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Old 08-15-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
Carless
 
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Headshake / Steering Dampener

Has anybody notice a need for a steering dampener on the Bandit 1250? It seems that if I take my hands off the bars at moderate speeds I notice some shaking. I'm scared this could get ugly if I hit a bump leaned over at 100 mph.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Don't take your hands off the bars? Especially not at 100 mph!

In general, I think most people don't feel there's a need for a steering damper on the Bandit. The fork geometry is pretty conservative, and the bike's quite stable. If you're getting head shake, before investing money in something to cover it up, I'd look for the cause. Check tire pressures. Make sure the front axle and clamps are aligned and torqued as per the manual, that the tire's balanced, mounted evenly, and not out of round. Check sag, front and rear, and make sure the damping in the rear is set properly. (A wagging rear end can be felt as head shake). Check the steering head bearings (tightness and lubrication),
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:32 PM   #3
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

yep, I agree, it's something causing it. Mine did it when my rims were bent or tires worn out.

Otherwise I CAN tell you it is fine up to 145 mph at Road A - I "waved" at a guy I passed while "adjusting" my gloves (he kept stuffing me in the corners).
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Cool, thanks for the confirmation. I'll start going through the checklist.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Don't overlook yourself as one of the variables


To tight of a grip, stiff tight arms lead to headshake as well. Also too loose fitting riding gear can cause some shoulder movement at high speeds that could induce this.

I have ridden a couple of the newer Bandits and they felt very planted at triple diget speeds. If you feel it's the bike check steering head and swing arm bearings first, then check your suspension sag. If the bike is not set up for your weight it may be riding at the top of it's stroke and would feel unsettled at speed.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:35 PM   #6
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Tires is the culprit more than likely. I had a small bit of head shake with one set of tires on the Bandit. Forgot what ones. Also had the same problem with my ';02 BMW R1150GS after putting a new set of Tourance's on in Maine that year. Once I changed out tires on both bikes, it was gone.
LOL, I've never let the bars go at 100 mph but have done many miles at 75 and 80 occupied with my hands else where besides the bars. But , the roads are great, the traffic is null, and I have many miles doing this on many different bikes. But, I could eat it tomorrow doing the same thing. Such is life.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:58 PM   #7
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I have a 07 bandit 1250 and had a headshake at moderate speeds also. I replaced the tires still there doing anything over 35 up to 90 or so at which I didn't go faster.. I then took it in to the shop had it checked over and nothing came up.. I then took my whole front end to a frame straightening place and it was all good... but noticed my head bearing adjustment was hand tight... I properly put it back together and it rode smoother than it ever had in the 4000 miles I've owned it.. now its a great $4000 bike.

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Old 08-16-2011, 07:00 AM   #8
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Rear shock damping needs to be more aggressive....

or you can try cranking up the preload.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

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Originally Posted by azdabear View Post
but noticed my head bearing adjustment was hand tight... I properly put it back together and it rode smoother than it ever had in the 4000 miles I've owned it.. now its a great $4000 bike.

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I forgot that I had that problem on a '77 GS750 Suzuki I was attempting to road race back in the day. But, I had forgot to set it when putting it back together. Trying to do too many things at one time that day. Sigh!
Vahla, set it at the track and the dang thing quit headshaking all over the place.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:56 AM   #10
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

i had scotts on mine. didn't need it. took it off and felt nothing different. put the money in racetec springs and gold valve.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:31 PM   #11
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStreak View Post
Don't take your hands off the bars? Especially not at 100 mph!........
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:20 PM   #12
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Never thought this bike was even close to ever needing a steering damper...However, and this is not to poke fun or sarcasm, taking your hands off the bars is not a method for determining the need for a steering damper...Believe me, if your bike needs a steering damper you won't have to take your hands off the bars to figure it out...If you do have to take your hands off the bar to get some wiggle then guess what, you probably do not need one.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:18 AM   #13
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

I take my hands off the handlebars all the time, safety nazis be ****!

Seriously, take head shake as an indication that you have some work to do with your bike's suspension influenced geometry.... not because we were picking our nose (with BOTH hands) while riding.

When running sans top box, after I had my rear shock serviced.... I had a front-end wobble at 48mph (yes, when I took both of my hands off the handlebars). My after-market shock has a single knob that adjusts BOTH the rebound & compression damping; tightening that up took care of my front-end wiggle. No problems at any speed since......

DON'T use a steering damper as a band-aid for an existing problem! Modern motorcycles don't 'need' steering dampers..... On the other hand, a modern RACING motorcycle with VERY aggressive rake/geometry, can benefit from a damper if for some reason the racer crests a hill, wiggles to avoid another racer, and upsets his suspension.... or some other anomaly that is out of the ordinary at absurdly high speeds.

Oh yeah, and to piss off the safety nazis some more, I also stand on my foot pegs to pick the underware outa my butt on occasion. If Rossi can do it, I can too!

Last edited by GregH; 08-19-2011 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Edited for content by Moderator.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:07 AM   #14
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

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Oh yeah, and to piss off the safety nazis off some more, I also stand on my foot pegs to pick the underware outa my butt on occasion.

You are not alone.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:31 AM   #15
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

I stand up to cool of my nether regions. I don't see that as a safety issue unless you're doing it while leaned over in a corner, or in rush hour traffic.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:36 PM   #16
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

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Originally Posted by BlueStreak View Post
I stand up to cool of my nether regions. I don't see that as a safety issue unless you're doing it while leaned over in a corner, or in rush hour traffic.
Or while taking your hands off of the bars...
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:41 PM   #17
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStreak View Post
I stand up to cool of my nether regions. I don't see that as a safety issue unless you're doing it while leaned over in a corner, or in rush hour traffic.
I stand up all the time in traffic and I'm usually given a spot when I do it.
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Ride free and live hard because you’ll never know when you’ll be called up for that final ride!

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Old 08-21-2011, 02:03 AM   #18
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I stand up to let some blood back into my butt cheeks no matter how fast I'm going. Its better with the gsx650f seat but not much.

I also find myself letting go more often now just to make sure my head bearings are tight enough.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:30 AM   #19
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Hi I recently notice a vibration in the front changed tire and still had the vibration I rebalance the tire and still had it but not as bad made my hands go numb how do I check the alignment on the bike ?
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:33 PM   #20
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Re: Headshake / Steering Dampener

Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley View Post
Tires is the culprit more than likely. I had a small bit of head shake with one set of tires on the Bandit. Forgot what ones. Also had the same problem with my ';02 BMW R1150GS after putting a new set of Tourance's on in Maine that year. Once I changed out tires on both bikes, it was gone.
Totally agree, most every time someone has head shake it’s toasty tires.
ESPECIALLY when they run two rears for every front (something I NEVER do).
The fronts are so cupped it’s a wonder they even go straight down the road.
Not saying that’s the OP’s issue, I’ve just seen the cause and effect so many times.
While “sharpening” the handling by dropping the front and raising the adjustable height Penske shock 10 mm it did get a bit squirrely and would wag its head a bit under stage two drives out of corners. I backed it down a few mm in the rear and now it’s planted with all that steel frame can muster.
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