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Steering damper #757045 11/25/18 1:34 am
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brianpankow Offline OP
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Hello all,
I’m finally getting the time to start putting the ‘66 Bonneville back together in it’s full nut and bolt restoration. The answer to my question may seem obvious to everyone except me. Does the steering damper get grease between the friction disc and anchor plate or is it left dry? Everything on this bike was a dried up powder coated mess when I purchased it (I mean they didn’t even remove small parts. Just coated over the entire assembly in many cases), so even though they appeared to grease this area I’m not sure I would care to trust what they did.

Thank you

Brian
1975 Commando
1966 Bonneville (work in progress)



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Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757053 11/25/18 2:54 am
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Triless Offline
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Brian, I keep the friction disc dry as grease would negate the friction ! To qualify this, my girder fork Matchless has friction discs in both front fork suspension disc dampers as well as for steering, and my Triumph '64 framed T140 special has the friction disc steering damper .

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757076 11/25/18 1:51 pm
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As Triless said, definitely dry.

The damper is very good on bad roads and windy days, just be sure to loosen it when you get into town!

My theory is that wind affects the down-road trajectory not so much by its action on the bike, but on the upper body of the rider. The wind pushes the rider, whose shoulders move, and the motion is transmitted to the handlebars. The steering damper virtually eliminates the effect.

The damper I retro-fitted to my 1969 T120R is the earlier version, as found on your 1966 Bonnie.

------------------------------------------
Be careful not to loosen the damper too much or the adjuster sleeve (97-0408) will fall off, along with the star washer (97-0095). Triumph later modified the damper rod by drilling the end and installing a cotter pin.
------------------------------------------
As pointed out by Dave below, there was no Triumph modification to the damper rod as stated. The sleeve nut and star washer are retained by 'locating pin' p/n 97-1286 (1966), and 97-2107 (1967-1970).

www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm#stda

Last edited by Hermit; 11/26/18 12:44 pm. Reason: Point out erroneous assertion about damper

Bruce Miller
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The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757090 11/25/18 4:34 pm
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"Powder coating all over everything."

Ain't powder-coating just wonderful?

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757112 11/25/18 9:24 pm
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brianpankow Offline OP
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Thank you all. I figured as much, but though safest to tape into this wonderful resource.

Re: Steering damper [Re: Hermit] #757123 11/25/18 11:44 pm
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The damper I retro-fitted to my 1969 T120R is the earlier version, as found on your 1966 Bonnie. Be careful not loosen the damper too much or the adjuster sleeve (97-0408) will fall off, along with the star washer (97-0095). Triumph later modified the damper rod by drilling the end and installing a cotter pin.

www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm#stda[/quote]

I don't think I've ever seen a pre-oif triumph lower clamp (triple tree) that didn't have a set screw to prevent what you describe from happening. "66 parts book calls it a "locating pin - p/n 97-1286".I have seen that cotter pin used on BSA models though.

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757128 11/26/18 1:13 am
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Tridentman Offline
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On a solo you just need the damper biting but not screwed down hard.
This will stop the head shaking on a long sweeping bend with less than perfect surface.
However on a road outfit you need it screwed down pretty tightly to stop the head shaking badly.
DAMHIK!

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757131 11/26/18 2:04 am
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Dave, I looked in all the parts manuals from '66 through '70 and you're right about the there being no mod. I think the fellow who told me about that was saying that I should make that mod.

And you're also correct about the 97-1286 locating pin, so theoretically I shouldn't need that mod.

Steering damper grub screw 07-1286 on Ebay

Nothing stopped the the first nut from falling off after I installed the steering damper on my '69, but that could very well have been because the locating pin wasn't installed. Will have to take a look on the bike next time I go over to the Bonnie Castle.

The figures for the TR6C triple trees don't show that locating pin, but I guess they're just showing what's different from the T120 and TR6 trees in those figures so probably they have them also. I saw that the p/n changed in '67.


[Linked Image]


Bruce Miller
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The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: Steering damper [Re: Tridentman] #757132 11/26/18 2:11 am
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Tridentman,

Interesting observations, obviously from the voice of experience. But what do you mean by "road outfit" ?

Originally Posted by Tridentman
On a solo you just need the damper biting but not screwed down hard.
This will stop the head shaking on a long sweeping bend with less than perfect surface.
However on a road outfit you need it screwed down pretty tightly to stop the head shaking badly.
DAMHIK!






Bruce Miller
aka The Hermit
The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: Steering damper [Re: Hermit] #757142 11/26/18 5:55 am
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Motorcycle with sidecar attached !

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757167 11/26/18 12:49 pm
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TriumphDave - No locating pin on my bike - will order one in the near future! Thanks for the heads-up - I've made corrections here and on the hermit.cc website.

Triless - thought perhaps so, but wasn't sure. Good to know. Front end oscillations with sidecar attached sounds like it could be pretty scary!


Bruce Miller
aka The Hermit
The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757170 11/26/18 1:09 pm
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Hermit--confirm as Triless.
"Back in the Day" in UK with little money I ran a series of BSA A10 sidecar outfits as my only form of transportation.
On those a steering damper was essential to stop the head wagging!
If you ever have the opportunity--try it sometime--riding an outfit is truly the third way (the others being riding a solo bike and driving a car).
HTH

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757174 11/26/18 1:48 pm
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I ran a '47 Harley "74" with a side car some years ago. It had an inadequate small friction damper on the steering head

Only twice did the front fork ever go into a 'tank-slapper' on decelleration, but twice was enough!

i never did install a hydraulic steering damper, but I should have.

Another thing about sidecar rigs: People who HATE motorcycles will smile and wave when seeing a sidecar bike.

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757208 11/26/18 6:01 pm
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i used to own a 1950 hudson stepdown. same thing. everywhere i went i was a one-man parade.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Steering damper [Re: kevin roberts] #757219 11/26/18 9:10 pm
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But in what way , Kevin ? Because it was a cool car, or was the front end oscillating like a clown car because of lack of suspension dampening ?

Last edited by Triless; 11/26/18 9:12 pm. Reason: spelling
Re: Steering damper [Re: Triless] #757228 11/26/18 10:40 pm
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Stephen, I have spent time with Kevin,he is a one man parade without the Hudson... lol.......I don't care for steering dampers when drilling through built up areas with sharp turns, I feel it makes the bike fall into the turn more than usual...Triumphs don't steer fast like modern sport bikes but they do, in my experience,get a little nervous at higher speeds so a light damper is ok.. Tapered roller steering bearings preload slightly may offer the same result...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Steering damper [Re: Triless] #757230 11/26/18 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Triless
But in what way , Kevin ? Because it was a cool car, or was the front end oscillating like a clown car because of lack of suspension dampening ?



you have no idea how cool a car a stepdown is, stephen. people would clap and chase me down to take pictures . . . once a punjabi convenience store clerk in gila bend arizona ran out of his store to exclaim that he hadn't seen a stepdown since he learned to drive in one as a child in the old country. they're beautiful but weird:

[Linked Image]

but their front-end construction was ahead of it's time. smoky yunick dominated nascar for three years with them, and it wasn' because their motor was any good:


[Linked Image]


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Steering damper [Re: Hillbilly bike] #757232 11/26/18 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Stephen, I have spent time with Kevin,he is a one man parade without the Hudson... lol......



i'm not completely sure how to interpret that, you know.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757236 11/26/18 11:57 pm
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Bob Buchanan Offline
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Had 1951 Pacemaker and never had steering concerns even when pulling away from 1959 Buick at 100 mph indicated in 1960.Just flathead six.,not the Hornet motor.

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757249 11/27/18 1:45 am
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someone took a fourdoor and put a 7X in it 15 years ago and took it to bonneville. did close to 130 i think.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Steering damper [Re: kevin roberts] #757254 11/27/18 2:18 am
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Triless Offline
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Kevin, definitely a cool car ! I can remember seeing Hudsons over here in the '50's that looked like yours ! I think OZ was a relatively healthy market for Hudson/Essex/Terraplane for a few years !

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757286 11/27/18 12:37 pm
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When I was still in diapers my parents had a Hudson. My mother says it was a very advanced automobile. Among other features the transmission could be operated in automatic or standard modes. When the automatic transmission broke down she said they just switched over to standard.

On another topic unrelated to Triumphs, I don't suppose anyone knows what's going on with Admin and S____t? Thread moved to a personal profile? What's happening?

If i'm banned for posting this all i can say is 'Bye everyone'.



Bruce Miller
aka The Hermit
The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: Steering damper [Re: kevin roberts] #757289 11/27/18 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by kevin roberts
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Stephen, I have spent time with Kevin,he is a one man parade without the Hudson... lol......



i'm not completely sure how to interpret that, you know.


Consider it a compliment, a remark about your congenial person and devotion to putting your pile of parts to the front of the pack...

The "Fabulous Hornets " you mentioned were tuned for Nascar by a young Smokey Yunick, about 200-210 HP.The Hudsons had a low center of gravity giving them better handling on the dirt oval tracks used in Nascar then...Flathead development was at it's peak and the new OHV V8 short stroke engines were still in early states of tuning..The Olds 303 OHV "Kettering" design combustion chamber had more potential but hydraulic lifters that pumped up at 4000 rpm limited power. Stock cars were based on stock cars back then and engine modifications were limited..By 1954 the OHV engines began to make power, then in 55 came the Chevrolet small block V-8 and the Chrysler Hemi dominance on faster paved tracks, the flat heads were finished forever..








79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757322 11/27/18 6:30 pm
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Cool car, that Hudson. My neighbor had one in the 50's. All the neighborhood kids could fit in the back seat with three in the shelf under that back window. Smooth....

It had a fold up clutch pedal if I remember right.

Cheers,
Bill


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1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757337 11/27/18 9:30 pm
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Any more to be said here on STEERING DAMPERS?

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757353 11/28/18 12:20 am
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At some racing venues, such as land speed racing, a steering damper is mandatory at least on bikes over 175mph. I've only been involved for 9 years, so I don't know when the rule was implemented, but most rule changes or additions are made as a result of accidents. Although I am a fan of steering dampers, I do not like the idea of the old friction dampers. I realize that some on this forum say they work well, but my concern is that a well set-up bike, with axles, steering and swing arm adjusted properly, will naturally try to correct itself in reaction to bumps and steering inputs by the rider. If steering stem bearings are too tight, or a friction damper is too tight, the bike can't quickly realign itself as it is designed to do. A major bump could initiate an oscillation of the front wheel which a hydraulic damper might mitigate, but a friction damper may exacerbate because the return to neutral would be restricted.

During high performance riding school, we were taught that in case of a speed wobble, we should relax our grip on the bars and grip the tank with our knees. The bike knows how to correct itself, and steering inputs by the rider could prevent that self correction.

Just my opinion, but on the other hand, through about 10 year of amateur road racing and another 9 years of land speed racing up to 150 mph, I have not experienced a speed wobble. To some extent, I attribute this lack of speed wobbles to attention to keeping the fasteners tight and the steering adjusted properly. I do have a hydraulic damper fitted to all my road race bikes and land speed bikes and adjust them to about half of their effective resistance.

Tom


Life's uncertain - go fast now!
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757355 11/28/18 12:52 am
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Quote
If steering stem bearings are too tigh
Many bikes have loose steering bearings..There's a fine line between preload and over tightened...Many modern bikes with tapered roller bearings such as 90's Buells have a pre load of 5 pounds when the unloaded from end is pulled to one side with a scale attached to the fork...Do that on a Triumph OIF (tapered rollers) and the "funny" steering response will be noticeable immediately...But less preload works well and you can feel when right...Fore sure loose bearings can induce a wobble..I aolso believe some types of tires are more prone to cause a wobble....


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757358 11/28/18 1:04 am
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My only experience with friction steering dampers was when I had a shot on my friends BSA trials goldie, I took it back complaining that the tyres were too soft, "Oh, that will be the steering damper" came the reply , once backed off the bike was rideable. There only for decoration on a solo.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
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Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757657 11/30/18 7:29 pm
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OK, I got the steering damper on the '72 T150v. I assume that this bike still has the loose balls for steering bearings.
This Winter I plan to swap this conical front end with the disc front end on my OIF A65, which has roller bearings.
Should I remove the damper when fitted to roller bearings?


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757669 11/30/18 9:27 pm
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David,
I did something similar 30 years ago when I replaced the front end on my '71 triple after a collision. The later disc brake triple tree stem was not drilled for a damper, so the old damper went into a box. I do recall that it took me awhile to realize that the taper roller bearings need a pre-load, and just how much. Until I figured that out, the steering felt funny.

Ed from NJ

Re: Steering damper [Re: koncretekid] #757672 11/30/18 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by koncretekid
At some racing venues, such as land speed racing, a steering damper is mandatory ....

During high performance riding school, we were taught that in case of a speed wobble, we should relax our grip on the bars and grip the tank with our knees. The bike knows how to correct itself, and steering inputs by the rider could prevent that self correction.


Tom


I have been riding on the street for several years with the hydraulic steering damper on my 1971 TR6R with no bad effects.

This advice reminds me of pilot induced oscillation (PIO) when the pilot inputs the exact wrong control chasing the reduction of the divergence and builds up the oscillation.

On my motocross bike hitting a rock at speed can induce some major head shake and the above advice is the only way to stay rubber side down.

Jon

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757676 11/30/18 11:38 pm
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Relaxing the grip on the bars when you're in a speed wobble? That's so counter-intuitive....it would be very hard to overcome the urge to hang on tight.

Some PO put 1 1/2 inch longer shocks on my Commando when I first go it. That thing would go into a wobble going down the road in a straight line. If you're having speed wobble problems, a little more trail might do the trick. I put a hydraulic steering damper on it and shorter shocks. Problem solved.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Steering damper [Re: edunham] #757687 12/01/18 1:07 am
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Taper rollers don't need pre-load any more than conventional steering head bearings. They merely need to be adjusted the same, such as there is no discernible play at the steering head. However this is a difficult judgement, and because many people will gauge play by yanking the forks (which includes various bush clearances), the steering head bearings will often be over-tightened. This will kill ball bearings, tapers have just a little more tolerance, but not much.
Adjust them to zero play at the steering head, I would recommend.

Re: Steering damper [Re: edunham] #757709 12/01/18 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by edunham
David,
I did something similar 30 years ago when I replaced the front end on my '71 triple after a collision. The later disc brake triple tree stem was not drilled for a damper, so the old damper went into a box. I do recall that it took me awhile to realize that the taper roller bearings need a pre-load, and just how much. Until I figured that out, the steering felt funny.

Ed from NJ

Thanks Ed,
I was just wondering if I should keep the damper on the conical front end once it's on the BSA.
I'll be converting the Trident to roller bearings when I swap the front ends.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Steering damper [Re: HawaiianTiger] #757726 12/01/18 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by HawaiianTiger
Relaxing the grip on the bars when you're in a speed wobble? That's so counter-intuitive....it would be very hard to overcome the urge to hang on tight.

Some PO put 1 1/2 inch longer shocks on my Commando when I first go it. That thing would go into a wobble going down the road in a straight line. If you're having speed wobble problems, a little more trail might do the trick. I put a hydraulic steering damper on it and shorter shocks. Problem solved.

Cheers,
Bill


When the Bonnie gets kind of 'squirrely' on very loose gravel (like where a road grader has passed recently), I find handling much better with a relaxed grip, even with the damper off. As long as I keep my gaze where I want to go, the Bonnie seems to know the way, even as she dances around.. Saves a lot of stress and fatigue on the arms and even the brain.


Bruce Miller
aka The Hermit
The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757728 12/01/18 2:16 pm
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My old Bonnie always found it's way home, even when I was so drunk i could hardly see the road.
That was fifty years ago. I doubt things would go that well today.

Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757742 12/01/18 6:05 pm
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,286

Years ago when I used to mountain bike the only way to stay in control on rocky down hill sections was to relax the hands and hold on with the your thighs. That allowed the front off the bike to wobble all over the place but generally kept you in a straight line. Once you tried to grip tight with your hands the front wheel would try and chuck you off. I guess the same applies during a tank slap?

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Steering damper [Re: brianpankow] #757768 12/01/18 10:03 pm
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,112
J
J. Charles Smith Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
J
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,112
I'm a big believer in steering dampers, but only the hydraulic variety. Their advantage, besides being more precisely adjustable, is that they are speed sensitive. So when you turn the bars, like when backing the bike into a parking space, they offer little resistance, but if you hit a bump in a curve, they resist that rapid shaking of the bars. Friction steering dampers are as old-tech as friction damped shock absorbers. But correct, of course.

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