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Old 03-22-2014, 09:00 AM   #31
gastone
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This is making for an interesting ride home from the dealer....
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I'd be cranky too if I had to blow 500 horses!
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You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty...
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:30 AM   #32
XC Rider
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Interesting story on a high speed tank slapper this morning coming at the end of riding day.

VM


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Alright, you got my attention; hope it was just one of those "scare you straight" kind of moments.

You made it home yet?
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:24 PM   #33
Vitruvian Mike OP
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The tank slapper.

If youre offended by foul language, ear muffs and eye muffs on.

Okay, so Im not dead, so maybe it wasnt a full schedule tank slapper. But it had all the same effect except that Im still here.

Having read somewhere that someone else experienced considerable instability or headshake on the 1190R at speeds ~125mph, I decided to take it up slowly to see if I could notice anything.

So, no traffic front or rear, straight highway ahead, I start opening it up. Ive been riding at 80+ off and on already, so getting up to 90 was routine.

At about 95mph, the conditions in the right lane went to shit where someone had apparently piled up their semi, and it burned right there on the road, leading to some half assed fixes by the Arkansas DOT. Anyway, because of that, I started to get some slightly unhappy feedback from the bike. To give it some feel, it was about like passing a semi with the turbulence. I opted to cross over into the left lane (which was nice and smooth), and did so at about 100mph, very carefully (not too drastic a lane change). As I moved into the left lane, the shake started with more vigor, and it was at this time I noticed that this wasnt the good old turbulence like passing a semi, it was the rear of the bike wagging side to side in rapidly increasing arc lengths.

At this point, the bike went into full-on attempts to swap ends, and I was at just about 105mph. My eyes dinner plated, my asshole slammed shut so hard you could hear it across the street, adrenaline poured into my system, and I fully embraced making all attempts to abort.

Unfortunately for me, I also had a throttle paddle on to ease forearm pump, so every time the bike swapped to the opposite side, and I was attempting to keep it from going too far, I was paddling the gas, perpetuating the whole affair. It took some time to reposition my right hand so I wasnt gassing it every half cycle of the evolution.

You couldnt have shoved a toothpick up my ass with a bulldozer by the time I got the insanity under control. Id guess, not counting the precursor swaps, the bike probably attempted to go north south about 30-40 times before my regaining control.

Reasons I attribute to my being alive today:

LOTS of years riding (though Ive never gone to this level before)
1 portion of luck
GOOD understanding of countersteering
1 more portion of luck
firm grasp on how to run a floor buffer
more luck
The bike has an OEM steering stabilizer on it
And some more luck


So, what did I do wrong? I started thinking about that. And aside from being fairly cavalier about the whole thing, there were a number of things I did wrong.

Note, that I did not set out to see what it would be like to experience a full schedule tank slapper. Also note, that the beginning of the tank slapper really felt more or less routine for highway speeds and conditions.

What I simply didnt consider might happen, is that it would start out fairly innocuously, and lull me into a sense that things were more or less okay. But then the harshess, violence, and intensity of the situation climed FAR, FAR out of hand extremely rapidly.

Thinking about what happened, my mind imagined that if I were to chart the violence of the act against time, it would look very much like a fibonacci sequence charted. For the first several seconds of the evolution, things appeared, via sight, feel, and feedback, as if they were fairly normal. But the ultraviolence came on with just enough warning that my body had just enough time to respond before things went to hell in a handbasket.

So, back to what I did wrong. Lots of things. Everything, really. I started thinking of what could have caused it.

Human error (piss poor planning)
Bike setup (additional piss poor planning)
Luggage (not considered before this further piss poor planning)
Bad road (in my defense, the road was great where I started the run, but went to shit once into it)

Conditions: (note, that I didnt consider anything but the first three before engaging in my stupid move)

41 degrees F
Slight, straight on headwind
Straight, smooth, open highway, nobody in front or behind, in sight
1190 had about 35 lbs in each pannier on the back, plus a 20 lb waterproof bag across the back.
Tank was full
Windshield was in highest position
Suspension was set to OEM settings
Tires are the street jobs it comes with

So, in looking back, I believe the bike had the slightest reaction to the highway where it had been burned and poorly repaired, but at those speeds, and with the poor distribution of weight, combined with improperly set up suspension (for a heavy load), along with my failure to recognize impending doom when it reared its ugly head early on, the mechanical reaction the bike had to the suddenly poor road condition simply became increasingly amplified.

Post event, once my bodys systems began to return to normal, I immediately pulled the bike over, and set the suspension up for a heavier load, as if I were riding two up, on both compression and dampning.

Additionally, I lowered the windshield. I stayed out of the gas for some time, as my confidence was shaken to the core.

Turns out, I believe with all the stupid decions I made, my failure to recognize the onset of doom, and the load I was carrying, this would probably happen to nearly any dual sport bike like this.

Learn from my idiot decisions, and dont repeat the offenses. For sure, given an uncertain outcome, NOBODY would EVER want to be involved in one of these affairs.

So, as I started out, I dont believe this was an official tank slapper, as my tank was not slapped, nor my stops even damaged. I kept it just far enough out of the spiral to keep that from happening. Id bet though, that some other riders have passed the scene of the crime, and probably discovered some very odd looking rubber marks on the asphalt.

One last thing to take from this, is that the highway is not the track. It is no place to test out ideas. SUPERFUCKINGSTUPID on my part! One of the dumbest, deadliest mistakes Ive ever made.

The bike is fantastic, and an absolute blast to ride. Of note, is that I have had it well past 100 without gear, and never felt any headshake or shimmy. Im pretty excited about the bike for my planned purposes of our RTW trip and just general riding when not loaded. The bike handles very well from what Ive seen. Unfortunately, everything Ive seen has been highway conditions, but in rain, snow, ice, and dry conditions all.

VM
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:58 AM   #34
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Wow, that's a story! Glad you came out of it ok; the best part about situations like this is that you can learn a lot from them (or be reminded of things that you already knew but had temporarily ignored, which I know has happened to me before). Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #35
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Jesus man.......fuck. RTW you say?
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:26 AM   #36
Vitruvian Mike OP
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Hey XC,

I agree. Was super happy to come away from it with nothing more than it firmly etched into my memory. Sucks to go through something like that, but if the horror of those few moments put out into the interwebs can ever help even one person think before doing something stupid like I did, it'll be worth it. Hope it helps out my two-wheeling brethren and sistren at some point in the future.

Cheers,
VM

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Wow, that's a story! Glad you came out of it ok; the best part about situations like this is that you can learn a lot from them (or be reminded of things that you already knew but had temporarily ignored, which I know has happened to me before). Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:29 AM   #37
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Hey HG,

Yes! We're planning an RTW. Supposed to be starting in 2016, but in a way, we may end up having to do it in stages due to work commitments on both our parts. In a way, we already started. We ended up renting a bike in Chile last October, and rode all around southern Chile and Argentina. Fantastic time. I haven't shared much. Can't remember if I've posted anything on it in fact. Talked with another guy that was headed down there about the winds and the beauty though. Those were the two major take-aways. Wind. Beauty.

Cheers!
VM

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Jesus man.......fuck. RTW you say?
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:01 PM   #38
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Mike, I'm assuming you've made it home....?
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:19 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Vitruvian Mike View Post
Hey HG,

Yes! We're planning an RTW. Supposed to be starting in 2016, but in a way, we may end up having to do it in stages due to work commitments on both our parts. In a way, we already started. We ended up renting a bike in Chile last October, and rode all around southern Chile and Argentina. Fantastic time. I haven't shared much. Can't remember if I've posted anything on it in fact. Talked with another guy that was headed down there about the winds and the beauty though. Those were the two major take-aways. Wind. Beauty.

Cheers!
VM
Whoa, stop the presses! RTW !? You've got my attention. I'll be starting my own RTW (in stages) this summer. Delivering my bike to port to ship to Europe end of April, and flying over to Southampton, UK end of the first week of June. I'll then be spending almost 3 months touring around western Europe and Scandinavia.

This is my bike that I'm shipping over.




Do you plan on travelling on the new katoom?
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:07 PM   #40
Vitruvian Mike OP
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Beautiful bike! That's fantastic that you're just about ready to start the journey! We're still a couple of years out as we don't want to start while our dogs are still with us. They are our best friends, and we want their last years to be comfortable and fun.

I'll be riding the 1190R, and Julie will be riding the F800GSA. We're pretty excited about it, but it's still some time off.



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