Tank slapped at speed

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Jakeemt, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Jakeemt

    Jakeemt Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    21
    Hey all just wanted to share. Te other night I was coming home from work on a rural highway and I was coming out a turn. A line of cars blinded me and the next thing I know I ran over the head of a rather large dead animal. The front and back end of my my bike began to shake violently. Fortunately I knew what to do. I loosened my grip eased off the throttle and hugged the tank. Main thing is that while it is definately pretty scary don't panic because unles you are really going fast this can be corrected. First mod to my bike is gonna be an HID Headlight! I may just right with brights in the mean time even with on coming traffic.
    #1
  2. 83XLX

    83XLX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    936
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    A number of years ago, I hit a medium-size dog on a country road while going about 60 mph. Pretty violent head shake for a second or two, and then the bike (Ironhead Sportster) settled back down. The dog came running out of the woods and I had no time to react. One of my arms was sore for about a month after that... unfortunately, the dog was killed.
    #2
  3. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    13,202
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Clipped a huge rock while leaned over pretty good at 60+ on my VFR750 a few years ago. It was a big flat, shale type of rock. I think at least the rear tire left the ground for a bit because the bike started to weave really badly while I drifted outside. Fortunately I got a handle on things by staying relaxed and looking where I wanted to go. I pulled over and inspected my tires and wheels and found a big chip/dent in the rear wheel where the rock had flipped up and hit the inside of the wheel! Also had a small chunk of rubber missing from the edge of the tire next to it.

    Man, anything that causes your tires to lose contact with the pavement while you are leaned over results in some crazy weaving or shakes. Glad you didn't go down.
    #3
  4. dduelin

    dduelin Prone To Wander, Lord, I Feel It

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,547
    Location:
    Shaft City
    In the "dumb but I did it anyway column" right after I got my ST1300 I was practicing launching the bike as quickly as I could. I was doing this in a large brand new parking lot surfaced with concrete, bright virgin white. I was trying to hook up the tire without wheel spin or lofting the front. In one attempt the front wheel came slightly off the ground and I guess I cocked the bars a little so when the front tire weighted again the forks started slapping. I got off the gas and slowed without brakes and the bike stabilized. When I went back and looked on the ground you could see these long slightly s-shaped skid marks where the front tire was skipping along alternately side-to-side on either side of the straight path the bike had taken. The trail of the forks self-corrects itself if given time to do so. The bike is usually smarter than the rider and given it's head will stabilize.
    #4
  5. Stevie4570

    Stevie4570 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    Many years ago I was riding too fast at night on a straight country road. An armadillo ran across the road on a collision course with the right side of my bike. I accelerated to try to miss it. This wasn't working so I stuck my right foot out and kicked it. A mistake? Maybe. Maybe it saved me from crashing. That 15 lb armadillo felt like he weighed 250 lbs. I don't know if a human can kick himself in the back of his own head at 100+ mph, but I think I did it. My brand new 1979 Yamaha XS eleven went into a wobble and I rode it down to 30-40 mph until I stopped. I Think I'm glad I didn't hit the brakes instead. I still chuckle about that night.
    #5
    brucifer likes this.
  6. n8mandy

    n8mandy Revmeister

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    I've heard that armadillo motorcycle polo is wildly popular in Western Texas.
    #6
    Patek likes this.
  7. n8mandy

    n8mandy Revmeister

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Why did you feel the need to let us know what you were riding, any non-noob would've known.
    #7
  8. 83XLX

    83XLX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    936
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Well, I thought the OP would be interested, and I do have another motorcycle...:D

    [​IMG]
    #8
    karlb likes this.
  9. JCool

    JCool Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3,182
    :fpalm For one thing , you don't let off the gas or touch the brakes.
    #9
  10. rudolf35

    rudolf35 Warped & Twisted Mind

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    939
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    A few years ago took my then new to me Breva 1100 on a "airing out" run on some West TX roads. I was following a oil service truck when a tool box decided to jump ship and head right for me. I had zero time to get out of the way and all I could do was hang on lightly and hit it as square as I could.
    I hit the sliding toolbox dead center and "jumped" the Breva over it; having held on lightly and keeping the throttle as it was, no brakes, I made it over the toolbox and the ensuing head shake only lasted a few feet - sufficient time to scare the heck out of me. I managed to stop safely and on inspection noted one heck of a "smiley" in my front rim. It held air and gave me sufficient confidence to ride it to the next town for a tow home.
    The service truck never knew it happened and was long gone by the time I gathered my wits. Thank goodness the company had marked the tools and toolbox and after I got home I contacted them and told them what happened. Received a visit from their insurance representative with a chequebook in hand; besides the scare, I made a few bucks after deducting the cost of the damage and tow. Turns out that the service company had several instances of "loosing" tools and they where more than happy to settle so as to avoid a date with the TX highway patrol and the local court system.
    Long story short, hang on lightly and be ready for anything!
    :knary
    #10
  11. Jakeemt

    Jakeemt Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    21
    I was taught to ease of the the throttle. I know just letting go can cause engine breaking but why not back off? Seems to work.
    #11
  12. tlub

    tlub Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I ended up with a broken shoulder blade, collarbone, and seven ribs as well as punctured lung from a wobble on my R75/5. Construction had left raised asphalt bumps in the road about 3" high covering every crack in the concrete prior to a complete covering. No markings to show it was there. Kind of like criss-crossed speed bumps, on a 50mph exit ramp. By the time my wife went to take pictures it was covered up. They denied it was ever like that.
    Trashed the Rabid Transit fairing which a SWB /5 should never had have but remarkably little other damage than a bent crash bar and a holed valve cover. Health insurance paid for the medical. Took an operation to fix the bones but I knew the surgeon. He lived across the street from me amd our sons played together. I'm fine and the bike is fine these days. That was in 2001.
    #12
    Beemer_Mike likes this.
  13. ColdForged

    ColdForged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, US
    Im going to take a guess here. Maybe letting off the gas puts weight on the front wheel, where if you throttle it you lift the front wheel a bit?
    #13
  14. tkitna

    tkitna Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,478
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Yep. Enough MX racing will confirm this. I've had some RM's and CR's that were notorious head shakers at speed and the only way to get yourself out of it was grab some more throttle. Trying to slow down just made it worse and you got spit off.
    #14
    Nemosengineer and JCool like this.
  15. Jakeemt

    Jakeemt Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    21
    Well I'll stick with slowing down for now. That's what the MSF recommends and that's good enough for me. A little research turned up several varying opinions from experts. Seems to be a case of "ya pays your money and takes ya chances"
    #15
  16. PDTX

    PDTX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Portland, TX
    I am currently going through this. I don't know the cause but got a 70mph tankslapper on my Ulysses XT on May 12th. Attempted to give it some throttle but still got sent flying. Broke collarbone and ribs 4-10 on my left side to go along with the punctured lung. It happened so quickly and violently. Scary stuff. I still have a 2012 R1200GS and now am wondering if I need a steering damper for it.
    #16
  17. tlub

    tlub Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I know nothing about the Ulysses, but the /5 SWB BMW was known for being a bit marginal in this. I my case I think the fairing weighted the front enough to steepen the fork angle, especially when compressed by the bumps and responding to the impacts, to push it over the edge.
    I thought the GS earlier had a potential (but nothing like the /5 SWB) for this and it was addressed at the R1100 era. The telelever front end is very good and I think its geometry prevents exactly what bit you and I. It's one reason I am thinking of a newer BMW. That and ABS and fuel injection and tubeless tires and gobs of power.
    #17
  18. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,131
    Location:
    Spring Mountain Range
    Especially if it was caused by speed, which I have experienced several times.
    #18
  19. g34343greg

    g34343greg Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've only experienced head shake once and it's definitely not fun. I was out on my 2008 GSXR 600 and was accelerating hard to pass a car on a 2 lane road. I was just starting up a hill and since I was on the other side of the road, there was some bad washboarding from the trucks braking coming down. It all happened so fast. I don't think I really did anything as I was too scared. I guess I'll give the steering damper credit for saving me on that one.
    #19
  20. DantheDuck

    DantheDuck Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    NorCal
    Please don't be that guy running your high beams into oncoming traffic at night. Motorcycles have enough asshats giving us a bad reputation, we don't need one more. Also I have found that if I'm riding within my limits (see not overriding the headlights) I can usually see things on the road in time even with someone else's high beams in my face. Of course over half my riding is done at night so ymmv.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
    #20