Steering Damper Installed / by Walter Kitundu

So This thing is invaluable for preventing tankslappers (a dangerous situation where the front wheel oscillates violently from side to side), and for easing progress through rutted, rocky terrain, and sand. It also helps during long wind-battered highway stretches. It basically lets you control the rate at which the handlebars can be moved and minimizes sudden jerky movements. Here is a quote from the Ralle-moto folks, gleaned off the BestRest website: "...the steering damper... it excels at keeping the wheel pointed where you want it. A steering damper is like having an extra set of arms that never get tired. You'll get the bike through the difficult section, at a high enough speed to keep the bike stable, while still maintaining control. 

Steering dampers are a great tool for eliminating front wheel deflection because they prevent unexpected side-to-side movement. Every road and trail has unseen potholes, ruts, etc. Good riders are always watching for those hidden obstacles, avoiding them whenever possible. The damper will help keep your bike tracking straight ahead even if your tire hits something your eyes couldn’t see!"

I had to remove the handlebars, and risers, the "gas tank" cover" and get to these two specialty screws that join the ignition column to the bike's frame. A vice grip worked in lieu of the proper tool. This is the pin assembly that will later fit into the damper vane.

The whole things rests on a 30mm riser that ties everything together and creates a mounting point for the damper unit.

Here is the damper unit installed before the handlebars are replaced.

You can see the ignition column on the right. The pin assembly is screwed into the base. The pin, which is static, sits in a slot under the damper unit which is connected to an internal vane which moves through oil.

The damping can be adjusted in both directions, away from center and return. The dials change the dimensions of an internal port restricting the flow of oil and affecting damping rates.

The finished installation. This is a simple bolt-on install and even allows me to use my old risers.

A shot with the dash to put everything in context. Looking forward to hitting the trails this weekend.