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Old August 18th, 2017   #1
ron47
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Default Steerring damper?

So I was telling one of my friends about my "new" ST and he informed me that I probably should add a damper if I was using a trunk. Seems he had heard of a tendency to head-shake with trunk. Not having any facts myself, I ask you here is this a real issue. Maybe trunk loading or tire selection or pressure are contributing factors??

I'm a little timid after having been spit off a couple of times due to tank slappers (Kawasaki's).

I purchased a first year CBR954RR. Bran spankin new off the showroom floor. Beautiful bike and except for a scary tendency to waggle the bars under hard acceleration, it was magnificent. A damper calmed it down.

Old wife's tale? Rumors spread by envious "Other Bike" owners? Comments and opinions please.
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Old August 18th, 2017   #2
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

Suspension set-up is essential for any bike you ride with a trunk up high and behind the rear axle.
Properly set up the ST is fine with the trunk on.
It has a fairly light carrying capacity of 10 pounds.


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Old August 18th, 2017   #3
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

Trying to keep this one short...

There was (at least) one documented fatality in England with a police officer crashing an ST1300 due to a "weave". Since they are called PanEuropean over there, this became known as the Pan Weave.

Avon tires no longer recommends any of their products for this bike.

It is NOT in the front end of the bike.

If you ever see an ST1300 police model look at the swingarm pivot fasteners. They are different from the civilian version and that Pan Weave is the reason.

I have had my '04 at an indicated 140mph and never experienced this phenomenon. I have ridden it loaded and light, the only time I ever even thought something odd was happening was in the turbulence behind an 18 wheeler.

Somewhere dduelin has pics posted of his ST1300 speedometer reading with the bike as fast as it could go. He reported no issues.

In summary, NO you do not need a steering damper. You need to load and operate your bike like you have Good Sense. It will serve you faithfully and well.
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Old August 18th, 2017   #4
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

Thank you Sir! 18-wheeler turbulence is a known to me. I shall be prepared.
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Old August 18th, 2017   #5
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

I have experienced the high-speed weave on the first 2 ST1300's that I have owned.

The first one it would start around 125mph.

The second one it wouldn't start until after 135mph.

I had an after-market suspension on the second one.

Both had Hondaline trunks on them.

I believe that the front end gets light at those speeds and that is what causes it but, I have no proof of that.

I do not believe that a steering damper will help but, I haven't tried one.

I haven't tried my 3rd ST1300 at those speeds yet.

If you do feel this at high speeds, lightly press on the rear brake with your foot and slowly back off on the throttle. The weave will slowly disappear.

DO NOT keep accelerating. That's the mistake the European cop made.
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Old August 20th, 2017   #6
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

I believe the light front end theory.

When I rode my '80 Honda CB 750K, if I put my feet on the passenger pegs to take the butt pain away, it would sometimes start to head shake. When I moved my feet back to the front pegs, it ceased to shake.
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Old August 20th, 2017   #7
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

Yep, and the preload setting on rear (dual) shocks can cause weird things too.

I ran it up to an indicated 140 today with nary a wobble. Stable as a statue.
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Old August 22nd, 2017   #8
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

I experimented a bit with dropping the triple-tree down further on the forks. It induced a low-speed wobble.

But, that was on my ST1100.
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Old August 22nd, 2017   #9
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

Not to get overly technical but you moved the fork tubes up in the triple-tree.
The triple-tree, or steering stem, is where the bearings live and they like to be torqued in their home making them difficult move.

By moving the fork tubes upward you quickened up the steering.
The low speed wobble was just a warning it was about to turn very sharply and pitch you off for screwing with it's steering geometry.
It can make it a handful at high speed as well.


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Last edited by PaulRB; August 22nd, 2017 at 07:17 PM.
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Old August 23rd, 2017   #10
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Default Re: Steerring damper?

If you get caught at 140 mph you will not need to worry about the weave. No legal riding for a long period of time. And as one of my friends found out, one phone call and his wife left him in jail for the night. Lost his license and cost him tons. Insurance could not be bought and fines for the ticket unreal.
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