Have you tried the Hopey steering damper? It seems like a good idea and I am interested in trying one out, but thought I would get your opinion on it. It seems that if it was a big benefit you would see it more at races?
I have not tried a Hopey steering damper. But I’ve thought about it over the years. In semi-random order:
– Steering dampers are a big deal in moto, especially for trail riders. According to reports, the dampers allow slow-speed steering movement but resist high-speed deflections — the kind you experience in rock gardens.
– Moto riders tell me aftermarket steering dampers make their motos way more stable and easy to control, especially at high speed. Fireman Jeff got one for his KTM EXC450, and he loves it.
– While most moto riders swear by steering dampers, some say they’re merely a crutch for incorrect suspension setup. The nay-sayers claim a bike with correct suspension doesn’t need a damper.
– But check this out: For 2008, Honda 250 and 450 motocross bikes come stock with Honda-made steering dampers. This is a very big step, and all the proof you need that steering dampers are valuable for moto riding.
– Back to mountain bikes. The reviews and racer quotes on the Hopey site (and all over the Web) are pretty convincing. Hopey says their damper stabilizes your bike and saves you energy on both up- and down-hills. Hopey lists stoked comments from Missy Giove, Mike King and Marla Streb. Note that list doesn’t include any new-school downhillers — have suspension improvements made the damper less important, or is the site just stale?
– The damper makes sense. I think a Hopey might help me in jumbled rocks, like we find at Keystone and Left Hand Canyon. I’d love to try one and tell everyone about it.
Installation: Looks like a semi-pain in the butt.
I’m sure some of you gearheads will have thoughts on this. What sayeth ye?