Do I need a steering damper? - Page 5 - Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums
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post #41 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 01:59 PM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by misti View Post
Actually there is a very clear statement in the article that explains how to avoid having a tank slapper in the first place and that is to not death grip the bars or tighten up when the suspension is auto-correcting itself. Riders are the ones that create the instability on the motorcycle and it is not to be accepted as just a natural part of riding fast, but of making a mistake while riding. (provided that everything is mechanically sound on the bike) Avoiding tank slappers is done by riding with a relaxed grip on the bars and a stable lower body.

There are also techniques that you can use to avoid tucking the front tire or crashing, these are not things that just happen for no reason, or because you rode fast.... they happen because mistakes were made.

Good body position is one that keeps your lower body stable and allows your arms to be relaxed on the bars- sure there are different "types" of riding position and necessary differences in body position for different styles (dirt, flat track, roadracing etc) but there is a clear difference between POOR body position or poor riding skills that can increase the chance of riding mistakes like tank slappers, tucking the front, crashes etc.


Haha!!! You're kidding right? Where did you copy/paste that from? The Noob Bible?


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post #42 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 02:25 PM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

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Originally Posted by MissR6 View Post
Haha!!! You're kidding right? Where did you copy/paste that from? The Noob Bible?


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Huh? Nothing he said is necessarily wrong. Riders are the cause of instability no denying that. Just think what happens when the rider gets bucked off the bike before the bike has chance to crash with the rider, the bike regains control and rides off in a straight line. And if you find faults in his statement might be time to analyze your own riding...unless your just trolling to troll...then troll on haha.

Just so I am clear I am not getting in between Turbo and misti on their argument on riders are 100% at fault for tank slappers...that's theirs to have and they have way more knowledge anyways (so don't bring me into this Turbo
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) I just don't get why you would come in and knock a statement that does have merit, especially for the newer riders.
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post #43 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 02:27 PM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

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Originally Posted by TurboBlew View Post
just so Im clear... youre stating that tank slappers are 100% the riders fault, correct?

also please tell me again the highest level of "riding" experience you have outside the Code school?
Did you win any regional, national, or world events?

Nobody said a word about crashing, which according to you is "novice" stuff...eh?

That's not what I said, nor did I say anywhere that crashing is "novice stuff." This thread is about how to minimize the risk of having a tank slapper and about what to do if you should experience one. My stance is that tank slappers shouldn't be simply disregarded as something that "just happens" but rather something that can be exacerbated by the rider making some kind of error. Gripping the bars too tightly, chopping the throttle, trying to muscle the bike back inline, these are mistakes the rider makes that can make headshake become much more violent and turn into a tank slapper Anytime there is an issue when riding, whether it be a tank slapper, a rear slide, folding or tucking the front, the rider should take a good look at what they may or may not have done to contribute to or cause that outcome so that they can make improvements and lessen the chances of it happening again.

That being said;

A tank slapper is a rapid, high intensity and unwanted motion of the handlebars back and forth. Literally it is the slapping of the bars from side to side that can get violent enough to actually hit the tank of the motorcycle, hence the name “tankslapper.” The bad news is that they are scary as hell and can cause some pretty nasty crashes. The good news is that there are some very effective techniques you can use to handle them.

What causes tank slappers?

The suspension system on a motorcycle is designed to make the ride more comfortable for the rider and primarily to keep the tires in good contact with the road surface which can include bumps, cracks, pot holes and all manner of imperfections. This system must work while the motorcycle is straight up and down and also during turning when the bike is leaned over, sometimes at very extreme lean angles.


In his book, A Twist of the Wrist II, Keith Code explains, “the process of head shake (which can be the beginnings of a tank slapper) begins when the tire hits a ripple and, along with the suspension, compresses. This throws the wheel slightly off-center. When the suspension and tire release, the wheel is light and flicks back toward a centered position, but again, slightly off-center. Still off-center when it loads again from the next ripple; again it is flicked past its centered position. The cycle of flicking back and forth repeats as the front-end seeks to stabilize through this automatic and necessary self- correcting process. Any bike will do it, and what most riders fail to realize is that this shake is a necessary part of the bike’s suspension system.”


The little wiggle in the front of the bike is how the motorcycle self corrects and gets itself back on track. Ever see a motorcycle race where something, either a tank slapper or a big slide causes the rider to either be ejected from, or fall off the bike? As soon as the rider is no longer on the bike it wiggles a bit, straightens out, keeps on going perfectly straight until it runs out of momentum and falls over. This is a classic example of how a bike, if left to its own devices will sort itself out.


Code mentions that, “based on the amount of wiggling, squirming and overuse of controls most riders exhibit, the bike would, if it could, surely ask them to leave. Riders create instability on their own mounts.”


Head shake can be caused by hitting a bump or a ripple in the pavement or it can occur when accelerating hard out of a corner. Hard acceleration can cause the front end to get light or even wheelie which means that the tire is no longer following the road very well, and when it touches back down it can skip or bounce or be off-center, starting off the headshake. Code explains that, “the good news is that if your bike is basically tight (steering head bearings not excessively worn, forks and shock not sticking etc.) the head-shake stays up front and does not transfer to the rest of the bike.”


Eventually, the oscillation will die out on its own, unless we interfere.

How Riders make the situation worse:


Our normal reactions when the handlebars start to slightly shake are to stiffen up on the bars. When we stiffen up the head shake is transferred through our bodies to the whole bike and that is when the shaking can get more violent. Code says that “too tight on the bars is the most common source of motorcycle handling problems.”


How to Prevent a Tank Slapper:


Knowing that gripping the bars too tight is what transfers head shake through the bike and makes it worse, we can work to prevent a tank slapper from ever occurring by maintaining a relaxed position on the bike at all times. Practice sitting on your bike with your knees gripping the tank for more stability. Sit back a little further in your seat so that your arms have a nice bend in them with your elbows pointed to the ground and then flap em like you’re doing the funky chicken. That’s relaxed, and from that position you can easily use your legs to lift your weight off the seat a little bit, like a jockey on a horse, so that your butt is not banging down hard on the seat. Think light as a feather, one with the bike, Zen and the art of motorcycle riding……


Installing a steering damper is another way to help prevent tank slappers. A steering damper works to limit the travel and intensity of any head shake that the bike is experiencing by damping or soaking up the excess energy. They are necessary on some of the more modern bikes that have aggressive frame geometry, relatively short wheelbases and powerful engines. Dampers are mounted up front so that there is insufficient leverage to transfer shake through the bike. Keep in mind though that a motorcycle with a damper will still shake if you are tight on the bars, so relax!


What to do if you experience a tank slapper:


If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a tank slapper first hand don’t try to muscle the bike or force it to stop as it will only make it worse. Try to relax your grip on the bars, pinch the tank with your knees and lift your butt off the seat a little bit. Also, don’t chop the throttle as that will put more weight onto the front and potentially make the situation worse. Ideally you want to continue to accelerate if possible to get the weight further to the back of the bike, or at least maintain a steady and smooth throttle.

Popping a wheelie would eliminate a tank slapper immediately because there would no longer be a front wheel bouncing back and forth in an effort to straighten itself out, but I don’t know too many people that could pull off a stunt like that in the middle of a panic situation.


If all else fails, let go. The bike will try to fix itself.

Another important thing to remember is that occasionally very violent tank slappers can force the front brake pads and brake pistons away from the rotors, causing the brakes to go soft or even to fade completely. So, once you regain control of the motorcycle, check your front brakes and if they feel soft then pump the lever a few times until the pressure returns.


Finding yourself in a situation where the motorcycle you are on is suddenly out of control is no doubt a scary predicament. The more knowledge you are able to arm yourself with, the better equipped you are to handle emergency situations, and the more you are able to practice certain techniques (such as being nice and relaxed on the bike at all times) the more likely you will be to actually do it when it is absolutely necessary. It’s a pretty cool feeling to be able to consciously decide to do something that makes a bad situation better.

Misti

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post #44 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 05:54 PM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

The third person view really shows how significant of a wiggle it was. Handled like a pro...
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post #45 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 04:28 AM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

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Originally Posted by misti View Post
Another important thing to remember is that occasionally very violent tank slappers can force the front brake pads and brake pistons away from the rotors, causing the brakes to go soft or even to fade completely. So, once you regain control of the motorcycle, check your front brakes and if they feel soft then pump the lever a few times until the pressure returns.
Good tip. It could matter some day.
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post #46 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 11:50 AM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

Been trying to find the answer to this for a while now. lol
post #47 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 06:26 PM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

Another important thing to remember is that occasionally very violent tank slappers can force the front brake pads and brake pistons away from the rotors, causing the brakes to go soft or even to fade completely. So, once you regain control of the motorcycle, check your front brakes and if they feel soft then pump the lever a few times until the pressure returns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntDX316 View Post
Good tip. It could matter some day.
True. I was coaching many years ago at Reno Fernly Raceway. I was at a complete stop and waiting for one of my quick students to come around the track. When I saw him I took off after him and the combination of being full throttle quickly and going over some tricky bumps caused the handlebars to begin to shake drastically. As I grabbed the bars, the shaking got worse and worse until they were being ripped out of my arms and I figured I was gonna crash so I let go and almost just jumped off the bike. The shaking stopped instantly and the bike stabilized just in time for the approaching corner. I had read somewhere in the past that when tanslappers happen it can force the front brake pads away from the rioters causing you to have no brakes. Somehow I remember that IN the moment and I checked the front brake......nothing.....so I pumped them up quickly, got them back so that I could then slow for the quick approaching corner and make it through safely.....then I pulled off and sat at start finish for a while until I calmed down
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Moral of the story is the more information you have about correct riding technique, and the more skills you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to be able to prevent a crash. What a cool feeling it is to save yourself from a crash because you KNEW exactly what to do
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post #48 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 03:49 AM
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Re: Do I need a steering damper?

Just use a steering damper that has no influence in making the bar stiffer and only activates when a quick slapper ensues. I've found out is when the bars are stiffer from a damper setting higher than say off, it makes the oscillation last longer and lower frequency. When you turn that shit off and have the other dial activate when it gets "fast", the oscillation frequency is Very high and it goes away very quick. Example is, the oscillation last say 1-2 full seconds on stiff but on off but working on very fast it last like 0.25 seconds and you go w/o any influence on the bikes trajectory and lean angle at all. You can still control.

It's kind of hard to explain text form but I can say in real-life, my confidence is Way up doing it this way. I come out of acceleration "slappers" like it doesn't even exist.
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post #49 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 05:46 AM
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Pesonel opinion is a damper isn't solution for tank slapping, and more of something to make it a little less of an oh shit moment,, when I first got my street bike I lowered mine cuz I thought I had to be able to have feet planted on ground, seemed safer, whole ideaseems so dumb now, and I would get slappers everyy time crossed railroad tracks or hit really rough road, eventually learned to lean into turns and my peg caught the pavement,and freaked me out way more Than shaky handlebars,, why learning about raising suspension, back, that the bike being lowered was cause, evertime suspension bottoms out on back, front end lose stability, when i got suspension working way it was designed was like getting completely diffrent bike, tip of my toes
All I need, now I cant stand riding gsxrs they so low I think that's why chicks like them so much

Last edited by sao1180; 01-10-2019 at 05:49 AM.
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