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Techee

Scotts Damper saved my butt!

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Riding a tight atv tree lined trail at a brisk pace Saturday......when I hit a nasty root. 

Front end jumped to the left toward the trees...the handlebars immediately re centered & saved me from a get off & possibly a serious injury.

42 years of off road riding. I never had a Scotts damper until this year.

IMHOP  this damper is a safety device. I will never ride without one again!

 

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2 hours ago, Techee said:

Riding a tight atv tree lined trail at a brisk pace Saturday......when I hit a nasty root. 

Front end jumped to the left toward the trees...the handlebars immediately re centered & saved me from a get off & possibly a serious injury.

42 years of off road riding. I never had a Scotts damper until this year.

IMHOP  this damper is a safety device. I will never ride without one again!

 

I still have a couple of Scott’s dampers from other bikes. I felt that Betas didn’t need it as it runs pretty stable. You remind me that maybe I should get a mount and put the dampers on anyway just to try . I actually had a damper on my 525 Beta but upgraded to a better Beta racing triple clamp and never put the damper back on.  My other Betas... 300 and 350 are good as is but better is great too. 

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love my Scotts damper on tight singletrack with steep and/or off-camber exposure, especially in terrain where wandering off the trail is a one-way trip.  Below are a couple of examples of trails where I ride more confidently with it. (Not sure if the difference is mental or physical, but that doesn't much matter to me.)

 

 

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It's not just the obvious saves from a big moment, but those are the gotcha moments. It's like having power steering, you just don't get as tired fighting the bars all day. I need every advantage I can get these days, and I too need to reconsider putting one on my bike as an option, unlike the KTM of years gone by where it was a must have or that thing would head shake at speed enough to make you see God and have your life flash before your eyes.

 

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I've got a Scott's that is sitting on my yz250, neither the Scotts or the Yz have been touched in 3 years. I actually prefer the ride without the damper...sure the steering is a little busier, but I actually ride a little more relaxed without it.

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I also have one on a YZ250. 

For higher speeds, it certainly has saved my bacon a few times. 

I remember it being really nice to have when wide open on the uphill section at Honeylake MX395. 

Haven’t decided yet if I want or need one on the Beta. 

In the really nasty 1st, 2nd gear stuff I would say no. 

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11 hours ago, Techee said:

Riding a tight atv tree lined trail at a brisk pace Saturday......when I hit a nasty root. 

Front end jumped to the left toward the trees...the handlebars immediately re centered & saved me from a get off & possibly a serious injury.

42 years of off road riding. I never had a Scotts damper until this year.

IMHOP  this damper is a safety device. I will never ride without one again!

 

I've had similar experiences. My buddy has crashed taking the same line as me, needless to say, he doesn't have one. Roots, sand/mud, tap a branch or vine, there's quite a few situations it helps. Both my bikes have them.

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21 hours ago, Sierra_rider said:

I've got a Scott's that is sitting on my yz250, neither the Scotts or the Yz have been touched in 3 years. I actually prefer the ride without the damper...sure the steering is a little busier, but I actually ride a little more relaxed without it.

Also can can cover up suspension issues. When I had Kreft do my suspension, he asked me to not run a stabilizer. Haven't run one since. No need with proper set-up

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48 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Also can can cover up suspension issues. When I had Kreft do my suspension, he asked me to not run a stabilizer. Haven't run one since. No need with proper set-up

A steering stabilizer is just another suspension component for damping the steering head rotational axis.  I can understand not using one if you don't feel the need for it based on your riding style, experience, and preference etc.  But not running one, or removing it, just because it might compensate for other suspension shortcomings seems nonsensical.  More supporting data please.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, wwguy said:

A steering stabilizer is just another suspension component for damping the steering head rotational axis.  I can understand not using one if you don't feel the need for it based on your riding style, experience, and preference etc.  But not running one, or removing it, just because it might compensate for other suspension shortcomings seems nonsensical.  More supporting data please.

Call Adam Kreft. One of the best suspension tuners in the industry. I'm not the expert, he is. 

Huge difference riding at slow pace in technical terrain vs Harescramble and Enduro pace. Demands on suspension are vastly different. Not many GNCC riders or Nat'l Enduro riders run a stabilizer that I'm aware of. 

A stabilizer is very popular with recreational riders, not racers.

Edited by firffighter

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1 hour ago, firffighter said:

Call Adam Kreft. One of the best suspension tuners in the industry. I'm not the expert, he is.

Huge difference riding at slow pace in technical terrain vs Harescramble and Enduro pace. Demands on suspension are vastly different. Not many GNCC riders or Nat'l Enduro riders run a stabilizer that I'm aware of. 

A stabilizer is very popular with recreational riders, not racers.

You're killin' me Smalls.... I'm not interested in calling your tuner to ask him to explain your (so far) unsubstantiated opinion.  I asked you to provide supporting information for your comments other than "Because my tuner said so..."  Feel free to call him yourself if you're not exactly sure why you removed yours.  I'm happy to wait to hear his answer.

Until then you might be interested in some of the Scotts stabilizer rider testimonials below from Scotts' website.  Coincidentally, Larry Roeseler, who's comments are also included below, just had his Sherco 300 suspension tuned by my local shop... who's well-respected owner also happily runs a stabilizer on his KTM 300.  But to be perfectly clear, I don't use them on my bikes because anyone else did.  I use them because they work for me.

What the Pro's think of the World's Finest Steering Stabilizer:

Dirt Bike Magazine:
"Having one of these is almost like cheating! The smartest thing we ever did was put a Scotts Damper on!"

MotoCross Action:
"The most advanced, high tech, well-made and adjustable steering control in the world!"

Dirt Rider:
"This little gem is worth every penny! Completely removed headshake and improved the bikes manners everywhere. One of the best investments we've made!"

MotoCross Action:
"One of the ten best products ever, you can't live without it... it really works!"

Ty Davis ... Multiple Time National Hare and Hound Champion
"I've ridden all forms of off-road racing and tried the other dampers... there is no question that SCOTTS Steering Stabilizer is far and away the best there is."

Mike Lafferty ... Four time National Enduro Champion 1998
"I used the [other brand] and knew if I was going to win, I needed the SCOTTS damper."

Randy Hawkins ... Six Time National Enduro Champion
"I was very skeptical until I tried it! I used the other brands, and there is no question, SCOTTS damper is the best."

Destry Abbott ... Two Time ISDE Gold Medal Winner, Only American to win Overall Special Test, Mutiple National Hare and Hound Champion
"It would have been very difficult to get to ISDE without my SCOTTS damper."

Scott Plessinger... Multiple Time GNCC Champion
"To compete with the best, you need the best equipment. Scotts Steering Stabilizer is the finest working damper on the market and has the most features. The others don't even come close."

Larry Roeseler... Ten Time Baja 1000 Winner & Off-road Living Legend
"Kawasaki has won eight Baja 1000 events in a row. Scotts Steering Stabilizer has been on our KX500 every time we crossed the finish line. I won't race without one... Desert or Enduro!"

Doug Blackwell... 2 time National Hare Scrambles Champion
"Most guys I race with don't know what an advantage the Scotts Damper is."

Paul Krause...Multiple Baja 1000 Overall Winner
"You're just plain crazy not to be using one of these Dampers."

Malcolm Smith... Living Legend
"I've been using a SCOTTS damper for nine years now... what a great product."

Race Tech's Paul Thede
"This is a truly amazing product."

Some other riders who use the Scotts Damper:

Dick Burleson - Ten Time National Enduro Champion
The Seven National Hare & Hound Championships 1990-1997
Three Times World Motocross Four Stroke Championships
Ricky Johnson - Former Multi-Time Supercross Champion
Danny LaPorte - Former 250cc World Motocross Champion 
Tommy Norton - Multi-time NETRA Champion
George Waller Jr. - Multi-time Setra Champion
Johnny Campbell - 1997-99 Baja 1000 winner
Steve Hengeveld - Multi-time Best in the Desert Champion
Rich Lafferty - NETRA and GNCC
Jason Dahners - ISDE
Duane Connors - GNCC
Matt Stavish
Josh Mclevy
Russ Pearson
FMF Racing
Tom Webb
Keith Johnson
Brian Deegan
Tim Shepard
Greg Zitterkopf
Nick Pearson
Scot Harden
Rex Staten
Team Green
Team Honda
Team KTM
SCR Racing


And that's just the Scotts fans.  Plenty of others are happily riding on GPR, Fastway, Ohlins, and maybe a few other brands too. 

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2 hours ago, wwguy said:

You're killin' me Smalls.... I'm not interested in calling your tuner to ask him to explain your (so far) unsubstantiated opinion.  I asked you to provide supporting information for your comments other than "Because my tuner said so..."  Feel free to call him yourself if you're not exactly sure why you removed yours.  I'm happy to wait to hear his answer.

Until then you might be interested in some of the Scotts stabilizer rider testimonials below from Scotts' website.  Coincidentally, Larry Roeseler, who's comments are also included below, just had his Sherco 300 suspension tuned by my local shop... who's well-respected owner also happily runs a stabilizer on his KTM 300.  But to be perfectly clear, I don't use them on my bikes because anyone else did.  I use them because they work for me.

What the Pro's think of the World's Finest Steering Stabilizer:

Dirt Bike Magazine:
"Having one of these is almost like cheating! The smartest thing we ever did was put a Scotts Damper on!"

MotoCross Action:
"The most advanced, high tech, well-made and adjustable steering control in the world!"

Dirt Rider:
"This little gem is worth every penny! Completely removed headshake and improved the bikes manners everywhere. One of the best investments we've made!"

MotoCross Action:
"One of the ten best products ever, you can't live without it... it really works!"

Ty Davis ... Multiple Time National Hare and Hound Champion
"I've ridden all forms of off-road racing and tried the other dampers... there is no question that SCOTTS Steering Stabilizer is far and away the best there is."

Mike Lafferty ... Four time National Enduro Champion 1998
"I used the [other brand] and knew if I was going to win, I needed the SCOTTS damper."

Randy Hawkins ... Six Time National Enduro Champion
"I was very skeptical until I tried it! I used the other brands, and there is no question, SCOTTS damper is the best."

Destry Abbott ... Two Time ISDE Gold Medal Winner, Only American to win Overall Special Test, Mutiple National Hare and Hound Champion
"It would have been very difficult to get to ISDE without my SCOTTS damper."

Scott Plessinger... Multiple Time GNCC Champion
"To compete with the best, you need the best equipment. Scotts Steering Stabilizer is the finest working damper on the market and has the most features. The others don't even come close."

Larry Roeseler... Ten Time Baja 1000 Winner & Off-road Living Legend
"Kawasaki has won eight Baja 1000 events in a row. Scotts Steering Stabilizer has been on our KX500 every time we crossed the finish line. I won't race without one... Desert or Enduro!"

Doug Blackwell... 2 time National Hare Scrambles Champion
"Most guys I race with don't know what an advantage the Scotts Damper is."

Paul Krause...Multiple Baja 1000 Overall Winner
"You're just plain crazy not to be using one of these Dampers."

Malcolm Smith... Living Legend
"I've been using a SCOTTS damper for nine years now... what a great product."

Race Tech's Paul Thede
"This is a truly amazing product."

Some other riders who use the Scotts Damper:

Dick Burleson - Ten Time National Enduro Champion
The Seven National Hare & Hound Championships 1990-1997
Three Times World Motocross Four Stroke Championships
Ricky Johnson - Former Multi-Time Supercross Champion
Danny LaPorte - Former 250cc World Motocross Champion 
Tommy Norton - Multi-time NETRA Champion
George Waller Jr. - Multi-time Setra Champion
Johnny Campbell - 1997-99 Baja 1000 winner
Steve Hengeveld - Multi-time Best in the Desert Champion
Rich Lafferty - NETRA and GNCC
Jason Dahners - ISDE
Duane Connors - GNCC
Matt Stavish
Josh Mclevy
Russ Pearson
FMF Racing
Tom Webb
Keith Johnson
Brian Deegan
Tim Shepard
Greg Zitterkopf
Nick Pearson
Scot Harden
Rex Staten
Team Green
Team Honda
Team KTM
SCR Racing


And that's just the Scotts fans.  Plenty of others are happily riding on GPR, Fastway, Ohlins, and maybe a few other brands too. 

Geez, This obviously means a lot to you! I could care less who or who doesn't run one. It's no big deal. 

Run your stabilize, a ton of guys do 

I'm very fine without one now for several years with a properly tuned suspension. A ton of guys do the same.

I respect Adam's insights into this and I have chosen to go this route. 

Not worth an argument!

 

 

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My good friend put one on his KTM just after he started riding dirtbikes because "everyone should have one."

Well, we were riding in the Nevada desert and he just kept bitching and moaning about riding in sand and eventually got ejected off an easy sandy side hill trail. When I finally go back to see what the hold up is he's cursing and swearing at his bike saying its impossible to ride in the sand. I'm like, "WTF dude this is super easy."

 

I hop on is bike, and immediately the bike almost throws me off the trail. I turn the damper all the way down, problem solved.

Edited by basalt

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7 minutes ago, basalt said:

My good friend put one on his KTM just after he started riding dirtbikes because "everyone should have one."

Well, we were riding in the Nevada desert and he just kept bitching and moaning about riding in sand and eventually got ejected off an easy sandy side hill trail. When I finally go back to see what the hold up is he's cursing and swearing at his bike saying its impossible to ride in the sand. I'm like, "WTF dude this is super easy."

 

I hop on is bike, and immediately the bike almost throws me off the trail. I turn the damper all the way down, problem solved.

Not everyone that picks up a hammer is a craftsman. ;)

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I’ve been watching this thread with curiosity.  So what would be advantages and disadvantages to running a stabilizer?  I’m fairly new back in single track after taking 20 years off to ride street.  My buddies all run them on their bikes, they say biggest advantage is in sand and when bouncing the handlebars off the trees.

I’ve been thinking about one for the Beta but I don’t have problems in sand.  Now bouncing off the tree has an advantage for me as I’m more timid in the woods then sand or whoops!  I’m simple and believe in T squares.  I list positives and negatives and add up the colums.  The one with the most normally sways my opinion.  What say you?

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43 minutes ago, Dertyone said:

I’ve been watching this thread with curiosity.  So what would be advantages and disadvantages to running a stabilizer?  I’m fairly new back in single track after taking 20 years off to ride street.  My buddies all run them on their bikes, they say biggest advantage is in sand and when bouncing the handlebars off the trees.

I’ve been thinking about one for the Beta but I don’t have problems in sand.  Now bouncing off the tree has an advantage for me as I’m more timid in the woods then sand or whoops!  I’m simple and believe in T squares.  I list positives and negatives and add up the colums.  The one with the most normally sways my opinion.  What say you?

This explanation on Scotts website sums up the operation and advantages pretty well.

For me, on my WR250R dual-sport it eliminates the head shake that can come with riding a lightweight bike with a dirt bike chassis at highway speeds on pavement, as well as significantly reducing wallowing in desert sand washes. On my Beta 300 trail bike (and my WR250R too when riding singletrack with it) the primary benefit is utilizing the high speed circuit to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, deflection when riding over rocks, roots, and other obstacles on narrow singletrack where riding around the obstacles isn't feasible and/or where riding off-trail can be downright life threatening. (Like in my videos above.)

When properly set up I'm not aware of any disadvantages.  But some riders, like basalt's friend in his post above, get frustrated with them when they have the low speed damping set so high that they end up fighting the steering damper more than the terrain.  This is even more of an issue for riders new to steering stabilizers who are still subconsciously using their arms as stabilizers.  So they end up with two damping systems fighting each other, and of course the arms get tired first.  Personally, I have my low speed circuit, which provides basic resistance to turning the bars with my arms, set so low I don't even feel the resistance.  It's the high speed damping circuit that saves my bacon on the trail, and I don't notice it at all under normal steering operations.  In fact, I don't really notice the stabilizer at all until I try riding my bike without it.  Then suddenly it feels harder to ride because my arms have to go back to doing the damping job and they're not as fast, reliable, or tireless as the stabilizer.

Check out some of the 70+ rider reviews and comments regarding the Scotts stabilizer in this TT product review thread.

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Headshake is a sign of badly setup suspension which a damper can reduce. 

Its a personal thing, like a rekluse, use it if you want to.   

I have never used one but then I dont have headshake.

 

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On 8/8/2019 at 5:08 PM, wwguy said:

love my Scotts damper on tight singletrack with steep and/or off-camber exposure, especially in terrain where wandering off the trail is a one-way trip.  Below are a couple of examples of trails where I ride more confidently with it. (Not sure if the difference is mental or physical, but that doesn't much matter to me.)

 

 

YOU are the man!!!

Thes look like hiking trails to me.

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