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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 M620 and am looking to install a steering dampener. I've seen a few configurations and am curious if any one is better than the next? Are certain configurations easier to install than others? Are there certain brands that are better known for their quality?

Thanks,
Dave
 

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The Matris top mounts are really easy to install, look nice, and can be adjusted on the fly. They're my favorite.

They all will do the job though. It just depends what type you want. I like top mount, hate side mount, with under-the-triple being in between.
 

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They're quite expensive. May I ask why you feel you need one? Are you getting tank-slap from a 620, or did you just feel like spending money for a cool damper?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honestly I've only been riding 4 months, so I have yet to figure our what 'tank slap' refers to. Sounds like I don't want to experience it in any case.

I was thinking the steering damper would help mitigate the shutter in the handle bars that I get when I hit deep cracks or grooves in the road at less than a head-on angle. Is this accurate or should I save the money and just get used to it?
 

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daviepoy said:
Honestly I've only been riding 4 months, so I have yet to figure our what 'tank slap' refers to. Sounds like I don't want to experience it in any case.

I was thinking the steering damper would help mitigate the shutter in the handle bars that I get when I hit deep cracks or grooves in the road at less than a head-on angle. Is this accurate or should I save the money and just get used to it?
yes a damper will take care of the shutter you mention. A tank slap would be caused by getting one of those "shutters" you speak of, but at a very high rate
of speed = tank slapper. On a 620 you are most likely not going to get one, unless after your 4 months of riding you are flogging the bike everywhere. They are pretty
simple to mount, either on top, or under triple or on side of bike.
 

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No pics, but I have a side mount Toby on my M900. I absolutely love it(except when you blame your new tires for the push coming out of turns and it turns out to be that your damper is 3 clicks out from full stiff cause your 4 year old has been playing with knobs again).
To adjust it, I just drop my left hand right in front of my knee and click whichever way I need to go. And my eyes never leave the road.
It really is a matter of personal preference when it comes to type and mounting as they all do the same job and all the "good" ones run around the same price regardless of mount.

Just remember that the more shudder you give up, the less feedback you will get from your front end...of course with 4 monthes riding under your belt, you are still learning what feedback is all about.

Ryan
 

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I have a Matris top mount on my 620. It was extremely easy to install took like 5 minutes, if that. One thing you need to consider when contemplating a top mount is that you will be tied to the stock top triple.

(Unless you do some custom fabrication later with an aftermarket top triple.)
 

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Actually, I have noticed a HUGE improvement even on low(soft) settings on corner exit. I rarely get more than a slight wiggle from the bars when driving hard out of hard corners. Before, the front end had the infamous "Monster headhsake".

But to each their own. I got one on mine. It makes a difference. It may not have on yours.

Ryan
 

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slyfox said:
On a Monster, especially a 620......... you DON'T need it. DON'T waste your money...
well, mine wasn't a waste of money. I ride my bike hard and keep up with most in the twisties. There have been several times that I've hit potholes and deep cracks in some places that would scare me, now I barely know they're there when riding the same roads. If you've ever ridden in NY you'll understand.
 

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slyfox said:
On a Monster, especially a 620......... you DON'T need it. DON'T waste your money...
Why not on a 620?

I know of two people locally who have had tankslappers. One on a 900 and one a 620. Neither did anything wrong (and one--Scott Nelson--was adamantly against them originally). Just BANG!!! and all of a sudden they were tossed off their bikes, with broken bones and shattered monsters.

Sure, having your suspension set up properly helps. And you *might* never need it. But it's mandatory insurance as far as I'm concerned. Cuz a tankslapper is not going to be like a harmless lowside. You're gonna get hurt. :-\
 

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My bike has fully adjustable front suspension and my front end doesn't have the slightest shake at any speed and in any corner. It's adjusted very stiff and works incredible.

However, I'm not certain but I think the 620 has no adjustments to the front end. Am I correct? If this is true, then perhaps a damper will be useful to make up for the lack of adjustability.
 

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My '98 M900 has the fully adjustable front forks. It would exhibit a slight shake, or more accurately, a just barely noticable wobble in some corners whether going fast or slow.

I first found out that the front forks had totally different compression and rebound settings in the two fork tubes. I evened them out and then tweeked the adjustments from there. It was much better but still had the occassional wobble or "vagueness" in corners.

I then installed the DP ExtremeTech side mounted steering damper. There was a noticable improvement again but my main complaint is that there is too extreme of a difference in between settings. It's like you go from "nice street setting but could be a tad stiffer" to "whoa, this sucker is getting stiff" and there are stiffer adjustments yet. Forgetting that I was in the stiffer mode once also contributed to an embarrasssing low side low speed spill. More my fault than the dampers but........

After the damper but before the spill I installed an Ohlins rear shock and tuned it to the bike and me. That helped a good bit too and it took a few rides over the same section of road to get it where I liked it. Better again but now and then it would still wiggle. Bear in mind that as the bike was getting better I was also starting to corner a bit faster and would test the bikes reaction to changes in the corner, both road changes and my own body english changes.

Then I learned that even the slightest bit of body / butt wiggle in a turn made the bike wiggle too so I cooled my happy ass down in corners. Gee, my other bikes weren't as sensitive? That helped a whole bunch too.

Then just recently I installed some clip ons. Holy cow! The bike was transformed again. It now has both a much faster steering input feel and any suggestion of vagueness has totally gone away. Wow!

The clip ons provided the most dramatic and most significant change to the handling of the bike. I still believe the damper is worth it but if you can abide by the change in body position and comfort then I solidly vote for the clip ons. If you don't like them then a damper is the next best way to go.
 

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Our wheelbase and rake is shorter and steeper than any other sportbike I've owned. I also notice that the slightest movement of my body or the tinniest touch of the handlebars makes the bike feel "twitchy". Very fast steering though :) So yes, on a bike as radical as this, there will always be a sort of "twitchiness" to the bike. Ridden smoothly though, it handles like it's on rails.

I'd imagine that the flex of the aluminum bars would cause some twitchiness too.....maybe jusssssst a teenie bit. Clip ons are more firmly connected directly to the forks.

I certainly do feel my bike twitch with every tiny movement I make. I've even mentioned it to many of my friends. I'm pretty smooth in the turns, so I've yet to experience anything negative there.

Chances are, with that 620, is just what Mac said. You might be moving around a bit to much on the bike. You WILL also feel every crack in the road. It's the bikes geometry.

Mac, what are the price differences between clip ons and the damper? I'd actually like to get a set of clip ons, but I feel the triple tree would look goofy with the bar riser holes still sticking out a bit.

Tom
 

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Thumper said:
Mac, what are the price differences between clip ons and the damper? I'd actually like to get a set of clip ons, but I feel the triple tree would look goofy with the bar riser holes still sticking out a bit.

Tom
This is another one of those mods that can suck you in before you know what's going on. On average you can get clip ons for initially less money than a steering damper. It all depends on which one of each that you are interested in.

Some dampers bolt right up but others require some modification to work. You might have to fabricate some brackets for some or get some welding done. It depends.

What you get with clip ons can vary also. In my case I was just able to use the existing brake and clutch lines. I have one issue though. The brake master cylinder reservoir (coffin style) pushes a bit against the fairing even when using a small spacer bushing in between the fairing and the fairing brace. Those small bushings also made mounting the fairing tougher. I have a bit of fade in the front brake lever at times under very easy braking so I'm toying with the idea of changing over to a radial master. Of course then I have to work out mounting new reservoirs. I can also foresee needing to have new brake lines made up to accomodate the new master. Do you see where this goes? Aaaggh.

No modification goes unpunished!

I agree that the the top triple looks funky with a bare handlebar bracket. Mine looks barely passable. That's why you can get those great looking top clamps from CycleCat or SpeedyMoto. Just costs more $$$$$.

The folks on this forum just love to spend other people's money so watch out. >:D
 

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ha ha ha ha, thanks :) Mines still new so I'll not look to do anything like that for at least...................another few weeks :) ha ha

Nooooooo, the next modification is a Ventura rack for the back with a sport bag so I don't have to wear this back pack all the time. It may not be pretty, but for me, it's a necessity.

Then pipes.
 

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I'm going to have to side with Spidey on this one. The broken wrist and thumbs of the people here are enough for me not to want to be next.

If you have the money for it, it's a great bit of investment in your own personal safety. It's kind of like frame sliders I think. Yeah in a perfect world you'd never need them.. but when stuff goes bad you'll probably be glad you had them...
 

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I've never had frame sliders :)

But, if you don't know how to use it, a steering damper can CAUSE you to crash. So, don't use it if you don't know what you're doing.
 

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Thumper said:
But, if you don't know how to use it, a steering damper can CAUSE you to crash. So, don't use it if you don't know what you're doing.
How's that? Not trying to start an argument...actually curious. I have one on my M900 and my wife's M620 had one. The only thing I can think of is having one turned up too high (for lack of a better description) makes low speed handling a little more difficult. ??? Not a big deal though if you just remember you have one and that you have to overcome the resistance when turning the bars.
 
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