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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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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. :rolleyes:
 

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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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Hit a surprise pothole at speed and you'll wish you had one. :brutale:
 

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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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Hit a surprise pothole at speed and you'll wish you had one. :brutale:
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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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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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 :stickpoke. 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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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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What are the common causes of head shake / tank slapper?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the reactions. It seems that the opinions are quite different for everyone. After consideration I don't think I will need a steering damper this because the roads in the Netherlands are well maintained. Also I feel the bike handles very well and haven't had the feeling it's prone to a head shake / tank slapper.
 

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Tinusr, glad to offer my 2 cents. To damper and not to damper, and no consideration for damper at all makes the world go around. Enjoy your bike!
 

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I’ve same filling to put on my brutale 675 steering damper because during acceleration at speed approx. 180km/h I had wobbles. I change front tyres with 3 kinds new ones and still was the same. Then I was searching a lot on net for solution and finally somebody says change rear tyre(tyres before exchange were in very good condition). Suspension was checked, oil change in front forks, bearings in front wheel. Then finally I change tyres set for Diablo Rosso 2 and it is completely different bike. Up to 230 km/h no wobbles and it is so nice to enjoy ride even if there is some wind or road defect.
 

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I only just got my Brutale about a month ago, and went back and forth in my head about whether or not it really needed one, finally pulling the trigger on the Ohlins / Moto Corse kit last week. I am fairly new to street riding but I always ran one on my off-road bikes. It was tough dropping the $700, but the headshake on my Brutale occurred just a bit too often for my comfort (and by that I mean on more sporting/aggressive rides. I have no problems with headshake cruising around town). Anyway, I'll report back when I get the Ohlins damper installed and try it out for a bit.
 

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Ok, reporting back after having done a couple rides with the Ohlins / Moto Corse steering damper installed: I played around with the settings and found that 6 clicks (out of 20) was the magic number for me in terms of settling down the headshake without sacrificing the feel / quick turning of the B3 in stock form. I am really happy I bought this kit and would recommend it to anyone.
 

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I'm not a big fan of dampeners myself, but I do think the B3 needs one - it's a lightweight bike with a strong engine in a short chassis and too often when riding hard I find the front wheel vacillating between ground and sky, which is a leading cause of the wiggles.
 

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Put one on by all means, but you don't really need one. It just adds to the psychological sense of having a "complete" motorcycle. If you hit a massive pothole, I doubt it can do anything to save you. You cannot cure violent forces by trying to suppress them, it is better to prevent them from happening (sort your suspension in this case).
We have all seen the TT guy during a Isle of Man race having a massive tank slapper. His steering damper didn't seem to save him.
I have been riding for 33 years and do not recall having a moment when I thought one was needed. Having said that,I feel good that I have an Ohlins SD on my F4, which is always wound to the minimum setting, but I will not rush to remove it as it is part of the bike by design.
You are better off spending some money tuning the suspension and if you feel you still need one, then there's plenty of shops to get one.
 

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Ummmm really?! Best investment to date.
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Here is a bit regarding tuning suspensions with Dave Moss. Hope its helpful

 
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