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Discussion Starter #1
a while ago i posted this............

Well guys looks like i learned my valuable lesson! i guess w/o the spacer the forks get far too bouncy. the story goes like this........i was taking a turn at about 50mph when i hit a small bump of asphalt. my front wheel started fish tailing out of control and bouncing all over the place. i tried taking control of the bike but didnt have the strength. thats when i said forget this and ditched the bike to avoid a high side fall. in the end i got up with a load of bloody cuts, bruises, 3 day long head ache, and swollen hand. the bike has a punctured clutch cover, broken mirror, clutch handlebar lever, broken shifter, broken headlight/turn signal switches, dented headlight, and destroyed muffler. other than that everything is just dandy! going to spend a lot of long nights in the garage doin the repairs.
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my new question is does anyone think a stearing damper would have avoided this crash? and would it be best to have with stiffer shocks?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the new spring is too large for the spacer. and others with the same spring tossed their spacer because there is not enough room for the spacer.
 

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You need to have a spacer at least long enough to put some preload on the springs. Did the springs come with any sort of instructions?

I have no idea why your bike went into a tankslapper, but it sounds like you did exactly what you are not supposed to do in that situation, which is try to stop the handlebars from moving. The correct thing to do is relax your grip on the handlebars and let the bike sort itself out. By trying to stop it, you probably made a bad situation worse.

Unless you're a really pushing the bike, the only thing a steering damper is going to do is cover up errors in your riding technique. Spend the money on a performance riding school such as California Superbike School instead.

I'd also suggest that you let your dealer work on the bike from now on.
 

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First things first... Heal well and fast. Bummer on the crash but at least your in repair.

Where abouts did the accident occur? I may frequent the roads you ride (Angeles Crest, Forest, etc).

Coming from a racing background and a "yeah I think I'll go slow today" riding style, I would echo what the others have stated. Hit up a Pridmore, or racetrack class out at Willow Springs (near Edwards AF Base). Best bang for the buck in my "humpable" opinion.

I push the Thruxton quite a bit and have not had a need for a steering damper (though new tires are needed with 3gs on the clocks). I also have my stock suspension sorted out as well as it can be and will be moving on to upgrading the suspension bits. Curefan is right, you need some pre-load on the springs (not the rider on bike pre-load) or you may ride like a 80 year old in a 68' Caddy in need of a Midas touch.

[ This message was edited by: boboso on 2006-11-20 16:35 ]
 

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Rabbid -good that you weren't seriously hurt.

Unless the spring is a couple inches longer than the fork tube, it's gonna need a spacer to apply preload.

Once you apply some preload, you may find your springs are too stiff for your weight and I don't think a steering damper will help with that.

My thought is that you should take the forks to your local shop:
They'll get a spacer in there.
I recall you had some problems with the bolt at the bottom of one of the tubes. The internal components on that side may not be held together correctly.
They can also check the fork tubes to ensure they are still straight after your crash.

Going to a shop is what I'd do if in your situation.
 

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I guess my view on this stuff is a little different. I've only been in one wicked tank slapper and I muscled it into submission. My experience during that one, is that slappers tend to oscillate progressively worse. Meaning if you dont stop it, it'll eventually go lock-to-lock. Which is disruptive to forward progress.

Further, some would say that steering dampers are not needed, that they are only a "cover up" for a poorly set-up suspension. Well, then why do virtually all race teams that pour over their suspensions, tires, etc. for each and every race, use them?? And, the fact is, you are likely to hit something such as an angled RR crossing, or a pot hole or some debris eventually in the road which will deflect the steering possibly taking the controls out of your hands. With a damper, that deflection will be minimized if not eliminated. And who has time to make sure (as if you actually can) that your suspension is perfectly set up for the situation at hand...such as a particular passenger that you've never had on board before (altering rake and trail), corrections for current temperature (a couple more pounds of pressure in tires), or other variables.

I recommend bolting on a little insurance.

Kjazz
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the the tips! kwajazz you gave me the advise that i was looking for....thank you! i guess unless you experienced the situation it is hard to understand why i would want a steering damper. Anyway i am going ahead on to making my bike functional so i can take it to the local dealer to have it inspected for any errors. unfortunately my springs never came with any instructions but my rear shocks did.....Iwill be inserting a spacer for the fork. I will also be looking forward to going to some sort of racing school to become a better ridder. Thanks again everyone. And i usually ride in the malibu canyons. maulholland, piuma, deccer, etc...
 

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KWAJAZZ,

I hate to say it, but you are just flat out wrong on the issue of how to deal with a tankslapper. Every professional rider will tell you the same thing - relax your grip and accelerate to get some weight off the front wheel. If you can find anyone that says you should try to "wrestle the bars into submission" I would be very interested in seeing it.

This brings me to my second point - You stated that you were able end a violent tankslapper by forcibly stopping the bars from moving side to side. I don't care how strong you are, there is no way you could stop the bars with sheer force once they get going. Here's a link to a page that talks about how to handle a tankslapper. If you scroll halfway down, you'll see a link to a famous Tankslapper at the Isle of Man. Do you think you could control those bars?

http://www.joe250.com/motorcycles/ride/tankslapper.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well i dont thinkhe is saying that there is one way to go about the issue and thats to get a damper....but i do believe that that does help avoid the problem. no human is perfect, i dont care if ur valentino.
 

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Cure,

I dont know what the masses say, I'll check out your link though. However, in my case, experience is screaming in my ear, and it's real hard to ignore. I've seen the video youre speaking of, that was a doozy. The time I got into one my feet came off the pegs, the bike was shaking from one thigh to the other and my arse was airborne. I think, it was good example for anyone watching. It was on a RZ. A shaky little handler at speed anyway.

I agree with you that you shouldn't be wrestling the bike. A light touch will do 99 percent of the time. But if it starts shaking and you have the CHANCE to stop it before it goes too far, I'll take my chances stopping it rather than letting it grow into a big problem. Especially having been there.

Once the shake really gets going (like that video), grabbing a big handful of the bars is only going to transfer all that oscillation into your body and shake your butt off the bike. My experience might well have been a fluke, or I'm the finest rider to ever be born, beats me. Tell us about your experience with wild head shakes.

My Speed Triple likes to shake its head every now and again. I haven't figured out why yet, but it usually happens just as I've begun a particular exit at Cresson. So I gas it and the front end gets lighter and less in contact with the pavement. Seems to go away. I'm definitely putting a damper on it.

ps. "I don't care how strong you are, there is no way you could stop the bars with sheer force once they get going. " sounds like you are saying I'm lying (?). I hope that's not what youre saying...

[ This message was edited by: kwajazz on 2006-11-21 17:36 ]
 

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Well I read your link (CUREFAN). To cut the chase it says, "Invest in a steering damper, especially if your type of bike is more prone to tankslappers than other bikes (aggressive frame geometry, powerful engine, etc.)." Good advice on practically all bikes.

It's an interesting subject. When I got into a slapper, I dont recall thinking "I've got to straighten this out, Holy krap I better do something" as much as, "I've got to hold on or I'm going down!!" To ever get comfortable enough to RELAX while that is happening (a bad one), you'd have to experience it quite a few times. Everybody's had the little ones, no big deal.

And I agree with his comments that if you try to counter the oscillations, you're toast. That's a high frequency vibration. The best you can hope for is to nullify it early before it crescendos into full bloom. That's what happened to me, but it still got pretty hairy. That's the point about a damper. It'll be there for you when the thing initiates. Cancelling the first oscillation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i will have to agree in the aspect that your not thinkin about anything else other than "oh [email protected]#$ i got to hang on" In that kind of situation its very difficult to think but much easier to react. All i kno is that its a first for me and it was very painful. The shaking was so tremendous that i couldnt see and i was thrown off in the end. and when you hang on u hang on to the throttle which is just more problems. its nothing a begginer or an intermediate rider will be able to overcome.

[ This message was edited by: rabbid on 2006-11-21 18:42 ]
 

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Go to XS11.com, read up on setting sag, also most suspension manufacturers (works performance, etc) will have write ups on it.
 
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