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Old 05-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
Skulls
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How to control a speed wobble?

Hey I'm sure this has already been covered somewhere but I could find much. I just wanted to know the best way to get out of a high-speed wobble. I've always heard throttle up or maintain speed. Then I've heard get on the rear brake. What is the best way out of it? And what about wheelie speed wobbles?
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Give it more throttle.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

If you're referring to head shake as a " steering wobble. " The best way to get through it is wacking on the throttle while maintaining a very light grip on the bars. Remaining relaxed and loose. Problem is, out of panic most people will tense up and grip the bars tightly. Which only makes the situation worst. If you're experiencing these issues. I would suggest having your suspension set up properly.
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?



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.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Like everyone said, LIGHT GRIP on the controls, use your knees. There's a video from Bonneville of a guy that was at high speed & got a crazy bad wobble. He bailed from the bike & it actually staightened right up & kept going with no rider.

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Old 05-21-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

I look forward to the headshake going over T6 @ Willow Springs, wheel in the air a bit and power on down the hill thru T7 and then ball check time thru T8 & 9.
Make's me believe I'm doing something right as in going fast
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:18 PM   #7
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfart01 View Post
Like everyone said, LIGHT GRIP on the controls, use your knees. There's a video from Bonneville of a guy that was at high speed & got a crazy bad wobble. He bailed from the bike & it actually staightened right up & kept going with no rider.

Shows as well how important proper gear is also... Nice vid
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

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.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:48 AM   #9
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearljam724 View Post
If you're referring to head shake as a " steering wobble. " The best way to get through it is wacking on the throttle while maintaing a very light grip on the bars. Remaining relaxed and loose. Problem is, out of panic most people will tense up and grip the bars tightly. Which only makes the situation worst. If you're experiencing these issues. I would suggest having your suspension set up properly.
+1, perfect description. if i may add 1 more thing it would be to, scoot as far
back in the seat as you can. i was having this happen at a track, a cr said this
was the thing to do. he (and others here) are correct.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:25 PM   #10
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOEJAM View Post
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.
Good info there toejam, thanks for the heads up...

Up until now I thought headshake was some sort of greeting between men and hoe's...
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

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?
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Ha! in the last part of that vid it sounds like he was slowing down into the wobble...
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #13
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

shift weight back, give 'er gas, squeeze the tank, pray to raptor jesus.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #14
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skulls View Post
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?
You're correct about using your knees to lighten the grip on the bars. That's the way anyone is suppose to hold on to a bike. With your legs. At any time, under any circumstance. Particularly a head shake. Getting back on the bike if you were to get so far into getting thrown off would mostly require leg strength to get back on. Yes, a little arm strength as well. But, if you have a choice. You would want to minimize using your arms as much as possible to get back on. As far as making the wobble worst, the suspension is already upset. You would need to get the suspension settled by taking the correct actions to settle it. A lot easier said, than done. Especially at high speeds when it happens in a blink of an eye. That's why very few riders have the skill and luck to make it through an honest " tank slapper. " Big difference between that and little head shake. Video, Oldfart posted is good example of a " tank slapper. "
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:39 PM   #15
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

All you can do is hang on and ride it out. Wish there was a way to stop it though as scary as it can be, but there isnt. A few months back I had a nasty wobble while halling ass down a trail on a RM125. It could of easily became a full on tank slapper. All I could do was hang on, ride it out and hope nothing happened. Because of the bumpy path the bike even went into a lean with it.

The bike eventually corrected though. I cant attribute none of that to skill. I just got lucky.

At that moment I wished dirtbikes came with steering dampers. Thats what they do, aid in preventing stuff like that. Imagine how much more your bike would do this and how bad it would be without a damper. And to think, some older sport bikes until the mid 00's did not come factory with them.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:54 PM   #16
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous36 View Post
All you can do is hang on and ride it out. Wish there was a way to stop it though as scary as it can be, but there isnt. A few months back I had a nasty wobble while halling ass down a trail on a RM125. It could of easily became a full on tank slapper. All I could do was hang on, ride it out and hope nothing happened. Because of the bumpy path the bike even went into a lean with it.

The bike eventually corrected though. I cant attribute none of that to skill. I just got lucky.

At that moment I wished dirtbikes came with steering dampers. Thats what they do, aid in preventing stuff like that. Imagine how much more your bike would do this and how bad it would be without a damper. And to think, some older sport bikes until the mid 00's did not come factory with them.
Oh, yeah. Had a couple bikes without dampers. Made it a little fun at those times when you would experience a tiny headshake or it felt like you could countersteer that much harder. But, never would I want to experience a full blown " tank slapper. " Nor would I feel comfortable going back to not having one. It still amazes me how much more modern bikes feel and are planted to the ground in comparison to several years ago.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:45 AM   #17
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

I luckily survived a high speed wobble. I made my hands light for the bars, took hand off throttle, and prayed for the 15-30sec it was going on down the freeway. Maybe it wouldnt have lasted as long if I put some gas into it but just glad I regained control before the bike wobbled into another car. Anyways seems like praying helps the most. LOL
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:48 AM   #18
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOEJAM View Post
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.
Good info, Toe.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:11 AM   #19
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

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Originally Posted by aKillEase View Post
Shows as well how important proper gear is also... Nice vid
Well except for that history/discovery/animal planet channel narration. They try to make paint drying seem dramatic and difficult.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:25 PM   #20
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Re: How to control a speed wobble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOEJAM View Post


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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOEJAM View Post
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skulls View Post
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.

Cheers,
Misti
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