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Honda Sabre and steering dampers

Old 12-14-2013, 09:05 PM
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Honda Sabre and steering dampers

You dont need a steering damper on the street. They are mostly a racetrack thing. If a streetbike needs one its usually bandaiding some other problem with stability like worn tires, bearings or bad setup.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
You dont need a steering damper on the street. They are mostly a racetrack thing. If a streetbike needs one its usually bandaiding some other problem with stability like worn tires, bearings or bad setup.
+1 Totally agree, unless you are a racer or going to ride in top speed on daily basis and you have a bit of a head shake (just being sarcastic) you really don't need it.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:05 PM
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Or you have went down because of head shake that turned into tank slap and crashed at 110mph (wasn't riding the Superhawk). I'll be spending the money on a decent damper as insurance on every bike I own. I don't care if everyone tells me that the bike I own isn't prone to head shake. Although I have had head shake a few times on the Superhawk prior to the damper install. Which, I'm chalking up to poor front suspension at the time.
You crash once, where no matter what you did, you still had no control over the bike, and a few hundred bucks making sure it won't happen again sounds like a deal.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CruxGNZ View Post
Or you have went down because of head shake that turned into tank slap and crashed at 110mph (wasn't riding the Superhawk). I'll be spending the money on a decent damper as insurance on every bike I own. I don't care if everyone tells me that the bike I own isn't prone to head shake. Although I have had head shake a few times on the Superhawk prior to the damper install. Which, I'm chalking up to poor front suspension at the time.
You crash once, where no matter what you did, you still had no control over the bike, and a few hundred bucks making sure it won't happen again sounds like a deal.
Totally agree. Aaaaannnnd, if you decide to do a trackday at some point then you're already well setup to have a good time.

I always chuckle when people say 'your bike doesn't need that'. Street bikes don't NEED most upgrades and mods we slap on them, but each rider probably has at least one reason why it's a good idea for him/her, and that's really all the reason you need.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:24 AM
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By doesnt need, I mean several things.

You are stopping headshake for all those times you are going 110 on the street, (very smart) but you are risking a ton of lower speed crashes when you cant swerve around something due to damper resistance.

So you avoid the thing that scares you but now you loose accident avoidance moves hugely.

Kinda like saying you run slicks on the street for the extra traction but dont realize they will only grip with warmers.

A damper is not an upgrade. Your crash was more due to letting off the gas and gripping the bars to hard at the panic moment. (this increases occilation).

Do what you want but be aware that you are losing life saving agility that was built into the bike. (thats not useable at track speeds)

Many paddock crashes happen this way.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:05 PM
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I was actually at full throttle when I went down. I couldn't give it more throttle to get the weight off of the front tire to straighten it out. The front end started to tank slap and then the back of the bike started to come off the ground and jump left and right violently and...crash.
And who hasn't done some runs up to a hundred or so and then slowed down? Pretty sure just about everyone here has when they felt it was safe to do so. Nobody was in front of me and no cross traffic. Yes, I was young and screwing around. I payed for it dearly and am still paying for it unfortunately. However, I love motorcycles and still ride. Back then I admit, I was "young & dumb". I rarely screw around like that anymore. As you get older, you have a lot more to loose.

And about my damper, I got the GPR4 because it is adjustable. You hit the highway, and turn it up. Cruising around the city, you find the adjustment that you are comfortable with. Hell, you can even turn the damper completely off for parking lots. And it's VERY easy and fast to change. Just turn a ****. Maybe takes less than half a second to do so.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:27 PM
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Just busting about the speed. You really shouldnt own a sportbike if you never go fast. I just got bitched at on here for possibly doing minor traffic infractions so there are tinkerbells on here.

I still think you had some other issue on the tankslapper. I have had my hawk loaded with over 100lbs of givi luggage cruising at 115 and I could take my hands off the bars. (I have cruise control).

Be sure to check everything else, there should be no wiggle right up to 160 or whatever you can go.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:47 PM
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Tinkerbells haha. Yeah, I saw that in your other thread.
The tank slapper happened on a '87 Honda Sabre V65 (1100 cc). It had new tires with less than a thousand miles on 'em. So I'm pretty sure it wasn't the tires. I'm almost positive it's because of bad front suspension, and a road that wasn't optimal (filled in potholes and lots of crack sealer). Oh well, s**t happens.

As for the headshake on the Superhawk, I have new Allballs head bearings, and new tires. I'm sure I can chalk this one up to a suspension that's stock and not setup for me. The front end is being changed over the winter, so that should help things.

Sorry for the thread hijack O.P.!

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 12-16-2013 at 07:52 PM. Reason: adding stuff
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:02 PM
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'87 Honda Sabre V65, huh? How many of those did they make? One?
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:46 PM
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Wait.....this bit of wackiness happened on a velocopede era sabre? Thats not even in the same ballpark as the super hawk.

Next thing you'll be cryin up a storm about when your training wheels were taken off and all the precautions you still take.

Are you sure that bike can even go that fast? (or should?).

These bikes are engineered to go way over 160, let the chopper from the 60's thing go already. Where you wearing an american flag open face helmet with a fringed suede jacket?
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by VTR1000F View Post
'87 Honda Sabre V65, huh? How many of those did they make? One?
I don't know how to answer this. Are you being sarcastic, or...? Not sure, honestly.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:08 PM
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Smokin, I had something happen on another bike. I use a damper as insurance on my Superhawk. That's it I'm pretty sure I wasn't whining about it. Just threw out an opinion is all.

Nah, I was born in the mid 70's, but raised in the 80's, so I was lucky enough to miss the wacky 60's chopper thing and the clothes that went with it.

The Sabre, besides looking like and handling like a brick, was actually a pretty fun bike. My Sabre dyno'd at 127hp 125ft.lbs. (or vise versa, it's been a while) For a heavy *** bike, it had some guts.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CruxGNZ View Post
I don't know how to answer this. Are you being sarcastic, or...? Not sure, honestly.
Just being an *******. The V65 Sabre was only manufactured in '84 & '85. I still have three of them.

And to play Joe's counterpoint, the V65 Sabre was (is) a hell of a bike. I've done 150 indicated on mine. I imagine a mere mortal could easily do 110.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by VTR1000F View Post
Just being an *******. The V65 Sabre was only manufactured in '84 & '85. I still have three of them.

And to play Joe's counterpoint, the V65 Sabre was (is) a hell of a bike. I've done 150 indicated on mine. I imagine a mere mortal could easily do 110.
Well now that is odd. What the heck was my bike then? I know it was an '87 1100cc Honda Sabre and was registered as such. It had V65 on the side and was black, blue and grey I believe. I bought it from the original owner who was a friend of mine. The bike was never wrecked. I just assumed it was what it was. This is going to bug me now tonight. If I can't sleep and am up with Google all night, I blame you! haha

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 12-16-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:30 PM
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Sounds like an '85 V65 Sabre paint scheme. The gray was actually silver and the blue was a stripe, right? Black and silver with a blue stripe in between?

And back on topic, OP, you see yoomit has a complete SP1 front end for sale?
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by VTR1000F View Post
Sounds like an '85 V65 Sabre paint scheme. The gray was actually silver and the blue was a stripe, right? Black and silver with a blue stripe in between?

And back on topic, OP, you see yoomit has a complete SP1 front end for sale?
Yes *closing my eyes to picture it*, that was exactly the paint job. Perhaps the year on the title was a clerical mistake? Hmm...
I'm going to drop a call to my old buddy and figure this out. I just can't let this go. It bugs me untill I figure out the correct answer, or untill my mind gets preoccupied with something els...oh, look at the kitty...

Yeah, again sorry OP!

Edit: For the newbs out there in Superhawkland O.P. stands for Original Poster

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 12-16-2013 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Addin' stuff
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:16 AM
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Maybe it was a Magna. Pretty sure they had a v65 version of that as well. I had a '86 magna 700, fun stuff until the frame started flexing.... maybe that's why I love the superhawk, hmmmm
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:39 AM
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No V65 Magna in '87, either. Don't think that was ever a Magna paint scheme.

I just can't get passed Joe's dissing of the Sabre. Next time I'm in NYC, I'm gonna turn him in for some minor traffic infractions. The guy's not safe at any speed.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:21 PM
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Talked to my buddy. The bike was definitely a '87 Honda Sabre 1100cc (dyno even shows that it was an 1100). He said he picked the bike up brand new from the dealer and nothing had changed when he sold it to me. He's an old friend of mine and the Sabre was sold about 14 years ago, so he has no reason to lie about it.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:59 PM
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The Honda VF1100S V65 Sabre was only available as a 1984 & 1985 model in the US. I don't know what may have been available elsewhere. It had a V-Four, 1100cc (1098cc to be precise) motor. I've owned three examples in various states of crash since 1991.

What someone punched into a dyno doesn't mean much. If the VIN tag on the stearing head said 1987 (photographic proof required here or I'll make an offensive comment about what you think you remember) that would mean something.

I'm not claiming I know everything there is to know about the Sabre, and, while I have every reason to lie, I'm not doing so in this instance. Just ask the internet, it knows everything.

EDIT: by the way, as long as we're on the subject - Was that 127 HP at the rear wheel? Had this motor been worked over? I believe Honda only claimed 121 Crank HP which would translate into about 100 HP at the rear wheel for the Sabre. This wasn't one of the ultra-rare fuel injected Sabres with the blue stripe made in 1987, was it?

Last edited by VTR1000F; 12-17-2013 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Disbelief.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:03 PM
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He could have bought it in '87 after it sat on the floor for a couple of years. I remember a little while back someone on the forum bought a "new" never been owned before 2005 Superhawk in ...maybe... Denver...? Something like that.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:11 PM
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That wouldn't make it a 1987 model. Certainly, that could lead someone to believe it was a 1987, however, Rex said it was registered as a 1987 and, since the DMV doesn't make mistakes, it rules that theory out.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:47 PM
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I will never question the almighty sentient central command center. But I do question why those greedy Japs snuck a handful of secretly made retro bikes across the pacific without consent. What we do with this revealed information will surly determine the fate of Honda.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:52 PM
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Looks like this has totally taken over the fork thread Oops.
Yes, the Dyno numbers were at the wheel. He said there was "some work" done to the engine. I remember him saying it was mild. I honestly don't remember what was done. Was quite a while ago.

I can look through old registration slips and find the VIN#, If I can even find it. I seriously want to know what the heck is going on. I swear, it was an '87 and so does the original owner. I just never questioned it.

I love your comment about the DMV never screwing up. I lost count the amount of times I have had to go to the DMV to fix something they F'd up. Idiots there.

Edit: I'm pretty sure it wasn't fuel injected.

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 12-17-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:44 PM
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I'm quite certain it wasn't fuel injected.

Edit: BTW, I'm done posting about Sabres in this thread. Either you win, Rex Kramer-Thrill Seeker, or let's take this to a new "Magical Mystery Machine" thread. And Rex, if you find the VIN, check the 11th digit; if it's an "X", then your bike had the ultra-rare difference engine. That would explain the wonky HP and torque numbers. Dyno's require special calibration before testing these types of powerplants and that probably wasn't done.

Last edited by VTR1000F; 12-18-2013 at 06:34 AM. Reason: I'm an asshole.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:22 AM
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Honda Magna and steering dampers

Started this thread in case you guys wanted to continue (separate from jscobeys request for fork swap info).

Last edited by Wolverine; 12-18-2013 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:12 PM
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Oh! That sabre! Here is one of my all time favorite videos featuring a sabre (no kidding here).

I was mostly joking about the rest but really, the hawk will stomp the sabre in stability.

I do maintain that a damper is not needed on the street, and no way do you have enough of your dime left mentally to remember to turn it off. Its only useful on very fast tracks with high speed direction changes.

I nearly crashed going from New Jerseys Lightning track to Loudon on my sv because the damper was too strong for the tight track. The street would only make that possibility worse.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:24 PM
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That was great.

I've ridden a couple V45's and they were nothing compared to the V65's.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:48 PM
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I never compared the Superhawk to the Sabre. I will always use a damper, unless it came stock like the CBR1000's HESD. I'm not comparing the GPR4 to Honda's HESD either, because one is electric and one is manual.

I don't see how you know that I'm not competent enough to turn my damper off in parking lots or turn it down while in the city (I'm assuming that was what you meant with "enough of my dime left". Unless that was a typo? Never heard that expression before). Adjusting the damper becomes second nature, just like having to pull a lever to stop the bike. It takes a split second to turn the ****. If something as small as turning a **** is to much to think about while riding, then the person shouldn't be riding a motorcycle in the first place.

I can see where you are coming from with your last comment about almost crashing because of the damper. But, have you ever used an adjustable damper? Like I said previously, it is super easy and takes a split second to change the dampening setting.

There is a video from Isle of Man that shows exactly what my Sabre did when I went down. Hey, I found it! See how the back tire is also going from side to side? Not fun.

I'm not getting up in your face about this stuff Smokin'. Just having a chat with a friend is all. Just so you know the context this is typed in

Edit: I like the video you posted above. I'm a Nissan/Datsun Z guy at heart as well.

Last edited by CruxGNZ; 12-18-2013 at 09:52 PM. Reason: adding stuff
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:07 PM
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I currently still ride the V65 Sabre I bought new in 1986 and can definitely talk about the differences between Sabres and Hawks. And those differences are vast.
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