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-   -   dirt bike steering dampener (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=17938)

nakman 05-28-2012 11:18 PM

dirt bike steering dampener
So I've ridden enough now to feel the difference. The final smack in the head was on Saturday, after riding Farnham's bike for a few miles, then getting back on my bike then immediately undertaking a fairly rocky descent.. :eek: I was all over the place for a bit until I got a grip on things. Someone on advrider described the difference is like wheeling a truck without power steering, then putting power steering on it.. yeah I guess that's it? I am pretty sure I'd crash less if I had some steering dampening, as every time I've ended badly the final straw was a sudden change in handle bar position. If there's a mechanical advantage to be had, I want it. I'm not getting any younger, and I'm not that good of a rider.. :o

The two leading candidates appear to be the Scotts and the GPR. Most go with the Scotts, as I've read they are easier to dial into the desired setting, even while riding. Also Scotts only dampen when you're turning away from straight- when returning to straight there's no dampening, which implies it requires less effort to go back in a straight line? that's a difference between the dirt bike model and the street bike model, from what I gather.

I have also read some stuff about welding vs. bolt-on, and over-the-bar vs. under-the-bar. :confused: every one I've seen has been over the bar and bolt on, but I have found a few pics of some welded versions, which look pretty sweet actually. I'm not afraid of welding... :D :weld:

So how about a discussion about steering dampeners; what you have, what difference it made, how it's installed, what you'd suggest I put on my bike, etc. :beer:

nakman 05-28-2012 11:22 PM

Here's the Scotts kit: http://www.scottsonline.com/Stabiliz...ke&BI_ID=17070


Here's the GPR kit: https://www.ktm-parts.com/mm5/mercha..._Code=U6951003


60wag 05-29-2012 08:42 AM

I decided to add the damper after a crash in Lefthand Canyon. I figure the cost of the thing was worth it if it prevented another crash that left me limping for a month.

I found a used one on Craigs list. It is a Scotts damper although I think I read that Ohlins actually make it. It has several adjustments including ones that change the range of damping as well as the overal damping force. There is also an impact setting that changes the peak damping force. Lot's to play with.

I would prefer an under the bar mounting as I'd like to raise my bars up a bit for better comfort when standing. The damper I bought was set up for above the bar mounting and came with all of the mounting hardware so that is how it is now. I may move the bars up later.

The mounting hardware is from some company other than Scotts. Its not much different other than the fixed post that clamps to the frame uses a 2 bolt clamp rather than the 1 bolt clamp, (think shaft collars). The two bolt arrangement made it super easy to install - I didn't have to disassemble the triple clamp.

The Scotts website has excellant manuals and pictures of installations on many different bikes. The arrangement of your head tube and frame will impact the ease of installation. Mine happened to have the top of the head tube far from the nearest weld so no filing was needed. Some KTM frames need the top weld filed to fit the post clamp. More info here:


farnhamstj 05-29-2012 09:31 AM

Mine is a Scotts, mounted under the bar. It came with the bike 2nd hand.

Jacket 05-29-2012 09:58 AM


Originally Posted by 60wag (Post 212361)
I would prefer an under the bar mounting as I'd like to raise my bars up a bit for better comfort when standing. The damper I bought was set up for above the bar mounting and came with all of the mounting hardware so that is how it is now. I may move the bars up later.

Interesting. I noticed this quite a bit on Saturday, and felt the same need to have my handlebars raised up for better positioning and control while standing (so I sat most of the time....). But I'm sure there's a trade off....I'll be interested to hear your results if you try to raise the bar.

Generally speaking, I've always ridden without a stabilizer, figuring it's best to hone your skills with minimal technology first (like wheeling with double lockers vs. open diffs). But I'm at a point where I'm ready for one too.

Is there a cost difference between the under vs over, and what about performance differences?

Good choice for a new thread. :cheers:

nakman 05-29-2012 10:57 AM

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It looks like Slavens in Colorado Springs has good pricing on the Scotts kit.. I am leaning towards calling them for advice then placing my order for whatever fits my bike best. I found some pictures of the over vs. under setup to muse over in the mean time... looks like under bar is the way to go if there's room, but I'm not that excited about raising my handle bars, I kinda like how I've got my setup now.

baja1d 05-29-2012 12:28 PM

I've heard great things about both but have never had one myself. Personally I have only needed one in deep sand situations. I would highly recommend having your suspension dialed in professionally and then fine tuned on the trail. Once you get it perfect you will not be all over the place and therefore you will not need a dampener. Your buddy will appreciate it as well because you'll stick your line instead of bouncing into his with dampened steering. Unfortunately it takes a couple of hours, riding the same section of trail, to get it right.

Jenny Cruiser 05-30-2012 04:41 PM

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Do you ride standing up much? Raising the bars can only be a good thing. Here's a pic of the Scotts I had on my last RC51.

nakman 05-31-2012 11:33 AM

On its way. :) Called Slavens Racing, $469 + $14.50 shipping. Sub mount kit, all bolt on, includes new bar clamp that raises the bar just under an inch..
if it shows up by Saturday guess what I'm doing on Sunday. :D

happy father's day to me :birthdaypresent:

nakman 06-03-2012 11:05 AM

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that was easy, bolted right up. :)

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