a rock or pothole, and help calm the front when really getting on it or setting it down from a wheelie. Seems like a nice safety feature on the street as well as for track days.

    With the Scotts you can adjust the slow speed damping way down for the street, so you feel no drag on the bar when turning, while still maintaining the separate high speed circuit as a safety margin for when you hit something that would otherwise have taken you off line.

    http://www.dirtbikeworld.net/Reviews/Scotts/scotts_damper_text2.html



  14. aeronaut

    aeronaut Been here awhile

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    In this case, a steering damper simply masks the problem of far too much high-speed-compression-damping in the front forks. Spend your money on revavled forks rather than steering damper.

    That's my opinion, for what's it's worth!
  15. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    Well that didn't take as long as I thought it would. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    After a nice little deposit showed up in my checking account today (Thanks Uncle Sam), I forgot all about my auto repair blues. I just went ahead and ordered the Emig damper for my SMR. Should have it by Friday and installed with the new tires scrubbed by Sunday, if all goes well. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I'll report back first hand on the damper vs. no damper next week. Provided it stops raining and I can get the new tires scrubbed in...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Props to Emig, super to deal with.<o:p></o:p>
  16. Just Bob

    Just Bob Been There Done That

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    Before you all run out and buy a damper try this. Next time it feels like its wagging its head, try moving your weight forward a bit by sliding forward and/or bending forward and lighten your grip on the bars to about as much pressure as you would use to hold a small bird, ie; almost none.

    The 950sm is extra sensitive to weight positioning because of the softer suspenders. And the wide bars set you up for over controlling the front end. Like Keith Code says, the bike is doing fine - its usually the rider messing it up.

    Dampers are great on dirt bikes where you ram into big rocks. On road and track bikes they are there to stop a tank slapper - not head shake which is pretty normal.

    Ditto others advice on fork setup having a major effect.
  17. nattyMo

    nattyMo Been here awhile

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    MotoSteve,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Aeronaut and I both agree that the stock forks have too much High Speed compression dampening. The steering damper will mask this a bit. In an ideal world I'd have two (or more) rides and would have already sent my forks off to be re-valved. Sadly I'm down to one bike and don't want to miss any riding season hence my choice to bolt on the damper and keep riding until the snow flies. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The damper will aid handling in ways that suspension set up alone won't. Tracking across any object you may encounter especially ruts and railroad tracks, plus keeping the back end inline under hard braking and aiding in overall stability at speed.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    All said the first step should always be to set your Sag and get your suspension working as best it can prior to adding the damper. I'm going about it a bit backwards by choice. Once I have the down time to do the forks I'll likely remove the damper when setting them up again.
  18. MotoSteve

    MotoSteve Functioning Motard

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    All valid points, thank you.

    I am not an expert rider and have limited knowledge of suspension set up. So I had a retired, national level SB racer of the same body weight set up my suspension for me. It feels great and even his opinion was that a damper was not necessary on the 950sm.

    So now my suspension is sorted nicely and I've worn out my copy of Twist of the Wrist 2. Truth be told, I have not(luckily) had a situation where I needed the damper on the 950sm. Maybe I am just buying into the sales pitch and marketing.

    Some folks just swear by them and say it is there to save your butt when you really need it.

    I'm on the fence. They are expensive and maybe I should just spend the money on a few track days instead.

  19. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated

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    What tires have you guys used that you would characterize as being kind of slow- or heavy-steering? Or, at least linear in steering response.

    I have a set of 950SM wheels for my SE with Pilot Powers, and the handling is way too nervous for my taste. The huge reduction in trail with the 17" front is the root of the problem, the the triangular profile of the PP is probably contributing to it. A shallower, more rounded profile would probably work better.

    The Distanzia SM is the slowest-steering tire I've ever used, but it's not available in a 180/55-17 (a mistake on Avon's part, IMO). The Uly guys are using the 160/60-17 on 5.5" rear wheels with good success, but I'm not sure I want to go there.

    Any recommendations on a stable-feeling sport or sport-touring tire that might help calm this thing down?
  20. Taipan

    Taipan Adventurer

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    That does indeed confimr mine is "normal". Thanks for checking that guys, its appreciated.:clap