View Full Version : My First Tank Slapper

09-13-2004, 08:58 AM
Need some advice.

Had my first tank-slapper, near high side on Saturday. Putnam park, hard 90 degree right hander in second gear. Rolled on the throttle at the apex and my ass and feet are in the air whilst the handlebars flap back and forth. Straightened it out. Raised my hand and proceeded to the hot pit. Toweled off the fecal matter and urine which was covering my bike [thank god for perforated leathers!] and headed back out on the track.

Past month: decided to stop blaming the bike and realize that the rider is 90% of the equation.

1.) In the US and European moto press, the standard Diablos might add a second to an experienced riders lap time. Didn't want to blame them. But still, have to wonder if they played a role.

2.) Non adjustable Sachs steering damper has little low speed damping and limited highspeed damping.

Still not blaming the bike.

Switched to Diablo Corsas before the next session. Since riding fast seems to be mental as much as anything, my lack of confidence in the Diablos would've continued to work against me.

Wondering about the damper...did it help keep me from high siding?

Or, would one with more damping have prevented the slapper in the first place.

The reason I'm keeping the Mille is it's ability to get on the gas earlier than bikes with more peak HP. Am wondering if tapping into the 70 or so ft. lbs of torque is still more than I can handle.

Any comments/advice would be greatly appreciated. I plan to break into Formula 40 next year and need to sort this out. Really don't want to experience that "I'm going over the bars onto the pavement" feeling again.

09-13-2004, 10:41 PM
It doesn't matter what bike you ride, you will experience that feeling again if you continue to race and improve. You can't get better without finding your limits and expanding them a little at a time. I wouldn't concern yourself much about the damper, it's good you have one. You can spend more money if you like but it's not going stop that from happening again. Tires on the other hand are the majority of handling issues on modern bikes. You can't push the limits and survive without getting the best tires. The street version DOT's will never be as good on track...they're not supposed to. They are made to last and have good performance on the street. You have a damper now, skip buying a different one and just keep buying tires when you need them if you can. I hope you stick with the big twin, they are so much more fun on the track than the other stuff out there in my own opinion. Best of luck, have a good time.

Jet City Racer
09-13-2004, 11:32 PM
Perf leathers, that's a good one. :D

Glad you didn't go boom boom too.

As you get more experience on the track you will be able to concentrate more on feedback and what the tires are telling you. Right now you were concentrating more probably on other things like line selection/markers etc....

The best thing Keith Code wrote was his philosophy on "You have $1.00 worth of thought processes available at any given time. If you spend them all at once, you won't have anything left to use when you need them most ."

Try getting on the gas earlier and more progressively. This will give you more time to sense if it's starting to spin and time to react before you're out of the saddle and on your head like I was a few months ago. If you aren't on the throttle BEFORE the apex, you're late. This helps drive the bike through the corner, plus prevents you from grabbing a handful and spinning up the back end.

Maybe I should listen to my own advice more often. :rolleyes:

BTW- A 4 cylinder is much easier to highside than a twin because of the power pulses.

Hope that helps you a bit there Paul.

09-15-2004, 03:45 PM
Had an epiphany this weekend.

AMA racer at the track. Track record 1:10. He's turning 1:11s. He's wicked fast. (Rides a pink bike, featured in Road Racing world this month.) I will NEVER be as fast as he is. So, who am I racing against? I race against me. It doesn't matter if I'm on the fastest bike, he will always be faster. I like the Mille, the way it sounds, the way it looks and the way it handles. I'm keeping the Mille because I like it as my race bike.

Need advice about knee pucks. Dropped my knees about three months ago. What a rush. Makes following the arc of the curve easy and comfortable. But, I'm not sure it's always the fastest. I know they're supposed to be feelers...but it's just fun to drag em.

When to use em? How long to keep em down?



09-16-2004, 01:03 PM
It's fun to burn 'em up, but not necessary. Use them to get an idea of your lean angle and then just sort of skim the surface. If you think about it, any drag at all is...well...drag. It's not likely going to change your lap times at this point, but another thought to ponder is that if you get used to the feel of "pushing" down on the slider you will eventually get a big wake-up call when it drops off the tarmac into the grass/dirt or if it snags a rumble strip. I can burn a set up in 1 session, but tend to make them last several race weekends. Look at the sliders on top Superbike and GP racers' leathers. Often times you can still see the logo on the slider after a full GP.

09-17-2004, 10:05 AM
BTW, the racer at Putnam Park was J.J. Roetlin, if that means anything.

09-25-2004, 06:25 PM
paul any pics since the graphics upgrade?

09-26-2004, 11:04 PM
"Let's See if this works"

Links to the pics are in the above thread.