Steering Damper Repair

Wednesday, Apr 19 2017 [32,612 miles]

Don’t you just hate it when a 15-30 minute job turns into something bigger? And more expensive!

Cracked heim joint

Cracked heim joint

Cracked heim joint
Replacement joint

Replacement joint

Replacement joint

A while back my eldest grandson got his first ride on the GS. His previous rides were on my DR650. He started out on the R69S I used to own. Anyway, because we were only going on back roads and it was his first GS ride I rode without earplug to hear him should he have something to say. Instead I heard some tapping that I had to track down.

After the ride I figured out that the tapping was the steering damper bounding off of the mud guard. Part of the reason was that the heim joint was cracked. A call to the vendor resulted in a new heim joint being sent in exchange for my credit card number. Today I was going to install it.

Damper removed

Damper removed

Damper removed
Heat breaks loctite

Heat breaks loctite

Heat breaks loctite
Cleaned threads

Cleaned threads

Cleaned threads

I removed the damper and used heat to break the red loctite that I’d been warned was present. When the loctite went up in a puff of smoke the old heim joint unscrewed easily. I cleaned the threads on the end of the damper rod and installed the new heim joint.

Then I remove the new joint before the loctite had a chance to set.

Bent rod

Bent rod

Bent rod

That is why. The damper rod has a pretty serious bend that I’d not noticed before checking that all was OK after installing the new heim joint. The bend does not allow full travel. Perhaps that led to the crack in the original heim joint.

I called the vendor for instructions. They said to print out a form found on their website and send the damper back with the filled out form. No special RMA numbers needed. I boxed up the damper and got it in the mail this afternoon. I’ll be riding the GS without a damper for a while.

Tuesday, May 9 2017 [33,066 miles]

Repaired damper

Repaired damper

Repaired damper

The repaired damper arrived yesterday. This afternoon I took a few minutes to re-install it on the bike. The picture was taken after I’d installed the mounting arm.

Full left

Full left

Full left
Full Right

Full Right

Full Right
Center

Center

Center

The instructions calls for 18 mm from the end of the damper body to the start of the mounting arm bracket. I eyeballed it then fine tuned the postion after turning the bars from lock to lock. Then I measured. How about that. 18 mm.