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Old 10-30-2012, 04:23 AM   #1
mickman OP
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Steering Damper for GSA BMW

I have a GSA with a ural chair.At lower speeds it gets a fairly serious head shake for a very short time then disappears instantly when speed increaces. A bit annoying when I'm being a bit lazy. It has a Dauntless steering modification.
Anyone fitted a steering damper or is it a problem easily fixed with a minor adjustment somewhere? My laziness can't be fixed. Thanks. Mick.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
claude
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Did this just begin or has it always been there?
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude View Post
Did this just begin or has it always been there?
The shake or the laziness?
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
claude
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Originally Posted by Boondox View Post
The shake or the laziness?
LOL....Come visit we are almost out of coffee.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
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You don't mention 1150 or 1200. Might matter to some of the repliers.

First thing you might try is fussing around with tire inflation up front. Or a different tire entirely.

Next, see if weight distribution of your cargo matters. I might try some start-ups downhill, then uphill, to see if the shake is better in one direction than the other. If better downhill, then I'd shift some of my ballast forward.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
mickman OP
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Thanks for replys. GS 1150. Laziness is always there. I think my question has been answered. I tow a smallish 160kg camper and the shake is more pronunced when towing. Tow bar weight is about 20kg at the most.Too much BLACK coffee???
Am I wasting time thinking about steering dampers? All advice greatley appreciated.

Thanks. Mick
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #7
claude
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Like drone said front tire issues can be a cause of a low speed headshake. More air or less can make a difference...change just a little at a time to experiment.
Air in the sidecar tire can also make a difference. Usually more air over there will help take the headshake away.
Spokes on sidecar wheel should be checked.
Mounting system needs to be checked closely. If this headsahkle just began I would really want to go over that closely. I see in a previous thread ( http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=622528 ) there were some concerns about the mounts. This was a while back and it seems as though you have run this machine a lot ....but... time can take it's toll on things. Any flex over time can be an issue in time. Heim ends should be checked closely for any play. Mounting points everywhere need to be checked etc etc,.
Anything that can create a movement within the assembly or a side to side movement should be ruled out. This includes steering head bearings, wheel bearings, wheels, swingarm pivot areas etc..
IF you have a poor mount and put on a damper and th eheadshake goes away that does not fix the poor mount. Bandaids will not heal an issue that needs to be addressed. Yes, a damper still may be a good thing regardless of what I am saying here but it is not a bad idea to rule out other issues especially if safety is invloved prior to slapping adamper on.
I don't want to sound like a jerk but am lost for the best way to say things sometimes. I do apologize for my poor way of explaining this.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mickman View Post
Thanks for replys. GS 1150. Laziness is always there. I think my question has been answered. I tow a smallish 160kg camper and the shake is more pronunced when towing. Tow bar weight is about 20kg at the most.Too much BLACK coffee???
Am I wasting time thinking about steering dampers? All advice greatley appreciated.

Thanks. Mick
Yeah, too much coffee, that's the problem!

To be honest, I think that thinking about a steering damper IS a waste of time. I'd go through the items that Claude outlined above, one by one. Find the problem--fix the problem.

On the 1150, a VW-style steering damper can only be mounted to the moving section of the forks and this is not a desirable solution. That just leaves a top mount solution, and the only one I know about is boo koo expensive -- the Ralle-Moto -- about $700 plus shipping from Australia. And even then it might not fix the problem since top mount stabilizers are more suited to dealing with harsh sudden movement of the front wheel, as opposed to the kind of head shake we sidecarists get.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:28 AM   #9
mickman OP
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Thank you for your replies and thoughts.I do chech all connections regularly however I may be missing something.I will do a complete check over the next few days and experiment with tyre pressures as suggested. Maybe a bit less coffee.

No need to apologise Claude. I appreciate your replies to my question.

Thanks, Mick
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:03 AM   #10
Melrone
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I have the same setup as you.After I put the new tree on by Dauntless my rig did the samething.There was a small shake at low speeds.I've checked everything when installing.The front end was in good shape..I'm in the process of putting a steering dampner on.I bought the kit from Stroker which will help....I'd post pictures of the unit but can't get them tio post....
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
claude
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Stroker's kit works quite well.

Actually reducing trail does encourage a headshake from a geometrical standpoint as there is less self centering effect. Some outfits do have a slight slow speed headshake. Hands on bars does wonders.

I would still encourage you to check everything over closely as mentioned earlier. What you DO NOT want is a high speed wobble...this needs to be avoided at all costs. Some of the items mentioned in my earlier post can be the source of this so checking things out closely is still very important.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #12
Strong Bad
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I have Jay's reducer on my 07 1200GSA. Yes, I got head shake, not serious but SWMBO got unsettled if I relaxed and allowed it to occur. I ended up putting a Scott's damper I had on another bike. I had trouble finding a mount and ended up with a mount made in South Africa that didn't fit the bike. I had to re-work that mount to finally come up with something I've been very happy with. Since I've done all of that I've seen the Ralle-Moto Damper and mount from another thread which to me looks top notch!

Here is a linky to the thread:http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...teering+Damper
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:09 AM   #13
Melrone
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No mine wasn't serious just annoying..My 92RT/EML had a leadind link did the same thing at low speeds.This where I learned about using a steering dampner..I've ridden my 03 rig without for 3years now, no more..I used a VW steerind dampner on my 92 worked great..Strker found away to use the VW dampner.I bought mine awhile ago,its now going on this winter..WILL THESES MODS EVER STOP!!! LOL
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