Riding Skills and Technique

Discussion in 'Racing & Track Days' started by VFR Love, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    Physically practicing under the guidance of an instructor is the best way to learn to ride more skillfully.

    However we can also build on our skill set via information gleaned from discussion.

    Just like riding any peripheral distractions need to be set aside. Object fixation is a killer and not just on two wheels!

    To begin, I recently read that tank slappers can force the pads/pistons away from the disc inducing a momentary seeming brake fade.

    The suggestion was to pump the brakes rapidly after such an event.

    Years ago I rode a bike with "oscillation problems" caused by a pit in one fork that caused an imbalance in oil levels. I tried to keep up on it but every now and again it would bite me in the keister when I didn't.

    What set it off was always either a bump in the road above 58mph or cruising along at 70+

    I found that dabbing the front brake hard once or twice would stop it. It might have been solely because the bike dropped below a threshold speed where they showed up (58mph). But I've heard of this elsewhere too as being a technique to stop the dreaded tank slappers.

    Generally speaking I've also read not to brake when they happen. And I can recall sometimes trying to slow down if I was up in the 70mph range and it getting worse. Best bet was to slowly de-throttle.

    One good thing is I got real good at loosening up and just breathing until they abated.

    Any tips?


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  2. VFR777

    VFR777 New Member

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    http://www.sportrider.com/sportbike-riding/riding-skills-series-helping-your-bikes-suspension

    And speaking of unwanted inputs into the steering, it’s also easy to get lazy and use just your arms to support your upper body under hard acceleration. Because your torso isn’t supported and leans back, this often results in riders putting a death grip on the bars, which feeds input into the front end right when the steering geometry’s self-centering balance is most susceptible to becoming upset, especially over rough pavement. This is the leading cause of tankslappers, where the bars swap violently from one side to the other.

    Here is where you’ll find the off-road method of gripping the fuel tank with your legs can help keep your upper body flexible and more relaxed. Using your leg and abdominal muscles to support your torso frees up your arms to make body-positioning adjustments without simultaneously feeding unwanted inputs into the steering. This also helps keep your upper body weight forward to help load the front end under acceleration. And because your leg muscles are brought into play, they’re much more prepared to help absorb any sudden bumps that might be encountered.
     
  3. misti

    misti New Member

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    Here are a few of my suggestions taken from an article I wrote on the subject. "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."

    That being said I wouldn't necessarily advise getting on the front brake until the oscillation stopped as it could potentially make the situation worse. Maybe in your experience it worked because it dropped the speed down enough to stop it and the oscillation wasn't too severe. Some tank slappers are VIOLENT!

    Your other points about gripping the tank and keeping a relaxed grip on the bars is bang on.

    Cheers!
    Misti
     
  4. Gator

    Gator Insider

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