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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2012, 4:09 pm Thread Starter
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Seeking opinions

This may be a matter of personal preference, so I thought I ask others' opinions. My '03 GT has about 92 K on it. I have kept up maintenance and recently installed Wilbers struts and a hyperpro steering damper. Could be my imagination, but the steering still is 'looser' than I prefer. It is not slop or free play--the front wheel just turns easier than I like, as in a lack of friction. Anybody else feel this way? Is there an easy adjustment to add friction to give it more of a 'new' feel? Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2012, 5:47 am
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Could be tires? Have you changed your front tire lately as some tires will give a quicker turn in than others. The steering damper should not hinder slight or slow turning in any way as you risk going tires up on a slow tight maneuver like a u turn in a car park. That is why, if you wrench your steering from one side to the other from centre (while on the centre stand) you will notice an amount of free play before the damper takes up. With a quality unit the increase in resistance is progressively greater as you force the bars around, while with the oem unit the resistance is constant, once it takes up the dead space. If this did not occur, subtle changes in direction would be difficult while on the move. If the oil is too heavy in the damper, It will slow down the steering so much it becomes dangerous. I have rebuilt the oem damper with new seals as it was leaking, and it is a very simple wobble stopper. Nothing fancy at all, and no match for a quality progressive damper. That said, this is not a true sports bike with fickle front end stability - quite the opposite, so the oem unit suffices as its main purpose is to minimize damage during a major event such as a flat front tire induced tank slapper.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2012, 1:14 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingkiwi
Could be tires? Have you changed your front tire lately as some tires will give a quicker turn in than others. The steering damper should not hinder slight or slow turning in any way as you risk going tires up on a slow tight maneuver like a u turn in a car park. That is why, if you wrench your steering from one side to the other from centre (while on the centre stand) you will notice an amount of free play before the damper takes up. With a quality unit the increase in resistance is progressively greater as you force the bars around, while with the oem unit the resistance is constant, once it takes up the dead space. If this did not occur, subtle changes in direction would be difficult while on the move. If the oil is too heavy in the damper, It will slow down the steering so much it becomes dangerous. I have rebuilt the oem damper with new seals as it was leaking, and it is a very simple wobble stopper. Nothing fancy at all, and no match for a quality progressive damper. That said, this is not a true sports bike with fickle front end stability - quite the opposite, so the oem unit suffices as its main purpose is to minimize damage during a major event such as a flat front tire induced tank slapper.
Thanks for the ideas, but no change in this issue with old vs new tires. The other funny thing is that I installed the constant resistance vs progressive damper. Maybe I'm just being fussy. I don't think it's a safety problem, I just prefer a different "feel."
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2012, 2:23 pm
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Did you do the sag checks with them new shocks? Front end may be a little high and the rear low compared to them OEMs. That would certainly change the feeling in the steering.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2012, 2:48 pm
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When I rebuilt my damper it felt strange and although I'd used 5W oil it felt too stiff during tight low speed turns however within a week or two I'd forgotten all about it. Give it some time and revisit if you're still not happy. Mr Begin has raised a good point about sag levels. If the shocks and damper were installed at the same time, this may be the cause and effect. Sag tests are very important to get the most out of your new investments. Many riders set and forget these measurements, but a shock deteriorates and needs to be checked for sag from time to time. I check my Ohlins each winter with the annual service

2002 K1200RS Owned from new. Pacific Blue, Ohlins. 183,000kmís
2016 K1300R Black, Remus hexacone. 6000kmís
The family history
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
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