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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I was out cruising some country roads a little bit ago and got on the throttle around this slightly bumpy turn. Next thing I know I went into a pretty nasty tankslapper. Scared the living shit out of me but I straightened her out. All my previous bikes have had the dampers on them but I just havent had the funds to buy one yet. I think its going to be my next investment though. Too bad they are so friggin expensive. Scotts seem to be the norm. Anyone got any advice before I start looking?

Ride safe boys
 

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http://rc51.org/, go to MODS and then steering damper shootout..............reviews 5 steering dampers for the RC
 

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Never really seen the point of steering dampers. You make a bile sharp handling....then dial it out with a damper?! seems self defeating to me.

Good body position and correct suspension settings are all you need.

Just my opinion
 

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Never really seen the point of steering dampers. You make a bile sharp handling....then dial it out with a damper?! seems self defeating to me.

Good body position and correct suspension settings are all you need.

Just my opinion
A steering damper does not degrade handling if adjusted properly..... the minute steering input required when using these bike's is not affected by the damper. A damper simple slows and controls the extreme oscillating movement of the bars. It increased front end stability, especially while transistioning left to right, and under hard throttle. During hard throttle (like driving hard out of a corner), weight transfer move's reward causing a reduction in front end control. When the wheel comes back down and the tire compresses, it can be pushed in one direction or another... especially if there is a slight imperfection in the pavement. A damper reduces the distance and speed that the front wheel can be tossed one way or the other.
 

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my rc steers so heavy and planted that i cant see the need for one. now my old r6 needed one from the factory, that thing was as squirlly as it gets. (next to the TLs of course)
 

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A steering damper does not degrade handling if adjusted properly..... the minute steering input required when using these bike's is not affected by the damper. A damper simple slows and controls the extreme oscillating movement of the bars. It increased front end stability, especially while transistioning left to right, and under hard throttle. During hard throttle (like driving hard out of a corner), weight transfer move's reward causing a reduction in front end control. When the wheel comes back down and the tire compresses, it can be pushed in one direction or another... especially if there is a slight imperfection in the pavement. A damper reduces the distance and speed that the front wheel can be tossed one way or the other.
Had an Ohlins damper on my 929c 'Blade....even on one click up it made the steering feel horrible and sluggish, and I ended up selling it (the damper not the bike :D)

The only bike I have ever owned that I seriously reconsidered my damper policy, was (and agreeing fully with Screamin Chief!) my '99 R6 which continually tried to spit me off into bushes when I started pushing it......but I got rid for the above mentioned 'Blade :)

I push my RC hard, and yes I do get a bit of head shake sometimes when nailing it out of corners, as you've mentioned, but have never felt the need for a damper as this detracts from the whole point of the bike (with a very few exceptions: R6, TL1000) and I feel it lessens the input and skill required by the rider.

This is just my opinion though and certainly not flaming anyone who wants one :) If a damper does it for you, then there are plenty of quality ones out there, Ohlins, Scott, Sprint etc

safe riding :)
 

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The Scotts steering damper is velocity dependent and the trick is to adjust it where it doesn't interfere with steering inputs, but allow it to catch the high-velocity movement as in a head shake.

Most head shakes or tank slappers are caused either by gripping the bars too tight, too much front rebound damping, or too little rear compression damping.
The front end get unloaded and starts to oscillate slightly. By gripping the bars too tight, the small wiggles get added input and grow to large wiggles.

The advise I've read is when a head shake occurs, relax your grip on the bars and roll
the throttle on. The bike will naturally stabilize. By rolling off the throttle, it adds more load onto the tire and just makes it worse.

Now this advise is good and all, but I can fully understand it runs counter-intuitive when you're having a serious pucker moment. It happens to the best racers too.
 

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Had an Ohlins damper on my 929c 'Blade....even on one click up it made the steering feel horrible and sluggish, and I ended up selling it (the damper not the bike :D)

The only bike I have ever owned that I seriously reconsidered my damper policy, was (and agreeing fully with Screamin Chief!) my '99 R6 which continually tried to spit me off into bushes when I started pushing it......but I got rid for the above mentioned 'Blade :)

I push my RC hard, and yes I do get a bit of head shake sometimes when nailing it out of corners, as you've mentioned, but have never felt the need for a damper as this detracts from the whole point of the bike (with a very few exceptions: R6, TL1000) and I feel it lessens the input and skill required by the rider.

This is just my opinion though and certainly not flaming anyone who wants one :) If a damper does it for you, then there are plenty of quality ones out there, Ohlins, Scott, Sprint etc

safe riding :)
No offense taken... how far do you turn the bars when cornering? On sportbike's, the majority of your turning is done by slight inputs into the bars. If you have the damper adjusted so far that it is impeding the slight movements for cornering, then I would definately understand your negative view of dampers.
As for riding hard, I try and keep it to a reason level on the streets (about 70%). When I do trackdays, I tend to bump up to about 90%. The only time I need to damper is when exiting a corner on the throttle hard. At that time, I feel it is better to have it, than not. For commutting and average ride's, there is no need for one on any sportbike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I did look at my suspension and felt that it could be cleaned up a bit. Preload a bit high in front with preload low in rear. I have been happy with it so far so I havent messed with it. I ride at about the 70% ability range on the street but occasionally push it into the 80% range. I only ride out in the country where theres nobody around so if anything were to happen in a turn its only my ass on the line. I have been picking apart my cornering skills for 10 years so I feel confident that its more the other factors than too much bar input, etc. Thanks for the input all. I do like the look of that Scotts damper though!
 

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is that an exact copy of the scotts? gotta be one of the highest paid complimants
 

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Ohlins owns the design patent...[/

did they buy it or are they the original owners of the patent? This design has been around for awhile now and up until this picture, i have only seen it with scotts written accross them
 

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Original owners, it was intended as a dirtbike design and is still in use with the Ohlins logo as such although there is a newer version now available.

I am unsure if the internal valving was changed when the original design was re-focused on street bikes, but it probably was. Manufacturing has changed hands several times over the years between Scott's & Ohlins, but last I heard it was back with Scott's where it has remained for quite some time.
 

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interesting, i never knew that. does not surprise me though. Thanks for the info
 

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Bikes occasionally shake their bars (It tells you the front wheel is barely touching the ground) - relax your grip and keep accelerating, your RC51 will sort itself out. It needn't be scary - get used to it and enjoy what the bike's telling you. If you get spooked and grip the bars harder you'll make it worse. It's good to learn how to ride through it. Nothing should scare you with your riding. If it does, then slow down.

The RC51 isn't especially prone to shaking it's head it doesn't really need a steering damper, at least not on the road, IMHO.

No great harm in having one I guess. Turning the damping up a lot will make it steer slower though.
 
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