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I've always found it funny that ADV bikes are not offered with steering dampers, nor are the manufacturers interested in selling them as options or accessories. I don't know about you, but I'll be looking to add one straight away...
 

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Something to do with weight and inherent stability maybe? We've hit over 100mph offroad and I've never felt the need for a steering damper on either my GS or S10. The XR on the other hand...
 

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What exactly does a steering damper do? Does it help stop the bike from wobbling at high speeds? Is it at all connected to power steering?
 

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A simple explanation from Wiki:
A steering damper, or steering stabiliser is a damping device designed to inhibit an undesirable, uncontrolled movement or oscillation of a vehicle steering mechanism, a phenomenon known in motorcycling as wobble.
If you're going over a lot bumps at high speeds then it's best to have them installed.

 

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I have a Scotts on my 690 Enduro as well. Makes the bike incredibly stable at high-speed on the highway, even with rear bags making the front end light. Much more stable than my F800GS was without a damper.

In the sand, rock-infested river beds and any terrain you can easily dial in more or less dampening. I was surprised how effective it was in Baja - especially returning to my Husky 450 without one.

A worthy investment. Makes the 21" front wheel more like having a 19".
 

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Scotts Steering Damper

A Scotts kit for a bike is normally just under $500 US but if you go for new clamps will be another couple of hundred on top of that.
I contacted them about a kit for the AT they said it would be April May before they even start looking at it as they dont have a bike to build off till that time.
 

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I ran one on my 990R after getting back from the Sahara where I scared myself a few times running at high speeds on gravel, it helped that bike a lot but it was fairly lively at the best of times. I've ridden my AT off road quite a bit and at pretty high speed and stability wise it's very very good, having said that a damper will improve it a bit but they are not going to turn you into a Dakar rider overnight and make 100 mph on dirt feel comfortable!
 

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Has anyone got any news about a steering damper, mine seems to need one !!
Have you tried turning to rear preload up higher>?

Mine had horrific head shake until I turned the rear preload to max 35 clicks. Now it sits correctly, it handles better and the head shake is much, much better. I would still put a steering damper on my bike if one came available but its much better now and totally livable as it is.

I weigh 90kg with bike gear on and had 15kg of luggage.
 

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Have you tried turning to rear preload up higher>?

Mine had horrific head shake until I turned the rear preload to max 35 clicks. Now it sits correctly, it handles better and the head shake is much, much better. I would still put a steering damper on my bike if one came available but its much better now and totally livable as it is.

I weigh 90kg with bike gear on and had 15kg of luggage.
Agree completely, check preload front and back before shelling out for a steering damper. Just wind up the rear as a quick check. Take it up to 25+ clicks at least.
 

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Awesome. I have the same issues. I did a couple hundred mile highway blast and the wobbles are rough at high speed. 80+ MPH and a lane change or dip in the road, it gets a little dicey. I had the GIVI Trekker outback cases loaded to the gills and a tent etc strapped on the rear. SO, just crank in the rear pre-load knob? What do I do with the fork tube adjustments? I've never had adjustable front end settings. Do I need to put it on a stand to do this? Should I back everything off to zero before I start? I noticed the screws on the front tubes don't exactly line up, shouldn't they be totally equal?

Also, are these handlebars mounted with some sort of bushings for vibration control? The seem to have a tiny bit of play at the base if I push on them.
 

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Awesome. I have the same issues. I did a couple hundred mile highway blast and the wobbles are rough at high speed. 80+ MPH and a lane change or dip in the road, it gets a little dicey. I had the GIVI Trekker outback cases loaded to the gills and a tent etc strapped on the rear. SO, just crank in the rear pre-load knob? What do I do with the fork tube adjustments? I've never had adjustable front end settings. Do I need to put it on a stand to do this? Should I back everything off to zero before I start? I noticed the screws on the front tubes don't exactly line up, shouldn't they be totally equal?

Also, are these handlebars mounted with some sort of bushings for vibration control? The seem to have a tiny bit of play at the base if I push on them.
Everything in moderation, no need to take anything back to the start, but you can to check that the front preload (large outer nut) is the same on both front forks. Min preload is full anticlockwise stock from the factory they should be 5 turns clockwise for non DCT or 8.5 for DCT bikes. I dont think thats your issue but if you have a lot of weight on add some more turns (note Honda puts on 3.5 turns for the extra 10kg of a DCT).
Rear you might want to add some more preload (the black knob). Min is counterclockwise again you have 36 turns to play with from the factory its set to 3.5 (it clicks every half turn). Add a small amount 2-3 turns and see if it changes. To be honest I think its prob more your load balance and aero ie to much crap at the back of the bike but try more preload first.
The handlebar mounts do indeed have rubber mounts for isolation, they are your friends on rough roads and long trips.
Just remember anything you stick on the bike that is in the airflow at speed is going to have an effect (high front guards suck at speed, anything up high on the tail of the bike will suck at speed)
Look at your two rear view mirrors and the relationship they have to the hand guards if you have a big difference between right and left you will have a high speed shimmy. If your tent was sticking over the luggage on one side but not the other you will get the same effect.
 

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Cool thanks Skip. But what's the little screw in the middle of the fork's preload nut for? I'm going to back them out to zero so I know where the heck I stand.
 

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Also this...

Hi Ed-
We don’t have a mount kit for the damper on the Africa Twin yet. It is something we plan on having in the future but we don’t have an accurate time frame at the moment. The best I can offer right now is to check back closer to Christmas and hopefully I will have good news.
As far your luggage affecting the handling of the bike- Yes it will make a difference and you will want to adjust the rear shock prelude accordingly. Unfortunately I don’t know what the proper “sag” for the rear shock needs to be for this type of bike as its not something we specialize in. Contact a good suspension tuning company like Race Tech or George @ ESP, 818-249-6744 and have them guide you.


Thank you,
Eric Vargo
cid:[email protected]
Scotts Performance Products
2625 Honolulu Ave
Montrose, CA 91020
P: 818 248-6747
F: 818 248-4529
www.scottsonline.com
 

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Ed, see page 126 in the user manual under your seat, this explains where the adjusters are for your suspension. You have preload, compression and rebound damping on both the front and back suspension. Don't worry about damping settings for now, leave as factory set. It is more important and will have a bigger impact if you set your SAG first with preload.

See lots of posts about this under the relevant technical section of the forums. Lots of info there, you will find most people jacking the rear preload up significantly.

For a quick fix, which may suit you turn the black preload knob on the rear suspension, left hand side of bike, in a good few clicks, say 5-6, have a ride and keep going up 5-6 at a time till you are happy.
 

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Any news of steering stabilizer for AT? As I understand, key challenge is find or adopt mounting hardware. Has anybody tried MSC or GPR4?
 
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