Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Hi Folks,

Had a quick search on the site for relevant steering dampers for 1st Gen 750's, but there doesn't seem to be any mention of these things being added to that era bike.

I have made a few mods to my bike for the track, rims to 17's front and rear, fitted a Yammie R1 shock to the rear (this has done wonders), moved and lightened the type of battery, coils and electrics, but most importantly to this issue, changed the front end complete for a '93 GSX750f.

There aren't any problems with the bike in handling anywhere except when there is a fast drop in the track at full noise or on a quick change of direction when, also on the gas. As the front lightens up, a reasonable head shake is caused. This ceases once the tyre contacts the track again, but its a little disconcerting, could almost be a tank slapper in any other circumstance.

Anyway, I was thinking, a steering damper would alleviate the issue so have been searching.....here, with no luck.

Photo is of the bike before the wheel and shock conversion.

Any recommendations??

Cheers
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:59 AM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

There were kits made to adapt a damper to the first gen 750. The damper is the easy part. The method of attaching it to the frame is the hard part. If you look in the classifieds, you'll see an example of the clamp that was made by an aftermarket supplier to mount a damper, years ago. These are no longer made, so you have to find a used one. It's easier to machine a mount and weld it into the frame on one side, which is what was done on all of the serious race bikes in those days.

JR
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 01:29 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

WERA required (still does?) them on all vintage bikes, at least. Most of us just used the Daytona/Shindy brand of damper. The one that was "spec'd" for the Humpy never seemed to have enough travel and quite a bit of fiddling was necessary to get it fitted to where the steering stops actually limited the steering arc and not the damper itself. The same brand also offered a bolt-on bracket and clamp for the fork tube - a complete kit, if you will.

These were available through Parts Unlimited at most any bike shop. I presume you've likely looked into that and perhaps they no longer offer them if you're asking here. If not, perhaps there is a PU equivalent for OZ.

Other than that, Javadog's advice is likely your best bet. If you have access to machine tools or a buddy that does, fabbing up a bolt-on rig may save you some welding on the frame if you prefer to not permanently modify it.

I just took a look at the PU catalog and they don't offer it anymore. The bracket I have clamps around the cast brace that runs from the upper frame rails to the down-tubes/rails.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Bit more searching found this on the site:-

First gen steering damper

Looks like the type you guys are referring to?

cheers
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:25 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Yes
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:40 AM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

+1; that's the rig
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:10 AM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Some additional pics for reference.

jb_xx
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

thanks guys, this is what I am after.

The fork clamp shouldn't be a problem, getting the frame clamp may be though.

I think having something welded to the frame rather than drilling is my preferred option so will investigate that further.

Cheers
Jeff.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:49 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Something I feel compelled to mention, and it's why I have not yet refitted one to my bike, is that particular rig will work, but I spent an inordinate amount of time fiddling with it to no have the heim joints bind either at the for or the frame.

If you can get your hands on the fork clamp, that's a good start. But be sure to swing the forks through their arc while holding the damper body at various angles until it will operate without binding at the fork clamp. I began doing this as I set about fitting a new damper I bought - a round-body Shindy with a longer stroke - and found that I will need to fab a frame clamp with a different mounting position than the one shown for bind-free operation.

Lots of these were mounted on lots of bikes, so either those guys had to do the same fiddling, or they had some mojo that enabled an easy install.

Another thing to consider, which I intend to do myself, is to mount the damper on the right side of the bike. This will lessen the possibility of contacting/bending the damper rod as one is wheeling it to tech, loading in a truck, or moving it around the garage. I always found it a PITA to stay clear of it while wheeling it around.

These are just my observations and/or caveats; other may have more patience or care.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:11 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

I actually just did a bunch of research on this exact question for myself, I'm glad you asked. I have a 1st gen 750 as well, also looking to add a damper. I also have 17" wheels, R1 shock but my front end is 1100 USD forks that are wider apart from each other

1st gen 1100's use a damper from the factory, mounted under the ignition and gauge cluster. This same damper is used on all the water cooled 1100's and is non-adjustable. the 1100's fitted with this damper had a notch welded / casted onto the frame neck where this would bolt to, the only thing we have to work with is the mounting point for the headlight "cage", a bracket will need to be fabricated

I plan on doing this, I have the fork clamp already and bought a generic adjustable damper for cheap. the damper is longer than the oem 1100 one so I will need to play with different setting and see what I come up with
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 06:26 AM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Do a google search for shindy daytona they still do the entire kit if you are looking for the frame mounted ones. I can still get one in Aus for $350 through my local Suzuki dealer the only problem with them was a loss in full steering lock
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:01 AM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

The easiest way to do it is the way the factory did it on the race bikes. Start with a 15mm round rod 40mm long and drill and tap it to accept a rod end, or screw for a damper body clamp. The factory used an M8. They also put a little taper on the outside and relieved the inside on the back. The pictures show where and how they welded it. The fork clamp they used had a bevel on it, too.

You could also weld a tab onto the steering head to install a damper in the location of the 1100 and Limited bikes, if you want.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 12:18 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

my 2 cents:

i have three first gen track bikes, with 17" wheels, ohlins shock and USD front end, and none of have a steering damper...because none have any wobbles/tank-slappers. even at track speeds, with elevation changes that cause the front-end to get light.

before you "mask" the headshake issue, double check suspension set-up, especially for track use. my experience is that these first gens sit too low in the rear, so increasing rear ride height and/or lowering the front-end, will further improve handling and turn-in. fiddle with front and rear sag, fork/shock shock settings, and you might eliminate or reduce the head-shakes. also, tires and tire pressure play a big role in handling.

i did not like running steering dampers because they would cause the steering to feel "slow" and would rub/hit on the mid fairing.

good luck and keep us posted, and post some fotos of your track bike. thanks
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 12:48 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Two things I'll add. Suzuki specified a certain amount of drag/friction that was appropriate when tightening the steering stem nut to preload the steering head bearings. I'd wager few people pay much attention to this. That (and the periodic inspection of the condition of the steering head bearings) is the first thing I'd look at. There's a spec in the service manual and you can buy tools to measure the forces involved.

The second thing is that a good steering damper has a wide range of adjustability and when properly set really has no objectionable effect on the steering feel. The Suzuki dampers weren't great. Try an Ohlins.

The 750 has always been a little sensitive. Paul Dean once told me that the simple change of tire brands at the original GSX-R media introduction at Laguna Seca changed the bikes' handling from "on rails" to "wants to kill me."

JR
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 01:31 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86gixxxer View Post
my 2 cents:

i have three first gen track bikes, with 17" wheels, ohlins shock and USD front end, and none of have a steering damper...because none have any wobbles/tank-slappers. even at track speeds, with elevation changes that cause the front-end to get light.

before you "mask" the headshake issue, double check suspension set-up, especially for track use. my experience is that these first gens sit too low in the rear, so increasing rear ride height and/or lowering the front-end, will further improve handling and turn-in. fiddle with front and rear sag, fork/shock shock settings, and you might eliminate or reduce the head-shakes. also, tires and tire pressure play a big role in handling.

i did not like running steering dampers because they would cause the steering to feel "slow" and would rub/hit on the mid fairing.

good luck and keep us posted, and post some fotos of your track bike. thanks
'tis true that suspension and chassis pitch will do these things.

My bike developed a tendency for tank slappers out of the blue. After some head scratching I swapped out my modified LTD shock for a freshly serviced Progressive shock I happened to have.

All problems went away.

I set about servicing/inspecting my LTD shock and found the bladder charge was flat. Swapped in a new bladder, charged it up, put it back on the bike and everything was cool.

I have no idea how old your Yamaha shock is, but it might be worth having it serviced. It could be squatting when you pour the coal to it and giving you the shakes.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 09:21 AM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

FWIW, here's another way the mounting boss was added to the frame by the factory. It also shows a little better how the end of the boss was shaped.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

All good advice and taken on-board.

Remains a work in progress.

Cheers and beers
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 11:23 PM
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Re: Steering Dampers for Slabbie 750's

nice to see these first gens on the track.

keep us posted on progress.
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