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Mulholland Crash .... Well, Almost!


Gr8Dane
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Riding the BMW K 1200 GT down Mulholland a few days ago, after dusk, just cruising, minding my own business, straight line, 50 mph. SMACK! SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL! Massive tankslapper, right, left, right....dunno what, why or how! Thought for sure I was going down. Bike straightened itself out, I stopped, my left wrist painful from the sudden, twisting impact. Figured I had blown a tire,,,nope, tires fine, pressure fine. I doubled back, checked the road surface, no sand gravel, nothing.....next morning, I check the bike thoroughly....all good, except for scuff marks from my right knee-slider on TOP OF THE TANK! Which would indicate that the bike went from vertical to about 45 degree lean angle and back while my body remained upright. Wheew, that was close!

 

I still don't know what happened, but I have to say I credit loose elbows and no death grip on the bars allowing the bike to correct itself....there's absolutely nothing I could have actively done to save it. Page 46 & 47 of TOWTII pretty much explains the dynamics.

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great job saving your bike and your bacon!! :D

 

I cannot take credit....

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Good that you could keep the beemer upright!

 

If you were going straight with no lean, I would agree with Hotfoot that an animal could be the most likely culprit. Dusk is notorious for bringing them out!

I would check the front wheel for any tell-tale signs of hitting an animal.

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Wow - scary stuff! I have only had a tank slapper incident once, and I don't care to repeat it again...

 

I would be taking a really close look at every possible detail & scenario to try and find what caused that. As scary as the tank slapper would have been, in my mind it's even more scary not to know what caused it - because if you don't know what caused it, you won't know what to avoid in the future and there's no guarantee it won't happen all over again!

 

Bet you were surprised to see your knee slider mark up the top of the tank! Strange things happen... a mate stacked my XR400 motard once on a slightly downhill, open piece of road and it ended up with scratch marks on top of the front mud guard. huh.gif

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Glad to hear you kept it upright Dane! I had a mystery tank slapper on my K1200R last year. It wasn't as dramatic as your sounds and the bike recovered but when I went back I could find no reason for it. I wondered if I could have hit a rock that was thrown after contact. Never did figure out what it was and like Mugget said, that is even worse.

I have to admit I don't know much about the Duolever front end those bikes share but I wonder if it would be more or less susceptible to a tank slapper?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think a small animal could have been the culprit, but never did see any evidence. Who knows? Been riding for almost 40 years and that's the first time I have ever had something in-explicable happen. Especially on a bike that's inherently as stable as a rock.

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