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Discussion Starter #1
I commute over rough streets; torn asphalt, tar lanes, and grooved cement. The Speed Twin seems to be a lot more sensitive to road imperfections than my previous bikes. The front gets caught in the grooves quite easily.

I am thinking that I need a steering damper or a better suspension. I like to ride fast, and the engine delivers, but the rest of the bike is not quite on par. A bit too prone to deflections.

I see there are Matris and Ohlins steering dampers with Speed Twin specific mounts (the kind that mounts to the fork and yoke not on the side like Tec's). There are also Ohlins and Nitron fork cartridges.

What are your thoughts? Should I be looking for a steering damper, or cartridges, or both?
 

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Stupid question... but why not different tires? Something like a 70/30 street/off road...
The stock tyres are prone to that problem, a steering damper works great and better springs up front will also help but better tyre first and see what happens.

Ashley
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The stock tyres are prone to that problem
Are you referring to the Rosso 3 on the Speed Twin? I had Rosso 2 on my Street Triple, and while not my top choice for grip and comfort, I did not experience the deflections.

If I change them, I was thinking Bridgestone S22, a sporty and comfortable tire. Not sure about going with 70/30 or even 80/20; dual sport tires on the highway make me nervous. I like the smoothness and grip of the street tires.
 

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I recently put some Nitron R1 shocks on the back of my Speed Twin. The difference is night and day. Looking forward to getting the Nitron Cartridge Kit for the forks.... because the front end feels like a pogo stick with legit shocks on the rear.

This bike deserves proper suspension.
 

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Sort the suspension a steering damper just disguises the problem .
Most people say that but after doing the suspension up on my old Thruxton it didn't need a steering damper but I fitted one anyway and what I found it makes the whole suspension system work better, makes the bike more stable on the highway with a full load, its not about fixing a problem just makes the bike feel so much better and it works so well in the tight twisties when pushing your bike to its limits and a lot of modern sports bikes have them fitted from stock.

Ashley
 

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I commute over rough streets; torn asphalt, tar lanes, and grooved cement. The Speed Twin seems to be a lot more sensitive to road imperfections than my previous bikes. The front gets caught in the grooves quite easily.

I am thinking that I need a steering damper or a better suspension. I like to ride fast, and the engine delivers, but the rest of the bike is not quite on par. A bit too prone to deflections.

I see there are Matris and Ohlins steering dampers with Speed Twin specific mounts (the kind that mounts to the fork and yoke not on the side like Tec's). There are also Ohlins and Nitron fork cartridges.

What are your thoughts? Should I be looking for a steering damper, or cartridges, or both?
Have you tried adjusting the rear preload? What position was best/worst??
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My preload is at minimum. I weigh 150 lbs. I may try at a higher preload. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Good luck with that. The preload adjustment on the stock shocks is nothing short of a joke.

Maybe just get someone to assist measuring the sag between laden/un-laden and go from there...
 

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Increasing the preload from minimum to a greater value costs nothing and might balance the standard damping better. You never know until you try.
I stuck mine on the middle setting when I got the bike and it seems OK to me so far.
 

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I commute over rough streets; torn asphalt, tar lanes, and grooved cement. The Speed Twin seems to be a lot more sensitive to road imperfections than my previous bikes. The front gets caught in the grooves quite easily.

I am thinking that I need a steering damper or a better suspension. I like to ride fast, and the engine delivers, but the rest of the bike is not quite on par. A bit too prone to deflections.

I see there are Matris and Ohlins steering dampers with Speed Twin specific mounts (the kind that mounts to the fork and yoke not on the side like Tec's). There are also Ohlins and Nitron fork cartridges.

What are your thoughts? Should I be looking for a steering damper, or cartridges, or both?
You need different tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You need different tires.
Educate me, please (no sarcasm). What tire do you think will perform better for my intended use? I commute year round, fast when possible, over all kinds of roads (nice smooth asphalt, concrete, wet surfaces, steep inclines); no off-road. Mileage is unimportant. If I can have the best tires that only last 1500 miles, I'd go with them vs. slightly inferior that are good for 15000.
 

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Educate me, please (no sarcasm). What tire do you think will perform better for my intended use? I commute year round, fast when possible, over all kinds of roads (nice smooth asphalt, concrete, wet surfaces, steep inclines); no off-road. Mileage is unimportant. If I can have the best tires that only last 1500 miles, I'd go with them vs. slightly inferior that are good for 15000.
If you are riding a lot of poorly surfaced roads, I would go with something like an Avon Trail Rider. Like any other modern tire, they have plenty of grip to ride them to the edges with confidence. They also work great in the cold and wet. Their tread is also quite perpendicular to the road, so they aren't as likely to get pulled around by grooves in the road. And they are designed to do mild off roading so are probably a little more compliant over bumps and what not.
I used them for riding around out in the country and down the trails around me on my Versys and I thought they worked great. They aren't the longest lasting tire though. I think I posted that I thought they were, but then I found a receipt where I had had them replaced once at half the mileage I thought.
Because they keep fixing my favorite country roads by dumping gravel all over them, I actually have a set for my Thruxton to put on too.
As to a steering damper, it's overkill. Those are made for riding fast enough that the front wheel is coming on and off the pavement. Sometimes sportbikes with their super steep steering geometries can be mildly unstable and when the tire comes back down at speed and the head will shake. That's what a steering damper is for. To keep that shake from becoming an uncontrolled tank slapper. It won't do a thing for the handlebars getting knocked around by hitting potholes.
Suspension is fine, but all this high end race bike stuff is all for show. It's made for sportbikes riding smooth tracks at high speeds. It's terrible for riding real public roads. Way too stiff. If you're roads are bad, you'd be doing the exact wrong thing. If you want a better suspension for actual American roads, get something made for touring.
Good luck!
 

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I commute over rough streets; torn asphalt, tar lanes, and grooved cement. The Speed Twin seems to be a lot more sensitive to road imperfections than my previous bikes. The front gets caught in the grooves quite easily.

I am thinking that I need a steering damper or a better suspension. I like to ride fast, and the engine delivers, but the rest of the bike is not quite on par. A bit too prone to deflections.

I see there are Matris and Ohlins steering dampers with Speed Twin specific mounts (the kind that mounts to the fork and yoke not on the side like Tec's). There are also Ohlins and Nitron fork cartridges.

What are your thoughts? Should I be looking for a steering damper, or cartridges, or both?
So lets see if AJ Cycles will do a super duper group buy on Ohlins shocks and Ohlins fork inserts for Speed twin
Whats the interest here ? 25% to 30% off list I might have some interest :)
 

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If you put in a set of Liner fork springs up front for your weight say from Racetec or some other brand will make a big improvement to the way your bike will handle and ride, I found out a long time ago Progressive springs are to harsh but Liner springs work so much better and my choose is Ikon shocks for the rear, even putting a different grade of fork oil can make a different, changing the front springs will fix your problems but if you go the full cartridge system the cost can be very high if you are just using it for everyday riding, there are also valves you can put in your frontend to help with your problem best thing to do is find a suspension expert and see what they think would be best to do for your riding needs, simple things can make a whole lot of different to your needs.

Ashley
 

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Someone pointed out that the rake angles on these bikes are low for quicker turning. It’s 22.8 on the Speed Twin and 25.5 on the T120. The Rocket’s is 32. Its front tire has the same width as the T120 rear. At 800 lbs, road imperfections don’t affect it. There’s much more momentum to keep the front wheel stable when you encounter a rut. I replaced the stock linear for springs with progressive springs. While it reacts to bumps a bit better, I don’t see a difference with uneven road surfaces. Still, I plan to get Avon Spirits when the Pirellis wear out.
 
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