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It was bleeding fluid, but not fuel. Just a small drip onto the header pipe, no worries.
The Sebac units are friction-controlled and contain no fluid, but grease and water often combine with the friction material as it wears and can ooze out. My '60 BMW R-60 had a friction damper that was equally as useless. If you encounter steering instability in conditions that you commonly ride in, I would suggest a hydraulic steering damper. The difference over the Sebac item is substantial...like the difference between a modern hydraulic fork and a friction-damped girder.
That plus the stock damper can be dangerous when it wears and wants to bind. Pretty cheesy setup. The other thing is friction dampers have the greatest resistance when not moving. Hydraulic dampers increase resistance the faster they move. I agree if you have a flat police style fairing use a damper, otherwise not really needed. Never had an issue with wobble on a Tonti framed bike even flat out in 5th with no damper.Pete
I answered this in the "Maybe 750cc is Adequate..." thread, but basically I said the same as Frans. The stock unit is a friction variant. If your California has fuel injection and the damper was leaking, it wasn't original. Californias with large windshields will benefit from a decent hydraulic steering damper. Passing trucks, riding in crosswinds, and riding grooved pavement can initiate oscillations that a good damper can limit. The stock damper is just a bit of sporty bling that marketers used to separate the Cali from other power-cruisers. As usual, if you want great performance you have to pay for it...
I wonder if you can share which model did you get, SDK or SDR? How hard is it to install and properly adjust?I have 2009 California Vintage (10,000 km) and experience small vibrations/oscillations on the handlebar when above 110 kph. In your opinion SDR model will help to reduce/eliminate the problem. I put new set of tires last August and front wheel was re-balanced twice by dealer but the problem persists. Thanks.
That big windshield has nearly as much leverage on the forks as the bike�s handlebars. The buffeting air from trucks or crosswinds create unintended steering inputs that can cycle in increasingly broader oscillations that can escalate into a tank slapper. At the least this is disconcerting, but at its worst it can be very dangerous. An unevenly installed windshield or an overloaded top case can initiate these wobbles, also.Before purchasing a new damper, have your front wheel checked for proper runout. The flange of my bike�s front wheel was bent out a bit by a hamfisted tire installer (me) and I had all manner of steering problems until I got it straightened. Wheel assemblies with excessive runout will still balance, so be sure to look for a part of the rim that passes closer to a fixed point (like a fender stay) than the rest of the wheel. Be sure to check both the left and right sides.I�m not sure which model Matris damper I purchased. It was the only one offered by MG Cycle. I believe it is the SDK. The install was a bit of an adventure, as the shaft of the damper was a little long for the bracketry provided with my Vintage, causing it to bump the valve cover at full lock. I created more space by inserting a spacer on the bracket under the fuel tank and drilling out the aluminum end knob and moving it forward about 25mm. The resulting revised angle just misses the cover.Adjustments are made by turning the aluminum knob on the damper shaft. Start off by adjusting it until you feel mild resistance to steering input. This will likely take care of most wobbles without having a negative effect on low-speed steering. Always make adjustments while stopped to ensure the steering will not be excessively slowed for low speed riding. When adjusting, each level of damping selected will be accompanied by a tactile click. There are 13 damping levels available and the unit is rebuildable.
The oem friction dampers can be rebuilt with a piece of leather.
I have OEM windshield on my bike and before the change of tires the problem was not as noticable as it is now.
Can you further explain this procedure please as I have an 07 calvin that has the damper. As others has pointed out I have turned this thing every way but loose and can tell no difference. I�ve also ridden dozens of bikes of many brands, sizes, types, in all conditions, speeds and road conditions with no little shock attached and never any tank slapping issues. However it�s there so I may need to rebuild it some day.
Thank you very much for details. I have OEM windshield on my bike and before the change of tires the problem was not as noticable as it is now. I will check the rim on both sides and see if it is bend. You are right MG Cycle list only SDK model but GuzziTech sells both, SDK and SDR. I think I will go with SDR model since it has a �SpeedSensitive� system which reacts to sudden movements by automatically increasing damping force without restricting movement at slow speeds. Again, thanks a lot!
I received the Matris SDR dumper today and will try to install over the weekend. I'm not in the rush to install since we still have a winter in Toronto and won't be riding my bikes for another couple months. Went to the garage this evening and examine the old dumper on the bike and noticed the back end of the rod is covered in oil. It is not like oil is dripping but when touched my fingers got really wet/slippery. Wonder if this normal or is it indication the dumper is cooked? Another thing I notice the dumper is not tighten properly to the frame, when moving dumper up and down there is noticeable movement. Looks like this alone could contribute to the problem I experience.
My 07 calvin only had 5k miles on it when I got it so the stabilizer was like new and function properly. I did the research as to what it�s job was. For an afternoon I took the bike down the same curvey road a dozen times at the same speed, increasing the resistance, supposedly, each pass. Personally, I could not tell any difference at all. So, I just adjusted it to the middle where it�s been for the last two years. If it were suddenly gone tomorrow, I don�t think I would be able to tell any deference in the handling of the Calvin.
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