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.
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.
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.
Burly linkage arm w/ multi-faceted connection point to damper body eliminates deflection & play
for a smooth, transitionless steering feel.
Precision Racing Products Parabolic Motorcycle Steering Damper ready to go racing!
Have questions? Hit @George @ Precision Racing in the comments section below! 👇