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I'm curious as to how many people have experienced this lovely phenomenon on an older Wing. That flat out 10/10 on the pucker scale, not talking about shimmy, wiggle, or vibration. I'm talking about that "can't hang on to it, handlebars are now a rabid longhorn, my life is now up to physics, I'm going to miss that patch of skin" come-to-jesus, ejection seat moment. And more importantly, did anyone find a probable cause and/or a cure?
 

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Yes, on my GL1500. New front tire made it go away. I followed that with a Superbrace a month later (I strongly dislike the Blackwing brand), new rear tire the next year (Darkside) and new stem bearings after that. Never again had the wobble on that bike.

When I bought my 2015 GL1800, it was over two years old but only 2000 miles. However, previous owner consistently ran it with low air pressure. First trip I noticed a slight wobble. Raised front tire pressure to 40 psig and while it took away any sense of wobble, I could still feel something off. Changed it before I got to 10,000 miles. I disliked the rear tire so much, I changed that at 6000 miles.
 

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My answer my reply to your queries is both a yes and a no as with most interactions I have with women… Anyway, no I did not experience it on either of my Goldwings, but after nearly 50 years of riding (and never learning about this topic ), in a moment of recklessness I incurred the dreaded wobble and in about a count of two one-1000,I was sliding I was tumbling actually on the tarmac and my mount sliding like a baseball hook slide in the ditch. As an aside I’ll jokingly add that this fine August day I was touring with a GoPro mounted to the chin of my helmet in an effort to cheer up my brother with a video of my favorite commute. Thusly, I possess documentation of my mishap, you can read 78 mph as I exit stage right to tumble four times without incident other than totaling a delightful bike and blackening the muscles in my shoulders and backside. All that gymnastics and martial arts training came to my involuntary rescue-even today I am astonished that I didn’t break any bones that day in 2016.. have a peek:

Let me start with the be-all end-all best choice action for the rider who finds himself knee slapping: By diving to place your weight forward -that is helmet between the handlebars and chest on the fuel tank this re-distribution of weight and if you will the center of mass the gyroscopic physics of the tank slapper changes and the bike stabilizes instantly every time.

Point of reference if you go to YouTube and search Dunlop wobble and weave, you can watch an ancient video production that graphically will put all your questions to rest. Indeed I made a very similar post to the Motobrick BMW forum and I continue to be grateful to the faithful there who take time to share their wisdom hard won.

There is no one single contributor to the tankslapper, however each have their way to exploit what’s generally an unknown equipment problem on the motorcycle. In other words there is no improving on excellent motorcycle maintenance. And pre ride inspections.

On my case specifically, I was lazy -having taken a weekend tour with my bride the saddlebags remained fully loaded on Monday as I drove to work adding aft weight. Further, my tire pressures were off for solo riding as they were pumped up to max for my pillion rider and added load. My front tire was definitely due for replacement an issue often cited in accident reports.
Speaking of the road, my troubles as documented on my video seem to start when I transitioned from a big patch in the road to the old tarmac whatever the input that initiates the gyration the results and solutions don’t seem to change.
Now generally, worn or loose headstock -or if you will triple tree bearings can be a contributor as can be stiction or misalignment of the front forks. worn out front tire, pressure as I mentioned but very importantly tire balancing can be critical. And one other item from my kit of personal biases is the use of Dyna beads to balance your tires. I simply don’t believe in them and I’ve had an awful experience. caveat emptor.
One last thing if you incurred any kind of wobble at say 25 or 55 mph as it’s been in my experience that is your cue to start digging into maintenance concerns without exception when properly sorted i’m able to lift my hands off the handlebars grips and with cruise control steer the bike at literally any speed without concern for incipient vibrations anyway everybody has their seat of the pants mechanism they used to sense- that’s mine.

I implore everyone to view the Dunlop video. Cheers from SW Wisconsin USA.
 

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Thanks for sharing the Dunlop video - the lean down on the gas tank trick is one that just may save my butt one day as I'd not heard or seen that before. My own experience with an unintended dismount related to a weave goes back to my days as a college student in Miami in the late seventies. I was riding my KZ650 (Kerker header of course) and took off from a stoplight like a rocket and just as I hit about 90 thought I saw a copper up ahead and shut down the throttle all at once. The overloaded front end went to the left - then right - then I was no longer the pilot. Luckily, it was the coldest day in January and I had on a jacket as well as a backpack with a nice size book in it. I was also lucky that my dismount occured right in front of the then Baptist Hospital on North Kendall Drive. It took over a year for the deep wound in my hip bone to heal but I was back on the bike within a month after getting the bike repaired. Live and learn and once was the only time I'll have to learn not to let go of the throttle all at once lesson.
 

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The Dunlop video was very enlightening, thanks for the post
 

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The Dunlop video was very enlightening, thanks for the post
Dunlop seems to be getting all the credit these days I don’t see any of you guys documenting your screwup’s with your own video how about a little partial credit for that crash video I’ll kidding aside I’m glad I could be of help
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dunlop seems to be getting all the credit these days I don’t see any of you guys documenting your screwup’s with your own video how about a little partial credit for that crash video I’ll kidding aside I’m glad I could be of help
NE Wisconsin sends best regards..
 

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I've never had this experience and have 158,000 miles on my 2010 GL1800.
 

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I've never had this experience and have 158,000 miles on my 2010 GL1800.
I've been riding motorcycles since 1965 and have never had a tank slap.
 

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I've been riding motorcycles since 1965 and have never had a tank slap.
There’s a classic Calvin and Hobbs cartoon my bride sent me today that clarifies my reply to “I’ve never had that happen in 50 plus years of riding”-etc. My first reply: good on you!

My second is this: By definition you need to be pushing the speed and performance envelope to have it in the first place. So 70 mph +. In my case 78. You then require an input from the roadway to exacerbate a problem. If you drive sanely on a well maintained cycle- no worries. I drive both an 01 GL 1800 and an 85 1200 Aspy. The former feels welded to the road the feel is that solid. The latter a barn rescue with 114K probably would benefit from some front end service. All I can say is that as a pilot I plan for and take off expecting/ thinking about the worst thing that could happen, like losing the engine 300 feet off the ground, nose up. On my cycle now the mantra is to Dive on the tank if it wobbles. Cheers all.



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Ok ..................... I have had two bad tank slappers when the rear tire has let go while two up. The first one was with a worn rear tire and the second one was with a new tire. I have had a few high speed weave's. Take out the two words (high speed) and then I have had no weave's.
With a little bit of thinking I could cut out the problem of high speed weave.

The other thing that has come up in the first vid was the road surface. I have had a tank slapper caused by a road snake.
 

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I think you make a good point about the road surface as likely cause of the problem.

To recap a tank slapped all tank slappers are initiated by an external force.

What I didn’t mention about my crash video, and visible if you watch it -there is an asphalt patch that I cross on it’s very edge at the moment when the handlebars begin to gyrate -and mind you the crash is over within a couple of seconds. Short of knowing to dive on the gas tank and wrestle with the handlebars there was no option but to hook slide it into the ditch.

Another item to highlight from your comment is that a maintenance issue or load issue on the back of a bike can create just as much havoc on a susceptible bike as something like loose headstock bearings. Another posit was the aerodynamic lift generated at high speed potentially unweighting the suspension.

in my case I am fairly certain that leaving my saddle bags loaded with a weekend supply of gear added to the problem with aft weight distribution.


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I have had it happen on two bikes. An old 83 1100 wing. It only did it once on a slight decel at about 30mph. It could be repeated on the old wing anytime, but I learned to brake down during that speed instead of coasting. The second was a 2011 Road King. Neck bearing adjustment fixed that one. I am on my 4th 1800 wing and they have all been without the slap so far.
 

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I have had it happen on two bikes. An old 83 1100 wing. It only did it once on a slight decel at about 30mph. It could be repeated on the old wing anytime, but I learned to brake down during that speed instead of coasting. The second was a 2011 Road King. Neck bearing adjustment fixed that one. I am on my 4th 1800 wing and they have all been without the slap so far.
Ken, coasting with loose "neck bearings" I call em headstock bearings:rolleyes: certainly can induce wobble on my 85. Under load whether acceleration or deceleration it allows that slop to do its thing. slaloming mine really feel like they are ready for service. 114k miles later!!
 
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