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Has any of you put a steering damper on the new(er) 636 model? Thinking about purchasing a stock steering damper from a 2011 model, getting the oil changed to a thicker viscosity but would have to make some kind of bracket up..
 

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I purchased a GPR and sold it within a month. Even at its lowest setting, I felt it was too intrusive.

I have done a bunch of track riding and have not had too many issues with front end wobble. I can usually get the front slightly off the ground via power wheelie and she might shake a little bit when the front comes down but in a year of using this bike aggressively on the street and track, I have not once had fear of a tank slapper. I got a decent bump in the road near my house on a curve and I can hit it without slowing down, the front tire gets upset but she keeps rolling no problem.

I would tell anybody that it's a waste of money but to each their own.
 

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I purchased a GPR and sold it within a month. Even at its lowest setting, I felt it was too intrusive.

I have done a bunch of track riding and have not had too many issues with front end wobble. I can usually get the front slightly off the ground via power wheelie and she might shake a little bit when the front comes down but in a year of using this bike aggressively on the street and track, I have not once had fear of a tank slapper. I got a decent bump in the road near my house on a curve and I can hit it without slowing down, the front tire gets upset but she keeps rolling no problem.

I would tell anybody that it's a waste of money but to each their own.
It amazes me how I see comments like this and then others who swear a damper is required on this bike. I am constantly pricing them and then doubting whether I need one. Of course, I will be taking it to the track before I make a decision. My understanding is that some race series require them and then the decision is made for you.

I have never considered it on the 650, although, it is a totally different bike.
 

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It amazes me how I see comments like this and then others who swear a damper is required on this bike. I am constantly pricing them and then doubting whether I need one. Of course, I will be taking it to the track before I make a decision. My understanding is that some race series require them and then the decision is made for you.

I have never considered it on the 650, although, it is a totally different bike.
It probably depends a lot on the bike and rider so my input was just specific to my riding style and the 2013+. I read something that Kawi changed the rake angle on the 2013 forks, leading to one of the reasons why they got rid of the damper.

On the flip side, I got a buddy that's one of the best riders I know, could not get around on his R6 until he put a damper on it.

They probably work well for some people on some bikes, my experience was very negative. I like a bike that feels light in the front and turns in quick. With the damper, I felt I had to actually work the bars to get them to turn. The bike also felt like it wobbled below 15 mph. It was too awkward for me

Another thing is, for the GPRS at least, talking about a $400+ "upgrade". That's a lot. Unless your having really bad head shake or have a bike prone to tank slappers, I would seriously reconsider it.
 

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I had a tank slapper occur when I was passing someone on my '14 zx6r.

I turned into the oncoming lane gave it a good amount of throttle and felt my handlebars feel very light while it mildly tank slapped left and right, luckily it wasn't a vicious movement so it didn't scare me at all, it was just interesting.

Made me think about getting a damper though.
 

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Tank slapped become an issue of bike set up as well you put the wrong weight guy on the bike that's not set up right geometry is all off front wheel is light and you get in more trouble then you would think.
 

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I had a tank slapper occur when I was passing someone on my '14 zx6r.

I turned into the oncoming lane gave it a good amount of throttle and felt my handlebars feel very light while it mildly tank slapped left and right, luckily it wasn't a vicious movement so it didn't scare me at all, it was just interesting.

Made me think about getting a damper though.
A shake left and right does not a tankslapper make :laugh

Shamelessly stealing sportrider's definition here:

"The “tankslapper” is a very frightening experience. Usually occuring when accelerating hard over bumpy pavement, a tankslapper ensues when the front tyre becomes airborne, then regains traction outside the rear tyre’s alignment. The resulting deflection bounces the tyre off to one side, followed by another bounce in the opposite direction as it contacts the pavement again. Unless the bike’s steering geometry is able to damp out the deflections quickly, the resulting oscillations from the front tyre as it bounces back and forth will swiftly gain in strength, causing the bars to swap from side to side with increasing ferocity. The oscillations can be violent enough to rip the bars out of your hands, and fling your feet off the pegs. You can guess what happens next."


In your situation I would suggest just easing off the bars a little bit :) I am guilty of the same occasionally with similar results - ease up on the bars and it settles down again.

To the OP, i have NEVER felt like my '13 could benefit from a damper - the front end sorts itself out with minimal input, even at speed. Some say a damper simply masks bad habits :O why not try without to begin with, and then if you decide it's necessary THEN lay down the coin. If you decide it isn't necessary will save a bit of cash for other mods :2fingerlol: (I thought that was two thumbs up but I am having second thoughts about my initial assessment... pretend those are thumbs)
 

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A shake left and right does not a tankslapper make :laugh

Shamelessly stealing sportrider's definition here:

"The “tankslapper” is a very frightening experience. Usually occuring when accelerating hard over bumpy pavement, a tankslapper ensues when the front tyre becomes airborne, then regains traction outside the rear tyre’s alignment. The resulting deflection bounces the tyre off to one side, followed by another bounce in the opposite direction as it contacts the pavement again. Unless the bike’s steering geometry is able to damp out the deflections quickly, the resulting oscillations from the front tyre as it bounces back and forth will swiftly gain in strength, causing the bars to swap from side to side with increasing ferocity. The oscillations can be violent enough to rip the bars out of your hands, and fling your feet off the pegs. You can guess what happens next."


In your situation I would suggest just easing off the bars a little bit :) I am guilty of the same occasionally with similar results - ease up on the bars and it settles down again.

To the OP, i have NEVER felt like my '13 could benefit from a damper - the front end sorts itself out with minimal input, even at speed. Some say a damper simply masks bad habits :O why not try without to begin with, and then if you decide it's necessary THEN lay down the coin. If you decide it isn't necessary will save a bit of cash for other mods :2fingerlol: (I thought that was two thumbs up but I am having second thoughts about my initial assessment... pretend those are thumbs)
It wasn't just a simple left and right. It shook for a good 3 seconds? Where it shook my body with it a bit. Made me look super cool to the car I was passing I bet.

Just wasn't violent and settled pretty quick.
 

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I've ridden my 2014 without a steering damper for 4 months. I was absolutely terrified of my bike. I actually never rode without the traction control on. It was always on setting 1. But the funny thing is, I think it's what caused my headshakes and some tankslappers. My front wheel would skip off the ground and would throw the alignment off with the back wheel everytime it would come down and back up and then back down over and over when I got on the gas hard.

I personally feel that the geometry of this bike requires a steering damper. That's me personally. I had a friend ride my 2014. He use to have an R6. He got on it hard and he had a tank slapper on my bike. I wouldn't exactly say he is a great rider or anything and he hadn't ridden a sportbike in a while. He never got any training saying to be loose on the clip-ons. He just went out and got one as his first bike.

Once I got my GPR, I begun taking my TC off. I have been riding with it off the remaining 5 months with it. The last month, October, I left the TC on.

I personally do not like the GPR. Just like R&B said, it's too intrusive, especially at low speed turns. It doesn't have a separate low speed/high speed adjustability, although it is supposed to have high speed/low speed separate damping. I quickly got use to the GPR, but I'd much rather have a Hyperpro steering damper, but they don't make one for our bikes. Our only options are the GPR and the overpriced (non electrical adjustable) Ohlins.

If you are experiencing actual tankslappers, get your suspension set up for your body weight first. Make sure to not hang on to the clip-ons tight. I would also check your tire pressure. I feel like this particular bike has an anti-squat issue from the factory and if you change out the sprockets (going up in the back and/or down in the front) you increase the anti-squat which changes how your bike reacts. I have been reading a suspension book, by the way. I might be off here. I first went down a tooth in the front like, 2 months after getting my bike. I'm about to go up two teeth on the rear this Spring.

I feel like my bike needs a steering damper. It just doesn't NOT have tank slappers like other bikes don't. This bike gets them more than any other bike I have ever been on. I think it has to do with the steeper rake. If your rake steepens, you increase quickness, but lose stability. I think Kawasaki just didn't get it perfectly on this bike. I think they atleast screwed up by not installing a factory steering damper.

Until a new steering damper is made for the 2013-2015 bikes, I will have to run my GPR. I will probably get it serviced with thinner oil next winter
 

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Sag, stance(back to front height difference), compression and rebound settings, and rider position under heavy acceleration will make a big difference and prolly almost eliminate head shake don't band aid it with a dampener it sounds like it's happening more then it should
 

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This is a function of geometry and rider style. I ride with a very aggressive geometry setup, consequently the front end can be a bit twitchy. A steering damper allows me to keep those aggressive numbers and remain safe.

These bikes by default are set up with a very 'heavy' front end, meaning that they sacrifice turn-in ability for front end stability. This is why most people feel the bike does not need a damper...and they are probably right if they leave the geometry alone. Once you start making the bike turn in quicker, a damper becomes necessary.

To the OP, I run a GPR and unlike the rest I don't find it intrusive. Worst case, you can always change the oil in them to a lighter weight...
 

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It amazes me how I see comments like this and then others who swear a damper is required on this bike. I am constantly pricing them and then doubting whether I need one. Of course, I will be taking it to the track before I make a decision. My understanding is that some race series require them and then the decision is made for you.

I have never considered it on the 650, although, it is a totally different bike.
Here's my thought:

If you're not racing (hard), you don't need one. People that think they need them on the street generally aren't experienced enough to know how to ride without it. If you're picking up the front-end and having trouble with severe wobble when it drops back down, then you're not experienced enough to raise the front-end.

Control should be first, with speed a far second.
 

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Okay i did not make anything for a fork bracket.
I went to my local Kawasaki dealer and ordered one a few weeks ago, it was on backorder. It arrived today.
ordered from
Headingly sport shop
Headingly Manitoba Canada.
The part number for the triple clamp mount is 11056-2308
 

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Now that I have done a track day, I can make a statement and hopefully get some clarification.

At the track, I did get some front end wobble. One place is a slow corner onto the main straight. The second was a faster corner onto a smaller straight. Both instances have to do with me giving it more throttle while getting myself centered back on the bike. Each time it happened, I was able to control it and I was also able to control it by limiting throttle or delaying how I righted myself.

1. Do I continue to delay my movements and controls to avoid the wobble, possibly slowing myself down in the process?
2. What bad habit or bad setup may I have causing the wobble?
3. Do I accept the wobble can happen knowing it's not severe and controllable?
4. Do I get a damper which will allow me to remove focus from the wobble and onto pushing harder out of corners?

Those that have done and done without a damper on the track, please share your thoughts.
 

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Now that I have done a track day, I can make a statement and hopefully get some clarification.

At the track, I did get some front end wobble. One place is a slow corner onto the main straight. The second was a faster corner onto a smaller straight. Both instances have to do with me giving it more throttle while getting myself centered back on the bike. Each time it happened, I was able to control it and I was also able to control it by limiting throttle or delaying how I righted myself.

1. Do I continue to delay my movements and controls to avoid the wobble, possibly slowing myself down in the process?
2. What bad habit or bad setup may I have causing the wobble?
3. Do I accept the wobble can happen knowing it's not severe and controllable?
4. Do I get a damper which will allow me to remove focus from the wobble and onto pushing harder out of corners?

Those that have done and done without a damper on the track, please share your thoughts.
1. If you delay your movements, you are slowing down. If you are just having fun a track day then it is up to you whether or not that bothers you.

2. The only bad habit you could have would be if you were heavy on the bars over ripples in pavement. Unlikely. For setup, again, probably nothing. You can raise the front end, effectively increasing your trail which would lessen the chance of a wobble but it will also make the bike handle like a truck. Headshake is occasionally normal under track conditions. There are a ton of factors that can make it happen so it isn't any one thing. Generally it happens when you are accelerating over rough pavement, you are leaned over while accelerating over ripples in the pavement, or you are having a direction change while accelerating (left to right for example) and there are some irregularities in the track surface. There isn't much that you can do to avoid this other than just go slower over this section of the track.

3. It is up to you whether you feel the wobble is enough to upset you. I can tell you that the faster you go, the more dramatic the wobble will be so as you pick up pace, that little wobble that doesn't bother you now could turn into a tank slapper.

4. The entire point of a steering damper is to eliminate this negative input which takes away from your confidence. My advice would be to buy one and not worry about this stuff ever again but to each their own.

In closing, this is a very simple thing to understand. If you ride on the street, you do not need a damper. If you are a beginner/mid track rider, you may need a damper. If you are a fast track rider/racer, you need a damper.

If you like, watch my last racing video. you will notice that the front end is still shaking a bit and that is with an aggressive steering damper. Basically, the faster you go, the more necessary a steering damper becomes. Hope this helps.
 

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I was getting a similar wobble, I was try my best to be loose. Thanks to some friendly folks i soon figured it was my wrist position on my throttle hand when leaning off. When cracking the throttle on i was giving to much in put to the bars i needed to make my wrist angle more straight with the bar. Kind off like holding on to a screw driver.

I also am looking in to getting a steering damper. At the moment i have made some brackets up and just run my old mans Hyper Pro off his GSXR. (Because i a tight ass on a budget)
I do like running it, just gives me more confidants then anything. I don't run it very tight.
 

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I have luckily never experienced a tank slapper. My 10R had a damper but my other 600's didn't. I guess I don't really ride anywhere near aggressive enough to need a damper. Does weight matter? I am 275lbs so perhaps my sheer weight helps stabilize things?
 

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Getting rather annoying hearing people say you don't need a steering damper, that the heads Hames aren't all that bad, etc... especially if they don't even have a 2013-2015 6R and other people are saying you do. I honestly think that if you feel like you need one in fear from getting your next tank slapper from your previous experience on that particular bike, then get one. Unless you are R&B who installed a proper Ohlin's setup (and are able to get it tuned, which is actually much harder to set up than stock suspension) then I think you very well could have a need for a Steering Damper on the street, especially if you have shitty roads like I do in Oklahoma. R&B and I have exchanged PM'PM'S in the past about how soft our front end is and if I remember correctly, had some headshakes from his stock setup because it is too soft. He said he was never able to get the stock stuff to balance right. I don't speak for him though.

I personally needed one on my 2014 and think of all the years Kawasaki put steering dampers stock on bikes, this generation of bikes, with their steeper rake, should have been the bike they put one on, not take it off.

Let's think about it here for a minute:

1. Kawasaki increased the rake l. They made it steeper and made some trail changes (correct me if I'm wrong on the trail, but I think that's accuraye. It's been a long day.) A steep rake can cause headshakes, a loose front end and tank slappers.

2. Kawasaki put on super soft suspension on these bikes. The front end dives hard under heavy braking, doesn't dampen very well and the rear shock... well it's total garbage. You have to stiffen way up in compression and rebound about 75% just to get it as close as you can. I weigh 155 lbs plus gear and I'm 2 clicks away from full stiff. It doesn't plant right, is all over the place and just sucks. The front end I can't seem to get down very well. I think the suspension is great for the street, but the front end wobbles and is just too unstable, especially with the Wheelie Control (Traction Control)

3. Traction Control - its rather intrusive at times, but works well overall. I think it honestly needs to be dialed back down nust a tad but. Mine kicks in too easily. Even kicks in at 10mph at 10% throttle leaving a stop light. What it does do is cause the front tire to come up off the ground just a little, then it cuts the power to bring the wheel back down, then come back up, then back down, then back up and so on while you.are WOT on a straight. This causes the front end to get out of shape easily.

4. Ergonomics - they made this bike geared more for the street. I'm not actually talking about gearing here. I'm taking about how they have your rider triangle set up and just more comfortable. I had a point on this subject, but I just lost it. Did I mention it's been a long day? Kid's Tri-state band thingy all day, kid's graduation, crabby woman, etc...

So all in all, I think all of these reasons combined are what causes this bike to be unstable in the front end. I haven't ridden without my GPRV4 since I got it, but as I previously mentioned, I rode with my TC on in fear of bringing the front end up even higher than I already was, which evidently was causing the tank slappers to begin with. I'm sure if I were to take the TC and the Steering Damper off, and now that I have my suspension set up a tad better, I wouldnt get the tank slappers any more. I could be wrong. I think the TC was causing the tank slappers in correlation with the steeper rake and super soft suspension.

I'm done with my rant :)
 
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