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The Evolution of the Motorcycle Steering Stabilizer?


ThumperTalk

The motorcycle steering stabilizer has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in the 70s. Few things remain unchanged forever and George Athanasiou, owner of Precision Racing Products (PRP) believes that he’s created the next level of off-road motorcycle steering stabilizers with his Parabolic Damper. PRP began with steering dampers for ATV racing where they racked up countless wins. Building upon this success, they set their sights on off-road motorcycle racing.

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Precision Racing Products Parabolic Motorcycle Steering Damper

The most obvious and unique feature of the PRP Parabolic Damper is its mounting system which clamps to the center of the handlebars, avoiding the impact hazard of top mounts and the handling & ergonomic considerations of sub-mount systems that raise the handlebar. But, there is a lot more to a good steering stabilizer than its mounting location, so is this where the story begins and ends with PRP’s Parabolic Damper? We spent some time talking with George about his product, peeling the onion back a bit more.

TT:  Are there any notable motorcycle riders or race teams using your damper in competition and what’s been their feedback?
PRP: Before it was even for sale Factory KTM Racing and Factory Husqvarna Racing were already racing with it.  Since then, Factory Beta-USA Racing, Honda and Kawasaki support off-road teams have gone to it. The racers love it!  They have expressed that they had no idea that a steering damper could work so well. The KTM Crew Chief stated, “It's years ahead of anything we've tried.” It's great to have validation from riders at this level.
 

TT:  A lot of time & effort went into the design of the frame bracket, linkage & damper arm. What do you want riders to know about this?
PRP: We have been going to National races for 15 years and in talking to racers, they expressed that they didn't want a damper that raises their handlebars or one that mounts on top of their bars, possibly causing injuries.  After years of experiments and testing, the Parabolic damper was born, which is a damper that mounts at an angle to the steering stem and uses geometry with sealed and greased linkage to provide perfect ratios.


TT: The Parabolic Damper has a thermal expansion reservoir. Is this unique to your design and where does it benefit a rider?
PRP: This is a very unique system that we developed on our second generation of ATV stabilizers.  It basically works like a piggyback reservoir on a rear shock giving the oil a place to go as it heats up and expands.  Otherwise,just parking your bike in the sun can cause internal pressures of over 1500-psi which will bend covers or housings, causing fading or seizing.
 

TT: From center to steering stop and back, what are the dampening characteristics of the Parabolic Damper and why did you set it up that way?
PRP:  A flat bell curve best describes it with slightly more damping in the center and slightly less on the sides.  This helps you steer easier in the tight stuff while giving you more stability in the faster straight stuff. With a smooth transition between both, there is no sudden drop off like some dampers have. 

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TT: The Parabolic Damper has 20 low speed settings, but also an adjustable high speed circuit. How does the rider go about setting these two in relation to one another for the conditions they ride?
PRP:  Low speed is your normal steering speed and high speed is anything faster than you can turn the bars (has nothing to do with the speed of the bike). With the bike on a stand, set the low speed to the setting you like the feel of.  Now, turn the low speed up two clicks to set the high speed. You want to feel the high speed start to grab as you turn the bars at full speed. Now, turn the low speed back down to where you liked it. You will be able to turn your bars as fast as you like without the high speed hitting, but if you hit anything that moves you bars quicker than that, such as roots, ruts, rocks, cross rutts, trees, etc.,  the high speed will catch you.
 

TT: What sort of maintenance does the Parabolic Damper need and is it DIY or does it need to come back to PRP?
PRP:  Maintenance is super easy.  You don’t need to open the damper for an oil change.  Just remove the two fill plugs squeeze fresh oil in one hole until clean oil comes out the other hole, then reinstall the plugs. Greasing the linkage is also super easy and the linkage is wear adjustable.
 

TT: The floor is yours George, what else do you want riders to know about the Parabolic Damper that we’ve not covered?
PRP:  I think most people understand that a steering stabilizer will help them with high speed head shake (death wobble).  What a lot of folks don’t realize is what this damper will do to control the rear of the bike. The way our damper is designed, the back end wants to stay behind the front end through whoops, breaking bumps and in muddy or slippery conditions. This allows you to stay on the pegs while others are on their seat trying to keep the backend behind them.

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The Precision Racing Products Parabolic Motorcycle Steering Damper is very light weight.
 

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Burly linkage arm w/ multi-faceted connection point to damper body eliminates deflection & play
for a smooth, transitionless steering feel.
 

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Precision Racing Products Parabolic Motorcycle Steering Damper ready to go racing!

 

Have questions?  Hit @George @ Precision Racing in the comments section below! 👇

 

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Interesting! @George @ Precision Racing not asking you to beat up on competitors, but would you mind doing a little honest comparing/contrasting with what Scotts is putting out? Just want to understand the key differences. Thank in advance. Pretty cool design.

Edited by Twowheeladdiction

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Scotts is a good product and was ahead of it's time, but hasn't really changed since the 70's.

The biggest thing for most riders is that the Precision Parabolic does not raise their bars or go on top of the bars with knobs and a pointer that slit one recent customers stomach from top to bottom.  

Our linkage is much more stout, greased, sealed, and wear adjustable.  No lubricating with dirt. 

The Parabolic is adjustable with a bar pad on and has a numbered adjuster

We have Thermal compensation.  Oil expands at twice the rate of aluminum, it needs somewhere to go.

The Parabolic is much lighter with the entire assembly weighing under 1.0 pounds in some applications.  this is critical for high center of gravity weight. 

our shaft to vane is machined from a single piece of 40mm heat treated stainless steel. Compared to a 3mm pin holding them together. 

Maintenance is much easier.  Change the oil without opening the unit 

Our Bell curve damping without drop off on the sides makes a smoother ride and makes the back end want to follow the front end. 

 

Edited by George @ Precision Racing
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Looks very good George!  Clever design and I really like that the damper is not up on top, plus we can still use standard height bars.

I would be installing on a 2019 WR450F.  Most likely, I'll be moving my bars to the forward hole with clamps rotated back.  I've run this position with my last two Yamahas.  But what if I were to change back to the stock bar position, what different parts would I need to purchase?

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Joe, It's best to know where you like your bars and stick with it.  In some cases you can move one position and not change any parts.  In your case you could move forward and not change any parts , but to move back to factory position would require a change of the lever, pin and pivot dog.   Which happens to be worse case scenario.  That would run $174 

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Get on youtube and watch the long lens shots of bikes landing head-on to the camera in the Isle of Mann TT. Head-shaking at 150 to 200 mph puts a whole new light on things.

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We do not have a stocking dealer of the Parabolic in Canada.  We are working on expanding our Canadian dealers currently.  You can order directly from our website in Canada.

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On 3/1/2020 at 7:17 PM, tonkaman said:

Can they be used with flexx bars? 

We have one Vet rider in so.cal. who is using Flexx bars, Phds clamps, and risers.  The Parabolic damper is flexible with several size levers, pins, and pivot dogs.

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I’ve got the Flex Bars on a 17 KTM500, but run the bars all the way forward, so don’t know if the lever etc... will be long enough, or if it will change the damping cut in points because of the different geometry?

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@Red Eye The handlebars don't mater in the equation. If you go to our website and put your bike in the yellow drop down bar, the Parabolic will come up.  Just choose your bar clamps and position on those drop downs and the correct part number will be generated. 

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On 2/26/2020 at 3:28 PM, George @ Precision Racing said:

Scotts is a good product and was ahead of it's time, but hasn't really changed since the 70's.

The biggest thing for most riders is that the Precision Parabolic does not raise their bars or go on top of the bars with knobs and a pointer that slit one recent customers stomach from top to bottom.  

Our linkage is much more stout, greased, sealed, and wear adjustable.  No lubricating with dirt. 

The Parabolic is adjustable with a bar pad on and has a numbered adjuster

We have Thermal compensation.  Oil expands at twice the rate of aluminum, it needs somewhere to go.

The Parabolic is much lighter with the entire assembly weighing under 1.0 pounds in some applications.  this is critical for high center of gravity weight. 

our shaft to vane is machined from a single piece of 40mm heat treated stainless steel. Compared to a 3mm pin holding them together. 

Maintenance is much easier.  Change the oil without opening the unit 

Our Bell curve damping without drop off on the sides makes a smoother ride and makes the back end want to follow the front end. 

 

Will this product fit on a 2019 CRF450L with stock bars? If so, which product?

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1 hour ago, George @ Precision Racing said:

It will fit the 2019 CRF450L, but some grinding needs to take place.  You will need to remove the nub of the frame that is used for the steering lock.   

link bellow for the fat bars

 

https://precision-rp.com/Parabolic-Damper-1-18-bar-Mount-Kit-Honda-CRF250R2019-ON-CRF450R2019-ON_p_320.html

 

  InkedIMG_1169_LI.thumb.jpg.7b771de71f43484f86fbc579102719e9.jpg

Is there an option to install without removing the nub?  After looking at my setup the bottom clamp will need to be modified or nub removed. Has any other damper touched on this or is it a CRF450L specific because of the steering lock? 

Edited by Stevomoto CRF450L

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13 hours ago, Stevomoto CRF450L said:

Is there an option to install without removing the nub?  After looking at my setup the bottom clamp will need to be modified or nub removed. Has any other damper touched on this or is it a CRF450L specific because of the steering lock? 

No other option, this is specific to the L and X because of the steering lock

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On 5/30/2020 at 10:07 AM, Thomas J. Henderson said:

Will this product fit my 2007 KTM 525 EXC with stock bars and set up?

Thomas, 

Sorry for the delay I just saw this.  Here is a link to the damper and mount for your bike.

https://precision-rp.com/Parabolic-Damper-1-18-bar-Mount-Kit-KTM-2005-2014-for-factory-clamps-factory-position_p_335.html

Here is a link to a recent dirt rider magazine story also,

https://www.dirtrider.com/story/tests/dt-racing-2020-ktm-450-sx-f-factory-edition-review/

 

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