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Steering Damper on a XR600R-Yes or No?

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I have noticed since putting the 15T countershaft on my XR the bike is a real street burner. I put new tires front and back both balanced, 606's. Great tires seem to handle the street great and does very well in the dirt. My problem is now at high speeds the front end wants to wander or wobble slightly. Nothing major, but I,ve seen how a slow wobble can turn bad real fast. I am wondering if a steering damper would help, or would a fork brace be better. I know a smaller front fender would help some, but with the quickness this gets to 80-90 MPH, I am wondering what would be the best solution. I don't drive at these speeds on a regular basis, but try to keep it at around 60-65 MPH, but on those occasions when I need to get around someone or just feel like cracking the throttle open, I want to be as smooth as possible.

Just as a side note, with the tires and the gearing change, the XR600 really makes a very capable street bike, very, very fun, and very, very fast!

Thanks,

Mark

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Assuming the wheels are actually balanced good enough, knobbies are never going to feel stable at speed, especially a 21" front. Do you have rimlocks installed? Are the beads set evenly? Maybe try higher pressure. Maybe less spring preload in the rear. Knobbies will always suck on the street. Especially with rimlocks. It takes a lot of weight to balance out rimlocks, and that weight sets up it's own dynamic imbalance. Even the spacing difference between the front and rear knobby pattern can cause wierd harmonics that throws off balance between front and rear.

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It's could be the fender causing the wobble. On my XR, I had the same thing, above 75-80 MPH the front end was all over the place. I drilled some holes in the back edge of the fender and that helped some but the Acerbis supermoto fender cured it 100%. When I swap back to my dirt wheels and fender I sometimes jump on the highway for an exit or 2 and am quickly reminded!

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It's could be the fender causing the wobble. On my XR, I had the same thing, above 75-80 MPH the front end was all over the place. I drilled some holes in the back edge of the fender and that helped some but the Acerbis supermoto fender cured it 100%. When I swap back to my dirt wheels and fender I sometimes jump on the highway for an exit or 2 and am quickly reminded!

I did the same thing on my KLR, drilled the holes and installed the Acerbis fender brace it al but cured the front end trying to sail on me. I will try the same thing with the XR. I did put some 1/2" spacers and lowered the front fender and it did seem to help some, the SM fender is in stock at the local dealer right now. It is priced around $29.00, and I think that is about what it goes for in the online catalogs I have looked at.

As far as the balancing I'm no expert so I have to assume that they were done right, I do buy all my tires from Cycle Gear and their prices and service have always been good. I know the knobbies are not perfect for the street, but this wobble seems a little more than usual. I tightened the stem nut according to the manual, but I am just not quite convinced that the wobble can't be settled down just a bit more. I'll take all both your advices into consideration and double check everything, I am still leaning toward a steering damper, but they are soooo expensive. Maybe Ebay? I'll check around. I will put the SM fender on tomorrow and see how that works out, I have always been a fan of those fenders anyway, they just look very cool.

Thanks,

Mark

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I used to have the same problem with front end wobble on my XR650L, and I was running 17 inch Sumo wheels and a fork brace. I installed a Scott's steering damper and it's now rock solid at speed. It rates up there in the top five mods I've done to my bike. :p:ride:

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I did the same thing on my KLR, drilled the holes and installed the Acerbis fender brace it al but cured the front end trying to sail on me. I will try the same thing with the XR. I did put some 1/2" spacers and lowered the front fender and it did seem to help some, the SM fender is in stock at the local dealer right now. It is priced around $29.00, and I think that is about what it goes for in the online catalogs I have looked at.

As far as the balancing I'm no expert so I have to assume that they were done right, I do buy all my tires from Cycle Gear and their prices and service have always been good. I know the knobbies are not perfect for the street, but this wobble seems a little more than usual. I tightened the stem nut according to the manual, but I am just not quite convinced that the wobble can't be settled down just a bit more. I'll take all both your advices into consideration and double check everything, I am still leaning toward a steering damper, but they are soooo expensive. Maybe Ebay? I'll check around. I will put the SM fender on tomorrow and see how that works out, I have always been a fan of those fenders anyway, they just look very cool.

Thanks,

Mark

There is one for sale in the classifieds section of TT, I believe for around $250. Check it out. :p

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I had the same problem with my 650L. I replaced the stock duck-bill fender with a CRF fender and added a Scotts damper. Feels much more secure now. There will always be a slight wobble because of the knobbies, but I was told that the damper will eliminate severe high-speed wobbles. Probably the best mod I ever did to my bike.:p

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i will never say that adding a steering damper isnt a bad idea, i love and live by them, they have proven to be an awesome addon to either street or dirt ridden bikes, i say get one and dont look back

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