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Steering Damper - Necassary?


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I have a 2007 ZX6R. I'm about to start tweeking it to make it entirely mine.

 

One of the things on my shopping list is a steering damper. CSS uses a stem unit (GPR?). I've been told by a pro that the shaft type is better (Ty Howard - local fast guy). But I also see a lot of people saying 600cc bikes don't need dampers.

 

I plan to spend a lot of time on the track and intend to get fast this year. I don't mind spending the money, but do I need to? Is there any benefit or is it just extra weight that the safety nazis want on the bikes?

 

Also, which is better? Shaft style or stem style (or is it rotary?).?????

 

Sorry for all the questions. I did a search and didnt really see this asked.

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I don't know which style of damper is better because I ride a 600. I don't need one for my bike. It's a 636. A friend of mine, Javier, is actually a lot faster on his bike, and he doesn't have one. Chuck, one of our local fast guys uses one, and another friend has one, and had to remove on a trackday because it was rubbing on some new body work, and he had to go down to the slower group because he couldn't control the bike without it.

I guess what I'm saying is that it depends on you. I will guarantee that if you learn to ride the bike (track riding) without it you'll do fine. I have no issues with unwanted movement, even when my wheel comes up a bit. The issues Tony (the guy who had to take his off) was talking about were all unfamiliar to me. Maybe I just got used to it along the way, and don't even notice it. Like a new rider riding in heavy wind. After a while of riding in it, you just don't realize it's there.

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I believe that if a manufacturer doesn't put a damper on as standard then it should not be necessary, there is however an exception to this rule where if you are using race tyres i.e slicks that are much more unstable than road tyres you may then benefit from a damper!

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Some of it will have to do with the tracks you ride as some are smoother than others. Also your speed and laptimes may come into play as well. On my old racebike (99 R6) I didn't need it until my lap times got faster, but the first tank slapper I had before turn 1 that knocked the pads back in the calipers told me I needed one soon. I had gotten to the point that I was still under hard acceleration while hitting a bump in fourth. I had a rod type on that bike but it was tank mounted Ducati 916/996 style. I chose a GPR for my 06 ZX636 for the fact that it will likely survive crash damage a little better, but I can't comment on whether one type is better than the other.

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I have a 2007 ZX6R. I'm about to start tweeking it to make it entirely mine.

 

One of the things on my shopping list is a steering damper. CSS uses a stem unit (GPR?). I've been told by a pro that the shaft type is better (Ty Howard - local fast guy). But I also see a lot of people saying 600cc bikes don't need dampers.

 

I plan to spend a lot of time on the track and intend to get fast this year. I don't mind spending the money, but do I need to? Is there any benefit or is it just extra weight that the safety nazis want on the bikes?

 

Also, which is better? Shaft style or stem style (or is it rotary?).?????

 

Sorry for all the questions. I did a search and didnt really see this asked.

 

Comparing shaft to stem style, Will likes our GPR dampers a lot. The work, simple, don't stick out as much, thinks they could be more linear too. Also said they don't easly get any air in them, and the Scott's can, creates a flat spot in the damping.

 

Sometimes bikes will shake, can be tires, or alignment. My old FZ-750 with 16 inch front would shake, but haven't had real issues with modern bikes. Mostly the rider makes it shake, that's a technique issue.

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Thanks all.

 

Based on the feedback from various sources I've decided to invest the $400+ in to the suspension upgrades instead. Forks are going to be rebuilt with new valves and springs for me and a Penske or Ohlins shock in back. I can always add the damper later if I need it.

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