Video: Do you really need a steering damper?
Tank Slappers, steering wobbles, shimmy, speed wobble, and even death wobble are all names of the same dangerous situation that can happen to any motorcycle rider, especially for all the sportsbike fanatics. That is not at all a nice feeling when out of nowhere your bike starts wobbling like a maniac and there is very little that you could do.
It needs a lot of skill to get back your bike in control and a huge load of luck. But then there is a magical device does all that work for you: Steering dampers.
Sports bikes have a short wheelbase and an aggressive steering geometry to provide the ability to make very quick changes in direction. But this also has its harmful effect on operation making the bike less stable, more prone to feedback from uneven road surfaces, and more difficult to control.
Interrupting this fast wobbling are the steering dampers that work on a simple principle of hydraulic fluids having resistance flowing through small holes. We’ll leave the technicalities for a later date. But for now, check if you need one on your bike. It might be the lucky device saving your life one day.