REF: Suspension

Steering Dampener

A steering dampener (stabilizer) reduces the handlebar vibration so it reduces the tremendous pressure on the shoulders for long distance riding. 1)
Multi-position hydraulic steering dampers soften unwanted fork oscillations (speed wobble).
Most have various adjustments with full-fork movement from stop to stop.
Not recommended for front end lowered bikes due to lack of clearance.

Note from XLXR of the XLFORUM: 2)

Please consider the following more as a safety warning for guys who may not have much experience with suspension set up.
My Roadster was a scary wobbler with that much forward chassis pitch, rear high, front low.
The bike was much more stable, and safer, when the frame rails under the engine were level with the floor when I sat on the bike.
I also found my bike was much more stable in the corners when it was “neutral on the bars.” It would just stay in the turn without needing constant steering corrections.
With too much forward chassis pitch, my bike would constantly try to turn steeper into turns and needed constant steering corrections to hold the desired line.
Fast turn-in reduces stability in turns.
No steering damper is needed on rubber mounts when suspension is properly set up. At least if you stay at legal highway speeds.

The damper is not a structural piece so it doesn't require an elaborate or heavy duty mount. The damper floats and is never under load. 3)

With this installed, the bike was more stable when leaned over at speed. 4)
The head shake from hitting bumps while leaned over was greatly reduced and it recovered quicker.
But probably the biggest difference was how much more comfortable it made the bike on the freeways.
Barely hold onto the grips and the bike just tracks dead straight through the cracks, grooves, and potholes.
If you ride hard and / or ride on rough roads, the benefit from a steering damper can be very noticeable.
It's not that something needs cured on the bike, it just makes it smoother over the rough stuff.

There are many different brands of dampeners and some will not come with instruction sheets.
It's best to adjust the steering head bearings to get the proper “fall-away” before you start your installation of the dampener (that alone may cure your front-end woes). 5)

Helpful videos:

  1. Here is an instructional video from BKRider on installing their dampener.
  2. Here is another video from Motorcyclist Magazine titled “Steering Dampers Explained—Do You Need One on Your Bike? ”.

This one was made by Dynamic Bike Innovations and sold by BKRider.

The install was really quick and easy and it tucks behind the forks instead of hanging off the side like other brands.
The damper has 15 settings. You may not feel much affect until you up into the 10-12 click range.

The circled bracket below mounts to the underside of the lower triple tree.
It mounts to the hole in the tree that is used for the brake crossover through Hole A on the bracket.
The two prongs (B) fit into the grooves in the underside of the tree. One end of the damper attaches to Hole C, which extends over just behind the left fork.
The other end of the damper attaches to the other bracket that gets bolted to the front engine mount, off to the right side of the bike.
2008 1200N:
6) 7)

8) 9) 10)

1996 883:
11) 12) 13)

This one was painted black before installation:
2009 1200N:
14) 15)

16) 17)

Alternate Brands / Mounting Locations:

2005 1200R 18) 2008 883/1250 19)

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