HOW-TO: Install an Öhlins steering damper on a Yamaha R6 (2006-2016)
A steering damper is a must to increase stability and prevent speed wobbles. I still do not understand why ALL modern bikes do not come with this piece of equipment as a standard option.
In this video, I am installing an Öhlins linear steering damper on my 2008 Yamaha R6. The process will be the same for the 2006 to 2016 models.
I’ve decided to replace my GPR unit with the Öhlins stabilizer because the GPR unit kept leaking fluid, hence reducing the dampening effectiveness (and drastically reducing my comfort level).
I am installing the Öhlins SD001 unit, and in order to mount this stabilizer, you will also need a mounting kit. I elected to go with the Graves steering damper mount (model DMY-06R6-K). Product info and mounting instructions can be found on the Graves site. I am a huge fan of the Graves products, however, do not expect a lot of support and responsiveness from the Graves team. I paid extra for fast shipping, and they sent my package via the slowest and least expensive option. I raised the issue via email a few times and never even got an acknowledgment. My advice would be to buy the Graves products from a reputable and reliable source like Sport Bike Track Gear.
As you will see in the video, the installation process is very straightforward and does not require a lot of tools and materials. You will need some internal hex (Allen) wrenches and some Torx bits/wrenches. You will also need a torque wrench and some thread locker. I am using some blue Loctite for this specific installation.
It took me approximately 45 minutes to remove the fairings and install the damper.
This installation’s most complex part will be removing the key/main switch. If you have not done this already, be prepared to spend an extra 30-60 minutes to altogether remove the ignition barrel. Once this is done, you can figure out how to re-do the wiring to have a keyless system, or you can alternatively simplify the process and purchase the Woodcraft key eliminator kit.
As noted in the video, you will need to make sure that the damper isn’t bottoming out when you do your lock-to-lock check.