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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
last summer there was a fatal crash involving a tlr at mission raceway
in vancouver british columbia. the crash was caused by a violent tankslapper
causing the rider to loose control and hit a concrete barrier at 80 mph.

i had a long look at the bike yesterday. it hit the barrier with the rear wheel first the rolled on its back and slid along the barrier. there was very little damage to the front end of the bike the forks,triples and the wheel (exept for
some scrapes) were undamged.

what i found though was the the damper heim joint had pulled off the ball
where it bolts on to the frame stem. the heim joint was worn out and this is what caused the crash.

so now when you are going riding and doing your pre and post ride inspection give the heim joints on that damper a real good tug. try to pull it
of the stem and the triple clamp. if you feel any play whatsoever the
joint is unsafe. DO NOT RIDE THE BIKE IF THE DAMPER ISN"T 100%!!!
 

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Very sorry to hear. Best wishes for the family. RIP.

I suspect there's more to the crash than that -TL's, particularly R's are fairly stable bikes and don't just start shaking violently for no reason. Perhaps the damper would have or had been covering up a more fundamental issue, but it'd be a mistake to assume the damper is a cure-all.

btw about 55k with no damper at all on the supposedly more frisky S and I haven't died yet.
 

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:stupid

I am real sorry to hear about your friend. I haven't ridden with a damper in 3 or 4 years, maybe longer. No problems, which I attribute to proper suspension setup, and not riding on the street like I am a hooligan (most of the time). I currently do not do track days.
 

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My TLR had some pretty dangerous stability issues when I first started racing with it. It turned out to be a combination of bad geometry and fork stiction from poor maintenance. After those were fixed, it's as stable or better than most bikes. I would wonder if there was an ongoing issue that caused the failure of the part because there shouldn't generally be that much strain on it when the bike is working properly.

Was the damper OEM or aftermarket?
 

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That damper could have been pulled off during the tankslapper. If it really shakes, it's violent!!
Example: I recently locked up the front wheel entering a 4th gear corner on track, steering went to almost full lock, then the front tyre gripped again and I had a monster headshake running off track. Note this was only caused by my driving error and by the fact that the tyre gripped again at almost full lock, it would have happened with any bike. After that incident, the balance weights on the steering stops that I used to limit steering lock were plat as a sheet of paper. Note I didn't crash!

And I agree to gixxstar, with a well dialed in and maintained suspension you shouldn't experience any unusual heashake with the TL.
Another side note from the last track weekend: I was constantly cross landing power wheelies (including one with very serious headhake) and at the evening found out that the rear wheel wasn't aligned properly. Dumb error, big effect. Corrected it and had no problems the next day.

The good point of the initial post is that you should take care about the steering damper and that you should stay away from flimsy damper mounts.

Greetings
Rufer
 

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I no longer will ride a bike without a quality damper. For years I rode the TL without a damper. When I got my new bike 4/97 suzuki had not yet put the oem dampers on. A recall put this horribly restrictive thing suzuki called a damper on my bike. I took it back off, that turned out to be a big mistake. In '01 I had a cold tire rear slide at WOT exiting a shaded corner at about 55mph. I caught the slide Ok, but the resulting crossed up wheelie landing of the front tire turned into a violent tank slapper that grew until the bike threw me off. Now I go Hyperpro for the street/track and Scots for the dirt.
 

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Actually I know the bike the crash itself was caused by the rider hitting the large bump exiting the inside of turn 9 at Mission race way at a very high rate of speed which instigated the very violent tank slapper. Any way it was a very sad day, my condolences to rawdonflyer it is sad to lose a friend. There is a bit of a silver lining to it in that the track has gone back to the slower turn configuration of turn 9 for bike racing to keep the exit speed down coming onto the straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the mission crash

Actually I know the bike the crash itself was caused by the rider hitting the large bump exiting the inside of turn 9 at Mission race way at a very high rate of speed which instigated the very violent tank slapper. Any way it was a very sad day, my condolences to rawdonflyer it is sad to lose a friend. There is a bit of a silver lining to it in that the track has gone back to the slower turn configuration of turn 9 for bike racing to keep the exit speed down coming onto the straight.
actualy the crash was caused by the rider repeataly coming out of turn 9
still leaned over full throttle second gear and wheeling the bike and putting the front wheel down with the bike crossed up. this set up a head shake on almost every lap which eventualy broke an allready worn out steering damper.
the man that has the bike now was the riders best friend and was behind him on the other tlr that was there that day and saw the whole progression of
events leading to the fatal crash. this is what he told me but he is not a mechanic ( i am) and didn't understand why the problem got progressivly worse. the rider should have either slowed down or quit for the day, but it was his first track day and he was full of adrenalin and enthusiasm. but
with that said it still boils down to the fact that the damper failed, period.
if it stayed together the rider would still be alive.
 
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