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Motorcycle Tank Slap: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

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Tank slap can be a dangerous event for motorcyclists and other drivers on the road. Many riders have no idea what to do during death wobble motorcycle to prevent an accident or how to stop death wobble motorcycle. In this article, we will address important questions like how to recover from speed wobble motorcycle, what causes death wobble motorcycle, and what causes high speed wobble on a motorcycle. Discover the tank slapping meaning and causes. Our comprehensive guide covers everything from prevention to what to do in an accident. Contact us for legal support if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle tank slapper accident.

What Is Tank Slap/Wobble?

Speeding can cause the motorcycle to sometimes shake violently in a fatal wobble which is known as a motorcycle tank slap. When this happens, the tire at the front loses alignment with the tire at the back, and in an attempt to regain the alignment, the motion of the tires results in causing a death wobble which can lead to a motorcycle tank slapper accident. A tank slapper is something that can happen to amateur as well as expert bikers. It can be fatal, not only for the rider but for other people on the highways.

What Causes Motorcycle Wobble?

Motorcycle accident lawyers say that the most common question they are asked by motorcyclists is ‘Why does my motorcycle wobble at high speeds?’ It is not uncommon to see that vehicles tend to get out of control very quickly when they are at high speed, however, this is especially true for two-wheel vehicles like a bike because they can lose balance very easily. A motorcycle wobble happens due to the following reasons:

  • Poorly maintained roads: Potholes, uneven roads, pits, very bumpy speed breakers, slippery roads, etc can contribute to the misalignment of tires. 
  • Aerodynamics and airflow: The turbulence in wind or weather conditions can increase the risk of tank slap tenfold. Strong winds can cause the motorcycle to be imbalanced and over due to misalignment of the tires, among other causes. This can lead to serious injuries and puts the rider at significant risk.
  • Faulty motorbikes: Sometimes the bikes are also not well-maintained to ensure that all the parts are properly functioning. It is essential to make periodic checks of different parts of the motorcycle to make sure there is no potential defect that can cause misalignment in the tires or other issues.

What Are the Dangers of Wobble on Motorcycle?

There are severe dangers of a wobble on a motorcycle. Not only it causes damage to the bike, but also puts the rider at significant risk of being physically and psychologically injured. Once a wobble begins, trying to stop it only increases the strength of the wobble until the motorcyclist is thrown off the bike. The impact of a fall can be paramount, depending on the speed at which the bike was running when the wobble happened. 

Brain injuries, TBIs, spine and bone fractures, injuries to the face and eyes, joint swelling, and muscle damage are some of the consequences of a tank slapper accident. Moreover, a rider can also experience PTSD and other psychological issues after an accident. In some cases, the riders cannot go back to driving a motorcycle without professional psychological help, even after they have made a full recovery from their physical injuries because of accident phobia.

How to Prevent Tank Slappers While Riding 

Tank slapper can happen to old and new bikes both, however, the old model bikes are more susceptible to death wobbles than the modern bikes. In modern bikes, there are dampers to absorb the osculation force to reduce the impact of a wobble. The best way to prevent a tank slapper while riding is to keep an eye on the road defects, perform regular maintenance checks of your bike, and never ride a motorcycle when the wind is too strong, or the weather conditions are less favorable to drive. If you still have to drive, make sure to maintain a good speed and do not try speeding. When you are in a wobble, make sure the following:

  • Do not apply brakes immediately.
  • Don’t go aggressive on the throttle or handlebars to change the direction of the bike, it will also worsen the wobble. 
  • Try to stay calm and let the bike do the realignment on its own. Your resistance will make the bike shake even more violently.

Who is Responsible for Tank Slap Motorcycle Accident?

Establishing liability in a tank slapper accident can be challenging. The following parties can be held liable for a tank slap motorcycle accident: 

  • Government agencies: The government agencies responsible for making the roads safer and making periodic maintenance of the roads to remove road defects can be sued for their negligence to perform their duties. If there is deliberate negligence on their part, they are liable to pay for medical expenses, wage loss, and physical and psychological impairments (if any).
  • Motorcycle manufacturer: The bike manufacturer can also be sued for faulty parts if the wobble results from a defect in the motorcycle. The motorcycle manufacturing company of your bike can be sued for product liability, and the victim can claim all types of compensation available under a personal injury lawsuit.


In a nutshell, a tank slap can be a very dangerous event for a rider. In a deadly wobble, the motorcycle shakes so violently that it can throw off the biker on the road and cause severe injuries to them. To prevent a tank slap, it is essential to be cautious of all defects on the road and weather conditions, while ensuring regular checks on the maintenance of the bike. It is also crucial to understand how liability works in tank slap motorcycle accidents to know who you should sue if you ever face such an unfortunate accident. If you have suffered a tank slap motorcycle accident, get in touch with our excellent motorcycle injury lawyers to win the compensation you deserve.

Jason Royce Allen

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