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Old June 28th, 2018, 08:59 AM   #1
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Joined: Mar 2013
From: Naples, IT
Posts: 2,195

I Ride: 2013 White Strada
Steering Damper?

Wondering if someone can give a ride report on how the bike acts after fitting a steering damper. I ordered the basic Ohlins/ Ducabike kit. Think I would have preferred the steering stem mounted unit (like Scott's) over the piston tube style but, couldn't find one available. Just always thought the piston tube units look akward and sloppy. Plus the head unit style has the adjusters right on top for easy tweaking.

Alas, my bike has always been sketchy above 90 mph. Very twitchy bars and mild speed wobbles are common. I will note I have the bags on 95% of the time, which I'm sure makes the bike dirty at speed. I do realize this isn't a wind tunnel tuned salt flat racer, but it is capable of more with help.

In southern Italy where I live, it's pretty much Mad Max on the autostrade. Bikes are always given immediate right-of-way and are seemingly immune to any traffic law enforcement. I friggin love this having done all my previous riding stateside and not in California, and sincerely hope the damper makes a difference. Low speed benefits would be nice but I like the way it points and shoots at civil speeds.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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I can't comment on the steering damper (I installed one once but it was a cheap one that gave stiffer damping in one direction), but you shouldn't be getting speed wobbles at any speed.

Check your fork doesn't have too much rebound damping, and that the rear preload is not too much.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 11:21 AM   #3
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I Ride: 2013 White Strada
When I say speed wobbles, it's always associated with an impetus: change lanes, shift gears, look at blind spot, etc. I've experienced this on most of the bikes I've owned if getting stupid at the limit.

With the HS - my HS - the steering is so light at speed that it's very easy to upset. I feel this is a combination of the motard design (not as much weight on front suspension/ different CG than sport bikes) and CG in general - I weigh 185 and always have 15-20 lbs in my luggage. I do try to keep it evenly distributed.

Oh, it behaves exactly the same since upgrading to Andreani's. I like the setting the shop dialed in but have been meaning to play with it. My roads are generally shit.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 12:36 PM   #4
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I Ride: 2015 Hypermotard, 2018 Hypermotard SP
I have never had any stability issues with my Hypermotard(s) either the 821 or the 939 SP. I had them both set up for my by Dave Moss which made a big difference and they feel planted. I also rarely ride with luggage and when I do it's a bag strapped right behind me to keep things relatively centered. I've had both bikes well over 100 on the freeway and they change lanes, take pot holes and what not without ever giving me any feedback.

I had an old Honda 599 that would get really light above 80 to where the front wheel would flick (for lack of a better description) occasionally. I added preload the rear spring which helped quite a bit with that.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 02:23 PM   #5
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From: Philadelphia USA
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I Ride: 2013 Hyperstrada, 2007 LS650
I can’t report any wobbly behavior on mine. There’s times like my trip to Maryland this week where the wind coming from a right angle to my direction of travel gave a bit of shake but it’s likely the tall windscreen causing it.
I frequently ride for extended periods around 90 mph on crappy surfaces like 495 around Wilmington DE and change lanes constantly and aggressively without worry.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 04:03 PM   #6
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Same here. Stable on road and track at all speeds.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 05:20 PM   #7
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Stable at 130 plus
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Old June 28th, 2018, 09:55 PM   #8
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I Ride: hyperstrada 821
Same issues with bags. I stay at around 80 with full gear (bags and a duffle) - the front is light, but no slappers or anything. I agree with your assessment of the cg etc., and I also think its aerodynamics coming into play.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 05:36 PM   #9
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I Ride: 1975 Can Am TNT (175cc), 2000 Harley Sportster Custom; 2008 Triumph Tiger 1050; 2013 Ducati Hyperstr

Squirrelly...that's how I'd describe my 2013 HS, I always felt this was from the fork angle, which is what makes the thing so nimble, I also have a Triumph 1050 Tiger (2008) which feel like its on rails at 220 kph (I still had many revs to redline), road snakes and pavement discontinuities un-noticable, the HS at speed was "squirrelly" on same road...UNTIL I added the steering damper, same as you have ordered.
My HS is now "on-rails" while still being nimble. Far more "confidence" inspiring, on rougher or gravel fireroads, at any speed.

Adding the damper has had the biggest impact on any bike I own, except maybe for the Brembos I put on my Harley Sporster.
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Old July 1st, 2018, 07:04 PM   #10
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Well, mine shakes when pushed hard and fast. I have hard bags, which I suspects contributes the problem. I've slightly lowered my triple trees, we'll see if this helps on next trip if I get frogy with my speed...if I had a damper, I'd use it...

Last edited by BadToTheBown; July 2nd, 2018 at 05:15 PM.
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