Types of steering – spring or damper
The NF damped steering system works a little differently to the conventional un-damped pushrod and spring set-up. The SB5 syetm works in a smilar way but uses two small dampers instead of a single large one. I’ve only tried the NF damper, so the feedback is mainly for that, but should also apply to an SB5.
The NF system is basically a large-volume shock absorber with dual internal springs fitted either side of a piston and both springing and damping are adjustable. There’s not as much movement required as with ‘normal’ pushrod, so you have to reduce the servo arm or the servo travel to avoid it going coil-bound and damaging your servo gear.
Same theory with spring tension applies, ie firm springs improve response, soft springs slow it down, but you can further fine tune the response with the damping oil. Using firm oil gives a fast initial kick to the steering, helping the springs, but then settles back as the bike gets into the corner helping to avoid the understeer issues. As the oil is working with the steering, it controls any shake without without slowing the steering down and for several of the Aldershot riders provides a more direct and precise steering feel.
The trade-off is that the bike can be less forgiving on a bumpy track and it requires you to be more precise with how you ride, so again it’s a personal preference thing. I’ve tried both set-ups and favour the wider sweet-spot with conventional steering, but it’s undeniably a bit less flickable in close-quarter racing