If you can think about it quick enough, give it some gas. If not, that is fine...just dont try to stop it by gripping tighter or trying to hold the bars still. That will do nothing but transfer the "wobble" into you.
Keep a very light grip on the bars, let the bike do what it wants to do and it will correct itself.
There are some places when i know it is going to happen and expect it. Road Atlanta, coming out of T6 and coming over "wheelie hill", i always get headshake. I expect it and am barely holding on to the bars as i come over the hill. It lasts for a second or two and then stops.
Excellent points. It is really tough to give it some gas when you first experience a speed wobble as all of your survival instincts scream "chop the gas and hang on tighter" as you said, if you can do it, give it some gas, if not then try to just hold steady and HOLD LIGHTLY.
Something that should be mentioned on this subject, if you experience headshake, give your brakes a quick check before you get to the braking zone in the next corner.
It isn't uncommon for that headshake to push your brake pads back and away from the rotors (think about how you spread them apart when changing tires and have to pump them up...imagine going into a turn with them in that state).
That scenario is what (potentially) ended Tray Batey's career. He came out of the same turn and wheelie hill I mentioned up there ^ and got headshake and it pushed his pads back. Then he came into the braking zone of the next turn with no brakes. By the time he got them pumped back into position, he was waaay deep and waay hot. He laid it down trying to make the turn.
If you are on a "Sunday cruise", it isnt a big deal. But if you are running hard and on the limit, that extra 1-2 pumps it takes to get your brake pads back into position could make the difference between making the turn or crashing.
Very very important point and something that I was lucky enough to have heard or read somewhere before I had my first tank slapper. It was at Reno Fernley Racetrack and I was coaching with CSS, chasing a fast student when I hit a bump, came down hard and went into a fierce tank slapper. It was so violent that I actually let go of both bars and was going to bail off the bike (it was bucking me so hard). When I let go the slapping stopped and I grabbed the bars again but did so too tightly and it started slapping again. I finally grabbed hold lightly just as I was coming up to another turn and some how remember the bit about pumping brakes after a tank slapper. Sure enough I pulled the lever and there was nothing there so I pumped and luckily made it through safe and sound. It pays to be well informed about WHAT to do in certain situations
I was just thinking that using your knees will help lighten up the grip as well as keep you on the bike.
How would you get back on the seat without tightening your grip on the bars? wouldn't moving around just make the wobble worse?
Good point here as well, using your knees to grip the tank is huge in being able to stay on the bike and relax your grip on the bars.
Moving around and grabbing the bars usually makes the wobble worse, hence the reason you want to grip the tank with your knees as you suggested so you can hold the bars lightly.