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Old 11-19-2005, 11:30 AM   #1
creeper OP
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Puget Sound
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Scott's dampers... street and dirt differences?

With Stenhouse Racing now making a Scott's steering stabilizer mount specifically for the KTM 640 LC4 series, I went to eBay to see what I could find in the way of a stabilizer assembly at a discounted price.
First, most of the stabilizers available are about the same price, very close to retail, with the occasional used unit being found for between $175 and $250. Considering a new one is $320, $250 is not such a great bargain.
Second, many of the used stabilizers are street units vs. dirt units... and I wondered what the difference was. So I decided to ask.

The information below in quotes is an e-mail reply from a fellow named Jake Hulsebus at Scott's Performance products. I asked him what the differences were between the street and dirt dampers, and was happily surprised by the fairly detailed explaination he provided.
It's not often someone in a company such as Scott's has the time to reply to an e-mail with a simple answer, let alone a more time consuming one, so I'd like to thank Jake for the time and effort he put into answering my question.

Originally Posted by via Jake at Scott's Performance
Scotts manufactures 2 different stabilizers, a road bike version and an off-road version. Both units share the same physical size and appearance; the main differences are in the valving design. Below is a very brief description of the differences between the 2 styles.

The off-road damper is a non-rebound stabilizer, which means, as it sweeps away from center it has damping but the moment it changes direction back toward center the damping is free until it reaches center again, hence the term non-rebound or free-rebound. This was an important development in the off-road damper and is what makes our damper work so well. Its design is to allow the rider to correct for constant slides associated with off-roading while not fighting with the damping forces back to center. It's a serious advantage for the off-road rider. This feature helps prevent the common syndrome known as arm pump. Our stabilizer is the only one made with this feature.

The road bike damper design requires a totally different function and therefore is a rebound damper. A road bike is primarily leaned, not steered, and the damping forces need to be absorbed in both directions to maintain constant stability, due to the nature of the energy needing to be absorbed.

Can they be interchanged? Yes.

Are you receiving all the advantages you could by using the off road unit on a road bike application or vice versa? No.

Is there a big difference? That is an individual opinion. Using your dirt bike damper on your road bike would still be a vast improvement over no damper at all and the same goes for using a road bike damper on a dirt bike. Some customers who have tried switching from one to the other say, they feel no difference. Others claim there is a huge difference. So you see, it's truly personal preference. There are other internal differences between the 2 stabilizers which would take a lot longer to explain. The best bet is always to use the right damper for the right application. However, we could not tell you that they don't work when switched for the other application; it's just that they work better when used as designed for the right application.

There are always specific applications that might favor one type or the other depending on the situation. We make our suggestions based on our testing and what the majority of our customer base prefers. You have the option to specify whichever unit you prefer when ordering.

Thank you,
Scotts Performance
So... some things to consider. Street or dirt. As this information applies to all Scott's damper applications, there may be those of you, say a 950 KTM or 640 SMC owner who rides primarily on street, that might benefit from purchasing a street type damper vs. a dirt unit.

So... how's tricks?
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