Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To steering damper, or not to steering damper - that is the question

So, I've been on my Hypermotard EVO SP for a month now and I have been on just enough rides to start thinking about the benefits of a steering damper.
I] was *ahem* at the track recently to see what the wind blast was like at high speed and on a couple of bits I got the good ole speed wobbles.

Something I am not a fan of. I would've thought with big wide bars it wouldn't be an issue but it kinda is.

Anyway, these bloody things are expensive! For the original Ducati Perfomance version you can expect to pay $799 online and more once landed. I found this aftermarket version online for $499 on sale (update, now showing as sold out) and I aso found this Ducati Advanced Motorsports shop in Dallas Texas that has the original Ducati part on sale for $599.

Then there is the question of hydraulics versus the uber expensive but obviously shit hot Ohlins rotary type steering damper pictured right. A serious looking piece of kit this thing is worth a fortune at $1046 USD. Must be good. Actually it is, see those dials? Separate controls for slow speed and high speed damping. Mmm dials.....ughhh....

The obvious problem with a single damper setting is only exactly that. Only one setting. When you hit traffic or want to park, a harder setting you've chosen for a big day out in the twisties would suck, and vise versa. But at double the price of the standard unit, is that a deal breaker? So Duc fans, to steering damper, or not to steering damper? Which one is really the best all rounder and would the Ohlins rotary style pay for itself in the long run? That is the question.