My slabby has a lively front end, so I’ve been wanting to fit a steering damper for ages. I even acquired the period Daytona fitting kit and damper however couldn’t get that to work with my USD front end. So, seeing as I wasn’t keen on modifying the frame to take a bolt-on side mounted damper the only option left was a 916-style fitment. Seeing as I’m running an Ohlins rear shock, the damper had to be Ohlins to match of course!
Whilst steering damper manufacturers don’t list fitting kits for oldskool bikes, it’s actually a simple matter of taking the measurements and then doing some research to find a suitable kit (or parts from several kits).
The measurements: (Note – some measurements are taken with internal vernier edges, some external. These are just shown to illustrate, you should of course check your own measurements carefully!)
A: Yoke nut centre to tank front mount centre
B: Top of tank mount to top of top yoke
C: Between centre of tank front mount bolts
D: Between LH lock and centre (then multiplied by 2)
I took a tape measure with me to bike meets, bike shops etc to measure up more modern bikes (with owners permissions of course when they were about!) and also bothered a few people selling kits on ‘that auction site’.
(750G with 400gk76a USD front end)
A: approx 50mm
B: approx 60mm
C: approx 50mm
D: approx 60mm
Things to note:
On my slabby, the damper is quite close (5-10mm) to the tank. Double, triple check all measurements to ensure it won’t foul anwwhere.
Source the fitting kit before buying a damper so that you can mock up and modify if necessary. Setting a good search on ‘that auction site’ makes this surprisingly easy and cost-effective.
For the damper stroke, obviously err on the side of slightly longer but not too long as it will look unbalanced.
I picked up a 2000-model H*nda Firebl*de Harris fitting kit from ‘that auction site’ for a whopping �20. Measurements were near-perfect as a 1-2mm on the tank mount, etc. is just fine. Only slight drawback was 30mm lower ‘B measurement’ so I acquired a 30mm tubular spacer.
My ‘D measurement’ (remember to multiply by 2 of course!) meant an approx 60mm stroke damper so I ordered a 63mm stroke Ohlins damper from BikeStuff (cheers Rich!).
In the pics below you can see the finished result. I’ve lost a tiny amount of right-lock, however, eventually I’ll get a spacer made up to under the tank-mount part which will solve that. All-in-all I’m well pleased!