Steering Damper - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 8:39 am Thread Starter
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Steering Damper

With the bike on the center stand, and the weight off of the front wheel (supported with a jack), if I steer left to right rather aggressively, the damper comes into effect about 1/3 of the way to the steer lock. Should the effect be immediate?
What are the symptoms of a defective steering damper? Might this cause an oscillation?
John Baker...I might be riding up in the fall. We might be able to have that cup of coffee. I'll keep you posted.

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post #2 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Re: Steering Damper

That is the way it should work. Not 1/3rd though, should be something more like 1/4th. It should have no affect for small moves, it is to stop oscillation at the normal frequency of the steering from developing into a "tank slapper".

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post #3 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 3:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Damper

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Originally Posted by dshealey View Post
That is the way it should work. Not 1/3rd though, should be something more like 1/4th. It should have no affect for small moves, it is to stop oscillation at the normal frequency of the steering from developing into a "tank slapper".
Okay then...damper is as i should be. Gonna re-torque the pivot pins to 10-12 NM (as Chris Harris suggests) and see if that does anything.

Thanks...

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post #4 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 4:21 pm
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Re: Steering Damper

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Originally Posted by FatStrat View Post
With the bike on the center stand, and the weight off of the front wheel (supported with a jack), if I steer left to right rather aggressively, the damper comes into effect about 1/3 of the way to the steer lock. Should the effect be immediate?
What are the symptoms of a defective steering damper? Might this cause an oscillation?
John Baker...I might be riding up in the fall. We might be able to have that cup of coffee. I'll keep you posted.

FS

PS,
John Z...Heal well Brother.
Most steering dampers are sensitive to velocity, not displacement. They should not have much affect on even aggressive steering. They should only kick in for unusually high velocity such as hitting something on the side of the tire or a rapid dynamic instability oscillation. It is simply taking you 1/3 of the way to get enough velocity to activate the damping.

With the bike well supported and with a well padded glove, try giving one grip a really sharp rap with your palm. Don't break your hand or tip the bike over, but I am guessing you will feel resistance much sooner.

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post #5 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 5:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Damper

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Most steering dampers are sensitive to velocity, not displacement. They should not have much affect on even aggressive steering. They should only kick in for unusually high velocity such as hitting something on the side of the tire or a rapid dynamic instability oscillation. It is simply taking you 1/3 of the way to get enough velocity to activate the damping.

With the bike well supported and with a well padded glove, try giving one grip a really sharp rap with your palm. Don't break your hand or tip the bike over, but I am guessing you will feel resistance much sooner.
Aha...it is as you say. Assuming that the damper is as it should be, I went looking in other areas. Doing the 3 and 9 o'clock wiggle test, there was a slight movement, augmented with a slight clunk from the FD unit. I then watched a Chris Harris video where he claims that BMW was a little conservative with the pivot pin torque values. He suggests 10-12 NM instead of 7NM that BMW recommends. I set the torque on the pivot pins to 11NM and went for a ride, doing many stops and starts in the process. The problem has disappeared. There is peace in the valley again! The problem was so bad prior to the fix that I was bordering on vertigo from the chaotic motion.
After doing a search on this subject, I found that I'm not alone with this oscillation and wobble business. This was an easy, no cost fix. I would recommend that you guys that have this problem to eventually work this adjustment into your criteria while searching for the cure. Worked for me.

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post #6 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 8:51 pm
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Re: Steering Damper

Pivot pins ? Are we talking about the damper unit attachments here, or is this about the steering pivots ? Torque values are quite low so I am curious.

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post #7 of 7 Old Apr 5th, 2014, 9:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Damper

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Originally Posted by K100Dennis View Post
Pivot pins ? Are we talking about the damper unit attachments here, or is this about the steering pivots ? Torque values are quite low so I am curious.
My apologies. I should have explained better. After eliminating the damper as the source of the oscillation / wobble, I began to look in other areas. I found a small amount of side to side play in the FD using the 3 o'clock / 9 o'clock test. Having pulled the drain plug on the FD and saw no evidence of a failure I then re-torqued the adjustable FD pivot pin to 11NM. No more wobble.

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