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I saw a video where a biker lost control of his bike due to an extreme wobble of the front wheel. Is this a common occurrence? What are the causes?
 

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Slack or worn steering, swing arm or wheel bearings, tires with irregular wear patterns or just plain used up, loose or incorrectly mounted accessories that redistribute weight or change aerodynamics in a bad way, rider inexperience... plenty more reasons but I think those are probably the most common.
 

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...Charley davidson bikes were having a death wobble issue and in fact so bad that the California highway patrol passed on purchasing them after doing road tests confirming thier instablity...
Yesterday I watched a video of a Sportster 72 owner who experienced the supposedly common for that model death wobble and he showed that a spoke was missing and that the others were loose. However what was very apparent was that his swing arm had substantial side to side movement as well.




An interesting bit of media frenzy.
 

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Slack or worn steering, swing arm or wheel bearings, tires with irregular wear patterns or just plain used up, loose or incorrectly mounted accessories that redistribute weight or change aerodynamics in a bad way, rider inexperience... plenty more reasons but I think those are probably the most common.
Excellent point. All contributes to front and rear wheel alignment and not in a straight line.
 

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Those that have experienced the 'death wobble'. What have you done to get rid of while riding at that moment?

I ask because I have never experience on a motorcycle. But, did on a bicycle. It stopped by tossing my over the handlebars. Making me go ass of tea kettle. Luckily, I came out relatively unharmed. A bump on my head. Some nice road rash. Mostly, my pride was hurt.

Tank slappers.
I have never heard of it referred to it as that.
 

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there are two forms of tank slap, a low speed wobble and a highway speed wobble.

If you want to see it at the highway speed, put a couple hundred pounds of junk on the back of your bike, and a big windshield on the front, and hit about 88 mph.

The weight on the back shifts the center of balance towards the back wheel, and the windloading on the windshield further tries to lift up the front wheel.

How to stop tank slapping when its happening is talked about all over the internet, but its best to prevent it, because it happens so fast you have very little time to think or react.
 

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From my experience on tank slappers, which was many in 70s and 80s sport bikes, there are two ways to ride out of situation. First, recommended, slowly ease off throttle, very slowly, no sudden closing of throttle, no front brake. Using this method you will slow down slowly getting below the oscillating speed. Second method, used when I was young and dumb, FULL throttle, drive through the oscillating speed. The geometry of bikes have greatly improved and tank slappers are not a major issue these days. I've had the bars jerked out of my hands before on early sport bikes. Used to be the first addition to my new bike would be a steering damper. The bike manufacturers addressed and fixed these issues with better frames and geometry. KCW is correct on proper weight distribution.
 

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Has anyone with a V-Star reported any wobbles?
 

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I have over 50k on my 1100. No wobble ever. I driven slow, fast, and everything in between. With windshield and without. With loaded tall tail bag loaded down. With passenger. In major side wind. In frontal and tail wind. On grooved concrete. On asphalt. Dry roads, wet road. In other words just about every situation that might cause a wobble. My Vstar is a very stable bike at all times. I would say it's the most stable bike I've ever owned. I do check tire pressure and condition very often. I also do what I call a nut and bolt check at least once a month, I check all fasteners for tightness. I commute daily and many pleasure day trips.
 

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I have hurled a tennis racket at small animals with deadly accuracy
I have cooked minute rice in 19 seconds
But I have never had a case of the Wobbles.

I have tried wiggling my handlebars at 60mph, and I can feel a resonant frequency in my VS 650, but nothing that would take off by itself.
 

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I've seen a slight wobble but I was accelerating up an incline and a road bump lifted the front tire a little. wasn't too bad and was easy to get under control by just letting off the throttle slightly.. I had the tri-fector of issues and have done the same ride ..same road several times and never seen it again.
 

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I have pulled off recovering from speed wobble by not giving it the death grip and slowly rolling off the throttle like stated above. That was riding 1970's technology. Small bikes with a lot of power.
As for vstar wobble, nope. A very stable bike. Never had the slightest wobble at all.
 

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Has anyone with a V-Star reported any wobbles?
a slow speed wobble is possible on a vstar but to get one into a high speed wobble would be almost impossible the vstars have too much rake, the harleys that had that problem either had a transmission that mounted through the swing arm or the engine was mounted in rubber or both, 99 out of 100 times it's a sport bike that does that, with almost no rake and the rider going full power a tire only has to slip a fraction to get one started, you can stop one by speeding up but when you brake it will come back again at the exact same speed it started at in first place
 

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Very common on the Goldwing GL 1800.I have an 2006 bought new and has the slight wobble at 30 to 35 if you have light pressure on bars. It can also be from worn tire front. At one time when I first bought my new wing in 2006 they had a class action on them
 
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