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Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by frank wheelbarrow, Apr 9, 2007.
Short sprint with the howling machine. ITG RC8R...
Been a few months since anyone posted here... finally got the race recap video pulled together from the Mint 400:
@gearheadE30 Well played and narrated, sir. Been working hard to master Ontario's forest woops on my 950SE with rethought/resprung 990ADV rear suspension and Desert HT rear, Desert ST front. It's the best tire combo I've had yet, esp in deep sand when those side knobs get to biting. But woops are tiring and testing when they're in quantity like that. So yeah mang, well done.
@gearheadE30 You only make brief emntion of it in the video, a question; Why no Damper?
I've desert raced with and without, I found it waay less tiring with one.
@kamanya there are some things I do like about steering dampers, mainly the safety aspect of smacking a rock that's buried in the sand or something like that. However, I don't like the 'dead' feeling they seem to give the bike. I like being able to feel what the front tire is doing as it seems to help me figure out how much grip I have at the front end. I also get more feedback from the bike as to if my body position is wrong in corners without a damper, which is directly related to maximizing whatever grip you have. I don't spend a ton of time in the desert - my home turf is Indiana where it is a lot of mud, clay dirt, roots, rocks, etc. Being able to maximize grip when there is very little to start with is really important. With more technical riding, I also found that it was much harder to steer with my feet and it usually feels like I am fighting the damper. I never noticed racing being less tiring with a damper, but everyone has different preferences and I'm definitely not saying that everyone should get rid of their steering dampers. I just don't feel the need to spend my money on one.
I guess it boils down to speed. I only turned mine way up on the faster open stuff where it wasn't really the front that it was controlling, but stopping the rear from swapping.
Somehow I've never really had a problem with my bike swapping, at least not badly enough that it actually scared me. Interestingly, I have ridden other 950s and 990s and all of them felt a little more squirrely. I'm not sure what is different about my setup that makes it more stable, but swapping bikes with other big bike racers confirmed my impression. If I had an issue with that, then I could definitely see considering a damper if I couldn't find a way to dial it out.