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Thread: Scotts steering damper

  1. #1
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    Got a Scotts steering damper for the Baja. After some emails back and forth with the company, it seemed like (1) the XR250R kit would work on the Baja, and (2) a sub mount would not work without a custom top bridge.

    To keep things simple, I followed the company's recommendation and went with the standard mount kit. I am currently having it installed at Sakurai Honda, where one minor problem emerged: The stock top bridge overhangs the bolt-on pin mount ring, so that any time I want to change the oil in the bike, I would have to remove the entire top bridge to remove the pin mount assembly, which replaces the stock oil cap.

    So, to fix this problem, they are grinding down one spot on the outside of the mounting ring so that the ring clears the top bridge for easy removal. (In the instructions, Scotts says this grinding is sometimes necessary, depending on the model of bike.)

    Another minor issue is that my aftermarket crossbar doesn't leave enough room below it for the damper. So I've tossed the crossbar and will look for one that mounts higher up on the bars.

    Once it's all set (hopefully in time for the JNCC race this weekend), I'll post up a user review. Eventually, if it's working well, I might get a custom top bridge made so I can go with a sub mount (for greater rigidity) and a forward mount or weld-on mount (to keep the oil cap free and clear for easy oil filling).
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a good reason to go with a fat bar and just eliminate the crossbar altogether.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinrider View Post
    Sounds like a good reason to go with a fat bar and just eliminate the crossbar altogether.
    Renthal, or ProTaper fat bars are the way to go. There will be no interference with the damper, they're much stronger (I've never managed to bend a pair) and also damp vibration and shock better. The only downside is you would need to purchase 1.125" lower bar mounts and a 1.125" Scotts top mount bar clamp.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinrider View Post
    Sounds like a good reason to go with a fat bar and just eliminate the crossbar altogether.
    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    Renthal, or ProTaper fat bars are the way to go. There will be no interference with the damper, they're much stronger (I've never managed to bend a pair) and also damp vibration and shock better. The only downside is you would need to purchase 1.125" lower bar mounts and a 1.125" Scotts top mount bar clamp.
    Indeed. Except the Baja risers (i.e., lower bar mounts) and top bridge are a single chunk of metal, so I can't just swap in new risers that would fit a fat bar.

    If I end up going with a custom top bridge later on, I would definitely have the risers made to fit a fat bar.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  5. #5
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    It might be easier just to get something Orange instead.The Scotts sub mount bolted straight on mine


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    It might be easier just to get something Orange instead.The Scotts sub mount bolted straight on mine
    If I can just narrow down the price differential between a top bridge and a KTM, that could work...
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  7. #7
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    Installed and lookin' good:




    Here's the bit they had to file down (it's the top of the thick metal ring):




    Will be trying it out this Sunday!
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  8. #8
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    The tower pin is poking out of the damper arm too far. Press the pin down so it only sticks out about 1mm or so. What are you going to do about the handlebar crossbar?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Scotts steering damper

    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    The tower pin is poking out of the damper arm too far. Press the pin down so it only sticks out about 1mm or so.
    Will try that when I get home tonight. I can just push it down with my finger, no tools required? (And what does it matter how much it sticks out, anyway?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    What are you going to do about the handlebar crossbar?
    Will look for one that clears the damper, but may not have one in time for Sunday.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  10. #10
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    You should be able to tap the pin down gently with a small hammer so that it just pokes out the top of the damper arm slot. You should also check that they greased the pin when they installed it in the tower. Also make sure the damper arm is not resting on the pin collar. It you're not sure about it I can check it out on Sunday before the race...

    Regarding the handlebars, without a crossbar you are likely to bend the bars if you drop the bike. As mentioned previously, your best bet is to figure out how to mount some fat bars (1-1/8"). These don't require a crossbar and are very strong...

  11. #11
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    Looking at the photo more carefully, it looks as though the tower is bolted on to the oil filler too high up. Try loosening the tower pinch bolt and see if you can push it down further.

  12. #12
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    Look at this photo for reference. The tower is much lower down:


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    You should be able to tap the pin down gently with a small hammer so that it just pokes out the top of the damper arm slot. You should also check that they greased the pin when they installed it in the tower. Also make sure the damper arm is not resting on the pin collar. It you're not sure about it I can check it out on Sunday before the race...
    They did grease it. Would still like to have you check it over before the race. I would rather you make any adjustments since you seem to know what you're doing; I will watch and learn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    Regarding the handlebars, without a crossbar you are likely to bend the bars if you drop the bike. As mentioned previously, your best bet is to figure out how to mount some fat bars (1-1/8"). These don't require a crossbar and are very strong...
    Well, since I never drop, that won't be a problem. But seriously, I will get a crossbar ASAP but maybe not by Sunday. Fat bars would be even better, but they would require an entirely new custom top bridge and mount, which obviously is not an option for Sunday's race.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  14. #14
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    They did grease it. Would still like to have you check it over before the race. I would rather you make any adjustments since you seem to know what you're doing; I will watch and learn.


    Well, since I never drop, that won't be a problem. But seriously, I will get a crossbar ASAP but maybe not by Sunday. Fat bars would be even better, but they would require an entirely new custom top bridge and mount, which obviously is not an option for Sunday's race.
    Shame I live way out here...I have a spare cross member (and bars) I took off the WRR when I installed Pro Tapers...
    ...speak softly and pack an obscenely large hammer...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT Rider View Post
    Shame I live way out here...I have a spare cross member (and bars) I took off the WRR when I installed Pro Tapers...

    Post it chaku barai.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT Rider View Post
    Shame I live way out here...I have a spare cross member (and bars) I took off the WRR when I installed Pro Tapers...
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinrider View Post
    Post it chaku barai.
    Thanks, that is a very helpful and generous offer. And chaku-barai shipping (i.e., postage paid by me on delivery) would definitely get it here in time. The only question is whether that cross member mounts high enough on the bars to clear the damper.

    I could measure the height of the damper tonight and see how much clearance is needed. Or else I could just go to a bike shop on Saturday and try out different cross members and/or bars, looking for a combo that definitely fits.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markw View Post
    Looking at the photo more carefully, it looks as though the tower is bolted on to the oil filler too high up. Try loosening the tower pinch bolt and see if you can push it down further.

    I don't think you're supposed to push it down any further. The photo you posted may not show what the tower is supposed to look like when actually installed. Here's a PDF file of the installation instructions: http://www.scottsonline.com/litrack/174.pdf

    Note this part:

    The frame bracket doesn't need to drop all the way down on the neck, only about .050" of the frame bracket will grab the filler neck, the thickness of a dime.

    And also this part:

    The frame bracket should slide all the way down over the aluminum plug and just .050” or so over the top of the oil filler neck. The small bite on the neck will keep the damper from trying to unscrew the aluminum plug during use.

    So I think maybe your first idea, to tap down the pin, is the way to go.

    UPDATE: Who knows? Maybe my ring is not even grabbing the oil filler neck at all, but is seated way up grabbing only the aluminum plug! Will have to check, but in any case would definitely like you do take a look at it on Sunday before the race...
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  18. #18
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    OK. It's clear now. We can adjust it on Sunday morning...

  19. #19
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    Default Scotts steering damper

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Thanks, that is a very helpful and generous offer. And chaku-barai shipping (i.e., postage paid by me on delivery) would definitely get it here in time. The only question is whether that cross member mounts high enough on the bars to clear the damper.

    I could measure the height of the damper tonight and see how much clearance is needed. Or else I could just go to a bike shop on Saturday and try out different cross members and/or bars, looking for a combo that definitely fits.
    With the time available, if I were in your position, I'd just go to a shop and fit/buy, as you suggested...
    ...speak softly and pack an obscenely large hammer...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT Rider View Post
    With the time available, if I were in your position, I'd just go to a shop and fit/buy, as you suggested...
    Will do; thanks again for the offer anyway.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

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