Is a steering damper recommended? - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Is a steering damper recommended?

Hi All,

I'm looking into maybe getting a steering damper for my Brutale 800 Italia 2013 and I'm curious about your thoughts? Is it worth it considering they are quite expensive (Ohlins one)?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 06:25 PM
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Can't speak for the B3 but I have never felt the need on my B4 Brutale..... Bikes with clip-ons don't have the handlebar leverage of an up-right bike like yours and so can shake their heads in a scary fashion.... If your bike is going into speed wobbles then you probably need to do some suspension/tire adjustments..

Just my 2 cents. Others will have a different view....but I rode race bikes in the 70's, and I guess head shake and speed wobbles don't scare me so much.

I used to be fast....now I just dream about it.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 07:11 PM
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I think you do need one. On my B3 RR I upgraded to an Ohlins. And even then the speed wobble is not over. Need to have my suspension checked...

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 09:30 PM
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Hit a surprise pothole at speed and you'll wish you had one.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 11:13 PM
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Hi there.
If you get your suspension sorted there's no need for a steering damper. Stock my Dragster suspension was a nightmare with bad headshake and harsh feel - spent some money on the suspension and had it properly set up for my weight and riding style, no more issues.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward View Post
Hit a surprise pothole at speed and you'll wish you had one.
How about some tree roots breaking the pavement at the apex of a fast turn? The bars gave a wiggle, but everything was fine and I never had to back off.

You guys obviously never rode race bikes in the 70's..... I watched my friend on his H2 Kawasaki, passing me on my little 250, on the high banks at Charlotte Motor Speedway weaving violently all the way down into the first turn....When, later in the pits, I asked him how he managed that beast his response was " Ah, you get used to it." And we had steering dampers, too !!!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 08:26 AM
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I think Ed is spot on, as usual. Today's "rider" is looking for an experience that they don't have to control. Hitting a road obstacle will produce head motion and bar reaction...and most of the time that reaction will modulate within a few cycles to zero. If you want a damper to "crank up" so you have no reaction, then you will limit your ability to move the bike with agility.

True "head shake" is brought about by steering inputs made by poor tire condition and poor suspension setup more than anything else. Or, it can be faulty design such as the Harley Death Wobble that existed on some of their big framed bikes prior to 2009 when a frame redesign corrected the issue.

I don't ride in a place where speeds on the street can approach "race speeds and I feel steering dampers on well sorted bikes, like MV Agustas, are not required on the street.

I have a B3 800RR, a B4 1090RR and a F4 312R....all of them came with steering dampers and all of those dampers are backed off to minimum so as not to interfere with my steering inputs.

At no time have I felt the need to crank 'em up due to head shake.

Now, if you are one of those "I need to wheelie and ride like a maniac on the street" types, then by all means, install a damper so your front wheel lands straight and you don't kill my family.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esq'z me View Post
How about some tree roots breaking the pavement at the apex of a fast turn? The bars gave a wiggle, but everything was fine and I never had to back off.

You guys obviously never rode race bikes in the 70's..... I watched my friend on his H2 Kawasaki, passing me on my little 250, on the high banks at Charlotte Motor Speedway weaving violently all the way down into the first turn....When, later in the pits, I asked him how he managed that beast his response was " Ah, you get used to it." And we had steering dampers, too !!!
End up with internal elbow bleeding from a violent tank slap and you'll be glad thats all you have. A hidden pothole that can swallow and entire wheel is no joke. I'm not talking about a little root wiggle . 40 years of road riding in every possible condition and an adjustable damper is my best investment. Saved my ass. I actively use it in all sorts of traffic situations and road conditions, not track life.

With much respect... life on the upper northeast corridor can be intense.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 04:51 PM
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You hit a pot hole that deep and a steering damper isn't going to save you.

I hit a square edged construction ditch at about 40 mph once on my FZR400 ... I bent both wheels and blew out the front tire. I did not have a steering damper. I didn't crash and a damper wouldn't have helped anyway.

I don't ride track days that often, mostly on the road...and in my business travels I have experienced your crappy roads, so I know what you're talking about.

If you feel your bike doesn't handle well and is prone to head shake/tank slappers then you should do whatever you feel needed to improve it. My F4 has a steering damper...and clip-ons with very little leverage. It is comforting to know it is there, and I have had the occasional wiggle on hard acceleration.... but my Brutale doesn't have one, and I don't think it needs one.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 07:58 PM
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What are the common causes of head shake / tank slapper?

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