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Bobaganoosh
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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the market for a steering damper. I recall a few months ago one of the cycle mags did a review of most of the brands. I thought I still had it laying around. Does anyone know what mag/month it was in? Also anyone running the Arrow damper? Good Bad or Ok?
 

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I thought that the Ohlins was the way to go for our bikes? The Motogp bikes use a magnesium version of the same thing. They also are not too much more expensive than others out there.

I have never seen the review, sounds like good reading
 

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Rick,

What do you think of the rotary damper that Scotts came out with a few years back ( before they were bought out by Ohlins ) ?


NCRick said:
I thought that the Ohlins was the way to go for our bikes? The Motogp bikes use a magnesium version of the same thing. They also are not too much more expensive than others out there.

I have never seen the review, sounds like good reading
 

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Hi Bevel, I don’t think I can really speak to that with any special knowledge. Unlike the Scotts, I have owned, sold and serviced the Ohlins straight line jobbys and can find no fault in them. The fact that they use the same design on the MotoGP bikes helps my confidence too. The Scotts unit is great and has been popular on dirt bikes for years. Because of the pre-engineered mounting location and ease of adjustment on the fly, I really am sold on the Ohlins damper for the 916 type bikes. I have changed mine while lapping the track and it is a seamless, smooth thing to do. The Ohlins damper is a pressurized unit with no air in the system and I don’t know if that can be said of the Scotts (looking at it externally I would almost bet it has no pressurization but is likely a constant displacement design so air can be excluded) . I feel like cavitation would be the most serious fault of the lesser dampers as it would not show up until you really needed the damper to “damp”! The pressurization and omission of air in the Ohlins system helps to extend the speed at which the damper can operate without cavitation of the fluid.
 

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Thanks Rick. Just for the record, as an Ohlins dealer can you get their rotary
(former Scotts) damper for me ?


NCRick said:
Hi Bevel, I don’t think I can really speak to that with any special knowledge. Unlike the Scotts, I have owned, sold and serviced the Ohlins straight line jobbys and can find no fault in them. The fact that they use the same design on the MotoGP bikes helps my confidence too. The Scotts unit is great and has been popular on dirt bikes for years. Because of the pre-engineered mounting location and ease of adjustment on the fly, I really am sold on the Ohlins damper for the 916 type bikes. I have changed mine while lapping the track and it is a seamless, smooth thing to do. The Ohlins damper is a pressurized unit with no air in the system and I don’t know if that can be said of the Scotts (looking at it externally I would almost bet it has no pressurization but is likely a constant displacement design so air can be excluded) . I feel like cavitation would be the most serious fault of the lesser dampers as it would not show up until you really needed the damper to “damp”! The pressurization and omission of air in the Ohlins system helps to extend the speed at which the damper can operate without cavitation of the fluid.
 

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I had lunch with Jerry over at Ohlins last week and meant to ask him about those (I am located about 15 miles from the USA HQ.) I forgot to ask him. I asume that they are available from Ohlins. My son would like one for his KTM as well. I can check Monday.
 

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Just so you are aware, the Scotts damper is the same as the Ohlins radial damper, just with a Scott's name engraved on top. In fact mine I use on my dirt bikes actually says "Ohlins" on it at the forward facing side in addition to the large "SCOTTS" engraved label on top plate. I'm not sure if Scotts had some role in the development of the unit, they did and may still have exclusive North American distribution rights.

I've personally used them on dirt bikes for years and find them nearly bombproof and extremely easy to service...which btw should be done via fluid change and bleeding every 5k miles or so, depending upon how hard you use it and how much dust, dirt, rain and mud the unit is exposed to. I suppose a unit mounted on a road/race bike may require less maintainence, although as I noted, it is very easy to do, perhaps a 30 minute DIY job at best. It requires 2.5w suspension fluid, I've found the Redline Extralight (blue colored) to be perfect for the job.

The most important item you need to be aware of if you do choose a radial type Ohlins damper is that there are 2 types of these units. The original unit features damping in both directions, much like any cylindrical type steering damper. It offers adjustments for both hi and low speed damping on the fly. This is the unit of choice for road/race bikes. The other type, which btw looks identical, is the most popular version. It offers damping away from center only, there is no damping back to center. It still has the independent adjustments for hi and low speed damping, but again this is only for away from center action. The reason and purpose for this design is for dirt trail riding where damping away from center assists rider when they are in deep, soft surfaces where front wheel may tend to knife quickly often causing high side falls. By eliminating damping back to center the rider is less fatigued from fighting bars as they delicately negotiate trail obstacles. This type damper is exceptionally good for dirt bikes but is not sufficient to fully control a high speed tank slapper.

Be sure if you choose a Ohlins radial damper you choose the proper version for the intended application. Take care.
 

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I went through a lot of research last year before investing in one and made a full circle back to Ohlins. That's what I got and I'm really happy with it.


Rick, what kind of maintenance do I really need to do to a standard 996 ohlins damper? I have no idea how many miles on it (bought it used) .. 4-5K maybe. How do you know it needs maintenance?

Thanks.
 

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I have just done a full overhaul on an Ohlins Damper with about 5K miles and several years of use. It actually did not need it. The cost of doing the overhaul (including parts) is about $100. I would say that you are OK until the unit leaks . With it removed from the bike, see if you can feel any air in the unit, that would be bad. The adjuster should be smooth and the unit should function smoothly in all positions. The full hard position will make it very hard to move move by hand.

After a lot of miles and or years, it would be worth doing. Dirt in the oil will cause wear. The 5K one I just did had oil that was just a little cloudy compared to the new stuff.

I hope that helped, I know what I said is not real definitive!
 

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Bobaganoosh
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Discussion Starter #12
Synergy said:
I am in the market for a steering damper. I recall a few months ago one of the cycle mags did a review of most of the brands. I thought I still had it laying around. Does anyone know what mag/month it was in? Also anyone running the Arrow damper? Good Bad or Ok?
I found the issue online but I cant read the artice online. Does anyone have a copy of Sport Rider from August of 2004? Could someone copy that article and Fax it to me.

http://www.sportrider.com/toc/146_0408_toc/index.html
 

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Rick,

I called Scotts today and had a long conversation with them. The origin of the technology is Ohlins, but with significant modifications that make it distinctive enough to warrant the US patent number shown on the top cover.

And rats...they don't have one for my ST, but probably saved me some money as I have never had occasion to truly need such a device.

Best to ya !

NCRick said:
Bevel, the Scotts Damper has to come from Scotts USA. We CAN get them from there. For the 916 bikes, the kit comes with a new top triple clamp, list is $699. We can do a little better...
 

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The spin I got on it was that Ohlins worked with Scotts for years on the development (sounds like contract engineering?) Ohlins sell them in Europe but have no access to them in the USA. Ohlins hope to beable to offer them in the future. Anhow, they seem to be a very nice unit and we plan to offer the option to our customers.
 
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