Notes on the Fluidbloc Steering Damper
By Kari Prager
Several people have mentioned the basics on K 75 front ends that relate to stability, i.e. steering bearing adjustment, tire wear (very important), suspension condition, but nobody has mentioned the fluidbloc steering damper which is in the steering head of the K 75 (all models).
The outer portion of the steering damper is locked to the steering head by pointed allen bolts, the inner portion fits around the steering stem, the damping is provided by a viscous grease as a working fluid between the two parts. The damper must be deactivated (bolts removed) when you check the steering bearings or the resistance you feel will not be the bearings, it will be the damper. Be sure to engage the bolts in their same holes on reinstallation.(The bolt lengths are different for different models.)
If you do check your forks and feel no resistance with the damper bolts in place, the bolts may have lost their purchase in the damper, allowing it to turn with the fork,(you can check this by looking through the bolt hole & moving the forks) or fluid may have all leaked out ( you might see the remains on the lower triple clamp, or you might not..).
This damper is important for stability, because the K 75 has less weight on the front wheel than the K 100.
Regards, Kari & Tim Johnson
By Rob Lentini
The fluidbloc damper is an internal grease friction device fitted to many K75s and all K75Ss. It should be serviced every time the steering head bearings are removed for cleaning, regreasing, and adjustment.
A special heavy silicone grease is specified. It’s not cheap, but you won’t find any substitutes that are as heavy a silicone as this.
The damper is a rubber impregnated cylinder that resides over the steering stem between the two tapered roller bearings. Clean and regrease the damper each time the bearings are serviced. The damper is secured by two pointed ‘grub’ bolts that basically just center the damper and keep it from turning in relation to the frame. The resulting friction when the bars are turned is the ‘damping’.
As stated by others, be sure to remove the grub bolts when setting the adjustment of the steering head bearings, otherwise you won’t be able to ‘feel’ the effective preload as you turn the bearing adjuster wheel.
Don’t try to do of the above procedure unless you’re a competent mechanic. If in doubt, get qualified help or take you bike to the dealer!
By Rob Lentini
The specified grease for the K-bike steering stem damper is (try pronouncing):
“Gleitmittel fur Fluidbloc”
07 589 058 193
K Whiner MC#11