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  #1  
Old 22 Jan 2009
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Steering Dampers

I've posted this before (with no response) but has anyone fitted a steering damper to a GSPD?
There are some excellent looking ones for a host of dirt bikes but can they be made to fit? The reason is to improve the bikes awful performance in sand.
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Old 22 Jan 2009
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Tim,
Not having ridden the said motorcycle in sand, what is wrong with it ? I would be suprised if a damper would help.
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Old 22 Jan 2009
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BMW dirt riding tutorial

it's scary but is the best method. Momentum is your ally!

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:21.
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Old 23 Jan 2009
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I have tried a R100 with steering-damper. Personally I didn’t see much difference but the bike had awful suspension so I’m not sure how valid the test was.

As Mollydog said you should look far ahead and keep speed up.
You should allow the bike to move freely under you. It will get where you are looking so don’t worry when the handlebar is moving in odd directions.

Keep suspension-setting soft. Rear suspension is also important because if it is to stiff your front wheel will be pushed down in the sand when the rear hits something.

My impression is that driving technique is far more important then a steering-damper. To look far ahead can’t be stressed enough.
On the other hand it wouldn’t hurt to install one, so if you fancy modifications…








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Old 23 Jan 2009
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If you don’t reach the top first time…..



…. gain more speed:
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Old 23 Jan 2009
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Sorry but I feel I need to say this, it makes the posts much more enjoyable when the pics are there. Before anybody says anything i'm not trying to be a pain in the arse or add " oh nice pics" etc because we all hate that and it just cloggs up a thead.

Sorry again
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Old 23 Jan 2009
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Without PS you cannot see the mountains.

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:22.
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Old 23 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Yes, those are nice pics Ali and nice photo shop work cleaning them up!
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Very well done. When I say photo shop, I don't mean a fake pic, no, I mean with PS you can do stuff to sharpen, to give nice contrast and give the pic a real pro look. The sky is beautiful, looks like a Polarizer filter was used, very nice. Probably helped with PS?

Thanks for comments of the pics. The pics are scanned from Velvia 50 and together with the African sun it didn’t need much retouch (Levels and sharpening). The first one is a bit modified, because it’s taken directly after sunrise with limited light.

But back to old GSes, this time with digital camera:






Split second bedore a crash:



Back to driving in sand, without a damper. How hard can it be. It’s only downhill…

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Old 24 Jan 2009
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My R80/7 did not have a steeringdamper. I got hold of one and tested. The difference was immence. My bikes all have steeringdampers ever since.

I would recommend you to test. The installation is simple. The needed parts are not that expensive at the scrapyards. If you like the performance difference you can always swapp the BMW damper for something better.

You will need to see to that the adjusting knobb is easilly accessible though... in tricky terrain you will want to disengage the damping to enhance swiftness in frontwheel turning, and on transport stretches (autobahn/freeway) you may find that the hardest damping gives the best tracking -
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Old 25 Jan 2009
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Steering dampers

Thanks for the response, guys. Absolutely stunning pictures, I'm amazed you can take a beemer thru sand dunes. I'll have to practice a bit more using a higher speed. The bike starts to slow and then the bars are almost wrenched out of my grip, it's as though the bike wants to go it's own way. It's at that point you fall over. Anyway, I'll carry on with fitting some sort of damper and let everyone know. Thanks again.
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Old 25 Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by dc lindberg View Post
You will need to see to that the adjusting knobb is easilly accessible though... in tricky terrain you will want to disengage the damping to enhance swiftness in frontwheel turning,
Hi DC,
are you talking about shock absorber type hydraulic dampers here? If so, what sort of length. There are lots of cheapo dampers available for testing... but what size - length/diameter?

I would like to look into this after being high-sided on desert roads!

John
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Last edited by Redboots; 25 Jan 2009 at 21:20.
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Old 25 Jan 2009
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Don't fight!

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Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
I'll have to practice a bit more using a higher speed. The bike starts to slow and then the bars are almost wrenched out of my grip, it's as though the bike wants to go it's own way.



There’s no point fighting the bars, it’s one of the battle you can’t win. Hold them loosely and let them do whatever they like. As long as the speed is right you’ll get to the point you are looking.
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Old 27 Jan 2009
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I'll look up the damper size/measures - it may take some time though; so if I forget - remind me!

As for wrenching out of hand... a damper would help, a lot. But by the description it does sound more like a steeringhead rollerbearing adjustment or wear problem to me...
When you hit sand I guess it will be like hitting a "heap of snow" blown across the road - the snow will grip the frontwheel and do just about what it wants to the bike; there is no way one will be able to hold on... a damper at full damping does have a significant effect here making it just about possible to hold on if the speed is not too high when hitting the snow-"drift(?)".

The wobbel that occurs when one is dropping speed over loose snow is awfull - is that the kind of problem one have on sand too? If so - a damper will help and perhaps even eliminate the problem; however... on sand you are hardly likely to have skiis mounted on the bike are you... - The load one puts on the skiis ease off the negative load on the fronwheel effectively softening the wobbel, and if that is not enough one moves backwards on the seat as far as one can get (still staning on the skiis) that usually ends deep-snow induced wobbel.

A properly set steeringhead roller bearing will minimize the wobbling /7 frame. I did have all sized up (rusted) rollers... so using chain-lubrication I got them "gliding"... back then I would get wobbel from the white lane separations... (much amuzing to me but horrific to anyone driving behind me).

A worn bear will also cause problems like inducing wobbel...

Then you have the forks... if they start to bend a bit more, ever so littel, than what they were designed for... wobbel.
If you put in stronger springs (like I have K75 springs with 11cm spacer) it too will make the forks unstable...

Then you have the flexibility of the frame - later /7 models looks reinforced to me, but not enough. Luiftmeister did present a lot of neat ideas on where and how to strengthen the /7 frame (street bikes though).

All in all - there are many parts to wringing the handlebar out of ones hands
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Old 13 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by dc lindberg View Post
I'll look up the damper size/measures - it may take some time though; so if I forget - remind me!

Reminder

John
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Old 20 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Add a fork brace as well to those spindling little fork tubes.
Patrick
The 100GS's are fitted with forks that I would not really call spindling little fork tubes. The stanchion diameter is 40mm and travel is 225mm.
You might be referring to the 80G/S forks which were borrowed from the road models and were 36mm forks. Besides the fact though, a fork brace will always add stiffness and be a bonus if fitted.

Steering dampers does have a negative influence when doing slow technical riding even when set on the softest adjustment. Riding sand a damper will help nothing and might even make things more tricky when you need to counter steer when the front start to wash out in the sand.
The only time that a damper will really be an aid is when you ride fast on rutted tracks where you cross the ruts at right angles or when you have many deep cross tracks in the sand. Hitting this or aggressive washboard at high speed can tent to shake the steering clear of your grip and in these circumstances a steering damper is invaluable and reduces rider fatigue.

Sand riding is all about technique and practice and a steering damper is not going to help making you a good sand rider.
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