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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 08 thruxton bought new last july. I've put 5200 miles on it since then. Last week when riding back from the coast, I was going 60-65 on a back highway straight away. Suddenly out of no where I had serious front end wobble. I had just enough time to figure out what was going on (maybe 2 seconds) before i was thrown off the bike. Luckily i walked away with 2 broken toes and a sprained thumb, I was wearing all my gear. The bike is borderline totaled. I had a friend riding behind me who saw the whole thing and told me that nothing she could see caused it. I wasn't swerving, I had both hands on the bars, didn't hit the brake or clutch and there wasn't any big potholes in the road. I trailered the bike to the dealer to get estimates to fix it and to see if they could figure out what happened. The bike has never wobbled on me before. The dealer couldn't find anything concrete wrong with the bike, front end was tight, good tires, air pressure and wheels. If the insurance company decides to fix the bike I am extremely hesitant to ride the bike again. I was lucky it decided to do this on a empty stretch of road, if it does it again I might be as lucky. Any suggestions? The sad thing is I love the bike.
 

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Very sorry to hear about your accident. Glad you're okay. Hooray for Gear! Perhaps you hit a slippery spot - A puddle of diesel fuel, oil, or even asphault patch? I've experienced a momentary wobble running over those things.

I know you're probably shaken up, but take some time to heal and reflect and don't give up on motorcycling just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to stop riding, but I'm hesitant to get back onto the thruxton if they don't find anything wrong with the bike. Even if I had hit a small aphalt patch, it shouldn't have started a wobble that was so quick and severe that it threw me from the bike before I had a chance to react. That's the part that unnerves me. I don't know what to do about the bike.
 

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it sounds like you just had a classic (albeit severe) tank-slapper

It does not mean that anything was necessarily wrong with your bike mechanically

a steering damper might have helped a little
 

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that sucks and i am sorry to hear that happened to you, but glad to hear you are ok. i remember before i put on my damper i always worried about the front end getting out of control. when i was riding fiarly fast and would hit a but (even small ones) the front would spaz out and shake a little bit, and always worried that if i was going at the right speed and had the right wobble it would progress into a slapper. since putting on a damper i never had that feeling anymore.
 

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I'm glad you are OK.

It would be a tough call to make on that particular machine. I can understand being spooked by it.
I'll just offer this: If the dealer is completely competent and does not find the root cause within the machine, I think I would re-check the road conditions. Maybe you already HAVE checked it completely, but in the excitement immediately after an event it is possible to miss something.
Dealer competence (and insurance company's willingness to pay) have been known to be variables from reading some posts in this forum, so I cannot speak for that... if they do not find the cause in the machine perhaps one of the other forum members can suggest a way to get a second opinion on it.

Maybe a steering damper would have helped but on my T100 I've never needed one. I've had a bit of a wobble at higher speeds but the cause was easily identifiable... like rutted or gouged out pavement in the direction of travel with a good cross wind alongside a semi.... even then it only made for an nervous moment and was easily brought under control. I've never had a serious wobble begin on its own where I have not been able to identify the cause.

Good luck
 

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Wobble

A good sized rock in the road coulda started the whole thing & it escalated into an un suspected sequence! Can happen! I hit RR tracks that were wet & got a rear wheel slip that ALMOST got something like that started! Wasnt going fast but on a turn & it got the bike to start doing its own thing!! Also gotta watch those oil spots espec on newly wet roads!! CAnt see them till they already gotcha!! Bummer about the bike!Lucky you tho & thays what really counts! No salvage huh?
 

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Over the years, I've gone into two full-blown tank slappers. Thankfully I saved it both times.

In each case it was due to hitting a slippery spot on the road at speed. The first was a patch of ice under a bridge, the second was a set of railroad tracks that crossed the road at a 45 degree angle.

I had another bike that needed a new set of steering head bearings. The symptom, which gradually got worse as time progressed, was a speed wobble accelerating and decelerating through 50mph. This would only happen if holding the bars lightly though.

If I had to wager as to why you had an instantaneous tank slapper I'd say you hit a slippery spot on the road.
 

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Ben, Good to hera you are ok. I can imagine your disbelief at this happening for no apparent treason. One morning I had a animal run straight under my front tyre whilst cranked over and found myself sliding down the road in complete amazement. I have since rebuilt the thruxton (they crash well) for not a lot of money and am back into it. Mine is an '04 with 11,000 miles. Mine , before and after the crash, was rock solid despite hitting oil, rocks, tracks etc. I do have a damper and fork brace. On my other bikes. i have found sitting too far back and hitting a bump in the road can induce a front end shake, made worse by rear braking.
 

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Question if thats ok and sorry to hijack thread a bit.

What does the dampner do (apart from the obvious!). I take it, it makes the bike more stable at hi speed, how does it do this and does it afect the steering at slower speeds.

Would you recommend having one and why don't all bikes come with them automaticaly if they help control.

Lots of questions I know, but I'm inquisative:D
 

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I don't know much about this topic....but on any bike....the only time I have had wobble in the front end it was under hard acceleration.
 

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Lots of debate whether a damper is necessary on a well sorted motorcycle. Some will say that a damper just masks a problem like loose steering bearings or worn front tyre. A damper stops the handlebars from flicking from side to side once the front end becomes unsettled. On variable dampers, you can adjust the damping to reduce the vague feeling that can be sometimes felt when riding on highways with rain grooves ie its makes the front end feel more stable. For me, I do like the security that a damper offers
 

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2nd Reply

privatepilotpen, you said you were coming back from the coast. Did you have luggage? and if so how was it packed?
I've never heard of it on a motorcycle but on a bicycle, a load that is too high and too far back can help induce a shimmy. Of course maybe I'm just crazy... I rode 60 miles last week with a 50 lb tool box strapped to the back of the rack on my Bonnie and it rode fine.... just something to think about anyway...
More likely tho there maybe was something about the road as mentioned earlier and by others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
it was just me on the bike, no luggage. I'm waiting to hear back from the insurance company as to whether they are going to total the bike. I wasn't accelerating at that moment, I didn't see anything noticeable on the road where it started, the roads were completely dry and yeah, the bike has never wobbled on me before at any speed. If I had a couple more seconds maybe I could have saved it but it was just too quick and severe. It may have just been a combination of odd circumstances that led to this happening but no reason is ever found for this, I know it will stay in the back of my mind.
 

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Question if thats ok and sorry to hijack thread a bit.

What does the dampner do (apart from the obvious!). I take it, it makes the bike more stable at hi speed, how does it do this and does it afect the steering at slower speeds.

Would you recommend having one and why don't all bikes come with them automaticaly if they help control.

Lots of questions I know, but I'm inquisative:D
Me too gang. I have never heard of a steering damper before. What does it look like and where does it mount? Anyone have a pic to share?:confused:
 

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location of the steering damper

On the thruxton the damper attaches to the frame of the bike and a fork tube - see below.
 

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Sorry to hear about what happen

Ben...
Im sorry to hear what happen to you. Glad you are okay and safe..
Hopefully you'll figure out what happen and good luck with the insurance... I hope they would total it and get you a new bike...
 
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