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usually landing a wheelies "crossed up", or bumpy roads when your lean over in a turns will jar the handlebars left and right and by nature it will continue to get worse until your bars actually would slap that gas tank...usually by this time you had a "Death grip" on the bars while this is all happening causing to you inadvertently transfer that motion to the whole bikes cause you to fly (highside) most likely.

a dampener reduces the speed at which the bars can move back and forth helps to prevent this occurance...


not very scientic answer but it should be basically right...
 

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Just curious, what conditions cause tank slap?
I haven't had it happen yet, but I'm considering getting a damper to reduce the risk of it...?
 

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Pretty much anything that causes the front tire to go out of line abruptly with the rear tire. Most usually when the front end lightens.
 

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Interesting fact: if you were physically strong enough to keep the bars from wagging violently in your hands some part of the chassis would actually bend or snap.
 

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Originally posted by Strong Bad

Interesting fact: if you were physically strong enough to keep the bars from wagging violently in your hands some part of the chassis would actually bend or snap.
Well, at least NOW I know why I got those little stress fractures all over my frame... ;)
 

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ride it out..it has to happen when you ride aggresively. you cant relax to much, then your just a moving target.
 

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Originally posted by mvrk1

So what is the best way to avoid casualty (to yourself and the machine) when a tank slapper occurs?
Other than a proper set up - suspension & correct tire pressures - being smooth all around helps a great deal. It's normal for the bars to wag around a bit on ya' which is fun:D Should things get too out of hand relax as best you can and raise your butt off the seat a little bit in order to avoid transfering those shimmies to the bike as a whole.

Basically, relax and be smooth; life will be good[8D]
 

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here's my shot at a techical explanation. keep in mind I'm not a physicist so I may be incorrectly wording a thing or two. please correct where needed :p

think of the two wheels as gyroscopes. whenever two gyroscopes are inline they are fine, they tend to want to maintain a position at right angle to the ground. the more rotating mass the greater the gyroscopic effect (but that's not important right now). But, when they become mis-aligned from landing a crossed up wheelie, frame stress in a corner, improper chain adjustment, whatever. They windup fighting each other for that vertical position. This usually results in the frame moving in both a side to side as well as an un and down 'S' motion (picture a fish moving it's body up and dow in addition to the normal manner and you get the idea. eventually if the mis-alignment is not corrected, the tires of the bike will eventually start to hop from one side of center to the other getting progressively worse and finishing off with a bloody twisted mess.

The best advise I could give anyone is if you start a wobble and it wasn't from something stupid you just did. Get off the throttle. Stop the bike and find out what caused it. This notion of powering through it will eventually result in an ugly get-off. The only way I could really see applying more throttle is if you have enough torque to lift the front suspension to full extension thus enabling the wheel to return to a neutral position. If, however, there is something wrong with the setup you will only further exaggerate the effect.

please feel free to flame away on this one. lets hear some opinions.
 

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I had a tank slapper on night going around 100MPH. It yanked the bars from my hands, So it automatically started to slow down. After about 5 seconds I was down to about 75MPH and it just stopped as suddenly as it started. It happened to me because I accelerated really hard while going over a couple of very small bumps in the road. Needless to say, I ordered my Scotts the very next day
 
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