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Old 06-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #16
Lornce
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You've got me curious Stage, because I can't imagine how a GS would/could possibly benefit from a steering damper?



I've pushed the aulde PD through some fair decent "extremes" over the years and have had moments wishing for less weight, better traction more suspension or greater ground clearance. But never, ever have I felt a need for a steering damper.

What's up with that?

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Old 06-23-2011, 03:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornce View Post
You've got me curious Stage, because I can't imagine how a GS would/could possibly benefit from a steering damper?



I've pushed the aulde PD through some fair decent "extremes" over the years and have had moments wishing for less weight, better traction more suspension or greater ground clearance. But never, ever have I felt a need for a steering damper.

What's up with that?

only time I thought I coulda used one was when doing less than 80km/h in 2' deep sand.
This was on a lighter bike with better traction, more suspension and greater ground clearance...
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:26 PM   #18
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Stage. I've watched your exploits on the GS and also though I'd like to ride with that guy he seems to know how to have a lot of fun.

I've considered a steering dampner but got used to the mild headshake as the bikes way of telling me to ride more agressivly.

I've gone long on the front and rear 265/210mm on a shorter than stock wheeelbase. I only use 210/170mm of travel but its nice to know I'm not approaching the limits.

The suspension mods changed the bike to allow selection of gear and throttle to choose power delivery rather than gear for speed to match the front end performance to the terrain.

Pretty much the bike is a 3rd gear proposition with second being for cautious apprasial of what lies ahead and 4th for open sections of forest where the response from the power and torque of 4000+ rpm is not called for.

5th is transport and hooning but 4th is still good for hooning on dirt roads. A taller 5th is on the menu. 1st is for getting it wrong or wusssing out.

Bike still does "Dakar" really well but not as good as a long driveshaft long wheelbase bike but well enough to see of all but the 950SEs, HPNs and the occasional well riden ADV990.

For the extra high speed stability and luggage /load balance options of the longer swing arm I've decided to pass cause I'm not that fast anymore and I'm a credit card camper prefering pubs and a mimimal payload on the bike.

So how is this related to the original post?
My experience is franken bike conversions are a good thing but full blown "Dakar" type conversions may not be appropriate for all riders and riding conditions.

I went duc hunting (rare for me to enjoy sealed roads) a while back with a bloke on an HPN frame / suspension and the 1040 motor.
He was clearly faster on the top end when the 336 cam kicked in but the roads we were on were more suited to mid range and a more nimble set up. Turning, braking stability and power on exit were more important on the day.

We both enjoyed ourselves, picked up a couple of scalps and got some ideas re alternate setup on our bikes.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornce View Post
You've got me curious Stage, because I can't imagine how a GS would/could possibly benefit from a steering damper?



I've pushed the aulde PD through some fair decent "extremes" over the years and have had moments wishing for less weight, better traction more suspension or greater ground clearance. But never, ever have I felt a need for a steering damper.

What's up with that?

I dunno. Every little bike benefits from them, I dont know why a big bike wouldnt. Cross ruts at anything more than 40mph will tear your arms off, and a steering damper set for kill will pretty much make those go away, and youre left with just the up-and-down problems. Really though, they let me forget about about holding on for dear life and get on with the business of riding. Its extremely confidence inspiring. The rally racing stuff I do occasionally its a godsend and lets you drive faster. I dont know specifically how, other than I now just point the bike and shoot, where I used to snowplow. And I dont get 1/10th as tired holding on. Simply going faster to smooth out the rough spots isnt going to work for somebody at my skill level, I'll just crash.
This is video of stuff that a steering damper is great for:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaXRnxAlwZI
Granted, this is also the kind of stuff that a larger HPN style bike would be great for. Country Doc can probably back me up on this. He's raced Rallymoto as well, AND is building an HPN.

Lornce, I swear I'd let you ride mine to try it out, but its got progressive front springs and heavy fluid, so I know you wouldnt like it. THe rest of the forks weight and lack of adjustment is their major drawback, but they dont bottom out, dont flex very much with the giant axle and fork brace, and are just butch as hell, like lifetime forks. I can somehow feel the purist in me, meek tho he may be coming out when I think of putting Real Forks on my GS. It'd bump me out of the stock class in Rally But I dont want to do that, its like gilding the lily or something. I like it basic, with all the more or less original stuff on it.

Sure it isnt too expensive, but Mr. Farmer, thats only the beginning. A full WP front end isnt so bad and of course, grafting an 1150 rear end isnt too bad by itself either I suppose. Everybody has a different idea for the upper shock mount, dont they? same for making a longer single sided swingarm, And then add in frame bracing. On the other hand, adding a steering damper isnt exactly plug and play on an airhead, and you might get a lot of adjustment and a place to hang a damper for the price of goofing around with a stem. and some bearings, and maybe just re-valving and getting the length right. I'm obviously no good at that sort of thing yet.

THere are definitely times I want to try the HPN style desert long legged warriors and see what they could do, but I also want to see if they are just awkward giraffes in the back woods, or if they go another way.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:58 AM   #20
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Ruksta Stage room now.

Long distance romances never end well.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davorallyfan View Post
Ruksta Stage room now.

Long distance romances never end well.
Yep sure don't, glad you spotted that.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:54 AM   #22
Lornce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adiablolex View Post
only time I thought I coulda used one was when doing less than 80km/h in 2' deep sand.
This was on a lighter bike with better traction, more suspension and greater ground clearance...
You should'a just twisted that loud handle a little harder.


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Old 06-26-2011, 05:20 AM   #23
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I'll echo what Stage said. Riding the R100GS in rough stuff (Rockies singletrack etc.) the deflection of the front wheel gets exhausting for me. I don't have a steering damper but I can fully see how it would help exactly as he describes.

It's probably because of the roadrace influence that people think steering dampers are to reduce tankslappers. For offroad, for me at least, this is simply not the case. It's a whole different situation. The R100GS has relatively short trail compared to comparable bikes from KTM or even BMW. Great on flat surfaces but I think there's more leverage for impacts forward of the steering axis (when you strike rocks, the tire is hitting them well forward of the normal contact patch) to twist the bars in your hands. This is the behavior of the GS that I like the least.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:19 AM   #24
Rucksta
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I can agree with this argument but feel a steering damper, even a modern
radial is just masking the symptoms of a suspension setup and geometry
that is less than optimal.

Once you have some travel to play with, a suitable spring rate and a
sophisticated compression damping arrangement, the causes of the
headshake and deflection can start to be addressed.

Changing the front end to an alternate product often means changing
the triple clamps and adjustments to the rear suspension.
This is a good oportunity to address the underlying geometry causes.
Replacing the triples with a lower offset type, often all that is
available without custom fabrication with a front end swap,
increases the trail.

Having the 'luxury' of running >50mm static sag and little or no preload
makes for very effective unloading of the front end under power
(even with the shaft jacking of a monolever) and subsequent
"lengthening" of the geometry.

The compliance offered by high and low speed circuts on both
compression and rebound means the suspension can be tunned
to ride over variations in the suface rather than try to move them
out of the way without too much of a compromise of hardness
on the big hits & jumps.

For Stage with his "stock for class" requirement a transplant is not an
option but for others the cost of a radial damper can represent a fraction
of the cost of the front end swap.

I chose the transplant it might not be the best choice for everyone.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:18 AM   #25
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I'd agree that the GS geometry is less than optimal for what we're asking them to do haha, all part of the fun.

lol get a room

Its totally be worth getting on a bike set up as such to see what I'm missing.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:52 PM   #26
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OK, now I've ridden one with pretty decent suspension and Ive decided I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.


Apparently you are supposed to ride with the throttle, anyway. I was lugging it over major bumps, and it was kicking me in the kidneys. They said "make the revs higher. even if you go the same speed, just be down a gear and rev it higher" and it smoothed the rear suspension right out.

Other than that, I only have everything to learn.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:00 AM   #27
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Thanks for the bump Jason,
I hadn't read this thread before.
I think we need to start developing a thread index or something for all these kind of GS-ish suspension/geometry/tuning etc discussions that are spread around the place.

Of course this is all very relevant for me-
I've gone the WP50mm front end, shortened, the Rdubb triples with 38mm offset (which combined with the increased WP50 axel offset must make for a very small trail), ohlins on the rear, I'm going to try to emulate Rucksta's raising of the rear by moving the shock mount forward and keep the shorter wheelbase, and then extend the forks a bit longer again, and I've got a road (damping both ways) scotts/ohlins steering damper on it.
Should be interesting... and I think I've got a lot more to learn than you do!

I just wish I had a bit more time to work on it again. Moved house, back to full time study briefly, and probably about to head OS for the summer...
Soon, soon...
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