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Discussion Starter #1
So there are tons or opinions on the brand of damper or whether or not you even need one. Though the question i have is, if you do get headshake or a tank slapper - what can you do to maintain control if you are riding WITHOUT a damper?

I've heard accelerate and don't fight the handle bars. Though, I think accelerate might be from a previous era of bikes (remember reading that somewhere)....
 

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Um, physics don't change based on era of bikes so you still accelerate and ride it out. ;)

But the very first and most important thing to avoid/minimize head shake is to set up your suspension properly as it will get rid of most of your head shake issues. - Stephen
 

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Proper body positioning is the key to preventing headshake and slappers.

I can accelerate hard with the front wheel light/off the ground over bumpy road and just have light headshake. It's all about minimizing input to the bars.
 

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I dont know what the majority concensus is on this... but I've had a couple instances with headshake, one of which lead to a good tank slapper. the times I've encountered this I shifted my weight forward more and eased OFF throttle, all while remaining fairly loose and not trying to wrestle input to the controls. it killed the oscillations pretty quickly and resulted in almost instantly righting the bikes behavior. I ride without a steering damper.

edit: +1 on the suspension tip. after I got mine dialed in headshake has been less of an issue.
 

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I make sure I'm completely upright again and let off the throttle. Here in Washington they have these evil bumps that go over the white lines. When you're going fast (110+) and you hit one wrong.. for whatever reason, sometimes it makes me shake.. so I just do what I mentioned and I'm cool. God I hate Washington state. Anyone know how well Florida roads are made? I'm talking about smooth asphalt.
 
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central FL roads (the quality) are decent for the most part, since the area is growing and everything is new. guess that can be a reason why i've never experienced headshake.

also whenever i wasnt riding for fun or on a twisty ride, i took it pretty easy.
 

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"how to control headshake WITHOUT a damper?"

Concentrate, breath deeply, and try to relax. You should now be able to continue typing without headshake. You might have a physical condition and should see a neuralolist if headshakes persist.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by Hawk


Concentrate, breath deeply, and try to relax. You should now be able to continue typing without headshake. You might have a physical condition and should see a neuralolist if headshakes persist.
what happens if a really good song is on - and you just can't help bob your head?
 

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Well headshake in itself really isnt a huge deal, it can lead to more major problems but if you get headshake i wouldnt be too worried just yet.. I've had slapper without prior warning (no headshake, nothing!).. I hit a series of bumps that the suspension just couldnt handle correctly and bada-bing my front tire decided to have a race with itself and tried ripping the steering head clean off my bike.. I would say suspension setup is probably the most cricital, after that its purely up to how you ride, get the front end light all the time and chances are sooner or later its not going to be perfect and its going to set up that chain of events for you..
 

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You should ride with a relaxed grip on the bars. If the front starts wagging, it's human nature to grab on tighter, which inhibits the wheel from trying to center itself.
 

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Unless your Rossi trying to make a last lap, last corner pass, you should always let off the throttle and not give it more gas as that will most likely add fuel to the already big fire and make the situation worse. And never put a death grip on the handle bars as a very nasty slapper could actually break bones in your hand/wrists.
Just buy a damper ;)
 

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Stop popping wheelies :D

I've never suffered a shake/slap and I frequently redline off red lights. From what I can tell, the biggest danger of suffering a tank slapper comes from popping a wheelie and coming down in a non-straight line. So don't pop any wheelies and you should be fine :)
 

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Originally posted by Advanced Kawasaki
You should ride with a relaxed grip on the bars. If the front starts wagging, it's human nature to grab on tighter, which inhibits the wheel from trying to center itself.
bingo!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yipes, that just kinda came out of no where - his front wheel was allready down - ugh, must save to buy damper
 

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Kitty Cat!

Ughh.. seeing that makes me shudder, but it looks like he came down on a bad spot in the road. I've had many of those though.. My asshole puckers up and like I said, I do nothing but let off the throttle.
 

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Headshake comes from a condition of instability, such as hard acceleration out of a bumpy corner. Classic case would be the rider landing a botched wheelie with the handlebar/front tire turned instead of straight and square.

Move your body position forward and lower towards the tank, use the footpegs as the leverage to do this, not by pulling yourself forward via the handlebars which can exacerbate the condition. Either maintain or gradually decrease throttle but do not roll on more throttle.

Many racers will say roll on the throttle but the motorcycle is already in a condition of instability. Extending the suspension and lightening the front end can possibily add to this condition of instability. And since our goal on the street is to stay healthy and wealthy, not challenge for a podium spot... why risk it? There are no trophies or race purses awarded on a commute or street ride.

Being a racer myself, I have had major headshake before coming out of a cornor and ended up tumbeling/sliding down a straight for about 60 to 70 yrds, if your going to ride hard enough to develop headshake get a damper. The $400 spent on a damper may be the only thing between an expensive crash/hospital bill, and only having to change your undies when you get back home....

Sorry for the long post.
 
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