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So what could riders do in this situation to first of all help prevent a tank slapper from happening, and second, deal with it when it is out of control like that? (rider is lucky in this case!). But seriously, what causes tank slappers and what do you do about them?
 

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Improper suspension setup, improper tire pressure, and road conditions can cause tank slappers.

Stay calm, stay loose, and stay off the front brake and ride it out. Or, if you have the power, wheelie it.
 

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^^^ what he said ... panic reaction is to chop the throttle shut.

Think of it like a car towing a trailer and it starts to fish tail ... the answer is to power out smoothly (if you can).

Iv owned a number of cbr900rr’s which I found were the worst for doing this , esp with the 16” front wheel !!!
 

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So what could riders do in this situation to first of all help prevent a tank slapper from happening, and second, deal with it when it is out of control like that? (rider is lucky in this case!). But seriously, what causes tank slappers and what do you do about them?
A lot of guys tighten up on the bars when accelerating or are tight on them all the time which makes it way more likely to happen. Too loose stearing head bearings can cause it too. I had a tank slapper at an unsafely high speed on my bike. Was full on lock to lock and violent enough to throw both my hands off the bars. Got a hand back on the throttle and rolled it on and that cleared it up. Longest 6 seconds of my life lol (That's what she said). I've heard rear brake can help it but I don't know how much I'd recommend that. You panic stomp on it and lock your rear up WHILE a tank slapper is happening you're gonna high side. I took it to my local sport bike shop and had him go through it and set suspension for my weight. He said everything was good with the bike and to order a damper if it felt likely to happen again. Most people go straight to the stabilizer but that kinda just suppresses the symptom of something bigger going on, whether its suspension, rider technique, tires, or loose head bearings/swing arm pivots. Don't get me wrong, steering dampers are great, but if you're having consistent head shake look at the possible causes before you slap a damper on it.
 

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A lot of guys tighten up on the bars when accelerating or are tight on them all the time which makes it way more likely to happen. Too loose stearing head bearings can cause it too. I had a tank slapper at an unsafely high speed on my bike. Was full on lock to lock and violent enough to throw both my hands off the bars. Got a hand back on the throttle and rolled it on and that cleared it up. Longest 6 seconds of my life lol (That's what she said). I've heard rear brake can help it but I don't know how much I'd recommend that. You panic stomp on it and lock your rear up WHILE a tank slapper is happening you're gonna high side. I took it to my local sport bike shop and had him go through it and set suspension for my weight. He said everything was good with the bike and to order a damper if it felt likely to happen again. Most people go straight to the stabilizer but that kinda just suppresses the symptom of something bigger going on, whether its suspension, rider technique, tires, or loose head bearings/swing arm pivots. Don't get me wrong, steering dampers are great, but if you're having consistent head shake look at the possible causes before you slap a damper on it.
yes well said! Tightening up on the bars is a huge factor for the exacerbation of a tank slapper and sometimes even the cause of it. Often times, just relaxing on the bars will help dissipate the slapping of the bars and as people said, holding the throttle steady or slightly rolling off can help. Big mistake is to chop the gas or to try and grab the bars tighter. I had a doozy of one several years ago and I basically just let go of the bars and figured I might have to jump off the bike!! Soon as I let go the slapper stopped and the bike continued straight.....now, what can happen AFTER a violent tank slapper with the brakes that is important to note?
 

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yes well said! Tightening up on the bars is a huge factor for the exacerbation of a tank slapper and sometimes even the cause of it. Often times, just relaxing on the bars will help dissipate the slapping of the bars and as people said, holding the throttle steady or slightly rolling off can help. Big mistake is to chop the gas or to try and grab the bars tighter. I had a doozy of one several years ago and I basically just let go of the bars and figured I might have to jump off the bike!! Soon as I let go the slapper stopped and the bike continued straight.....now, what can happen AFTER a violent tank slapper with the brakes that is important to note?
Yea, I think mine was caused by a bump while accelerating. When I rode through after I noticed a seam/bump right about where it started. Your bike is constantly trying to track a straight line, your bars are always "moving" a little bit. It's when something pushes your tire out of line and the corrective force is enough to throw it back past center that you get a tank slapper. Definite pucker moment. Yea if you find yourself in one and you're able to ride out of it be sure to pump your brakes up right after. The force can be enough to knock the pads away from the rotor so you may not have any front brakes for the first couple of lever pulls.
 

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Yea, I think mine was caused by a bump while accelerating. When I rode through after I noticed a seam/bump right about where it started. Your bike is constantly trying to track a straight line, your bars are always "moving" a little bit. It's when something pushes your tire out of line and the corrective force is enough to throw it back past center that you get a tank slapper. Definite pucker moment. Yea if you find yourself in one and you're able to ride out of it be sure to pump your brakes up right after. The force can be enough to knock the pads away from the rotor so you may not have any front brakes for the first couple of lever pulls.
Exactly! Well explained, and yes! Pump the brakes after a tank slapper as the force can knock the pads apart and during the first few pulls of the lever can give you nothing! I remembered reading something along those lines as I was panicking after my first full on tank slapper and somehow had enough wits to pump the brakes just in time to slow for the upcoming corner and then pull off at pit exit to chill out for a bit an get the color back in my skin. hahaha
 
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