I’ve given my experience with Sprint dampers top marks, but now a huge cloud has cast a shadow over everything.
They’ve decided to close...another British engineering company lost.
With manufacturers moving to electronic dampers, less and less people were buying them for road bikes and ultimately the COVID crisis was the final blow.
I’m still going to give you my thoughts though.
After buying the 929 Fireblade for the track, most forums highly advised fitting a damper. Honda didn‘t fit one as standard, but after giving it a big handful on the exit of Foggy’s at Donington I accidentally caught a white line. The rear let go (as did my bowls) and I out the seat with the bars snapping side to side. The damper didn’t stop the snap but if it wasn’t there on 13/29 clicks it would have been an early bath. As I landed back on the seat and still travelling in the direction intended rubber side down. I knew I’d gotten my monies worth.
For the next session I gave it a few more clicks and avoided the white line! That setting has be perfect for every track since, you just have to back it right off for loading the bike in the van at the end of the day.
If I could swap the electronic unit on my RR6 Fireblade for a Sprint damper, I would do, immediately.
I recently took it for an MOT after a 2 year layoff from road riding and within 200 yards the steering felt horrible, its the only way of describing it. It felt far too fast and easy. An issue I’d never experienced before as I‘ve never had anything to compare it too.
A damper doesn’t just assist you when you get a tank slapper. For me, its part of the chassis setup, and unless you’ve ridden both, you might think I’m talking rubbish, but bare with me.
Most electronic dampers allow full lock to lock steering at low speeds and even at high speed you still can’t feel them coming into play. But with a manual damper you can set the steering to move at a constant rate you like. So you know exactly how much effort you need to haul the bike from left to right and how its going to feel whilst trail braking. It gives me confidence over a micro chip predicting a setting. I would choose a manual one over electronic every day of the week. If you look around the paddock, 90% of the fast group have ditched the electronic ones
Back to Sprint - All the parts except the seals are made onsite and after visiting the factory they have an impressive setup.
The quality of the unit is fantastic and I’d buy another in a heartbeat if they weren’t closing, but I’m now left with a product that does the job perfectly, but it can’t be serviced.
Servicing isn’t a home job as you need a vacuum machine and the tooling to change the seals. I’m praying that it continues to perform flawlessly as I’m afraid that it’ll end up on a shelf in the man cave and I’ll have to look for another option.
I hope someone can take the parts and the servicing side on...
QUALITY - 10/10
COST - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
TOTAL SCORE - 30/30