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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm new to motorcycling, this forum, and forums in general, so if this has already been answered, my bad.

First off, I want to state that I did some searching around, and research on bikes in my price range, decided on a 05-06 zx6r and found what I believe to be an awesome deal. I recently picked up a beautiful orange 05 zx6r with 9,400 miles on it, for $4,200 mostly stock (I believe) except for the yoshimura exhaust and some sliders on it.

Now for what I need help with. My brother also recently got a motorcycle and my father was a rider when he was younger, and they both suggested I get a steering stabilizer, I've found some that are just over $100, and others upwards of $4-500. So how much of a difference is there between the $150 stabilizers, and the $400+ stabilizers? Are the $150 stabilizers even worth it or are they just a waste of money?

If there is a cheap stabilizer that works as well as the more expensive kinds, I would appreciate the info, I'm on a limited budget, so if I can get a good one for $200 or so, that would be great!
 

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Why do you want a stabilizer? Besides someone told you to get one? Do you understand what they are designed to do? Why don't you just ride the bike until you figure out what you like and don't like about it? IHMO they are all wastes of money on street bikes but that statement will I'm sure start a war on the forum. At least learn what they are used for and figure out if you need one on your bike before you run out and buy one. If your new to this ride a bit before you spend a bunch of money on performance parts. Your bike is already awesome and way more capable than you are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree about it being more capable than myself, but I was told a couple stories about it saving friends of mine when hitting a pothole at fast speeds and another for when doing wheelies (which I don't intend to try for a long while, unless I buy a cheap stunt bike). Also, when I was trying to google the answer to my question (with no success), 9 out of 10 comments I read, people said it's well worth the money, and very useful. And I know what they do, they build up pressure from your handlebars jerking back and forth rapidly and causes them to slow down and stabilize so that you can maintain/regain control of the bike. A couple comments that I read stated that it makes the ride more comfortable in turns also, which would help in my situation considering it will be mostly a back road cruiser for me down some curvy country roads.
 

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If you are new to motorcycling, you will most likely not benefit from one. I don't know your skill level but a stabilizer will not make you become a better rider any faster or compensate for your inexperience. Maybe save the money for gear or something when you have some miles under your belt.

NatBrown gave you some great advice......
 

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Why would I benefit more later as opposed to now?
Because if you purchase one now you will feel more "comfortable" to push yourself beyond your limits and could end up in a bad situation. It's money better spent on protective gear (do you have full leathers, back + chest protector, racing gloves and boots, and an airbag vest?) Also, a steering dampener set to an effective setting will ruin slow speed maneuvers, which is encountered daily for street riders; also, new street riders typically drop their bike during slow speed maneuvers, so a dampener at this point would most likely cause you to wreck or drop your bike. You can adjust the settings, but still, on more thing to worry about when you should be focusing on not dying from cagers and resisting the urge of the throttle.

Steering damper isn't needed until you start trackdays or feel like triple digits on the road. Stories and anecdotes are just that; the science is you only get bad wobble if your front is lifted up for some reason at high speeds; the bike is designed to correct itself without the need of a dampener; the problems start when you are going super fast or at sharp lean angles.

if for some reason you do get a wobble, all you need to do is twist the throttle some more, though typically it will correct itself before you know what happened. You can avoid them being worse by keeping a light grip on the bars and not putting much weight on them, as well as not accelerating quickly or going super fast >.>

Steering dampener won't prevent a bad wobble, it just helps it settle faster, possibly stopping a crash. If you are clamping the bars for dear life during it, you may crash regardless.
 

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My OPINION is that you should definitely BUILD YOUR SKILLS REGARDLESS OF RIDING LEVEL, novice to pro, street or track, your goal should always be to improve. That being said, you can buy whatever you want if your finances permit and try it, you may or may not like it. I have made the mistake many times of listening to other forum rider's opinions with undesired results, especially when it comes to suspension. Now what I do is contact professionals and ask questions. If you have the opportunity, and someone is willing to let you try a bike with a damper/ stabilizer, do it, at the very least get on a bike that has one even if the engine is off and see how much stiffer it is to turn and you should get a vague idea on what it does.
 

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My OPINION is that you should definitely BUILD YOUR SKILLS REGARDLESS OF RIDING LEVEL, novice to pro, street or track, your goal should always be to improve. That being said, you can buy whatever you want if your finances permit and try it, you may or may not like it. I have made the mistake many times of listening to other forum rider's opinions with undesired results, especially when it comes to suspension. Now what I do is contact professionals and ask questions. If you have the opportunity, and someone is willing to let you try a bike with a damper/ stabilizer, do it, at the very least get on a bike that has one even if the engine is off and see how much stiffer it is to turn and you should get a vague idea on what it does.
In that case he might as well hook up a NOS kit. Some situations speed could be a safety advantage (like cutting a deer in half). What's the worst that could happen?

"Professionals" can be wrong too. And it seems that you are implying that just because someone is on the web, that means they aren't a pro. Especially this forum is dripping with life-long riders, racers, mechanics, and more.

Pros don't usually give straight answers because they realize that the person isn't ready to handle the information; instead, they steer them in a different mindset direction because they want them to eventually need their help.

It's not about the damper, but if the OP is scared to ride fast or do wheelies without one, then that is where he needs to stay; because if he gets a dampener, he may feel empowered to start doing those risky activities, when the very fact that he is asking about dampers now means that he IS NOT ready to have one.

That and there are practical issues to not having one for the street, as I mentioned in my last post.

People on here aren't college professors; we aren't going to just haphazardly give knowledge because it's asked. This is a dangerous sport and lifestyle. There are severe, life-altering consequences to what is said.

You should keep that in mind as well in future posts.
 

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I agree with the posts above too. But I have a friend who is relatively new rider and is always looking for some aftermarket improvement to better his riding skills, instead of improving his own ability on the bike. Wasn't trying to steer you away from purchasing one. After all, it is your money and you Should do as you please.
 

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Dampener:



By the way, you don't need traction control or ABS either. You're not ready for that. ;)
Haha, I'd already edited my post before the fire hose one xD. Dampener just rolls off the tongue for some reason.


Don't get me started on ABS and TC. Those have a much, much wider range of uses and should be on every bike standard.
 

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That NOS kit sounds pretty good to be honest. Anyway I think its good for riders to get familiar with equipment that way the know what it does. He has family who suggested it, curiosity will be there until he knows what it is, how it works, what its for. Get on a bike that has one just to see what it does even if you are not riding it. You may eventually "need one or not".
 

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Haha, I'd already edited my post before the fire hose one xD. Dampener just rolls off the tongue for some reason.


Don't get me started on ABS and TC. Those have a much, much wider range of uses and should be on every bike standard.
A damper can save you from a bad situation just like ABS can. By the way, I used to not be a believer in a damper. Since I got my ZX10 with an ESD (and an upgraded SCU) I have changed my tune. That thing is amazing and when I get back on my 600s without the damper I scare the shit out of myself. And I used to not get rattled when I would get a wobble on the 600. I would say a damper is just as important as ABS (something I don't actually have on any of my bikes, including my new ZX10).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm going to take my time on my bike and not push it further than I'm comfortable with, my brother made that mistake almost 3 weeks ago and ended up in a ditch with a severely fractured wrist. And no I don't have leather gear yet, I have my helmet picked out but I haven't decided on what gloves of jacket I want yet, I only went to one gear store and looked around and couldn't find a jacket that I really cared for, or gloves under $70 that I liked. I would like to get a nice jacket under $250 and gloves for around $40, I also don't know of good riding pants to get if anyone has suggestions on the 3. I'm set on the scorpion 1100 helmet. I wasn't really set on getting riding boots yet, I'll get those later on down the road. But as for the "if you don't know about it, then you're not ready" comment: how am I supposed to know about it if I don't have one, and if I don't learn from others? That's the whole point of asking you guys, I'm looking for advice and knowledge on something I'm curious and currently uninformed about.
 

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I bought a damper for the track because I realized I needed one to be more comfortable at speed. On the street, I ride like I am on the street and never experienced a situation where I needed one. A bump in the road may change that some day but after a track day, I remove the stabilizer because I don't like the feel on low speed maneuvers and probably just have it turned all the way down. At that point, it just becomes a component for someone to steal.

Basically, you really don't need to get one until you feel you need one. Of course, the first time you realize you need one could be after a huge mistake. If you plan to take it easy like you say though, that should not be the issue.
 

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When I started out on my 07 I never felt like I needed one, especially just for normal street cruising and commuting. When I started hitting backroad twisties I began to consider getting one. Then, when I stepped up to my 2010, I was very glad it came with one as the 09+ bikes are very touchy up front. Even with the stock one set at the highest level I still feel like its not stiff enough :dowhat. IMO if you're just cruising and commuting you probably wont need one, but if you begin to do some more aggressive backroad riding or trackdays it would benefit you to have one installed :yes
 

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Oh lord, not another steering damper debate thread where people are anti-steering damper. To some of ya'll, a steering damper is like putting a GSX-R sticker on your bike. It's like the plague. I really don't get it. I had issues with my 2014. It was damn near unbearable to ride it at WOT. It would slap hard from the front wheel skipping across the ground. Got a steering damper and haven't had the issue since.

To some of you, good. You don't need a steering damper. You don't have tank slapper issues. Some of us do. Some of us cause them from too much pressure on the bars, but some don't. I think a big cure for tank slappers on the street is having your suspension set up correctly, but if that doesn't do it, then a steering damper is wonderful. For me, it was needed.

This whole, it hinders you from making slow speed turns.... That's a bunch of crap. I've had no issues moving around in the parking lot or trying to turn my bike around in the driveway or whatever and my GPVR4 doesn't make it hard for me to turn. Is it more stiff? Absolutely. But it doesn't restrict my movement enough for me to even notice. I had never ridden with a steering damper. I put one on, had it about halfway up, rode it and immediately adapted. It's something to easily adapt
 
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Steering damper is a must if you are a aggressive rider. If you're new rider you shouldn't be pushing your limits in the first place, so steering damper can wait. Use that money to buy proper gear first, PLEASE.

And for riders who say stabilizers make it hard to make slow turns... are probably same people who are not able to do 1 push-up.
 
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