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Steering Damper for Street Motorcycle

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published March 25, 2013 by SAE International in United States
Steering Damper for Street Motorcycle
Citation: Hara, N. and Surawichai, P., "Steering Damper for Street Motorcycle," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 6(2):506-511, 2013,
Language: English


We introduce a research on steering dampers using MR fluid (Magnetorheological Fluid). In recent years, steering dampers have been used in on-road and off-road motorcycles. Steering dampers stabilize the front end of motorcycles. The advantage of a steering damper is increased stability, but hydraulic steering dampers give rise to the problem of ‘Heavy Steering’.
In order to resolve this heavy steering, we need to set the restrictions on the maximum damping force and avoid it from interfering when the rider is steering. However only reducing the damping force will lead to insufficient damping force when the handle, unresponsive because of kickback, shakes.
We solved this problem with the development of an electric control damper which generates sufficient damping force at low steering angle rates and also allows for mechanically limiting the maximum damping force.
The damper design uses “Direct Shear Mode” and features a steering angle sensor built into the damper, which results in easier and smoother steering. To test its effectiveness, we installed our new steering damper and asked for feedback from riders. From the received feedback, we were able to confirm the effectiveness and efficiency of our new design as well as its superiority over other traditional designs.
In particular, we were able to improve stability when entering a corner or riding over gaps by generating more damping force from a low steering angle rate in comparison to traditional dampers. We also succeeded in keeping the nimble handling while riding by reducing the maximum damping force.