Adventuring off-road on your dirt bike, whether it’s just for some casual trail riding or competing in something like a Hare Scramble or some other kid of enduro race, can be a blast, however it does come with its risks. There are things like unexpected holes, rocks, branches, washboard roads, and other obstacles that can upset the steering and handling of your frontend and cause you to crash. The other downside is that a ton of frontend feedback can be extremely tiring and cause arm pump.
Outfitting your bike with the proper components can vastly improve the handling and performance when it comes to off-roading. One aftermarket product you may want to consider is a GRP Steering Stabilizer. The GPR V4D uses fluid in the head to control frontend tension and then you can stiffen or loosen the feel via the dial on top. When resistance is increased you can feel it in the bars with a stiffer side-to-side feel. The resistance is felt from zero to 15 degrees left or right of the center pin and then it breaks free for normal frontend speed movement. This specific design helps reduce the turbulence, repetitive shaking, and jarring motions from off-roading and delivers a smoother ride and less fatigue on your body.
The black dial on the stabilizer has eight adjustment indicators and each degree you turn the dial is a valving adjustment. Setting 1 offers the least low and high speed resistance, meaning the handlebars will feel like normal. The settings from 2-4 increases high speed resistance but does not affect low speed resistance, so hard/fast jolting impacts will be reduced, but lower speeds will feel normal. With settings 4-8 low speed (slow movement) and high speed resistance will increase with each click and both will max out at 8 giving you the heaviest feeling in the bars. The really nice feature about the adjuster is that it has a barrel valve so you can turn it as much as you want and it won’t pop off.
When we built our Baja Scrambler KTM 500 EXC-F a while back, we decided to install a GPR V4D Stabilizer (part#: UPP1502035, MSRP $534.99) because it was simple to install, easy to use, and offered a slim low profile design that could fit under the stock handlebars. Follow along as we show you how to install the GPR V4D on a 2016 KTM 500 EXC-F.
The GPR V4D Stabilizer comes with everything you need for installation. The kit includes: upper and lower bar mounts, the stabilizer, post mount with pin, hardware, and a low profile steering stem nut.
Before you get started secure the front wheel and lower triple clamp—you can use a tie down strap looped through the wheel and over the backbone or block of wood under the front tire. This will prevent the frontend from moving around or possibly falling when the top clamp is removed. Once the bike is secure remove the top bar clamps from the handlebars. You don’t need to completely remove the bars from the bike they can simply be placed between the LCD gauge and number plate.
Next, remove the five bolts securing the top triple clamp. There are two bolts near the top of each fork leg and one at the steering stem.
You can now remove the steering stem nut.
Next, wiggle the top triple clamp up and off the frontend. If you’re having trouble you can use a rubber mallet or a block of wood to tap the underside of the triple clamp.
With the top triple clamp loose you can now raise it above the number plate and remove the two bolts that secure gauge to the clamp.
Once the gauge is removed set the triple clamp off to the side and then remove the O-ring and dust cover from the head tube.
Next, with the pinch bolt removed slide the post mount over the head tube, you can use a flat blade screwdriver to open up the post mount a little if necessary. Align the pin mount so that it is directly in-line with the backbone and then install the pinch bolt into the front side of the post mount (blue arrow) and secure it in place.
You can now re-install the O-ring and dust cover.
Bolt the LCD gauge back up to the front of the triple clamp and then reinstall the clamp onto the forks. Use a mallet or block of wood to gently tap the clamp back down in place. After the clamp is in place install and tighten the supplied steering stem nut to factory specs.
Next, tighten the stock pinch bolt on the backside of the clamp and then you can remove the stock lower bar mounts. They will not be re-used so they can be set aside.
Using the supplied hardware (thicker shorter Allen cap bolts) and some thread locker, secure the one-piece, GPR lower handlebar mount to the top clamp. Torque to factory specs.
Install the pin into the post mount. The pin height can be adjusted. Set the stabilizer on top and make sure that the top of the pin sits flush with the top of the slot in the stabilizer arm. If the pin is too high or too low, adjust it accordingly. The pin can slide up or down within the press fit collar to achieve the correct height.
Once the pin height is correct, install the stabilizer onto the lower bar mount assembly using the supplied bolts and some thread locker.
Next, mount the handlebars using the top bar mounts and fasteners that were included in the kit. Torque the bar mounts to factory specs.
Lastly, double check that all of the bolts on the top clamp, stabilizer, and handlebars are properly torqued and make sure the front end moves smoothly form side to side without binding up.
Installation is now complete. You can test the functionality of the stabilizer by taking a test run. GPR suggests riding on your favorite rocky road or whooped out trail and start out on 2 or 2.5. If the bars shake or deflect too easily turn the dial up one or two notches. Once it feels like there is a heavy weight on your front fender and it’s too hard to steer, dial the adjustment back a little. You will find that different terrain may call for a different settings.