steering damper questions - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2007, 10:24 am Thread Starter
 
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steering damper questions

While I think my K1200RS is a great bike, I've never been real happy with the way the bike handles.
I know most of it's characteristics can't be altered; but I have to wonder if a different /adjustable steering damper wouldn't help with the bikes' tendency to "hunt" while maintaining a line.
I'm running Metzler Z-6's, a tire I've had success with on the BMW R twins. I have a Kawasaki trailie/ enduro, the KLX250, and by installing a WER adjustable steering damper on it, it calmed down the "constantly needing input" steering characteristic. Even in a strong sidewind, the 250 will track straight and true; without it, it was all over the road.
Has anybody changed out the stock damper for another, adjustable unit? If so, sources, brands, performance reports of any kind?
Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2007, 11:56 am
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How many miles do you have on the bike? If the steering damper is shot that will certainly alter the handling in a corner, but so will the suspension if it is gone. Many people have had to replace front and/or rear shocks as soon as 10k miles on the RS/GT.


'03 K1200GT

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2007, 12:47 pm
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A worn Z-6 front will "fall-in" to a corner, especially if you've been doing slab miles, and require a correction mid-corner. Check tire pressures too.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 2007, 3:30 pm Thread Starter
 
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I should have given more parameters. I'm concerned with the constant steering corrections at speeds less than 50 mph, around town. On the highway, it's pretty good. The Z-6's I have maybe 1,000 miles. The bike itself has 8,000 miles. Maybe the problem is just the way the weight distribution works, the high center of gravity, etc. But I don't have to put near as much "course correction" in my Yamaha YZF600R sportbike, or the 250 now that it has the adjustable steering damper.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2007, 7:03 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bake
While I think my K1200RS is a great bike, I've never been real happy with the way the bike handles.
I know most of it's characteristics can't be altered; but I have to wonder if a different /adjustable steering damper wouldn't help with the bikes' tendency to "hunt" while maintaining a line.
I'm running Metzler Z-6's, a tire I've had success with on the BMW R twins. I have a Kawasaki trailie/ enduro, the KLX250, and by installing a WER adjustable steering damper on it, it calmed down the "constantly needing input" steering characteristic. Even in a strong sidewind, the 250 will track straight and true; without it, it was all over the road.
Has anybody changed out the stock damper for another, adjustable unit? If so, sources, brands, performance reports of any kind?
Thanks
Well done getting the site back up! I guess some of the replies in this thread 'got lost'.

Everybody else will tell you that the K-Bikes steering damper is not a steering damper at all but a tank slapper stopper. It has no damping whatsover over the first 10 degree or so of steer and thereafter if the steer is slow it has little effect. Try rocking the front forks side to side and you'll see what I mean if your damper is still good. The only situation I can see a damper causing a problem, is if it's failed, filled up with water and partially siezed (ouch!!), but then you should find that rocking the forks and they should rock as smooth as silk (like mine).

The K-bike is heavy with a long wheelbase and the consensus is it doesn't need a damper If anybody feels it does, that's because there's a fault somewhere else which a proper damper will only hide.

The areas to look at are front wheel settling, head bearings, front shock, ball joint play.



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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2007, 7:20 pm
 
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Exclamation Steering Damper

Check your front tire pressure. If you are down by even a few PSI, it will make a really big difference. I like to run my at 38 to 40 PSI...

Pete

2003 K12RS/GT Options
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2007, 9:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bake
Maybe the problem is just the way the weight distribution works, the high center of gravity, etc.
I do not consider this bike to have a high center of gravity. Am I wrong on this?

Jamie
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2007, 9:58 pm
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Steering damper questions

BMW issued a sevice bulletin regarding ball joints made with insufficient clearance in a VIN range, which would cause the bike to steer as you describe. Your bike could be one of those.
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