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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, one more mod has been checked off my Ninja 300 bucket list. Installed the GPR V4 Steering Damper that arrived yesterday. I would have ordered one sooner but they were not available then.
Install was not very difficult and the damper looks sweet on the bike. I am going to give the damper a test today so I can find out where I want it adjusted to. There are twenty settings to play with.
Poor House, here I come!
 

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Did you feel the bike needs it? Mine feels very stable with sport tires.
I'm concerned the damper would make the steering feel heavier and less nimble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Opinions will vary on steering stabilizers. You either want one or you will feel that one is not necessary. I have been riding motorcycles for over fifty years and believe me when I say that I have owned a few motorcycles that needed a stabilizer, badly.
If you have ever experienced a full blown tank slapper you will know just how scary they are. Drop a front wheel in a big pot hole, blow out a valve stem in a front tire, hit a big rock with your front wheel, these are all things that have happened to me. A steering damper is insurance that might save you in the event that something bad happens.
Love them or hate them, to each their own I guess. As for me, if one is available for my ride, I go for it.
 

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Nice, but at $495 I think I'll have to pass :(.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice, but at $495 I think I'll have to pass :(.
Actually they are on sale with 100 dollars off the regular price for the rest of 2013.
 
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How does it perform? Does it reduce road groove feedback in the handlebars?
 

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My buddy bought a ducati and it came with one just like that. He likes to keep it on 10. They are nice but not sure if id want one.

If I did get a steering damper it would be a GPR, they make rally good products and being able to adjust it easily while riding is so nice.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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That's interesting how they installed it. I've always heard those kind of steering dampers are weld on. They seem to have some sort of bracket for the tab to sit between.
 

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I have half the Scotts damper kit bolted to my bike. I never got around to welding the tower bracket. If your steering bearings are replaced, good luck ever needing a damper. This bike has super stable geometry. The damper might hide bad bearings, but they will still be bad! I'm a rider who loves a steering damper too. My last 5 bikes had them.

Did you replace the stock steering bearings with tapered rollers?
 

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Well, one more mod has been checked off my Ninja 300 bucket list. Installed the GPR V4 Steering Damper that arrived yesterday. I would have ordered one sooner but they were not available then.
if you can give us some more info on the install of it i can add this to the DIY sticky thread of wisdom
 

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looks nice. Czn't wait to hear the feedback on how it performs.
 

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I have half the Scotts damper kit bolted to my bike. I never got around to welding the tower bracket. If your steering bearings are replaced, good luck ever needing a damper. This bike has super stable geometry. The damper might hide bad bearings, but they will still be bad! I'm a rider who loves a steering damper too. My last 5 bikes had them.

Did you replace the stock steering bearings with tapered rollers?
That's funny you say that because one another thread some people were suggesting that after the tapered roller bearings it was too quick and might need a steering damper to calm it down.
 

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Na, it is still stable, correction, it is finally stable! Mine had a bad case of the shakes, and the bearing gave it back its correct geometry with no perceptible deviation. Now I feel the tubes flexing. The great thing about small displacement bikes is their light steering and transition effort. The bike is still a stable platform when working correctly. I hit a block of ice today, about 2" high. The front tire hit it and came off the ground a good 6" in a slight left turn at 65 MPH. It never broke after the lift and step. Like it never happened.

I'm convinced any head shake is going to be the bearings either being bad, (stock), or the tapered ones getting loose. I just tightened mine again to the correct tension. I noticed a hands off wobble at 31 MPH. I could feel a wobble under some cornering too. I looked at the tire, massive cupping. I shook the triples and felt no play. Tossed on a new tire and the same wobble. WTF? Really went over the triples again, sure enough, 3/4 turn more preload was needed.

I've tightened my tapered bearings twice now since install at 1,000 miles. I have 8500 now. PITA.

The damper will mask the wobble from bad bearings so beware, they will still give poor location of the entire front end thru the steering stem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How does it perform? Does it reduce road groove feedback in the handlebars?
I will test it tomorrow. I had to do a few modifications to the damper to make it work properly. After the rain is gone I will let everyone know what I think.
 

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you probably already know this but,
Be sure not to overdo it at first
Although you may not feel the dampening while
sitting still. Better to under damp initially.
Some folks are surprised as it does not feel like much but at the first
fast bend they run wide.
 

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Dampers should be adjusted to work, not feel like they are doing something while sitting still. They shouldn't be obvious in regular riding, basically invisible.

You shouldn't know they are there till they "fix" a flaw, like headshake or violent handle bar movements. This is where the 300 really doesn't have any problems so it'll be hard to actually get it better. My sumoto bike gets a big weave at over 90, The MX bike will deflect on a rock hit and the bars ripped from my hands when I'm tired and the damper will stop stuff like that.

The 300 doesn't suffer these ills except when the steering bearings are fooked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How does it perform? Does it reduce road groove feedback in the handlebars?
I had to find some new freeway to test the feedback on a grooved road. We don't get much rain in Phoenix so there is not very many grooved roads.
The short answer is that the 300 with the damper refuses to recognize that there is grooves, period. I ran the bike past 90mph on the grooved stuff and it was straight as an arrow and I only had the dial set to 5 of 20 settings.
The faster you go the more stable the bike feels.
 

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Do you still have the stock steering bearings with the new damper???

If so, all you have done is damp the irregularity of the loose ball bearings. You still will suffer from steering imprecision, the damper can't resolve that.

A $400-500 band aid vs. a $45 bearing swap? I love steering dampers, and am a simple weld away from bolting mine on the 300. I can't find a reason to mount it, other than I have the entire kit on the shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you still have the stock steering bearings with the new damper???

If so, all you have done is damp the irregularity of the loose ball bearings. You still will suffer from steering imprecision, the damper can't resolve that.

A $400-500 band aid vs. a $45 bearing swap? I love steering dampers, and am a simple weld away from bolting mine on the 300. I can't find a reason to mount it, other than I have the entire kit on the shelf.
Yes I do.

I don't have loose ball bearings nor do I have steering imprecision, before or after the damper install. I did not buy the damper to mask anything.

I have owned a number of motorcycles that had ball bearings and I have never encountered any problems with steering imprecision. If, and when I have problems I will install the tapered bearings.
 

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Yes I do.

I don't have loose ball bearings nor do I have steering imprecision, before or after the damper install. I did not buy the damper to mask anything.

I have owned a number of motorcycles that had ball bearings and I have never encountered any problems with steering imprecision. If, and when I have problems I will install the tapered bearings.

If you have the stock steering bearings, then you have "loose ball bearings". Not that they are loose in adjustment, (though they probably are), but that is the type of bearing. Many bikes have "caged ball bearings". This one does not.

Lipstick on a pig my friend. The stock bearings do not locate the stem with any precision when perfect. If you ride it much, they are probably degraded already. The races are a very poor quality material (like butter, but softer) and score easily.
 
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