steering damper ... which?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by inte, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Never used one before, but looks like now's the time ... :D

    Initial setup isn't a concern (welding vs. bolt-on), I just need something that can be (relatively) easily transferred back & forth between the YZ426 & 640 Adventure.
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  2. craigincali

    craigincali Just hanging around

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    Scotts and GPR are held on by 2 bolts. Doesnt get much easier than that..
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  3. AMAL

    AMAL Virtual Poseur

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    I have a Scotts. I had it on my 300 EXC, and will be installing it on my 450 EXC. It is an amazing and worthwhile device! It is expensive, but it is worth every dollar IMHO!
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  4. Tim

    Tim Long timer

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    I have a Scotts. Which ever you go for I would get one that can have adjustments made whilst riding at the turn of a button.
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  5. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Everyone says Scotts is the standard by which all others are judged.

    GPR and Emig also make nice units but I dunno if they are as easily transfered.

    RTT makes a schweet lookin unit, but I have heard they are doing that microsoft-style "beta testing" (for sale but unreliable).

    Good timing inte! I would like to hear some people discuss why they want a steering dampener or why they do not (some say they don't...). What's it good for and when is it bad? Anyone? :ear
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  6. DevDel

    DevDel Been here awhile

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    There is no guarranty a Scotts will fit both bike without changing the actuator arm on the bottom of the damper. They are different depending upon the bike.

    For future reference only, don't try to use a street unit in the dirt, they are way to stiff. A dirt unit might be okay on the street on it's stiffer settings

    Scotts are awesome though.


    Dev
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  7. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    that makes sense that they would differ as the steering head and such would be different. good point.

    i thought the reason you would not want to use a street version in the dirt is because they dampen (damp for Chrissy :rolleyes) back to center whereas the dirt versions only dampen away from center. Correcto?
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  8. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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    Mornin' Meaty :ace
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  9. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    uh oh, the Hall Monitor just showed up...

    top o' da morn chrissy :wave
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  10. Walker Sky Ranch

    Walker Sky Ranch Riderdown.org

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    Inte
    You want above or below bar?
    above, makes for a big piece of Aluminum to bounce off of, Under the bar makes for a harder install and un-install.
    #10
  11. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Just ordered some Stuff from Scotts!

    I'm going to check out the bolt-on kit for the YZ & if I don't like it I can swap for another mount.

    The 640 might be another story - apparently they vary from year to year - the weld-on shouldn't be that big of a deal though ... we'll see.

    Keep me posted on the prerunning!
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  12. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    That's my assumption. Emig makes both types. I suspect it is like picking tires, 50/50, 80/20 etc etc. I went with the dampen-both-ways type because I ride a lot of street and when I go off-road it is basically "beach with whoops", where I put it on maximum.
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  13. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    I've run the Scotts and GPR's back to back... both are fine, I prefer the Scotts for it's finer degree of adjustability.

    AFAIK, there are only 2 arm lengths for the Scotts- the same damper and arm fit everything from KX100's on up. The XR650R forward mount is the only application I've found with a different (longer) arm.

    You should be able to get stuff for the YZ pretty readily on Thumpertalk or eBay, less so for the KTM. Typically they offer deals on the package, so I'd get the 640 kit with the damper and then keep my eyes peeled for the YZ stuff. Hope that advice isn't too late.
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  14. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Yes & no ... I ordered directly through Scotts, but I don't think I could have done much better on ebay ... I saw a couple available where I could have saved $50 or so, but then with shipping ... I dunno.

    Good thing is my YZ is BONE stock :thumb

    oh wait ... the stock steel bars don't work so hot with a damper ... :huh

    I ended up getting the "tripleclamp" kit from Scotts $599 ... ouch, pain, etc... BUT it comes with the damper, heavy duty tripleclamp & oversize bar mounts, & Protaper bars (I got the Windam bend). The price of the damper & tripleclamp works out so you end up getting the bars for free.

    Another $100 for the KTM weld-on kit & I'm good to go on both bikes.

    For a Baja adventure like yours, I would be very comfortable on the 640 - the YZ is for when I want to see how much trouble I can get myself into in the desert ...

    Speaking of your trip and to hijack my own thread..., did you do the singletrack option around Mike's? VERY short, fun bonus ride. Maybe only a mile or so, but I huffed the 640 through it several times. After the lakebed, sandy 250 course, & all the fireroad heading to Mikes, it was nice to get some decent technical & relatively consequence-free riding in (no white-knuckle "if I crash I'm going to die out here" stuff ... just hike back to Mikes) :thumb
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  15. Mack

    Mack Gone, but never forgotten. RIP, Mack...

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    I prefer the Scotts, but that is to be expected as I have never tried any other damper! :huh (Not counting push rod style dampers on street bikes.)

    The road damper has an "R" stamped on the upper face of the damper at the twelve O' clock postion. The Scotts rep that I talked to, recomended the dirt damper for situations where the damper would be transfered from dirtbikes to street/track bikes. The dirt damper only dampens away from center, thus helping the front wheel to return to center. The road damper dampens both ways. That said, I've used a road damper on my 640 for two years without issue, the rep said if I was happy, that he didn't see a problem.

    I've got two damper arms for mine, a stepped arm, and a straight arm, the stepped won't work on the VFR800, and the straight is needed on the Sommer underbar damper mount, but I can't remember why. Either will work on the 640 top bar mount.

    Swaping out the oil is the only service mine has required in three years of use. Got finicky and let it sit all night upside down to get the "micro" bubbles out, worked perfect no air at all. Then I found out, Scotts wants a bit of air, I assume a small bubble, to allow for expansion of the oil when the unit gets hot, to keep it from leaking.


    http://natra.dirtrider.net/damper.htm
    http://www.hardracing.com/Shocks & Steering Damp/Scotts.htm
    #15
  16. craigincali

    craigincali Just hanging around

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    I just am having a Scotts top mount put on my 99 640 as we speak. GKennedy has a top mount on his 01 640 also. You can do, it takes some work. I am lucky enough to have Scotts and the man who makes the arms and posts for them right down the road from me (okay 30 miles).

    All it takes is a good welder who knows bikes and someone willing to cut/file the arm down so it doesnt hit the tank/ gas cap. The arm is made of hardened steel and can be cut for clearance if needed.

    I intend on using the road damper too. I guess it is all personal taste....
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  17. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Scotts isn't that far from me either ... let me know the name of that welder, I may need to look for someone with a wire-feed machine & skilled hands when this thing shows up.
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  18. AMAL

    AMAL Virtual Poseur

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    Have you ever driven a car without power steering on a bad road? You feel all of the bumps and pot holes jerking the steering wheel out of your hands and rattling your teeth. The steering damper can make a bike seem like you put power steering on it. You don't get tired as easily. It is great to have when riding fast on rough terrain. You have control instead of the bike controling you. You don't feel all of the chop through the handlebars that you are riding across. It gets rid of forearm pump big time! It increased my riding time more than 2X before I started getting tired. The problem is realizing when you are tired! On the wrong bike; that can mean trouble. I know about that aspect too! :kurt
    #18
  19. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    BTDT, agree it's the way to go. I agree- they are too close to new price used to be worth the risk.

    Not this trip, but I've ridden a fair amount of oneline stuff around there- there's some on the way in from San Matias, and more on the South/West side of the place... which one are you talking about?

    We wound up being short on gas, short on time, and facing a muddy ride home. Not much exploring this time.
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  20. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    It's good for everything except supercross. It's bad for supercross. Any questions? :rofl

    Seriously, there is no downside that I have ever found, aside from a lighter wallet. But the upsides are huge- it takes a huge amount of work out of riding anywhere that rocks and so forth want to twist the bars back and forth (which is pretty much everywhere off-road) and it has no negative impact on tight handling.

    My XR damper finally lost its seals in Baja and pumped it's oil out. After 20k miles with it on, riding without it was a very sad eye opener to how great a job it does- you don't notice it's there, it's just like all those rocks moved out of the way for you.
    #20