Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So yesterday was an interesting day... I was exploring some new roads that I found on motorcycle roads and about an hour and a half into my ride I hit some gravel on a 90 degree uphill turn. Front end went out and quick but I somehow managed to keep her upright. My boot did not survive but that is what it was there for. Immediately after I got her upright, the front end started to do a death wobble (shake violently). I have hit gravel and lost my front tire before but this has never happened to me. I had no control at this point so it pushed me onto the shoulder and of course it was not road but some small boulders... I bent my front rim terribly but it is fixable. Some scary stuff but at least I sustained no injuries. So my question is, what the he// happened because I am really not sure? Is there anything that I could have done to avoid this?

20160519_181548.jpg

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
So yesterday was an interesting day... I was exploring some new roads that I found on motorcycle roads and about an hour and a half into my ride I hit some gravel on a 90 degree uphill turn. Front end went out and quick but I somehow managed to keep her upright. My boot did not survive but that is what it was there for. Immediately after I got her upright, the front end started to do a death wobble (shake violently). I have hit gravel and lost my front tire before but this has never happened to me. I had no control at this point so it pushed me onto the shoulder and of course it was not road but some small boulders... I bent my front rim terribly but it is fixable. Some scary stuff but at least I sustained no injuries. So my question is, what the he// happened because I am really not sure? Is there anything that I could have done to avoid this?

View attachment 5945

Thanks
Sounds like a classic tank-slapper. After regaining grip, your front tire was not in alignment with the track of your rear tire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Front tire was trying to align itself = speed wobble. You got very lucky!

All you need to do now is to get that wheel repaired!
Makes sense. Anything I could have done to make this not occur? Besides for slowing down prior to the turn.

What should I have done when it was happening because I was not sure really what to do?

Dropped the wheel off at lunch and it looks like it was not cracked so should be an easy fix.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
551 Posts
Glad you made it out alright! Feeling the front slip is always a strange feeling, and downright scary the first time one encounters it. At least the damage was minimal!

I think a little more info is needed to help figure out what went wrong. When you got the wobble, were you still in gravel at that point? Once it started to wobble, what did you do(throttle inputs, brake, etc.)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
Makes sense. Anything I could have done to make this not occur? Besides for slowing down prior to the turn.

What should I have done when it was happening because I was not sure really what to do?

Dropped the wheel off at lunch and it looks like it was not cracked so should be an easy fix.
Even with a steering damper, it's still not a 100% guarantee it wouldn't happen but it will help a lot.

I had a tankslapper happen to me coming down from a wheelie when I was a teenager on a Kawasaki AR125, I jumped off the bike and I had not done a wheelie since then.

I had a second one was when I was test riding a Honda Sp1 that I was trying to buy.

When tank slappers happen, remember to have zero weight on the handlebars, Keep a very light grip on the bars, let the front align itself. shift the farthest distance away from the tank, gas it up, squeeze the tank with your knees, and pray!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
That dent looks just like my rim that I dented this month too.

I had MCwheel in Tucson, Az fix mine. I brought mine to them with the tire still on it and it was $120 for the repair which included re-mounting the tire and balancing. If you mail it to them with the tire off you'll save money on the repair (good thing since you a paying for shipping).

In case you didn't see it, here's the repair.. you can see where the press was pushing on the rim as it marred the finish.

finish-damage-after-repair by maniak_az, on Flickr

~Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
At that point, I was out of the gravel. The gravel was in the center of the road so I slipped and got pretty low but my tire gained traction and then the wobble started. At this point, I let off the throttle but it was already shaking like crazy and ended up on the side of the road in the rocks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
[iurl="http://www.kawasakininja1000.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5945&d=1463749061"]
[/iurl]
That dent looks just like my rim that I dented this month too.

I had MCwheel in Tucson, Az fix mine. I brought mine to them with the tire still on it and it was $120 for the repair which included re-mounting the tire and balancing. If you mail it to them with the tire off you'll save money on the repair (good thing since you a paying for shipping).

In case you didn't see it, here's the repair.. you can see where the press was pushing on the rim as it marred the finish.

finish-damage-after-repair by maniak_az, on Flickr

~Mark
There is a local shop here in indy where I dropped it off, cost me 125. He said it will only create a tool mark. Not too worried about that but if it is bad, I will just repowder them myself. Nice to have access to a friend's shop!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
545 Posts
Glad you're OK!! All in all you handled it well IMO... you didn't drop the bike or wind up in the ER... great success!

If you do decide to get an ADV bike, get a real one like a KLR650. And for gawdsake, none of that overpriced, overrated Klim gear. ;-)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ishikawa

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,289 Posts
When you lose a front tire, the only thing you can do it to hit the throttle.

when ive done this, my focus is on how did I miss it, and if I missed it, why was I pushing hard enough for this to be an issue on an unknown road.

It sounds like you hit the front brake? If not, ignore my mention.

Where its pointed then is anyones guess. You did not crash, so whatever you did is worth remembering, and repeating,

As a rule, slow before a corner and accelerate through it. Braking, while leaned over can be done, and is done all the time, but takes a lot of practice...oh yea, and also luck that you wont find gravel. When that tire is asked to do more than its capible of, it slides. All things factor in, like pea gravel.

You cant predict what happened to you. If I am going to push hard enough to where this front end slide is a possibility, I make a run , or six through the section first just to see whats there first.

Going into a turn hard enough to risk this, site unseen? Thats not for me.

Honest, until you find a 100 percent known surface to practice on, I would avoid the front brake in corners

Unless you are practicing a very specific skill, its a mistake.

Also, dont be afraid to add some rear brake, while cornering. When you do, youll feel how nice and stable your bike is. Remember, no law against using the rear brake, and engine power at the same time.

In many ways, you have permission to tell us how its done. You survived this, standing up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
551 Posts
Rc nailed it. I can only add, on twisty roads, just because it was fine today, does not mean it will be the same tomorrow. Heck, I ride hwy 84 almost daily(local mountain road), and it can be fine in the afternoon, and be a rider's nightmare in places the next morning. You just never know when stuff is going to slide into the road. One morning, everything was fine. On the way home, around a blind corner, there was sand. Not a little either, the whole darn lane was covered in it. You just never know until you make an initial pass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,289 Posts
Here is why I am a jerk about this, today. I saw guy turn into a business today. His place of work. My co workers agreed once I explained.

He was on this cartoonish looking, full dress Victory. He went in twice as fast as he should have. leaned over so far to get into this parking lot (??????) that had he hit your gravel patch, he would still be sliding.

Also, he hit the center of the entrance. The spot where car tires dont hit. The spot where debris gets pushed to. I promise, its not a matter of "if' , its when.

Often times a great way to avoid gravel is to place your front tire where car tires travel. Never run the center of anything. ever. In turns, I like the foot wide path, on the inside of the lane.

Why? It puts you an extra 4 feet from oncoming traffic and is a spot where the turn is less sharp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Rc nailed it. I can only add, on twisty roads, just because it was fine today, does not mean it will be the same tomorrow. Heck, I ride hwy 84 almost daily(local mountain road), and it can be fine in the afternoon, and be a rider's nightmare in places the next morning. You just never know when stuff is going to slide into the road. One morning, everything was fine. On the way home, around a blind corner, there was sand. Not a little either, the whole darn lane was covered in it. You just never know until you make an initial pass.
I couldn't agree more, rain, wind, traffic entering from a gravel road all can deposit gravel, conditions change constantly. Better you should slow down going in, until you can see what conditions are and accelerate out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
1st as a fellow rider im glad you are ok & im glad the bike didnt get mashed. Sounds like you were doing everything right just some gravel caught you out, its happened to me too, i was going to fast on an unfamilier road a few years ago & hit the identical gravel in the road situation, it had rained the night before & washed gravel off of a steep driveway down on to the road, not being familier with said road i was going to dang fast. like you i got lucky & kept it up but the rider behind me went down due to it. Guess hindsight for all of us on these bikes are to slow it down in unfamilier territory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the help and I will try and remain more where car tires are when in turns. The gravel that I hit was indeed in the middle of the road and if I had been traveling in the path of a car tire, I would have not hit anything.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top