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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys tell me what happened.

I was out on a section of road in the country on the flats with long sweeping turns with no traffic. I was crossing into the other lane straightening out the turns so to speak. The road has a slight groove in places between the lanes. Probably rolling around 70mph when I was crossing back into my lane and I noticed that the groove was slightly larger but didn't think much about it until I crossed it... that's when the front end started wobbling back and forth! I let off on the throttle and it finally stopped after a brief moment. Needless to say I was a bit tensed up. The bike overall was under control. I assume by the way I hit the grove in the road that it jerked the wheel but it wasn't like I felt it jerking my hands free or anything like that. I slowed down for awhile and kept looking for wobble or any other signs that something wrong but it seemed fine. Kept on going and finished my trip for another 60 miles.

Has this ever happened to any of you?

Thanks

Bil
 

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Do you have a lot of weight on the back? I had that happen once on an old bike when carrying a lot luggage and passenger. The front end was very light and experienced the same thing.
 

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I don't have my MS yet but I have had it happen on other bikes. Not to the point that it turned into a full blown tank slapper. I've had it happen usually on metal bridge gratings, or when there's road construction and one lane it paved fresh and the other is stripped. You just kind of loosen the grip on the bars and let the bike correct itself. Most people tend to clamp down and white knuckle it which is a bad habit, you have to train yourself not to do that. Just straight chopping the throttle or snatching up a handful of brake isn't a good idea either.

I equate things like that to the same principles you use when riding in the wet, you want to be smooth as possible. Don't induce any more chassis movement than you have to. You don't want to overload anything or make the situation worse. It's easier to say than do and one of those things that you have to train the brain to do.

I will also add that sometimes a poorly adjusted suspension, incorrectly inflated tires or even over tightened chain can add or even be the culprit of this issue.
 

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That'll teach you to cross over those center lines when sportriding...;)
 

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Short answer, no.
Tyre pressures?
Are your wheels (especially the front) in balance?
 

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Cupped tires
tire pressure
suspension preload
Fore/aft weight balance
Those would be my first suspects

We should go riding sometime, Bill.
J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have my MS yet but I have had it happen on other bikes. Not to the point that it turned into a full blown tank slapper. I've had it happen usually on metal bridge gratings, or when there's road construction and one lane it paved fresh and the other is stripped. You just kind of loosen the grip on the bars and let the bike correct itself. Most people tend to clamp down and white knuckle it which is a bad habit, you have to train yourself not to do that. Just straight chopping the throttle or snatching up a handful of brake isn't a good idea either.

I equate things like that to the same principles you use when riding in the wet, you want to be smooth as possible. Don't induce any more chassis movement than you have to. You don't want to overload anything or make the situation worse. It's easier to say than do and one of those things that you have to train the brain to do.

I will also add that sometimes a poorly adjusted suspension, incorrectly inflated tires or even over tightened chain can add or even be the culprit of this issue.
Guys thanks for the responses. My Multi only has about 3200mi. I was riding by myself, panniers on in touring mode. My response was as you said... Just kept my grip light, no braking and just came off the throttle gently. I rode today and put another 95 mi on with my wife along. No problems! Bike seems good.

Oh well I guess it's just one of those weird things huh!?

JRT I was down by the river on 94 heading to the Lake when it happened. What part of town are you from?

Thanks again,

Bill
 

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Remember also that bikes like to (in fact they're designed to) follow camber. A groove in the road presents as a radical camber change, and depending on which wheel hits it first you could get a short moment of imbalance between the front and rear (front wanting to go one way and rear wanting to go another), which then take a few moments to "settle" once both wheels are back on even camber.

There's also a leverage effect with such a wide rear wheel: when you hit some steep camber, the "force of the road" is pushing up through a point on the rear wheel that is NOT in the centre. It's off to the "up hill" side. This has the effect of tipping the bike down hill a little, and the front typically follows a little later due to rake/trail effects.

Again, the bike is designed to behave this way, and will always correct itself if you let it. Grabbing on tight to the bars reduces the bike's ability to sort itself out.

Rob
 

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Hi Bill, I'm out in Chesterfield. I ride 94 pretty often, then detour off on D or F or thereabouts. That's a pretty typical ride for me.
 

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Letting off or braking is the worse thing you can do and will usually only serve to exacerbate the head shake. Anytime that happens, gas it.
 

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Letting off or braking is the worse thing you can do and will usually only serve to exacerbate the head shake. Anytime that happens, gas it.
Actually, maintaining steady throttle is safer. ANY additional bar input, even unintentional additions from twisting the throttle grip could prolong the wobble or intensify it. If you have your wits about you, slight application of the rear brake can help, but usually we are puckered too much for our wits to be working :)

This kind of thing is normal and to be expected on rare occasions. Unless it happens on smooth straight Tarmac, there is nothing wrong with your bike.
 

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Hey guys tell me what happened.

I was out on a section of road in the country on the flats with long sweeping turns with no traffic. I was crossing into the other lane straightening out the turns so to speak. The road has a slight groove in places between the lanes. Probably rolling around 70mph when I was crossing back into my lane and I noticed that the groove was slightly larger but didn't think much about it until I crossed it... that's when the front end started wobbling back and forth! I let off on the throttle and it finally stopped after a brief moment. Needless to say I was a bit tensed up. The bike overall was under control. I assume by the way I hit the grove in the road that it jerked the wheel but it wasn't like I felt it jerking my hands free or anything like that. I slowed down for awhile and kept looking for wobble or any other signs that something wrong but it seemed fine. Kept on going and finished my trip for another 60 miles.

Has this ever happened to any of you?

Thanks

Bil
Yup. Washington state has "rumble strips" in the centre of some roads. At fairly high speed (100 mph +) I have noticed the same thing. If I consciously relax my grip and slow down it dampens out, but it scared me a bit the first time it happened. As an "old" rider I have vivid memories of the "tank slappers" of my youth:eek:

Before anyone jumps on me, I ALWAYS stay on my side of the road - except when passing another vehicle. I have learned on these roads to pass at slower speeds (below 100 mph) and now have no problems.
 

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Actually, maintaining steady throttle is safer. ANY additional bar input, even unintentional additions from twisting the throttle grip could prolong the wobble or intensify it. If you have your wits about you, slight application of the rear brake can help, but usually we are puckered too much for our wits to be working :)

This kind of thing is normal and to be expected on rare occasions. Unless it happens on smooth straight Tarmac, there is nothing wrong with your bike.
You're right.. not a thing wrong with the bike, except that it was designed for crisp turn in.

However, in my 28 years of riding experience both on and off road, the only solution to fixing the start of a tank slapper is to give the bike full throttle. Loading the front end via brake, reduction of throttle or any other method (leaning forward, etc) results in the same or more wobble. Hit the gas, lean back, ride lose (don't death grip the bars) and it'll fix your problem 100% of the time.
 

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+1 flyinturbo.

This is true and those who know have ridden dirtbikes.
When in doubt - give it the berries!
 

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You're right.. not a thing wrong with the bike, except that it was designed for crisp turn in.

However, in my 28 years of riding experience both on and off road, the only solution to fixing the start of a tank slapper is to give the bike full throttle. Loading the front end via brake, reduction of throttle or any other method (leaning forward, etc) results in the same or more wobble. Hit the gas, lean back, ride lose (don't death grip the bars) and it'll fix your problem 100% of the time.
Completely correct.
 

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Ah yes…the ‘SR’s’ at work!! (Survival Reactions).
The answer (almost) always is DO NOTHING. Especially don’t panic into closing he throttle…that just never helps anything.

I got back into biking about a fours years ago and started back on an Er6n, (one year, 20,000km), then a VFR 800 (over a year and over 20,000km) and now the Multi (6 months and 15,000km)…which despite giving me many problems is a bike to love.

I read everything I could get my hands on…courses are hard to come by here. (Malaysia).

If anyone has not read ‘A Twist of the Wrist 2’ by Keith Code then you are missing the most important read of your life….a read that may well prolong your life! He’s made a video too but IMHO the book is far better.
 

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+1 flyinturbo.

This is true and those who know have ridden dirtbikes.
When in doubt - give it the berries!
TO/FT - if you can maintain a relaxed grip on the bars while 'giving it the berries', then good for you. Not sure if all readers of this thread would be as calm, cool, and collected in that situation - or as capable of managing that de-weighted front once it sets back down.

For most of us not gifted with Casey Stoner levels of bike control, the best and most realistic answer is to neither chop the throttle nor whack it open, but to simply do nothing except loosen our grip on the bars and let the bike adjust itself.
 

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TO/FT - if you can maintain a relaxed grip on the bars while 'giving it the berries', then good for you. Not sure if all readers of this thread would be as calm, cool, and collected in that situation - or as capable of managing that de-weighted front once it sets back down.

For most of us not gifted with Casey Stoner levels of bike control, the best and most realistic answer is to neither chop the throttle nor whack it open, but to simply do nothing except loosen our grip on the bars and let the bike adjust itself.
+1 don't make any sudden changes is the key. If it's on, leave it on. If it's off, leave it off.
 

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if you can maintain a relaxed grip on the bars while 'giving it the berries', then good for you.
I am a very firm believer that dirt bike riding makes you a much better road rider.
1. You get used to front and rear wheel slides and learn NOT to lock up and panic - or you fall off a lot.
2. You learn to modulate braking to achieve max braking without losing traction - or you fall off a lot.
3. You set up the bike controls and handlebar relationship so that you ride with relaxed arms and elbows out. This is key in being able to let the bike do its thing while maintaining steering, throttle and braking control. Elbows out and grip the tank with your knees to add your bodies inertia to the bike's turning moment . This is exactly why I spaced my bars closer.

And Nickpilot, I cant help but totally disagree with
The answer (almost) always is DO NOTHING.
I have ridden big loaded motard style bikes across the Australian desert and ridden KTM 990 Advs across Malaysia and into the palm oil plantations on the slimy red mud roads. If you get wayward, crossed up, tank slappy, doing nothing means you eat it big time. More often than not, careful throttle increase is the answer and sometime it is slam it open. If the front end is squirrelly or following a rut, the bike will peel out from under you unless you unload the front by opening the taps. Doing nothing will see you off. Like most things, you have to train your reflexes to do the right thing which is often the opposite of what your brain tells you.

Just my opinion.
 

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I am a very firm believer that dirt bike riding makes you a much better road rider.
1. You get used to front and rear wheel slides and learn NOT to lock up and panic - or you fall off a lot.
2. You learn to modulate braking to achieve max braking without losing traction - or you fall off a lot.
3. You set up the bike controls and handlebar relationship so that you ride with relaxed arms and elbows out. This is key in being able to let the bike do its thing while maintaining steering, throttle and braking control. Elbows out and grip the tank with your knees to add your bodies inertia to the bike's turning moment . This is exactly why I spaced my bars closer.

And Nickpilot, I cant help but totally disagree with

I have ridden big loaded motard style bikes across the Australian desert and ridden KTM 990 Advs across Malaysia and into the palm oil plantations on the slimy red mud roads. If you get wayward, crossed up, tank slappy, doing nothing means you eat it big time. More often than not, careful throttle increase is the answer and sometime it is slam it open. If the front end is squirrelly or following a rut, the bike will peel out from under you unless you unload the front by opening the taps. Doing nothing will see you off. Like most things, you have to train your reflexes to do the right thing which is often the opposite of what your brain tells you.

Just my opinion.
And a valuable, accurate opinion at that.

This is one reason I purchased a set of Raptor (ATV) Pro Taper handlebars for my MTS. Since I've not been home in a while, they're still sitting and waiting to be installed. The local MC shop wanted $175 to install them, I said no and will do it when I go home.

I spent a few days of trying new bars on the triple clamps at the local MC store trying to find a bend that was just a bit taller and a bit more pulled back then the stock bars. The goal is to have a bit more control on the bike and give me a better riding position for more control. Helps that they're black and will look great on my Ti MTS!

I've honestly thought about adapting a Scotts steering stabilizer to the MTS... probably won't happen as it's pretty stable already.
 
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