Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback? - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-18-2015, 8:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

Selling a Scotts Damper and contemplating the sale of an Erion triple tree got me thinking about the pluses and minuses of adding a steering damper. This had me type in the racing story I included in this thread ("https://www.fireblades.org/forums/for-sale/112243-motorcycle-track-day-handbook-10-ship-signed-if-you-want.html") about when a tank slapper tossed me off the bike in the middle of a race.

I would like to never use a steering damper because I like to feel everything the front end is doing. That's the reason I don't like the feel of the BMW cantilevered front suspension. But, when it is needed, a damper is essential.

What are your thoughts?
Later,
Kent Larson in Minnesota
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-19-2015, 5:56 AM
 
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

I don't race or do trackdays so all I have to offer is this; I think it comes down to each individual's personal preference. I have an older GPR on my 954 that was on the bike when I got it and setting it on 1 doesn't seem to make that much difference than on 6 on the canyons I ride, but I'm not wheeliing out of corners either. If you are a good enough rider to read and interpret the feedback you're getting from the front end and able to react appropriately then you probably don't need one. If Bladeracer sees this thread I'm certain he will say no, you don't need one. If you don't have the experience to perform as stated above, then the dampers ability to soften up the head slapping probably outweighs any lost feel, and maybe saves your a** from a high side. JMO

"You live more for 5 minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all their life"-Marco Simoncelli

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post #3 of 11 Old 11-19-2015, 10:44 AM
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

*eagerly awaiting any & all feedback from members, as I just acquired a steering damper*

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-19-2015, 2:01 PM
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unslow1 View Post
*eagerly awaiting any & all feedback from members, as I just acquired a steering damper*
I put a steering damper on all 3 of my 954's. Wouldn't have it any other way. I don't know if it is the way I ride, but they would shake their head at some stage when on a ride. In saying that, my Z1000 is as stable as with no damper, well until I put new tapered head bearings in and put a 190/55 rear on. It's a tad nervous at times but nothing as bad as the 954's.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-19-2015, 8:16 PM
 
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

I like the Scotts damper (used) that I installed. I never experienced serious headshake on the 954 and I don't get to crazy anymore. I have it set on mid-low and it seems like it helps smooth things over a little bit on really rough parts of the road or if you catch a seam while cornering. Plus one for whatever piece of mind it may be delivering.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-04-2016, 7:49 PM
 
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

I used to race 94 600 F2, now I do track days. I dont feel a damper mask feedback. It really aint doing anything until its needed (tankslapper or headshake) and you really wont know you need it until you need it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-05-2016, 9:32 AM
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

althought Kent is the one who started this thread, I want to say how much I appreciate members chiming in with their thoughts, opinions, and experiences It appears (so far) that dampers are more for insurance than anything else: rarely "needed", and may kinda get in the way... but worth the money, space they take up, and masking of smaller responses from up front.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-05-2016, 2:57 PM
 
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

I would say 'Yes' they're more for insurance the anything else. But.......if they masked feedback, got in the way, took up space, ( I'll add one) and extra weight, Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, Jonny Rea, etc etc etc would not be using them. Lets say for example your railing through a turn, knee on the ground, hit the apex and start rolling on the throttle a little to aggressively. All of a sudden "RAA!", the rear tire breaks loose. In a instant your front and rear wheels are not in line with each other. And your 10ft in the air looking down at your bike like an "out of body experience", thinking how bad its going to hurt when you hit the tarmac, if your chest aint hurting already from slamming off the tank when the rear tire suddenly regained traction right before it pitched you off. If you would've had a steering damper it would've slowed down the whole process of getting your wheels out of line with each other and you would have time to react before "all hell breaks loose". So the question goes, "What happened in turn 10 Mr. Roadrace Person"......"Well Mr. Commentator, one second there wasn't enough traction and the next second there was way too much traction."

Last edited by coalminer frank; 01-05-2016 at 2:59 PM. Reason: Xcitement 711
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-05-2016, 11:28 PM
 
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

This thread took off pretty good on another forum

https://tinyurl.com/hfx4fvj
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-06-2016, 6:21 PM
 
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

The steering damper is like wearing a helmet, leather, or boots. You wear them just in case. I used to ride without one but after a crash over 100mph due to a violent tank slapper I never leave home with one... Plus the feel with it is the same to me as the feel without it, it just shows the handle bar transition
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-06-2016, 6:45 PM
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Re: Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback?

I have one on my Red 900 and one on my track build, purely because they look fooking bad ass

Aside from my purely cosmetic love for them, I haven't experienced any nasty tank slappers in my 23 years for two reasons. 1: All my bikes have had dampers 2. I don't ride hard enough......yet.

I'm pretty sure Bladeracer says "pffff, damper? You don't need no stinking damper!" But he fell off the side of Oz into the Indian Ocean, so who cares what he thinks

Maybe a little dig at Crocodile Dundee will get him back on the web

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My Red Rocker 93 Build Link: Caf 900RRP
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