A steering damper is a stabilising device designed to reduce or prevent unwanted steering movement or 'wobble' or at its worst, a tank slapper. Motorbikes with short wheelbases can make very quick changes in direction, meaning that a bump from an uneven road surface can introduce wobble, as also can happen after a wheelie if the front wheel is a little out of line.
Steering dampers control wobble by damping the turning movement of the forks. They are often fitted as original equipment on newer bikes. If you don't have one, we suggest that steering dampers are a must-have accessory, offering major improvements to safety and secure ride comfort.
All dampers require bike-specific fitting kits, which some manufacturers sell separately.
Dutch company Hyperpro are one of the most respected names in steering dampers. As well as offering a range of sizes and colours, they offer two damping options: CSC and RSC. Both damper types are made with the highest precision to guarantee the quality and functioning of the damper, and both offer 22 clicks of damping adjustment. But there is a major difference between how the two types operate.
Both types of dampers are equipped with the following features:
CSC dampers from £189 delivered
RSC dampers from £212 delivered
Fitting kits start at £55
American company DRAG have introduced a range of steering dampers to fit most Harleys. They sell complete kits ie damper and mounting kit, and prices are very reasonable.
Price from £185 delivered.
Bitubo's product range is driven by their involvement with racing, and back in 1992 they recognised the importance of steering dampers on sports bikes and developed their own range. They now list nearly 200 applications.
Bitubo's dampers are built around their nitrogen pressurised coaxial compensation chamber (patented) which ensures consistent damper performance, and offer 18 clicks of adjustment.
Dampers are supplied either separately as replacements for OEM units or complete with mounting kits. Clamps are manufactured in aeronautic light alloy and billet with CNC machining.
Available for the following mounting positions: side, over tank, under instruments or exclusively for racing (without front lighting equipment).
Price for kits (with a choice of black or red damper) is from £249 delivered.
£145 for the standard damper (in any of the 3 colours and either size)
£162 for the platinum race damper (in either size)
From £115 for bike-specific fitting kits (typical kit shown).
K-Tech steering dampers are a lightweight aluminium design available for many applications, manufactured in conjunction with Toby Dampers. Available in seven lengths for road and race use they are fully serviceable and come supplied with all the necessary mounting components to fit the make and model of each of the 250 or so motorcycle models listed.
These are top quality dampers available for both street and race use. Street dampers start at £329 delivered, while race units are from £369.