||There are two other things rarely mentioned about steering dampers.
The first is impact energy. When you take a big hit from a tree root on an angle, normally the bars flick and the bike and you will be pushed off your line, but hopefully not off the track. With a steering damper fitted, hitting the same root, the impact energy does not push you off your line. It is not magically absorbed by the little gold box on the bars either. The damper only holds the bike straight. This energy is forced through the front of the bike and it's suspension. If the bike is too lightly sprung for you, you may bottom out on these hits. If the bike is set-up correctly, it will be like riding over a small hump.
The second thing is that a damper does not just control the bars direction, but it also controls the back of the bike too. Imagine that you are going up a slippery rutted hill without a damper and you want to cross a rut. Lofting the front over it, the back often drops in the rut and you either ride crossed up, drop your front wheel back in it to ride straight or simply crash. With the damper fitted you will find that the rear wants to track out of the rut easier. Think of a bike's steering as a hinge between the front and the back of the bike. When this hinge is fitted with a damper you restrict its movement. Hold one end of the hinge (the bars) straight, the other end of the hinge (the back of the bike) will follow. Obviously a huge rut will bring you undone, but from slippery tracks to rocky hills and sandy trails the rear end moves a lot more positively in the direction you point the bars.