I have had my Yamaha YZF600r since '97 & I ride it hard still no need for a steering head damper on it for it would be a waste of money.
My '00 Honda 929 told me I needed one & so on with a Scotts. I have a '03 Honda 954 still in a box to be coming to the local Honda shop & will be putting a damper on it as well.
Mind you the ONLY other changes to my bikes are Kevlar front brake lines as I like superior stopping power to be with one or two fingers. I leave the stock exhaust systems & the rest alone. Any of the above machines can take me up a steep hwy with a strong headwind well above the speed limit & not even 'on pipe' so reason for not jacking around with a slip-on or full exhaust system.
I agree. Most street riders won't even need a steering damper. Most cases of headshake or, the potential of having a tank slapper should be directed towards setting bikes suspension up correctly to fit the rider. Proper sag adjusted to the riders weight can make a huge difference on any bike and should be one of THE MOST important adjustments made on any new bike. Getting a steering damper without adjusting your suspension will only mask the problem of experiencing shake if you're not riding under hard conditions.
The purpose of a steering damper is to dampen wobbles in the front fork assembly that occurs when the front wheel is deflected from its normal track by bumps, frame flex, tire reaction, etc. The amount of damping force (resistance) can be adjusted on the knobs of particular dampers for different types of riding.
After you have your suspension setup correctly and still experience shake during hard braking, or during WOT at the exit of a turn will a steering damper be used towards it's potential. But ofcourse, there are those who need to them when they put down their front wheel..... so that would be a good way to be safe as well. Otherwise, most street riders who have no interest in being on a track will ever have the need for one.