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Published on Jun 28, 2010
Huge tankslapper on the front straight of Mid America Motorplex.
UPDATE: After going through this incident in my head about a billion times and talking with many knowledgeable riders, here is my conclusion on why the tank slapper started.
First and foremost, this was at the beginning of the day and I was nowhere near as loose as I should have been on the bike. Way too much weight on the bars.
Second, there were some SERIOUS ripples in the track surface (that have since been repaired) right where the slapper started, from cars running an alternate track configuration. This config has them hard on the brakes about 1/3 the way down the main straight, and over the years braking bumps developed there.
Third, the slapper starts right when I shift from second to third. The front got light.
And to pull it all together, I was shifting my weight around on corner exit to move into a tuck. Of course this plays into the number one big problem... not loose on the bike and too much weight / extraneous input on the bars.
One or two of these problems would not have been an issue. I've logged a significant number of laps at MAM prior to as well as after this tankslapper and have never experienced anything like it. It likely was ALL of these issues happening at the same time that got the bike out of shape. (Im)perfect timing....
I've since made a very conscious effort to stay loose on any bike I'm riding. While I'm not happy this tankslapper ever happened, it opened my eyes a little and I'm a better rider now because of it :)
And yes... this was definitely the most pants-shitting moment I've ever had on a motorcycle.