Do the benefits of a steering damper outweigh having it mask front end feedback? - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 09:39 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.rc51forums.com/forums/41-...-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. I still don't use one on my street bikes but people here seem to drool over a good deal on a Scotts setup.

Damper: Do or don't?
What are your thoughts?
Later,
Kent Larson in Minnesota
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 09:43 PM
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the scott's has a low speed and high speed circuit, so you can loosen off the low speed to allow more feedback while keeping the high speed circuit stiffer to tune out slappers.

i can't speak too much for absolute feedback because i honestly don't think i'm fast enough to give any valid opinions, but in theory the scott's shouldn't hamper that when set up properly.
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wibbly View Post
the scott's has a low speed and high speed circuit, so you can loosen off the low speed to allow more feedback while keeping the high speed circuit stiffer to tune out slappers...in theory the scott's shouldn't hamper that when set up properly.
Agreed.
Thinking back (20 years to racing days), I didn't ever feel like the damper was keeping me from feeling the turn-in bite or the Pirelli squirm when approaching the traction limit and I sure wish I had one when that un-fixable slapper started.

I guess I've just never had a slapper I couldn't fix with some throttle when on the street but if I were still taking long trips to tight and twisted motorcycle roads, I'd consider fitting one.

Later,
Kent Larson in Minnesota
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:00 PM
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I have never thought to myself in any situation that the damper was hindering my ability to discern feedback from the front end.

They are pretty much a prerequisite on an RC51 due to the way the bike has to be set-up to make it steer properly. If you have never experienced a tank slapper on an RC51 then you probably ride like grandma on her way to Sunday Church or your bike is not set-up correctly which will also restrict the ability to ride the bike aggressively so you still end up riding like a grandma on her way to Sunday Church.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:19 PM
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That being said, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with riding like grandma on her way to church. Anytime you can keep it on 2 wheels you are definitely doing something right!
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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:28 PM
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^LoL,
More often then not, I ride like a granny.
A safe granny.

About the high and low speed damping: how do you properly set that?
I think I've got my front suspension, fork height, etc., set up pretty close to ideal.
But not sure how to tweak the scotts damper.
Is there a basic setup, then ride and adjust from there?

John, 2000 RC51 #000100

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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:42 PM
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My suggestion is to leave the high speed adjustment the hell alone... Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.

Even just recently I had a guy send in his Scott's for service because it was "malfunctioning" and the travel was limited to a very narrow range as if something inside it was locking it in place. The truth was he had screwed with his settings so much that it was all out of whack. There was actually NOTHING wrong with the damper at all other than operator error and when it was all reset it functioned fine again.
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 07:49 PM
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I guess I better buy a more fitting riding outfit.




The very first schoolbook that was written had God all over it. --Dave Mustaine
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH® View Post
If you have never experienced a tank slapper on an RC51 then you probably ride like grandma on her way to Sunday Church or your bike is not set-up correctly which will also restrict the ability to ride the bike aggressively so you still end up riding like a grandma on her way to Sunday Church.
HA! Well, I know I've always had a hard time keeping up with my grandma on our Sunday rides.

I'll have to differ with you about tank slappers on the RC51. I've about 3 year track experience with my RC51 and never ran a damper and never had a slapper. As far as riding aggressiveness, I'm pretty sure I stayed close to the limits. I needed to replace the elbow on the Akrapovic (where it comes out from under the engine) because I would grind through it on occasion.

Anyone still around from my racing or control riding days who can attest to my riding aggressiveness? I'll attach a picture of me from Mid-America Motorsports if I can find it.

The only mild slappers would start if I landed the front a little off line on the exit of turn 8/9 at Putnam or turn 2 at Heartland or after the hump on the back straight at Road Atlanta. These never went anywhere and died quickly under acceleration.

So, perhaps your bike isn't setup up correctly if you were experiencing frequent slappers on the RC51. Could it be your riding style? Maybe your big package is keeping you from sitting close enough to the tank? That's not a problem for me.

Later,
Kent Larson in Minnesota
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 03:59 PM
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I had a big enough tank slapper on an SP1 to break off a frame steering stop. No, the bike did not survive.

Any modern sportbike at least from 2000+ imo should always have a steering damper.

Google RC51 tank slapper, speed wobble, head shake and one will find lots of results.
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