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Thread: Steering damper Qs

  1. #1
    learning...
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    Steering damper Qs

    I've just discovered my recently aquired R60/6 doesn't have a steering damper

    I think its got everything apart from the damper itself - Both ball ends (or what ever they're called) are there, and the knob that moves the one on the forks works.

    What I need to know is are they really important? Do I need to get one right away and are these bikes safe without them? It seems to ride well enough without it, but who knows what could happen when I hit 170mph

    thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    I am of the belief that the damper is only used to tighten down the head bearing when the bike is being shipped...I do have a longer story.Let us see where this thread goes!

  3. #3
    James.A
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    Steering damper

    The steering damper on the /6 is entirely different from the friction damper on a /5. The /5 steering head can be set to not turn at all, and is infinitely adjustable to absolute free turning. The /6 offers 3 settings by adjusting the anchor point of the little shock absorber on the bottom yoke outboard from near center of the steering axis, relative to the fixed point at the other end of the shock absorber on the frame. I took a /6 adjuster apart one time just to see what was going on in there. It has a rack and pinion that drives the mounting point(ball) and 3 detents. On the /6's I've owned, I couldn't tell much of a difference in the settings. The riders I know who don't have them, don't miss them. At 170mph, the steering damper will be the least of your worries.

  4. #4
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    yes my steering damper story is about a /5.

  5. #5
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    Damper

    I have an R60/6 and have owned it since new. After 29 years, mine still works, though a new one would proably be better.

    The steering damper is a very important feature in the handling characteristics of your bike. For '75, steering dampers were on all the bikes from BMW. The next year, I think it was only available on the higher end bikes.

    There is absolutely a big difference in the settings. Number three position is excellent in gravel, sand, or ice. It's kept me out of trouble many a time. It's also especially nice on grooved pavement and wet steel grating, like on draw bridges in the rain. It's really good in wet mud on rainy construction zones.

    Number two is slightly less resistance, sort of general use.

    Number one is no resistance at all which is where it would be, I think if the apparatus was disconnected. This is where you would be set for scooting around town and not expecting to hit any monster potholes, i. e., the roads are nice and smooth.

  6. #6
    Registered User Fritzc's Avatar
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    Steering Dampers/Oil coolers

    Here we go again with another thread going nowhere. Steering dampers like oil coolers are the result of typical engineering jobs. Engineers get paid for coming up with ideas. No new ideas equals no job. There are hundreds of thousands of motorcycles tooling around without oil coolers or steering dampers and they seem to work just fine. Steering dampers were on all the beemers for a while but seem to have mysteriously disappeared for good reason. You don't need them.
    I use mine on my /5 for parking on my centerstand to keep the wheel from flopping back and forth and that is all. My old /6 had problems with wobble and I installed a fork brace and tightened my steering damper to no avail. A mechanic showed me how to adjust the steering head bearing and no more troubles. JMHO

  7. #7
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    This thread is going somewhere IMHO to the person that started it. It's obvious that he doesn't have the original manual that states the purpose and operation of the steering damper...and of course steering head bearing preload has nothing to do with damping of the bars. The damper won't affect handling characteristics of under or over set preload of the bearings.

    One of the most crucial aspects of the damper when set on "3" or high resistance is that it will keep the front wheel from "seeking its own path" in deep gravel, which can lead to slides along such roads, whether they be construction sites or if the rider must leave the tarmac. And the nice thing about it is that it can be adusted "on the fly".

    Is such a device absolutely necessary? I guess not. Then again, my speedometer has been broken for the last 15 years or so, and I get along fine without it.

    If you start stripping away the things that designers or engineers come up with that are not absolutely crucial to the operation of the bike, you'd end up with something quite different than what is sitting in your driveway.

    But, your point is well taken, about superfluous doo-dads.

    Enough said, I'd rather ride!

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