Steering damper, stabilizer.

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by twintwin, May 16, 2020.

  1. twintwin

    twintwin Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have just learned that a good quality damper makes a huge difference in the handling of a rig. This one was just put recently and the improvement at any speed is dramatic. The stiffness can be adjusted by the knob at the end of the rod, in the twisties less friction can be set up easily, and vis vera for highway traveling. The brand of this unit is a WP suspension, it was especially made for sidecar use and saddely it is apparently not manufactured any more. A very gracious gentleman who was working for WP a long time ago, sold me 2 of these, and I will keep the spare one preciously in the trunk in case! The Stabilus damper on the picture will go away obviously.


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    #1
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  2. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    A good steering damper on a sidecar rig doesn't have to be hydraulic, I find I often have a much better time with a friction damper. Then again, a friction damper isn't always available.
    #2
  3. bert111bel

    bert111bel Adventurer

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    Dont need a steering damper !!

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Good find @twintwin ! Sidecars are perhaps the most "one-off/all custom" vehicles on the road, so their handling characteristics vary widely; some need a steering damper, some don't. Great to see you were able to get a WP damper for your rigs (OK, in fact, TWO of them!). The adjustability is a big bonus. In ancient times, there was such a thing as friction shock absorbers. By definition, a "friction" anything wears over time, there's a reason hydraulic absorbers/dampers/isolators are in widespread use today. If you ever need some extra cash to pay for those massive tires on you rig, let me know, I'd be happy to purchase your spare WP damper :-)!

    So is your rig pretty much sorted out now? I recall you had a rear-end shake or shimmy?
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  5. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Scotts Damper is THE only way to go in my opinion. Fully adjustable while riding with easy access. This particular one is the one I had on my XR 600 desert race bike, in all of those years I've had Scott rebuild it twice.

    IMG_1276.jpg

    It is the same as the Ohlin damper outside the USA. Get the off road version so it will dampen away from center and not damping back to center.
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  6. BWeber

    BWeber Been here awhile

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    Its too bad some have strong opinions on steering dampers. I run them on 2 of my rigs.
    Several times someone has commented on a picture of my rig on FB that the setup, design, application is wrong if you need one. One individual out of Seattle likes to post very sarcastic and nasty posts attacking those that use them.

    Just beware when you start talking dampers it seems to inflame some out there.

    Hyper Pro makes great steering dampers up to 190 mm stroke.
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  7. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    I didn't have much luck with a Scotts on a DL1000 with a Ural tub.
    Didn't get rid of the shake (even when turned up to 11) and made it even harder to turn than it was w/o. There's certain speeds I just keep 2 hands on the bars.
    #7
  8. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    To me it sounds like you had the street bike version, not the off road version. Scott can convert one type to the other is you want, they are super great people to deal with. So if your Scotts didn't work out for you, what are you using?

    There will always be differing opinions when it comes to sidecar builds and set ups. Everyone has their favorite products and techniques and sidecars are a great example to the old saying about there being multiple ways to skin cats. People getting there panties in a wad over what someone else promotes as what works for them is pretty closed minded. But I did say that the Scotts was the way to go in my opinion, and opinions are only wroth what you paid for them
    #8
  9. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    @Strong Bad , I just took a look at the Ohlins international website, and they no longer show any steering dampers/stabilizers. On the Scotts USA website, they show the application chart below, but nothing is listed for any of the 1150/1200 GS series, do you know of a retailer that might still have NOS for a stabilizer that would fit a TwinCam GSA?

    Thanks!

    Capture.JPG
    #9
  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    I didn't get the mounting kit from Scotts as they didn't have one to fit my 07 1200GSA, I already had the damper. I got my mount from a South African CNC shop called Gorilla Zilla Products. The Stabilizers are all the same (except for the street/off road versions), even the ones used on the quads are the same, it's the mounting that at the bars and the mount for the post (clamp vs weld on) that is model specific. When dealing with sidecar builds it's not all that unusual to have to adapt a product from another application to fit your needs.
    #10
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  11. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Klaus has the tubular dampers. I have one on my 2008 but they fit the later GS and GSA. From the website--

    R 1200 GS & ADVENTURE (ADV up to '13)
    04-12SD MOUNTING KIT UNDER TELELEVER
    MK-BM12-B002 $ 232.45
    NEEDS DAMPER 75MM


    http://epmperf.com/hyperpro-motorcycle-steering-damper-with-reactive-safety-control/

    I started off with the more expensive RSC damper and it blew its guts after about three hours riding dirt. I asked Klaus about it and he said the fast oscillations caused by washboard is too much for the RSC which is better suited to tank slappers which are far slower. He suggested I try the linear damper. I bought one, and installed it, but have not torture tested it yet. The mounting kit requires OEM forks and telelever.

    This Spanish website has pics and install diagrams - https://www.totimport.com/en/products/75-mm-steering-damper-mounting-kit-under-telelever?

    I didn't know anybody made a Scotts mounting kit for the R1200GS. That looks trick.

    Edit--tried to find Gorilla Zilla. Appears to be out of business.
    #11
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  12. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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  13. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Strong, can you explain in "simple enough for DRONE to understand" terms what's the difference between damping away from center and damping back to center?
    #13
  14. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    @twintwin, sorry for temporarily hi-jacking your thread! @Strong Bad , thank for the GPR link. As Ned confirmed, Gorilla Zilla appears to be out of business, I found the GS website and they list a kit for a TwinCam, thanks for the lead!

    https://www.gprstabilizer.com/find-kit/?type=adventure-bikes&make=bmw&model=r1200gs+adventure+oil+cooled&years=2008-2012
    #14
  15. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    https://www.scottsonline.com/scotts.php

    Another important feature on the off-road units is, that the Scotts Stabilizer only dampens as the handlebar turns away from center. The handlebar "free-valves" back to dead straight. This feature makes the bike want to go straight, all by itself. This is another huge advantage over other stabilizers. It also boasts a damping control this is adjustable on the fly. It only takes a moment of one handed riding to change the damping, similar to the time it would take to pull a tear-off lens away. The road bike units are equipped with rebound valving back to center, as they are typically leaned into turns and not sliding into turns like Dirt Bikes. This again is a huge advantage in keeping the front end placed where you want it, damping the energy generated trying to move the forks back and forth, left to right on a road bike's steep head angle design.
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  16. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Having the damping away from center and no damping back to center is really, really nice when competing off road in the desert and down in Baja. At 50 to 80 mph having the bars get ripped out of your hands from hitting something is not good. In the first 50 or 60 miles before your hands and arms get tired, it's not a big deal, but towards the end of the race, yeah its kind of gnarly. The Scotts allows for a slow turn of the bars with out much resistance, but the faster and harder you try to move the bars the more it dampens. So in a parking lot it easy peasy to turn (unless you have it cranked way down) but the as soon as it tries to do "tank slappers" it's full blown dampening.

    GPR has expanded out away from the racing markets and Scott has seemed to be happy not expanding into adventure bikes.
    #16
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  17. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    I remember that one of my first lessons was that my enthusiasm to win could never overcome arm pump

    So I learned to just give it my all and enjoy the ride


    .
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  18. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    If you have a good damper, you can relax your grip and not get arm pump as fast!
    #18
  19. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    Yeah I don't think I had a damper back in those days

    .
    #19
  20. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    True, and we had a whopping 4” of travel to work with like me here in the 1970 Barstow to Vegas Hare & Hound 57ADC214-428F-45A1-BCAE-8B23E7200981.jpeg
    #20
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