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Old 11-19-2005, 12:30 PM   #1
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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.

Quote:
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,
Jake
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.

C
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:12 PM   #2
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passmore asked me the question a couple days ago so i had a little look into it also.

matt at scotts was kind enough to explain to me the two way and one way damping. but then told me he personally doesn't ride so he may not be the best doode to speak to about it.

well... i was down at the dealer anyways getting some oil and stuff so i asked my bud benny if he could help me out. now benny looks quite young, but he's been around superbikes almost as long as creeper. and he knows his shit. he was kind enough to give me a street type damper he had in stock to compare to my dirt one.

like scotts said they do look identical. yes mine damps moving away from center, as does the street unit. here's where i call bullshit on scotts... the street damper and the offroad units don't appear to have much difference on the return to center. i find the difference to be ever so slight and could maybe be me. i didn't have the plan at the time to switch them up and try (incase i gave him the wrong unit back) but maybe i will.

for now it's like the clorox commercial... i can't see the difference. can you see the difference?
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Old 11-19-2005, 03:48 PM   #3
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Another excellent tech post by Creeper. One thing to add: the "Road" version of the damper has an "R" stamped or engraved on top (right above the Scotts logo) so you can tell them apart. I bowed out of an Ebay auction after learning this.
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Old 11-19-2005, 03:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregCifu
Another excellent tech post by Creeper. One thing to add: the "Road" version of the damper has an "R" stamped or engraved on top (right above the Scotts logo) so you can tell them apart. I bowed out of an Ebay auction after learning this.
not all of them.
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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Good stuff fellas...

Creep, you got a better esponse than I did when I ordered. Dood says, " Man, I dunno - I ain't gettin' into all that - order the one you think will work for you..."

At any rate, with Colin's observations saying there may be little to no difference in feel (btw, how did you compare them?), I am hoping we will have a few road and off raod at the Tech Daze for comparison as well.
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PASSMORE
btw, how did you compare them?
on my exc. back and forth. no riding. just for feel.

the road unit i had did not have any markings on it to show it was different from the off road unit. it was packaged with an r1 tripple clamp (i think) from scotts... so it was an on road unit.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:47 PM   #7
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The Scotts damper I had on my ZX10R had pretty firm damping even on it's lowest settings. I can't imagine anyone being happy with a street unit in the dirt.
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:58 PM   #8
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Considering that a state of perpetual slidadge is the way I tend to ride, this was the part that got my attention and settled the question about which damper to buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake @ Scott's
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.
However, if I trip across a minty street unit for $150...
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper
However, if I trip across a minty street unit for $150...
you will not. if you do... i get your katoom when you buy a buell
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loadedagain
you will not. if you do... i get your katoom when you buy a buell
I'll buy another Buell when they pry my cold dead hands from my Sexfodee.
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper
I'll buy another Buell when they pry my cold dead hands from my Sexfodee.
as long as they don't leave too much of yer rotting flesh on my new bikes grips.
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Old 11-19-2005, 10:27 PM   #12
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V1 or V2?

I assume you guys are talking about the V1 version (above triple clamp mount)?

I'm trying to decide between that and the V2. I guess the V2 raises your handlebar about an inch.

So a couple of questions about that.

Why do you want to raise your handlebar, for comfort when standing?
How does it affect your sitting position?

I either have to have some knee bend, or be bent over uncomfortably to stand, so I'm kind of thinking that the V2 might be better for me.

Does it make sense to kill two birds with one stone, and get the handlebars raised at the same time as I mount the stabilizer?
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Old 11-19-2005, 10:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper
Considering that a state of perpetual slidadge is the way I tend to ride, this was the part that got my attention and settled the question about which damper to buy.



However, if I trip across a minty street unit for $150...
So that's why yur sellin' the HK.
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Old 11-20-2005, 12:03 AM   #14
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I think the questions to ask are first, what style stabilizer do the PD and Baja racers use especially considering their gas weight. Second I would like to know for gravel road/forest service road riding what gives the most stable ride especially loaded heavy at the rear. Third do both styles respond the same to a "sudden" hit on the front wheel from a pothole, rock or a flat tire at speed. I dont think it is safe to say we know the answer for certain. Adventure riding is special. I was supplied with a off road stabalizer by Scott and it is working great, even fully loaded with gas and luggage. However my type of riding is a long way from the mx track. Sliding is not generally an issue. My off road stabalizer works perfect on the ATV trails. They can get rough.
Bill in Tomahawk

bmwktmbill screwed with this post 11-21-2005 at 12:06 PM Reason: Incorrect information
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Old 11-20-2005, 12:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadventure
I assume you guys are talking about the V1 version (above triple clamp mount)?
no. this conversation is about the different valving in different scotts dampers. mounting is not a consideration here.

we can discuss height and mounting elsewhere if you like. start a thread.
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