WHAT IS IT? Ride Engineering’s KTM-specific
steering head stabilizer bracket allows KTM riders
to adapt their bikes to accept Showa’s HPSD (Honda
Progressive Steering Damper) steering damper.
WHAT’S IT COST? $149.00 (bracket kit),
$290.00 (Showa HPSD steering damper).
CONTACT? www.ride-engineering.com or (800) 805-1516.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the Ride Engineering KTM steering head
(1) Installation. Read the instructions before starting.
In a nutshell, you remove the handlebars and top triple
clamp so you can slide the Ride’s top bracket over the
front of the head tube. Once the upper bracket is
bolted in place, you can move on to the lower bracket.
The lower bracket requires two 8mm head hex bolts
that do double duty to hold the lower bracket and front
fender in place. Once both brackets are mounted, you
can add the Showa damper.
( 2) Fit. The top billet bracket was an extremely
tight fit. It didn’t just slip in place as easy as pie. We
recommend using fine sand paper to clear the surface of
the frame’s head tube of any burrs. To help the bracket
slide in place, we used a flat-blade screwdriver to pry
open the slit while lightly tapping down on the bracket
with a rubber mallet. The lower mount, however, went on
( 3) Performance. The KTM 450SXF is prone to
feeling busy on deceleration into turns. When you come
in hot and use a lot of front brake, the front end can
dance around. Ride Engineering addressed this problem
by adding a Showa HPSD damper. The damper allowed
us to fine-tune the front-end feeling at the handlebars
by adjusting the damper knob. It didn’t provide as much
straight-line stability as a Scott’s steering damper, but it
was effective in most motocross conditions. If you can’t
afford the Ride Steering damper kit, consider tightening
the top triple clamp to use it as a poor man’s steering
( 4) Benefits. The Honda HPSD damper gave us added
confidence when attacking corners on our KTM 450SXF.
We were able to carry more speed and not have to hang
on as tightly—two huge benefits for diehard racers.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two complaints: (1) We
don’t like that Ride Engineering used an 11mm bolt in
its kit. KTM owners are already forced to carry an oddball assortment of wrenches. ( 2) It took some finesse to
get the upper part of the bracket to fit.
Ride Engineering’s Showa HPSD steering
damper kit is a high-tech fix for any KTM
rider trying to reduce head-shake.
RIDE ENGINEERING KTM HPSD KIT
MXA TEAM TESTED