Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 31 Old Jul 26th, 2012, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
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Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

By now, many of us have seen threads on how to tell when our steering damper is shot. Most of them talk about swinging bars from left to right and back quickly (whilst stopped, of course). If there is resistance that is not there when moving slowly, chances are the damper is doing its job.

Today, when I put on my new front tire and cleaned the forks, I saw copious amounts of fluid on one fork tube, originating from the damper. A great clue to damper failure indeed!

Paging Mr. CochinoSucio... Damper rebuild on line one...

Antony (Tripod)
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post #2 of 31 Old Jul 26th, 2012, 10:23 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Hey Tony, might want to recheck that leak. Mine was leaking and the air was blowing it all over the place. Turned out to be the slider tube seal. Not saying you're wrong, I would just check to be sure.


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post #3 of 31 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 1:21 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Hi people

I rebuilt mine last month when I was performing the bike's 80,000km service. Two new seals cost $1.62 each a few ml of oil. Perfect. Don't believe when BMW tells you they can't be rebuilt.

Cheers and kindest regards to all.

Paul Harrington
South Australia

1999 K1200LT Champagne "Bismarck"
1983 base K100 "Bavarian Belle"
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post #4 of 31 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 1:54 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Procedure writeup is due about now then, Paul....
hope you took pictures!

Chris
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post #5 of 31 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 5:59 am Thread Starter
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
Hey Tony, might want to recheck that leak. Mine was leaking and the air was blowing it all over the place. Turned out to be the slider tube seal. Not saying you're wrong, I would just check to be sure.
Good tip, Dean. Cheers!

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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post #6 of 31 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 6:02 am Thread Starter
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by harrowbmw
Hi people

I rebuilt mine last month when I was performing the bike's 80,000km service. Two new seals cost $1.62 each a few ml of oil. Perfect. Don't believe when BMW tells you they can't be rebuilt.

Cheers and kindest regards to all.

Paul Harrington
South Australia
Cheers, Paul.

One of the members here, CochinoSucio, rebuilds them for a nominal fee and he is local to me.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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post #7 of 31 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 8:27 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Checking for shot steering dampeners is actually quite easy: Put the bike on the center stand, have your wife sit on the back seat, so that the front is off the ground, then *QUICKLY* try to move the handle bars. You will feel and see and hear when the steering dampener kicks in. If the handlebars move more than 1" freely (you'll see what I mean) your steering dampener needs attention.
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post #8 of 31 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 11:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
Checking for shot steering dampeners is actually quite easy: Put the bike on the center stand, have your wife sit on the back seat, so that the front is off the ground, then *QUICKLY* try to move the handle bars. You will feel and see and hear when the steering dampener kicks in. If the handlebars move more than 1" freely (you'll see what I mean) your steering dampener needs attention.
Thanks, Andy. That is a better job of describing the process than I did in the opening post. I should have mentioned having my wife sit on the bike. Glad you caught it.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

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'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite - RIP 04 OCT 2015
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post #9 of 31 Old Nov 27th, 2012, 9:39 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Thanks yall. I tacked the steering damper and it works amazingly well. Cost me $7 qt 10w fork fluid, $6 seals, and about 1hr labor. The most difficult parts was them dam BMW lock tight trox bolt. Lots of heat in the right places and a good snap-on impact driver. Gotta take off the fender and front wheel!!!!!
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post #10 of 31 Old Nov 28th, 2012, 10:22 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

How BIG of a wife will I need??? I'm in the market for one.... if I ask a girlfriend to do it she'll say I'm insinuating that she's fat!

Randy

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post #11 of 31 Old Nov 28th, 2012, 11:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_ryder1964
How BIG of a wife will I need??? I'm in the market for one.... if I ask a girlfriend to do it she'll say I'm insinuating that she's fat!
Fortunately, not very big at all. I have a spare kevlar vest you might borrow if your GF is a bit on the sensitive side.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

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post #12 of 31 Old Nov 28th, 2012, 2:53 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Can one expect tainted results if one's GF or Daughter is perched on the bike? Or, just to be sure, should one start looking for the number of the local rent-a-wife? Just for accuracy, of course.

DW
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post #13 of 31 Old Nov 28th, 2012, 3:36 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Lets see what was this post about again
Just kinding ;I do have a wife for rent ;help pay for the trip to CCR.
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post #14 of 31 Old Nov 28th, 2012, 6:24 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

You don't need anyone to sit on the bike, just put your case of beer in the top case. That 'll do it. (burp)

John
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post #15 of 31 Old Mar 17th, 2013, 10:20 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by e7navy1999
Thanks yall. I tacked the steering damper and it works amazingly well. Cost me $7 qt 10w fork fluid, $6 seals, and about 1hr labor. The most difficult parts was them dam BMW lock tight trox bolt. Lots of heat in the right places and a good snap-on impact driver. Gotta take off the fender and front wheel!!!!!
Do you have a link or suggestion where to buy the seals? (in the USA preferably)

sorry if it is posted somewhere on the site.... I haven't searched extensively...

thanks.

True Wisdom Only Comes From Pain.


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post #16 of 31 Old May 22nd, 2013, 9:07 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Ok... Im sorry call me dumb...

If I set the bike on the center stand and I lift the fnt tire off the ground and I flap the bars left and right the dampner should so what???

Stop it??
slow it??
maybe mine has never worked and I dont know what it should feel like or what it should do..

Could someone be very clear ... ty


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post #17 of 31 Old May 22nd, 2013, 6:29 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

With the wheel off the deck, if you might the bars slowly left /right/left you shouldn't feel any real resistance.
If you move them violently left/right/left you should feel it stiffen up and harder to make the movements. If you don't feel any increased resistance, its likely the damper is shot, so needs repair or replace.

I just installed a Hyperpro Reactive damper on mine, and I can now feel the resistance increase in relation to the amount of left/right movement.. plus that's adjustable compared to the OEM thats either active or it isn't.. Hyperpro make a similar one they call constant dampening.
Have a look here for some graphs & info of how these things work...

Chris
Sydney, NSW
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post #18 of 31 Old May 24th, 2013, 5:15 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
With the wheel off the deck, if you might the bars slowly left /right/left you shouldn't feel any real resistance.
If you move them violently left/right/left you should feel it stiffen up and harder to make the movements. If you don't feel any increased resistance, its likely the damper is shot, so needs repair or replace.

I just installed a Hyperpro Reactive damper on mine, and I can now feel the resistance increase in relation to the amount of left/right movement.. plus that's adjustable compared to the OEM thats either active or it isn't.. Hyperpro make a similar one they call constant dampening.
Have a look here for some graphs & info of how these things work...
Yep, its doing nothing that I can see. With the tire off the ground and a movement left & right I dont feel anything.

Is there a kit to rebuild it? or just buy a new one?
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post #19 of 31 Old May 24th, 2013, 5:39 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00K1200LT
Yep, its doing nothing that I can see. With the tire off the ground and a movement left & right I dont feel anything.

Is there a kit to rebuild it? or just buy a new one?
Well, while posts #3, 6, and 9 doesn't answer if a kit's available, they do address your second question.
Perhaps posts divisible by 3 evade you?
All kidding aside, welcome to the forum.

Jeff
Big D is my neck of the woods

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prior:
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post #20 of 31 Old May 24th, 2013, 5:52 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00K1200LT
Yep, its doing nothing that I can see. With the tire off the ground and a movement left & right I dont feel anything.

Is there a kit to rebuild it? or just buy a new one?
Were you slamming it back and forward, or just moving the handle bars left/right....?
If slamming it like in a tank-slapper and it doesn't stiffen up at all, then I'd probably buy a new one... But at over $360 that's just me....
Eg. http://pirateslair.net/Hyperpro.htm

Chris
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post #21 of 31 Old May 31st, 2013, 11:18 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Ok.. get this..... As of today Im going down the freeway and man the bars are hard to move... I just had both tires done and I dont think they did a good tire balance... every time I get to 40 mph I can feel the bars get real tight.

So Im thinking that damper is good to go and its working... Thats not the problem anymore...

Something in that new tire is just WRONG... really wrong... man I thought it was bad before, anything over 60 and you can feel her dancing left and right... also maybe a speed wobble..
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post #22 of 31 Old May 31st, 2013, 11:34 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00K1200LT
Ok.. get this..... As of today Im going down the freeway and man the bars are hard to move... I just had both tires done and I dont think they did a good tire balance... every time I get to 40 mph I can feel the bars get real tight.

So Im thinking that damper is good to go and its working... Thats not the problem anymore...

Something in that new tire is just WRONG... really wrong... man I thought it was bad before, anything over 60 and you can feel her dancing left and right... also maybe a speed wobble..
Does "just had both tyres done" mean you had new tyres installed?
If so, check that the red dot on the sidewall is lined up with the tyre air valve... Then have a look see how much weight has been added to each of the wheels to balance them. I just put a new tyre on front and had to put 6x1/4oz weights to balance it, which seemed excessive at the time. I also use slime which helps self-balance the tyres also.
There's some other things can affect.... Did they "bounce" the reinstalled front before tightening the fork clamp bolts ? This ensures the wheel is seated correctly, afaik.
What tyres did you get installed?

Chris
Sydney, NSW
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post #23 of 31 Old Jun 1st, 2013, 12:04 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Does "just had both tyres done" mean you had new tyres installed?
If so, check that the red dot on the sidewall is lined up with the tyre air valve... Then have a look see how much weight has been added to each of the wheels to balance them. I just put a new tyre on front and had to put 6x1/4oz weights to balance it, which seemed excessive at the time. I also use slime which helps self-balance the tyres also.
There's some other things can affect.... Did they "bounce" the reinstalled front before tightening the fork clamp bolts ? This ensures the wheel is seated correctly, afaik.
What tyres did you get installed?
FRNT:
The dot on the side is about a inch or so pass the stem and has 2 - number 5's on it.

REAR:
The dot & stem are right on and has 7 number 5's about 2 inchs from the stem & dot.

The only thing I guess I didnt do was..." Did they "bounce" the reinstalled front before tightening the fork clamp bolts ?" I did the install and NO.. and how should I do that...
push the forks down? or bounce the tire on the ground???

edit: both tires are:
Bridestone BT-020-m
120/70B17
160/70B17
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post #24 of 31 Old Jun 1st, 2013, 12:57 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

" Press down on the forks and release them; repeat this ac-
tion several times and then tighten the pinch
bolts (2, 5)."


Removing and installing front wheel

– Remove front section of front mudguard.
a
.................................................. ..See Group 46
e
Caution:
Avoid scratching the wheel rim; if necessary mask
off the brake caliper. Do not tilt the brake caliper.
L
Note:
Do not actuate the handbrake lever with brake cali-
pers removed or front wheel removed.

Support the motorcycle under its engine so that
the front wheel is clear of the ground, but the
motorcycle is not unstable.

Remove left and right brake calipers.

Remove hex screw (6).

Slacken pinch bolts (2, 5) in telescopic forks.

Remove quick-release axle (1), noting bearing
cover (3) and spacer bushing (4).

Remove front wheel.

Installation is the reverse of the removal proce-
dure: pay particular attention to the following.

Grease the quick-release axle (1) and bearing
cover (3) lightly with
Shell Retinax EP2
.
L
Note:
Begin by tightening the quick-release axle (1). Press
down on the forks and release them; repeat this ac-
tion several times and then tighten the pinch
bolts (2, 5).
– Check/adjust ABS sensor gap.
a
.................................................. ..See Group 34
ABS sensor
gap, front
........... 0.45...0.55 mm (0.018...0.022 in)
X
Tightening torques:
Quick-release axle ....................................... 30 Nm
Quick-release axle pinch bolts ..................... 21 Nm
Brake caliper to fork slider tube.................... 40 Nm

Chris
Sydney, NSW
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post #25 of 31 Old Jun 1st, 2013, 12:59 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
" Press down on the forks and release them; repeat this ac-
tion several times and then tighten the pinch
bolts (2, 5)."


Removing and installing front wheel

– Remove front section of front mudguard.
a
.................................................. ..See Group 46
e
Caution:
Avoid scratching the wheel rim; if necessary mask
off the brake caliper. Do not tilt the brake caliper.
L
Note:
Do not actuate the handbrake lever with brake cali-
pers removed or front wheel removed.

Support the motorcycle under its engine so that
the front wheel is clear of the ground, but the
motorcycle is not unstable.

Remove left and right brake calipers.

Remove hex screw (6).

Slacken pinch bolts (2, 5) in telescopic forks.

Remove quick-release axle (1), noting bearing
cover (3) and spacer bushing (4).

Remove front wheel.

Installation is the reverse of the removal proce-
dure: pay particular attention to the following.

Grease the quick-release axle (1) and bearing
cover (3) lightly with
Shell Retinax EP2
.
L
Note:
Begin by tightening the quick-release axle (1). Press
down on the forks and release them; repeat this ac-
tion several times and then tighten the pinch
bolts (2, 5).
– Check/adjust ABS sensor gap.
a
.................................................. ..See Group 34
ABS sensor
gap, front
........... 0.45...0.55 mm (0.018...0.022 in)
X
Tightening torques:
Quick-release axle ....................................... 30 Nm
Quick-release axle pinch bolts ..................... 21 Nm
Brake caliper to fork slider tube.................... 40 Nm

Have that on the computer... wow..
ty
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post #26 of 31 Old Jul 13th, 2013, 4:56 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

Update: (Whats New)
After removing of the steering damper and refilling it with 20ml 5w fork oil, my problem was fixed with the hard steering. But the over all problem had nothing to do with the front of the bike.

The vibration in the front forks and shifting of the front was due to the final drive.

Problem:
The final drive crown bearing had slop in it, about 10 to 25 thousand’s or so play. The shifting of the rear tire had a feeling as if the front was shifting.

Pushing down on the forks has noting to do with the changing of the tire. If you removed the center post then you would have need to push down on the forks to reline them. This wasn’t the case as I never removed the center post.

Also the suspension was also a problem as the preloader would not hold oil. I refilled it many times but it just leaked out.. some oil fairy took it.. there was never even a drop the ever showed that is was leaking. The new upgrade helped 100% with the ride.

Cow bell was also fixed and sticky rear brake.

Average MPG 36 have yet to see 40 mpg
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post #27 of 31 Old Aug 13th, 2013, 8:28 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

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Update: (Whats New)
After removing of the steering damper and refilling it with 20ml 5w fork oil, my problem was fixed with the hard steering. But the over all problem had nothing to do with the front of the bike.

The vibration in the front forks and shifting of the front was due to the final drive.

Problem:
The final drive crown bearing had slop in it, about 10 to 25 thousand’s or so play. The shifting of the rear tire had a feeling as if the front was shifting.

Pushing down on the forks has noting to do with the changing of the tire. If you removed the center post then you would have need to push down on the forks to reline them. This wasn’t the case as I never removed the center post.

Also the suspension was also a problem as the preloader would not hold oil. I refilled it many times but it just leaked out.. some oil fairy took it.. there was never even a drop the ever showed that is was leaking. The new upgrade helped 100% with the ride.

Cow bell was also fixed and sticky rear brake.

Average MPG 36 have yet to see 40 mpg
Final drive was rebuild and a bad rim or bad tire is also the problem. Its been hard to find the problem.. why? many things happen all at one time.. new tires. was told to if there was play in the final drive that it needed to be done. final drive was done and now after weeks of putting the bike back together and a test ride shows that one problem is done but there was a shake.. I checked the rear rim to find that it was 15 thous out.. I had the bike on the center sand and put the bike in gear. Noted that the tire was not rolling right... will try and get some video of that. ASAP..
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post #28 of 31 Old Aug 14th, 2013, 7:23 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

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Fortunately, not very big at all. I have a spare kevlar vest you might borrow if your GF is a bit on the sensitive side.
Play it safe.........pick up a good sized bag of dog food...............



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post #29 of 31 Old Oct 12th, 2014, 11:59 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

So did I miss it? I need to rebuild damper and I don't know where to get the parts. I have been reading post, but I can't seem to find parts #'s or where to find them. Need this awesome machine smooth again.

2003 K1200LTC
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post #30 of 31 Old Oct 12th, 2014, 5:44 pm
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

I can't recall if Kirk actually lists (or mentions) the parts, but here's his service video for the damper
BMW K1200LT Steering Damper Service & Rebuild

Chris
Sydney, NSW
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic K1200LT
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(sold 2019)
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post #31 of 31 Old Oct 13th, 2014, 10:32 am
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Re: Another way to tell if your steering damper is shot

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Originally Posted by Sheradan View Post
So did I miss it? I need to rebuild damper and I don't know where to get the parts. I have been reading post, but I can't seem to find parts #'s or where to find them. Need this awesome machine smooth again.
They are a standard single lipped seal 10x20x7 mm. One possible source that I have used before on other small metric sizes.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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