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Steering Damper

Mickthevin

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hi Guys
Has anyone got any recommendations regarding steering dampers and brackets for a twin. Just been looking at Tonys grey fella and he says the steering and roadholding has improved massively

Thanks for any comments

Mick
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
You need brackets for the front head (Mallory Metals, about 5" of 1 1/2" stainless angle, and to fit where the steering damper goes (from a piece of 1/4" ally plate about 4" square), and a Kawasaki type damper. I believe Tony used my bracket designs (which are not not unlike Reg Bolton's designs in either FYO or ATY but easier to make). I probably have sketches of all the bits, so just ask. The biggest single advantage is that tank-slappers need to be stopped the moment (or even before!) they start, and that's what hydraulic dampers do. No worries: you can stress about your mortgage, and forget tank-slappers. One can spend a fortune on seriously expensive ones, which are no more effective than the generic Kaw one. The whole jing-bang should cost no more than about £50. Something important: hydraulic steering dampers are not activated by movement, but by SPEED of movement, exactly like door-closers, so getting zero-slack ones which bite immediately at low speeds might make you feel good, if (or probably because...) £300 worse off, but, practically, are no better than the £35 Kaw unit.
I'll need your personal email.
 

john998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hate to correct the old sage but I think he meant Mallard metal packs Ltd. telephone 0121 624 0302.
Very helpful folk, for all metal materials. John.
 

len.c

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi folk's, Reading about the steering dampers, I realise tank slappers are only a problem when you have one, but I am curious to know just how many have actually experienced this phenomenen with a machine with little or no wear in the forks and everything set up properly, the reason I ask , surely if it was happening with new machines how did they ever sell any, I know back in the olden day's men were men and all that tosh but cum'om there were easier and cheaper ways to get thrill even back in the dark ages.
 

b'knighted

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I don't think it was a problem with new bikes. I always thought that the stories came from the time after production when spares were scarce and poorly maintained bikes were cheap enough for inexperienced riders to thrash about. My own wobbles were with rebushed forks being too tight and jamming compressed after hitting severe potholes.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dear Lenclut,

I believe that it happens with brand new components that are properly adjusted. The culprit is incorrect design of the fork geometry as stated by Irving himslelf in Motorcycle Engineering, although not pertaining to Vincents specifically. The geometry works well for 99% of all encountered situations and if you use the rear brake every time you use the front brake the geometry works well 100% of the time. There are a few situations that exacerbate the problem and most of the victims of wobbles have found those.

I use the Kawasaki damper, but it failed to prevent a wobble several years ago. I have experimented with the geometry and I think I have made my bike wobble proof. Over the years I have cranked the damper up considerably. The handling has improved tremendously on this bike (the single racer). Before I made these changes I could induce a wobble at will by duplicating the conditions of my first wobble.

I believe that the wobble problem only became an issue after many years of observation. The one percenter's became a bigger and more vocal group because of the wonderful communication offered by the Club. In defense of the designers, the Girdraulic is unsurpassed as a versitile solo as well as sidecar fork in terms of handling. Because the circumstances that lead to a wobble are rare, the vast majority of owners will never experience one. Although I have never found worn components to be at fault, I would be safe and urge propper maintenance and a damper as the best insurance. I wrote an article years ago for MPH about this and I am happy to send it to anyone who has an interest.

David
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
And the only time it happened to me I was racing and the front hydraulic Vincent damper had leaked so badly that under heavy braking on the mountain at Cadwell the forks were leaping up and down.
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I saw a guy racing a fast Comet at Amaroo Park in NSW leave a good impression of his thumbs in the petrol tank after a tank slapper!! Personally, I left a lot of my jacket and helmet on the road as well as sustaining a broken shoulder blade. Due solely to crap assembly of forks by an ex factory test rider and development engineer.....
 

Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
One thing I do know about tank slappers is that if you have pretty dome head nuts on the top link pad bolts they can and will dent the tank on full lock and full bump.
 

len.c

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thanks to all of you who replied to my tongue in cheek querie, I never cease to be impressed by the enormous amount of engineering expertise that exists in the VOC and the help offered, truly a great club.Happy New Year without to many wobbles. Len.c
 

len.c

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dear David, I would be most interested in reading your article ,and any info available.my Email is len.c@teco.net.I think it would be a good plan to thoroughly check everything as my old bones are not as flexible as they were
Best regards Len
 

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