Unconfirmed verdict on Steering Dampeners

I'm told this is the best place to get any negative feed back on steering dampeners. Those who have them swear they would never ride with out one again. This seem to be a small minority of the riders out there though. If they are so wonderful why don't everyone use one?

I ask this because in the last 2 race seasons since my son began racing motocross I have looked for the dampeners on motocross bikes. I bet I have checked out over 1000 bikes in the last 2 years and I have not found a single bike with one on. So what's up? Are they just a cross country or enduro thing? If they work/help why don't I see them on motocross bikes?

They are expensive.

If you get the chassis set up correctly, you can get by without a damper.

Too many people use one to try and correct a bad chassis set up.

They are great to add to a bike that is setup correctly. They can save your butt in the nasty suff and high speed stuff.

Icing on the cake.

I love dampeners!!!!! I never rode with one until about a year ago. They are nice but the money is a driving factor as with most things. It is total rider preference. I would have your son ride with the dampener on full hard and then on full soft. Then any level rider can usually tell the difference. If he likes the effects they have they keep adjusting it to where he likes it. In sand i almost need to have one. Hard packed is easier for me so it is not really needed, but i have hit rocks before in hard packed and been saved by my dampener.:worthy:

Not to be a nerd, but the term is actually 'damper', not 'dampener'.

I don't know if a damper would mess up ones scrubbing on a mx bike. I find them handy for high speed desert racing, but useless for enduro and normal off-road riding. some bikes seem to need them more than others. Some people seem to need them more than others. I don't see alot of them being used by WEC and ISDE pro-level riders. I see lots of american desert and worcs and enduro guys using them. I'm guessing they don't pay for them. I'd use one on every bike if I were paid to do so, and I'd claim they were indispensable.

Elbows up or damper, it depends on how fast you can learn the habit.

all new hondas have them!

I always run a GPR dampner on my bike. However on MX track it is set to lowest postion. I think a dampner shines in rough stuff when you are tired say two hours into a cross country race. I have had a root or rut grab my bars and nearly pul them out of my hand. I thank the dampner for saving me again. Also you can have your bike setup for tight woods and then rely on the dampner to keep head shake at bay on topped out sections. Also I think some of the factory teams in MX run a small shock absorber type dampner on thier bikes instead of a top of the bars type adjustable setup.

Well...understand that there are different ways to damper the hinge between the front and back.

In other words, an Ohlins or Scott will behave differently than a stock Honda damper will....so input, feedback and advice will vary.

negative stuff about steering dampers ... OK my 4c worth

im not 100% convinced the non honda types are a good thing on a well setup bike, what I noticed below 100km/hr in technical stuff is

instead of the bike stepping out to say the right which is a great thing for clearing a nasty section and crossing ruts to get a better line it leans over to the left. not a bad thing I suppose.. just different.

landing a jump front wheel first and having the front wheel try to deflect while the back wheel is still in the air is a very scary thing since the back gets thrown to the side. granted I had the HS adjuster too stiff in this instance but it didn't help at all in other slow speed situations if it was set softer. ie to be effectively useful below 100 it has to be set too stiff to be safe.

messing around with it a lot and playing with sweep control I also found the bike more tiring to ride in slow terrain if i set it stiff enough to actually work in the slow terrain.

for fast stuff 100 - 180 km/hr with the power on and the back wheel firmly planted in the dirt where the front skims along and tries to deflect it is simply sensational. Im not taking it off but have found its limitations and don't expect as much from it anymore.

I think the honda ones are better for slow technical stuff and MX.

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