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Old 09-18-2019, 12:22 PM
madprofessor madprofessor is offline
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Default Question about "steering damper"......

Need some input from those who have used the "steering dampers" they advertise a lot of on ebay. My only experience is with heavy ones used on Harleys etc., would be too much for a minibike. Want to take some of the quick movement out of my front end, the thing is terrifying fast, and even little motions at speed could get me tossed and hurt. Do they noticeably slow down jerky motions? Are they adjustable? Are they all pretty much the same except for cost?
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:20 PM
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you might be able to try some large rc car shocks not sure if they would work but might be worth a try
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:48 PM
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I know Red Beard's Garage used one on their drag mini bikes but I cannot find the link to it on any of the videos. But it was adjustable for how light or stiff you want it.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:23 PM
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Youll have to wait for bob(I believe) to chime in.. he used one on his bike... some amazon/ebay cheap-o ....
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:48 PM
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The aftermarket sport bike ones are likely good too..
not too much effort to push those around intentionally,
but still they cancle out most of the speed wobble..

My bike had the steering dampener removed by the PO
And since I haven't seen or felt any speed wobble yet I haven't bought a replacement unit.
it's quite small.. and the original is quite ugly I'm afraid [GSXR 750 '98/'99] but those can be found used on ebay for rather cheap [~20 bucks]
My friend still has his installed, and while it surely is a bigger than mini bike..
I cannot tell the difference moving my frontwheel left to right to his' (same bike a year apart)
So I'd say it doesn't add too much to the steering force at all.

I'm not sure about RC car shocks tbh.. since the dampeners are no shocks at all,
albeit they work almost identically they're missing the return spring bit..

it's only a viscuous fluid getting pushed and pulled by a plunger

I think a "hood shock absorber" is almost closer (again minus the internal spring)
than an RC car shock...

I'm fairly certain you can make one yourself if you have a metal tube bike pump.
Surely requires some experimentation (and again fluid dynamics giggle)
but an old bike pump that has at least one screw on end cap
should be convertable...

A new -not too tightly fitting- plunger ideally made of a thick plastic as to not scratch the tube (say an old HDPE chopping board) and an added O-ring to seal the cap
is essentially all it takes for a first try.
Seal the "output port" tight, add oil then the losely fitting plunger, and check..
increase/decrease plunger size (or drill a hole) until you're happy.

different oil viscosity also makes a difference, but you'll certainly know if you
rather change viscosity or file away on the plunger or such.
Maybe even a plastic pump would work, depends on how sturdy it is..
if you can pop the threaded cap by steering you need to take some better built pump.

Hang on...... threaded pipe and caps...
since you don't need a smooth inner surface it should work and certainly IS strong enough.

'sid
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:03 PM
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A vehicle hood strut might end up being too stiff to be of any real use, unless one found a worn out one, then it maybe too loose to be of any use as well.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:00 PM
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Default Probably couldn't make my own seal........

Plowing my brain isn't giving me any way to make a reliable oil seal for a piston, telescope, whatever. Has to be a moving "dead" part, with just some selectable size drilled holes for choice of orifice, but just don't have anything for a seal that could take the beating of slamming down from a wheelie every time I try to get going or speed up. Whoa, maybe an air shock type of thing, no spring of course, but not a problem if seal leaks a little air instead of oil. Still, if Red Beard had an adjustable, I'll look first for that kind of thing on ebay, as long as delivery isn't between Oct. 7 and Nov. 25. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:42 PM
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Hm..
I must've misunderstood your initial post..
a steering dampener is not affected at all when you slam down from a wheelie..
the single thing that could pop the sealwould be to yank the handle bars left to right (which I think you would like to avoid anyways )

the piston part doesn't even need a seal (a loose fit and it acts as the regulating bypass...)
and a small shaft seal might even suffice
I can't recall the cheapest best shaft seal term atm.. AVE had a video about such a few years ago.. how tiny and how much pressure, how self supporting yadda yadda... long ago.. can't remember details I'm afraid

And considering that a two way mini bike pump (Tazooka) can allegedly push around 14bar (160 psi)
I think the internal shaft seal should hold up if you pick such as the donor

'sid
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:23 PM
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Default Slamming off-balance definitely bad.....

itsid, that's right that I'd want to avoid slamming down from a wheelie so off-balance (leaning over to one side) that it would violently yank the bars to one side. However, I've done exactly that innumerous times when out racing thumper bikes in the dirt, from just not being able to keep the front end down until halfway through a turn. Too old for that kind of action now, but history suggests I'd do it anyway. What I've now seen on ebay is steering dampers 10" long, solidly built, gimbal end, adjustable settings, about $30. Considering how inconvenient it'd be for me to get knocked out of action for several days with road pizza from the assfault, think I'll just bite the $30 bullet, weld on a couple of tabs, be done with it.

Last edited by madprofessor; 09-21-2019 at 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:23 AM
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ah I see.. yes.. 'things' happen involuntarily..

So, professionally made steering damper it is I guess...
the ones with settable dampening are rather expensive IIRC.
So if you found one for 30 bucks on ebay.. I say it may be worth a try.
I certainly can't tell how well it's made and how long it may last...
10" sounds like side mounted which I don't particularly like visually too much,
but this isn't about preferences about the look.. and for sure not mine for that matter

I checked ebay to see what 'my' dampener would cost on your side of the pond however..

and found these rather inexpensive options:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2004-04-05-...r/232660433766

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2003-01-03-...r/323862266340

Again I can't tell the difference if it's installed (my buddy's GSXR) or not (mine) with the bike standing still and since I don't have any speed wobble issues ... I can't tell if it actually helps anything *shrugs* but I'd assume Suzuki didn't add it for no reason
But it's a center mounted dampener (sits inbetween the fork tubes)
thus is fairly small which I like better personally but again not my choice to make

And a bit of digging (thanks to ebay suggested alternatives mostly)
revealed that there's also an adjustable aftermarket replacement...
https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-Suzuki-...t/283081400195
for 22 bucks

So if size is a concern (we still talk mini bike ) maybe such is a viable option.

'sid
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:02 PM
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Default Suzuki damper same as I've seen.....

That 3rd link to ebay dampers looks like the same dampers I've been looking at for a little more money. Same ends, adjuster knob, etc. Comes with more brackets than what I saw, would be worth it just to have some more options on how to custom mount it. Finally saw a youtube video of somebody installing one on a minibike, know now that the shaft is a continuous rod from end to end, and accordingly it slides in/out at both ends. In the video he mounts the free end on top of the frame between where your knees would be, and the gimbal end to the top of the upper triple tree. This has the shaft sliding in and out between your thighs, likely the least intrusive place for it, but disturbing nonetheless. If I get one, my application would be underneath that part of the frame (inside the frame "loop"), and the gimbal end maybe attached to the lower tree. Will ponder until fonder.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:24 AM
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They definitely help with stability.
Here is my most recent one from ebay...
https://youtu.be/RqU0lRPpmAw
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:54 PM
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I use them on my stuff. The cheap eBay ones with the adjustment on the valve body are well cheap. And don't work half the time.

The good ones are the ones with the adjustment on the very end or tip of the slide arm.

Picture being the better design................
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