Steering Damper For A Smoother Ride On Your Harley Dresser

SteeringDamperThe purpose of a steering damper is to stabilize the front fork and help offset any possible wobble. You see it installed on many types of bikes from Bobbers to Choppers, but never until now on touring bikes.

Custom Cycle Engineering has developed the 1st Steering Damper system specific to the Harley-Davidson Dresser models. Custom designed clamps and brackets position the Steering Stabilizer in the optimum location so the damper can be installed with minimum effort, parallel to the frame. Compatible with most Harley-Davidson FLH Dresser models up to 2009. Info at 760-941-6466 or visit Custom Cycle Engineering.

15 Responses to “Steering Damper For A Smoother Ride On Your Harley Dresser”

  1. 1 George Bradwell Nov 20th, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Does a HD tourer really need one of those?

  2. 2 Mike M Nov 20th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Sounds like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It may work on a trike application or a big wheel bike but the touring family of bikes has self-centering steering that would only be slowed down by a stabilizer.

  3. 3 Terence Tory Nov 20th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I doubt the dampener pictured would have enough dampening to prevent a big wobble on such a heavy bike as a bagger.Fitting two of the them both sides of the fork might work a little.A bagger that wobbles probably has way more chassis alignment and setup issues than just a dampener would “cure”.

  4. 4 Doc Robinson Nov 20th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Wrong, wrong, wrong – George, Mike and Terence have obviously not owned a pre-2009 bagger or if they have they have only ridden it like a shy girl might. George pre-2009 tourers badly need one of these, Mike, what planet are you living on? A problem that does not exist?? And Terence, Rick from CCE is an accomplished engineer who has developed many products that work and work well. All pre-2009 baggers wobble a lot, hence the huge success of True-Track and other rear end stabilizers in the marketplace over the years. And they help but don’t address the instability coming from the front end. I keep repeating pre-2009 because that is when the Motor Company brought out a new frame with a different motor mounting system that helped the problem quite a bit, tho didn’t totally overcome it. A lot of emphasis in the Rushmore Project went into this aspect and having ridden a Rushmore Ultra across Route 66 a few weeks ago I can say they have it nearly licked. Meanwhile, all you pre-2009 bagger riders out there give this product some serious consideration as it has the potential to transform your ride. Seriously.

  5. 5 Terence Tory Nov 20th, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Doc Robinson,that small Japanese sportbike style low oil capacity dampener unit pictured was never intended or designed for such a heavy bike as a modern bagger.A Hyperpro brand or Ohlins damper unit may help slightly.All of the different True-Track stabiliser setups make some improvement at great cost.I considered getting a recent model bagger as a personal ride but concluded that after throwing cash at the motor to have a little more power,reliability and exhaust sound it would still be a heavy slug on the highway.I’d have fitted better shocks and fork springs,maybe triple clamps,and then the list stretches all the way to the horizon.The end result would have been a heavy slow bagger that cost me plenty of coin for relatively little dynamic improvement.Get back to us when you have actually used the product,Doc.Slow down Doc,even after throwing mega bucks at your bagger you still can’t fool the laws of physics at high speed.

  6. 6 Ilene Nov 20th, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Well said Doc.

  7. 7 Mike M Nov 20th, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    My bad, my answer probably wasn’t complete enough. It’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist unless you are riding around on a bike with roached cleveblocs that doesn’t have it’s powertrain aligned, and doesn’t have the steering head adjusted properly. Sorry man, I just don’t believe in masking a problem. The whole ide behind having the fork tubes behind the steering tube is that the bike will naturally self center no matter what. The story for years was the test riders would set cruise wide open at the Talladega test facility with hands off the bars and hammer the bars to the locks. Bike would shake its head a couple of times, find center and go about its business. I ride like a shy girl so I never tried it that fast but years ago I decided to test it. I nudged the bike over at 90 mph up onto new asphalt that probably have a 4″ edge. Bike did as I was told it would, ever since then I never doubted it. I’m sure a bunch of people will put them on their bikes and it will stop the front end shake but it will also stop the front end from behaving the way it was engineered to. Steering dampers have been around forever and the FL has been around for 30 plus years with no damper, there is a reason.

  8. 8 .357 Magnum Nov 21st, 2013 at 2:47 am

    No, Doc, sorry. That’s all exactly wrong. My high-mile Road King and Ultra Classic have never exhibited the behavior you describe, and they’re both before 2009. And I’ve flogged them throuugh the finest switchbacks the Rocky Ountains have to offer, down 89A in Arizona, all over South Dakota… Perhaps if you hadn’t fucked yours up with oh-so-trendy clown-bike front wheels that require frame or triple tree mods? It’s just like I tell all the racer-wannabe sportbikers who gape at the high miles on my “obsolete” air-cooled pushrod bikes: if you NEED a steering damper, it’s because you ruined something on your bike. Stop that.

  9. 9 calif phil Nov 21st, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Doc has it right. There is a need for these and if it comes from CCE I am sure it is a quality product. While I don’t care for the looks of it hanging off my bike if it cured the wobbles I have when I push my bike hard I would sacrifice the form over function. I have been completely through my bikes , powertrain alignment, steering head bearings, swingarm bushings and rear fork bearings, wheel bearings, tires and so on and I can not cure the wobble. I have lost confidence in the corners with my bike.

  10. 10 Shanedrive Nov 21st, 2013 at 9:35 am

    My 2 cents:
    I’ve only tried this once and it was on a FLSTC, not a bagger. This particular softy would get the tank slapper blues. It is also a well known issue w/some of these model bikes. The issue on this bike was exasperated due to tall apes installed.

    One of my friends sitting in HD’s tech dept suggested I dynamic balance the wheels, just like a car………………….I’ve always just static balanced since the rims on bikes generally are very narrow. Balancing in my shop is done on my automotive ‘lectronic balancer using bike specific adapters.

    Well I’ll be dam*ed!! The tendency to shake (on this bike) went away. Who’d a thunk that’d do it? Like I said, I’ve only done this once, haven’t tried it on a death wobble bagger and due to the nature of the pre 09’ers “problem” i don’t know if dynamic balancing would help.

    Now gimme my 2 cents back!

  11. 11 WahlEGator Nov 21st, 2013 at 10:38 am

    My 02 FLHTC only wobbled a couple times around a 100.
    I allways thought I needed a steering dampner.
    I had a dampner on my 73 H2 and it helped that bike.
    I think a cheaper remedy would be to use the dampner off a HD trike.

  12. 12 Graeme Nov 21st, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I installed a Steering Dampner from a similiar high performance vechicle onto my FXR and it made a massive difference in the high speed sweepers. Dampner was from a GXSR 1000 and fitted really easy.

  13. 13 Peter Jones Nov 25th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Doc is right, right, right, and Mike and Terence are wrong and wrong again. …And I’m saying this while working for Öhlins USA, a company that doesn’t even have a competing application to this damper.

    There are many reasons why a bike might need a steering damper, and some of them have nothing to do with improper maintenance, tire balance, or alignment. Additionally, unless you do a stress test and dyno test on this damper, there’s no way to determine if it’s capable of handing the loads produced by a Bagger. Dissing this product as a “low-oil capacity damper” never intended for this bike is without factual basis or practical meaning. For instance, a tiny little plunger pushes against brake fluid and stops this bike; how crazy is that?

    In the field I’ve talked with hundreds of pre-and post-’09 owners, and many have specifically asked for a steering damper; some with fear in their eyes. Just because one bike of a specific model doesn’t have a head shake, other units can be unstable. Lastly, all motorcycles are designed to have the front wheel self center. But they don’t always behave as they’re supposed to. Sometimes the problem is simply a death grip of the rider that causes head shake. What are you going to do, shoot the rider?

    Like all of our competitors, we’re not allowed to shoot riders, but we are allowed to manufacture and distribute dampers. And anyway, it’s more of a sporting endeavor.

  14. 14 Terence Tory Nov 25th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Peter Jones,the “marketing guy”, at the US Ohlins importers.I’m not going to respond to all the assumptions and vague pseudo engineering babble.Comparing braking systems with oscillation dampeners? Going from the “technical” to the anecdotes of different riders?

    Next time send a technical guy from the factory and not a guy who’s job it is to shift them units out the door.

    This whole line of logic here regarding fine tuning of the high speed handling of grossly overweight heavy motorcycles discounts the fact that they are not designed or intended for extreme velocities in any case.Fear is a valuable teacher in the riding game:listen,learn or run away.Why do I see so many slammed and totalled modern baggers in single vehicle accidents:I’m listening.Learning a little too.

    I’ve rebuilt,fitted new seals and bled this type of “low oil capacity” Asian sourced steering damper many times,so maybe I have some idea on that type of unit.From that single picture it certainly seems to be that kind to me.

    Thanks for all the advice on a damper application that you don’t make or market.Some say it does not even exist.Like you did I guess.

  15. 15 Michael Apr 21st, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Please send me info to order for my 2014 Road King CVO. Will it fit???

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Cyril Huze