Steering Dampers & Stabilizers - Let's See 'Em

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by mikepa, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

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    Some sanity here. I’ve always done everything I could to eliminate the need for a damper, and have been successful except on my first rig and a Ural I had. But I am considering adding one to my my current rig only so I don’t have to be so diligent on maintaining the correct tire air pressure. I do like your SS pivot.
    #21
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  2. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    One I made for my R1200C. Friction damper, works great!

    JamesDamper001.jpg
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  3. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    I like that! Real high quality workmanship.
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  4. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

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    I like that. Do you run just metal on metal or do you have a friction material in between?
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  5. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Had a Scotts damper on the DL1000/Ural tub outfit for a while. Still had low speed shake that came and went, even when turned up to 11.
    Was better to take it off and just lock up my arms when shake happens.
    #25
  6. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    I used to believe the same! And I agree that there may be certain types of front-end configurations that may not require a damper, such as a center-hub-steering setup, but they will generally provide some sort of mechanical advantage which greatly reduces "hunting". What I've found in building rigs is - it depends. No two outfits are the same. I've certainly had outfits that didn't "require" a damper, but their steering efforts was relatively high, even with a smaller diameter 15" wheel on the front.

    Generally speaking, the higher the steering effort, the lower the need for a damper. As modification are made to reduce steering effort, a trail-reducing lower fork cross brace, a "Dedome"-style modified TeleLever for BMW's, leading legs, a smaller diameter front wheel, or what I consider the ultimate, a leading link front-end AND smaller diameter front wheel, the sensitivity to road surface perturbations, rain grooves, seams, etc. increases, and in many cases, a steering damper is advised.

    Also, the needs of highways vs. off-road outfits are different. Anyone who has ridden off-pavement, in gravel, dirt or the bane of many, SAND, know that front end oscillation is a reality on loose-traction surfaces. There's a reason rotary and linear dampers are popular with "off-road" riders.

    Finally, consideration should also be given to the engineering teams at Ducati, BMW, even URAL - all have models with steering dampers, and I readily admit their engineering and design expertise are orders of magnitude greater than mine.

    But ultimately, it depends . . . .
    #26
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  7. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    "Better to take it off...", even when turned to the least dampen? So you are saying that just having it mounted to the bike made it worse? I'm obviously missing something in what you are saying.

    One of things about the Scotts is the multiple adjustments. Knowing how to adjust to them fit your needs is critical. Did you try tuning the high speed adjustment under the black cap? The damping radius adjustment on the sides is important too. Another really, really critical part of the Scotts installation is that the center of the damper must align perfectly with the exact center of your steering stem.

    Although this guy and vids like this are typically really fucking annoying, the first part explaining how the Scotts works is pretty good for those who aren't familiar with them. Ignore the second half dealing with mounting.



    BTW, the Scotts, as indicated in the video, was developed by Scotts Performance who was responsible for doing all of the suspension for the Factory Honda Off Road team (think races like Baja and Vegas to Reno) going back into the 1980's. The Scotts people themselves were AMA D-37 desert racers. The GPR Stabilizer also came out of Southern California off road scene by a machinist who was upset at the cost of the Scotts, so they made basically the same thing except they excluded some of the adjust ability in order to keep the prices down and avoid patent infringement.
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  8. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    "Do you run just metal on metal or do you have a friction material in between?"

    Metal on metal, no friction material. I've checked it for wear but there just isn't any showing, a few scratches is all. Made it from bits of scrap material I had stored up in my metal pile. Most of the parts are aluminum, the plate itself is just some cad plated sheet steel about .045" thick
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  9. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    SB, I played with all the adjustments over their full range. Granted, it would dampen the headshake when cranked up but the cost of the excess effort to turn the bars wasn't worth it. The first 1/2 mile of a ride was the worst, after that it was just something to put up with. Still have the Ural tub but now it's on a DL650. It shakes about the same also. But keeping it, have sold the 'real' Ural after having it for 8 years.
    #29
  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Did you sell the Scotts damper?
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  11. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Still have it. Hoping it will adapt easily to the next bike purchase. 0 for 3 so far.
    #31
  12. BWeber

    BWeber Been here awhile

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    What is the issue with the heinous mess of a steering damper?
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  13. claude stanley

    claude stanley Claude

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    Lookin good :-) bruce weber.jpg
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  14. Vladimir637

    Vladimir637 Adventurer

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #34
  15. BWeber

    BWeber Been here awhile

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    Heinous Steering Damper
    This is the second form that I have noticed Mikepa disparage the steering damper setup I designed and manufactured.

    The bike is a 2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer. Sidecar and leading link was built by Freedom Sidecars. The front wheel assembly was done by Mike Jones here in Kansas City.

    I guess the polite thing to do when you first saw my setup at Top O The Rockies in 2019 would have been to ask a question?

    A question or two helps a lot when you don't understand the how and why it was engineered that way.

    Don't be scared of things you don't understand, we can all learn a bit.

    Once you understand something suggestions
    Can be politely offered and discussed.

    20181017_165503.jpg 20200321_173326.jpg
    #35
  16. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    For my 2 Urals I've found than not "needing" any dampening is an indication everything is as it should be. I've also found that doesn't mean a little bit of dampening can't improve overall ride quality in some conditions.

    "need" can be a misleading criteria.
    #36
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  17. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Don't all Urals come with a friction style damper?
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  18. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    They come with a Bitubo hydraulic damper now.
    [​IMG]

    Its low end of adjustment is like the friction damper just tight enough to not rattle, and the high end a little shy of a VW damper.
    #38
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  19. SLACKER

    SLACKER Been here awhile Supporter

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    Here are my two EML’s.a 1982 Goldwing and a 1987 K100RT..pretty basic but I have never had any kind of wobble or shake, although I suspect that has as much to do with the Leading Links and overall steering geometry as the stabilizer. 07CCC129-3094-47C0-B2CA-B93ADC53F06A.jpeg 213A5A86-184F-49E4-B28B-D666978DD2B6.jpeg I will say , however, that at slow speeds they require some strength to turn...
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  20. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    My 07 Tourist had the old school friction damper and now they have a hydraulic type. You kind of make it sound like you don't need them yet your Urals have all had them? :scratch
    #40