I got in on the group-buy put together on Adventure Rider for the HyperPro steering damper. It came and I installed it on my BMW R1200GS Adventure and gave it its first real trial today.
My rationale for wanting one was the “little crash” I had up in Labrador. The mode of failure in that scenario was a tank slapper that ended badly. The cause of the tank slapper was my front tire being deflected to the side by the loose gravel of the dirt road. To exacerbate the problem I had a lot of weight in the back (camping gear and whatnot) which got the front to be less loaded than normal. Once it was shoved to the side it oscillated back and forth and never really got fully in line with the bike.
If I had a steering damper the likely outcome would be no crash since the damper would have prevented the initial deflection. Even if it did move the front wheel, the damper would have prevented the tank slapper and allowed me to keep control of the bike.
Conveniently I have a road nearby that felt similar (though not bad) when I rode on it earlier this year: Pond Road in Burton. Last time I was on it the front-end seemed very vague and loose. I felt the rocks applying some steering input. After the crash last year it really lead to a pucker moment.
I rode the same road today with six clicks of damping.
The difference is night and day. What felt loose and scary now was confidence inspiring! Things were still loose, but I got the feedback from the bike instead of the vagueness before.
On more normal roads the bike did feel a bit more planted and less nervous overall. I didn’t have any problems before, but anything that makes things better is a welcome change.
This really is one of the best $400 I’ve spent.
Give EPM Performance a call and have them hook you up. It’s very worthwhile!
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