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post #1 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Question Edu-macate Me Please

I've been riding bikes for a while now... but never bothered to understand all of the technology that goes into them. I just loved the high HP to weight ratio and the ability to lean into corners.

But now that I'm older and wiser (I hope) I'm trying to actually learn more about that hunk of metal that I straddle on my commute to work...

So...
I just finished reading the article in the Honda RedRider magazine about the new CBR600RR. The stuff about the HESD (Honda Electronic Steering Damper) caught my eye. I'm wondering what that little piece of engineering does for a bike??? Also does the 919 have (or need) some sort of steering assist mechanism. What would be the issue without one of these little things?

Excuse my ignorance... but just wondering why they made such a big deal about this little part?

So if some of the experts out there can enlighten me... I would greatly appreciate it!


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post #2 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 07:33 PM
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Oh its not a seeering assist... assist might be a bad word even in RC90's dictionary!

The HESD unit is just an electronic steering stabilizer. It houses fluid that if the handlebars were to start slapping back and forth (side to side) would help slow that down to the point it would stop. Obviously you can imagine why that action would be bad while riding.

Does the 919 need a stabilizer? (I cant imagine you can actually buy an HESD unit from Honda) I am not sure.... Mike can probably tell you that... I've never rode a 919'r..........

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 07:40 PM
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Sometimes the front wheel can get 'light' when you are hard on the throttle or going over some heavy duty bumps. If, while the front wheel is even a little off the ground, and turns a little before setting back down on the ground it can cause 'head shake'. It's where the front of the bike violently turns back and forth in a way that usually can't be stopped by the rider themself. It can go as far as distributing that shaking through the rider via the handlebars and then shaking the rest of the bike and then you're pretty much screwed.

What a steering damper, such as Honda's HESD, does is stop that shake very quickly before it gets serious. When the damper 'detects' headshake it tightens up the steering and gets the wheel straight again. Then it loosens up and everything is dandy.

I've had my bike get bad headshake only one time(the RC-51 is usually very forgiving on it's own[unlike some other sportbikes]) and it was kind of cool and reassuring to feel my steering damper do it's thing.

If you ride hard and like the twisties, a steering damper should be one of your first purchases. Ducati, Suzuki, and Honda put it on most of their new sportbikes already.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest View Post
Oh its not a seeering assist... assist might be a bad word even in RC90's dictionary!

The HESD unit is just an electronic steering stabilizer. It houses fluid that if the handlebars were to start slapping back and forth (side to side) would help slow that down to the point it would stop. Obviously you can imagine why that action would be bad while riding.

Does the 919 need a stabilizer? (I cant imagine you can actually buy an HESD unit from Honda) I am not sure.... Mike can probably tell you that... I've never rode a 919'r..........
Even if you could buy a HESD unit, would probably be a huge hassle and a lot of money, since it's electronic. Just buy an aftermarket mechanical one like 95% of people have(95% of those who have dampers that is).

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #5 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 07:47 PM
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This is what can happen.

Tank Slapper 1

This guy is a tard. This is what happens when your front wheel is set down at an angle.

Tank Slapper 2


While looking for tank slapper vids, I read in another forum a guy looking for advice as to what to do if he starts getting a tank slapper. They told him to pretty much grab the bars as hard as he can and fight it(don't do that!). What a bunch of idiots.

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. The closest thing I've come to what you describe was a speed wobble on my skateboard going down a monster hill when I was just a young and stupid pup.

I pretty much concluded that was the job of the HESD unit... but also wanted to try to understand how likely a bike can get into that scenario... I don't ride like a crazy bastard... but do enjoy making the most of the bike both on a commuter ride as well as one in the hills.

I've never had any problems on a bike and assumed that the rotation of the tire helped maintain the stability. I guess that the rubber in the tire is probably the primary culprit in this type of condition???


Temecula, CA (So Cal)
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Too often we lose sight of life's simple pleasures.
Remember when someone annoys you, that it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown ...
But it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother- upside the head...

Pass it on.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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PS... Nice videos RagDoll... Hard to see how the condition started in either of thos two videos. Seemed to just start out of the blue... which is the rational for my questioning....


Temecula, CA (So Cal)
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Too often we lose sight of life's simple pleasures.
Remember when someone annoys you, that it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown ...
But it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother- upside the head...

Pass it on.
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiggy8 View Post
Thanks for the info. The closest thing I've come to what you describe was a speed wobble on my skateboard going down a monster hill when I was just a young and stupid pup.

I pretty much concluded that was the job of the HESD unit... but also wanted to try to understand how likely a bike can get into that scenario... I don't ride like a crazy bastard... but do enjoy making the most of the bike both on a commuter ride as well as one in the hills.

I've never had any problems on a bike and assumed that the rotation of the tire helped maintain the stability. I guess that the rubber in the tire is probably the primary culprit in this type of condition???
I needed a steering damper on my snowboard a few years back. 3 seconds later my left collar bone was in 2 pieces.

Won't matter much on the tire compound. If conditions are right, it'll tank slap yo ass. I know what you're saying about the rotation of the tire but the spinning wheel won't give any assistance if you get into a wobble. Driving somewhat sensible is a good cure for the issue. That's not an option for me though so I got one.

'02 RC-51
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 08:52 PM
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the 919 doesn't need a steering damper...it's lazy geometry makes it super stable

if u'r gettin the 9r out of shape and r feelin nervous, chances r u'r over-grippin the bars or have too much weight on them...stay light and all is well, the damn thing is nearly self-righting given the way it handles the landin of crossed up wheelies and all....


HESD, some love it, some hate enough to remove it and replace it w/ a 'standard' unit

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post #10 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
the 919 doesn't need a steering damper...it's lazy geometry makes it super stable

if u'r gettin the 9r out of shape and r feelin nervous, chances r u'r over-grippin the bars or have too much weight on them...stay light and all is well, the damn thing is nearly self-righting given the way it handles the landin of crossed up wheelies and all....
Good advice.

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #11 of 23 Old 11-09-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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Tank Slapper 3: www.shurvalu.com/zx14.wmv
The front end comes up, then he lands with the front wheel not straight and gets into the tankslapper, amazing that he saved that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragdoll
While looking for tank slapper vids, I read in another forum a guy looking for advice as to what to do if he starts getting a tank slapper. They told him to pretty much grab the bars as hard as he can and fight it(don't do that!). What a bunch of idiots.
In my experience, tank slappers are so violent that you couldn't grab the bars and fight it if you were a gorilla.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 05:36 AM
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There's two issues here:
What does a steering damper do? Everybody answered that above. It helps prevent violent instabilities in steering that can occur in bikes with aggressive steering geometries and/or aggressive riders.

Most steering dampers are simple mechanical units that are like tiny "shocks" that stiffen the handlebars turning relative to the frame. They work fine for preventing those high speed tank slappers but they tend to make low speed maneuvers more difficult because the handlebars are difficult to turn large amounts.

So that is why honda made the HESD. It uses electronic gadgetry to give you the best of both worlds. At low speeds the handlebars turn freely. At high speeds the handlebars are "stiffened" to stabilize the bike at speed. Cool and effective but more $$ and more likely to break than a simple piston style unit.

David

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post #13 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by djs_tx View Post
Cool and effective but more $$ and more likely to break than a simple piston style unit.

David
Are you sure about this? I honestly don't know enough to make a judgement call here, but it seems to me that if Honda is willing to put one on their bikes, they're pretty sure it isn't going to fail. Does Honda like the latest and greatest in technology - yes. Is it always necessary - no. Is it reliable - undoubtedly. You have to remember that anything that is likely to break is going to cost Honda money to fix under warranty, so it is in their interest to use the most reliable hardware.

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post #14 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 06:39 AM
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I don't know it for a fact. They might have quality control to put NASA to shame. But generally speaking, more parts + sensors + electronics is less reliable than something that is low part count with no sensors nor electronics.

Knowing Honda, the HESD is probably very reliable and will outlast the vast majority of the bikes it is installed in. But Honda also has a history of trying cool gadgets that may or may not catch on. The mid 80's sabres / magnas had some cool integrated alarm / bike lock thing. Almost none of them worked a decade later.

It's a necessary evil... If somebody does not take a chance with beta technology then none of us will get to enjoy the tested post beta version. Electronic steering dampers are probably a very good idea. It is non intrusive, most folks will probably never know it is there. But if you need it, it probably will help save your bacon.

But only time will tell if it is reliable. My guess is it is more than reliable enough but I still stand by my comment that the stone axe technology of a mechanical damper is more reliable at least until HESD goes through some design cycles.

David

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post #15 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Again thanks for the inputs... And as I said, I haven't had any trouble even getting the front wheel slightly off the ground. And my grip is light (good to know that is the best strategy). Haven't been nervous about it... but still want to know more verses less...

I still love my 9er... Got about 4K on her already.. but sadly to say it is mostly commuter miles. But still enjoyable! Just bought a rear stand (vortex) and planning on getting down and dirty on the bike...

Just cleaning the chain...


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Too often we lose sight of life's simple pleasures.
Remember when someone annoys you, that it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown ...
But it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother- upside the head...

Pass it on.
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post #16 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 06:51 AM
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Honda's already got version 2 of the HESD on the upcoming CBR600RR,
I would say they are confident in its reliability, and its advantages over conventional dampers

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post #17 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 07:12 AM
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Is it damper or dampener?

And when is somebody going to make a Power Commander so that you can remap it? That way you could program it to shake off a thief and return home.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #18 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 07:43 AM
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Is it damper or dampener?

And when is somebody going to make a Power Commander so that you can remap it? That way you could program it to shake off a thief and return home.
Now that is something I would pay for on the 9er. HESD with homing feature, new on 2010 CBR1000RR!

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post #19 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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It is "Damper"... I looked it up too thinking that it should be dampener... But the article calls it a "damper".


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Too often we lose sight of life's simple pleasures.
Remember when someone annoys you, that it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown ...
But it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother- upside the head...

Pass it on.
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post #20 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Here is the paragraph straight out of the article...
<>
New-Generation HESD
To create a super-agile yet stable sportbike with a profoundly confidence-
inspiring nature, Honda's engineers created a new generation of the Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD). Like the unit that first debuted on the CBR1000RR, this HESD helps maintain smoothly predictable high-speed handling while having remarkably little effect at slower speeds. However, this new version is less than half the size and more than 25 percent lighter (21.4 ounces vs. 29.1 ounces) than the original HESD design. Given such reduced dimensions, the CBR600RR's more compact HESD unit could be easily shrouded beneath the fuel tank cover, immediately behind the steering head, where it is mounted to the frame and connected to the upper triple clamp by an articulating arm that moves the unit's damping vane within its oil chamber.
<>


Temecula, CA (So Cal)
06-919

Too often we lose sight of life's simple pleasures.
Remember when someone annoys you, that it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown ...
But it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother- upside the head...

Pass it on.
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 08:39 AM
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stiggy.. you might grab a copy of Lee Park' Total Control High performance Street Riding Techniques and read thru the second chapter..
A motorcycle front wheel doesn't track straight down the freeway.. it occilaties side to side ever so slightly.. the rake and trail keep it pulling back to center..
it's when something gets out of whack with that occilation.. be it someone being an idiot with landing a wheelie or the occilation hits a harmonic with frame flex and bushing movement.. then that occilation doent happen smoothly and in the nice small non-noticable movements that is normal and goes in to the hercky-jerky action we saw in the videos. more a necesity on VERY high speed bikes (think salt flat land speed record runs) and those with less conservitive steering geometry then our 919's (sorry looking at all the choppers running around I just cant call the 9er's geometry lazy)

One way to get your head around all this is to realize that the front wheel of a motorcycle works much the same way that the caster on a shopping cart does... we've all seen the shopping cart with the woobly wheel.. well it's doing the same thing as a tank slapper.. and a sterring damper might help..
course cleaning the wheel and repacking the head bearings might be the right way to fix it..

Mitch
'83 Suzuki GS750E
'02 Honda 919
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
Is it damper or dampener?

And when is somebody going to make a Power Commander so that you can remap it? That way you could program it to shake off a thief and return home.
Damper. Dampeners wet things down with liquids.

Word on the street is the HRC ECU lets you do some tuning to the HESD, and some other nifty things like raise the revs.

I'd say most bikes from Honda will be ok without, but once you start adjusting the geometry by adding rear ride height (typical on a RC 51) it will be time to bolt one on.

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post #23 of 23 Old 11-10-2006, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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I'll check it out at our local bookstore Roseknight... The reviews on the book look good...

Thanks


Temecula, CA (So Cal)
06-919

Too often we lose sight of life's simple pleasures.
Remember when someone annoys you, that it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown ...
But it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother- upside the head...

Pass it on.
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