Ural Survey: Which steering damper do you use and why?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by IndyChizzle, Aug 13, 2017.

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Which steering damper do you use, and why?

  1. Stock friction damper. I've never seen the need to upgrade.

    16 vote(s)
    38.1%
  2. Ural hydraulic damper that came stock on my bike

    7 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Ural hydraulic damper that I added to my bike

    6 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. Sean's R3W Steering Damper Kit

    13 vote(s)
    31.0%
  5. Some VW damper contraption that I made

    4 vote(s)
    9.5%
  6. Other

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Maccaoz

    Maccaoz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    Brisbane.
    Stock 14 Ural dampener was crap .It did almost nothing when on max setting ,then it leaked.
    I fitted a VW dampener that worked better than good.
    Some months after fitting I found Sean's and his is almost the same .:clap
    Not ugly, practical would be a better description.
    Dampener is how Scotts refer to their tricky little gadget as fitted to my KLR :D
    #21
  2. NxtGoRnd

    NxtGoRnd This Time Around, Wearing Out Tires

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,727
    Location:
    South of Atlanta, North of Macon
    Ural Hydraulic, and added Sean's R3W
    #22
  3. Bar None

    Bar None Old School Dude

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,147
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    No big deal. I think most here understood the poll.
    #23
  4. s1marks

    s1marks Mercedes

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    Banks, Oregon.
    I used Seans, it was a vast improvement over the stock friction damper on my 07 Gear-up.
    After I installed 2" Rox risers the stock damper became unusable anyway, I could no longer rotate the knob as the handlebars were in the way. I don't regret the purchase of Sean damper in any way. I don't personally think it is ugly either. If I got a 2nd Ural, I would buy Seans damper again (I 'could' fab up a VW one and make it work, but life is too short).
    #24
  5. IndyChizzle

    IndyChizzle Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,482
    Location:
    Westfield, IN by US 32 and Shady Nook
    Thanks for your advice. I'm leaning towards the Sean's damper for my rig. I think it looks fine (it's on a Ural after all...), and seems like a fair price, if you want to upgrade from the friction damper.
    #25
  6. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,952
    Location:
    Westside WA
    On the friction damper era only time I use them is on crap rocky rutted roads to help keep the front wheel glancing off rocks shock loads being transferred to the handlebars. On paved roads I only crank it down just tight enough to keep it from vibrating loose and falling off. Essentially for off pavement use when needed. On my 014 (hyd damper) Mines set at what the dealer set it at when I bought the bike new (4 clicks?). On pavement you should not need a steering damper. If on pavement and you're getting a death wobble at Ural speeds, don't waste money buying band-aides, fix the damn problem...you'll live a lot longer.
    #26
    brstar likes this.
  7. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,121
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Just the stock friction one, but not used much. I had to loose the knob when I went with bar risers, just a small wing nut on the end now.
    #27
    cateyetech likes this.
  8. T-Bear

    T-Bear bageldog

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    304
    Location:
    dogtown - NEOKLA
    I highly recommend Sean's system. Best to read this thread at SS...
    http://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=45227&start=180

    I pulled my comments from that thread cuz' I'm lazy...

    T-Bear wrote:

    Another happy owner of Sean's Damper.

    Sean was awesome to deal with over the phone and the damper kit was sent out promptly.

    Hardware was top notch quality.

    Installation was very straight forward and simple.

    Thoughts on use:

    I had only driven my 2008 GU around my pasture a couple of times before installing the kit. That being said as I cannot really compare "before" to how I feel to "after". From all my research I was concerned about front wheel shake and wanting to tear the bars out of my hands after a pothole.

    After install thoughts:

    Hah! What shake and unstable and sudden handlebar movements? This bike is smooth and VERY steady. Not an issue at all to ride one handed over stuff. The bike feels extremely steady and smooth in all steering actions. I ride almost 80% rough dirt/rock/gravel roads and the bike tracks straight and true.

    EXTREMELY happy! Worth every penny - even at double the great price offered!

    Thanks Sean!

    Just a follow-up after 1000+ miles on dirt, gravel and rock.

    What an AWESOME investment. I frequently ride 1 hand only on these sorts of roads. I am not trying to be dangerous, but I am not worried about using one hand (or none). Not an issue - the bike remains rock solid.


    ETA - Using my stock friction damper set at just snug in conjunction with Sean's kit...
    #28
  9. Mr.Efficiency

    Mr.Efficiency Adventure Wuss

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Cleveland
    I have had hacks a while and used the VW damper system... it was fine. On my 2012 Ural I don't get any head shakes at all. I use the stock damper to tighten/loosen steering precision. However, if I were going to use a damper today I would go with a nice aftermarket solution and be happy with it. I like the looks of the "sean damper" I guess I would do that one
    #29
  10. leethal

    leethal 3 wheel Monarch #37

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Mornington peninsula, Melbourne
    Added Ural hydraulic damper which leaked and did .....not much.
    Dismantled it and fitted two extra O rings into the end caps. Filled with 20/50 engine oil....
    Works brilliantly and no leaks.
    Only use it on very rough tracks..
    #30
  11. cheeseheadmike

    cheeseheadmike Teenager in an AARP body

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    NE IL
    I've bought the parts to do a VW damper but never got around to installing it. As I'm not noticing a need with the old friction damper, I probably never will.
    #31
  12. gobium

    gobium Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    439
    Location:
    south of south pole
    Stock friction works fine if you dail your sidecar alignment ! Works fine for last 69 yrs?
    #32
    brstar likes this.
  13. PAfromQC

    PAfromQC Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    I ride a 2014 GU and the stock damper was changed at the end of summer 2016 on warranty...then on my first ride of 2017 in may ( rig stored for winter and i didnt invest in winter tires since mandatory in QC) the freaking seals went and warranty on bike ended in october 2016.

    Out went that crapy damper and after searching the web i came upon Sean's damper...Checked out the riders review and contacted Sean. Nice guy with very good knowledge of Ural and with lots of sidecar experience, with a excellent product that backs its claims and outstanding customer service. Bike is more stable at highway speeds and less tension on arms and shoulders, plus off road it keep the front wheel on track.

    Pierre
    #33
  14. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,012
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    Thought I might mention that Sean is now selling his damper on eBay. Just search for "Ural Steering Damper kit" -- there's only one result.
    #34
  15. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,738
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #35
  16. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    no reason the friction damer should not work as gobium said.
    #36
  17. BrainBender

    BrainBender Bounty Hunter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    West Middlesex, Pa 16159
    I put one of Sean's dampers on my 2012 Gear Up. It totally transformed the bike into a stable, straight tracking, enjoyable ride. It used to get violent headshake on deceleration, very scary. Sean's kit was a simple 25 minute bolt on addition that is the best improvement I've made to my rig plus the price is right. 2 big thumbs up!
    #37
  18. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,756
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    Check your steering head bearings, wheel trueness, air pressure. swingarm pivots on sidecar and bike and tires. Sometimes a damper can be a bandaid which will not heal the real issue.
    #38
  19. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,216
    Location:
    Kent, Washington State
    I agree with others, a steering damper shouldn't be used to "fix" something. When a rig is set up correctly, a steering damper is basically a steering "shock absorber" that helps keep a rig on its line when when encountering surface irregularities. In its favor, they do refine the riding experience and reduce fatigue, and the better the damper, the better the results.

    The friction damper worked good enough on my 07 Patrol that I didn't feel the need to upgrade.
    I was given a Hydraulic damper kit to test, it was definitely a step up from the friction damper as it performed as desired under a wider range of conditions for a given setting, although the overall range of settings was a bit limited. It, like many of the early units developed a leak and ceased to function, There is a seal retrofit kit available that addresses the issue.
    My 2018 M70 came with a Bitubo, which is a high end damper that works outstandingly. It has a wide range of settings from barely noticeable to like riding on rails. I typically have it set at click 5 of 17, and bump it up a click or 2 for freeway riding to eliminate the effects of rain grooves at speed.

    2018 Damper
    [​IMG]
    #39
    TurTal likes this.
  20. out rider

    out rider You Go First

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,345
    Location:
    IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY
    I had a 2015 GearUp with Sean's damper and it was such a vast improvement over stock both on road and off road.
    Off road meaning mud and water, rock jeep trails in Colorado, etc..
    Now have a 2017 GearUp that I will be putting a Sean's damper on.
    Once you have it on it becomes apparent how weak the stock one is.
    #40