“Tank Slapper” Motorcycle Accidents

By Pyle Law, Reviewed by E. THomas Pyle August 01 2023 4:45 pm

“Tank Slapper” Motorcycle Accidents

By Pyle Law, Reviewed by E. THomas Pyle August 01 2023 4:45 pm
“Tank Slapper” Motorcycle Accidents

Even with the right training, riding a motorcycle carries inherent risks. One such risk that a number of motorcyclists have experienced is the tank slapper. Also called a wobble or speed wobble, a tank slapper is a frightening experience that can harm a person both physically and emotionally. 

The physical wounds from a tank slapper accident can be severe and, in some cases, fatal. Psychologically, a motorcyclist can struggle to ride a bike again after being in a terrifying accident caused by the force of out-of-control handlebars and an unstable front wheel. If you have survived, you may struggle to ride a motorcycle again because of the terrifying ordeal. 

If you have been the victim of a tank slapper motorcycle accident in Kansas, you should seek the aid of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help file a claim and be compensated for damages you suffered from this experience.


What is a tank slapper accident?

A tank slapper occurs when the front wheel of a motorcycle is misaligned and leads to instability and difficulty in maintaining control. This instability results in the handlebars jolting back and forth violently, slapping the tank from one side to the other. If the misalignment is not corrected, this motion can lead to a rider being thrown off the bike or getting into an accident with the motorcycle. 

tank slapper accident?

What makes this type of motorcycle accident so dangerous is that the force of your arms alone is not enough to prevent the force of the oscillating handlebars from throwing a person off of the bike.


What causes a tank slapper accident? 

Various circumstances can lead to front wheel instability. They include:

  • Poor motorcycle maintenance
  • Tires that are in bad condition
  • Inaccurate tire pressure
  • Potholes and bumps in the road
  • Turning the wheel at the wrong angle on painted lines 
  • Incorrect landing of a “wheelie”
  • A front wheel that is misaligned with the back part of the motorcycle


You can try to prevent a tank slapper accident in 3 main ways

Once the handlebars of a motorcycle begin oscillating back and forth, regaining control of the bike can be difficult. We suggest taking preventive actions to reduce the risk of a tank slapper accident. 


Get a motorcycle with a steering damper

This tool helps to provide control to the front wheel, especially at high speeds. If a motorcycle is not equipped with a steering damper, then you may want to consider having one fitted for your bike. It can increase the damping force that helps the front wheel to self-correct in the event of an issue.


Lean forward

By leaning forward, you change the center of gravity to improve the dampening effect on your motorcycle’s front wheel.


Slowly increase or decrease the speed

An even, steady increase or decrease in speed can help ease the abruptness that a quick change can create for the bike. It can help to transition speeds and thus maintain the facility of the vehicle under normal conditions.


Who is at fault for your motorcycle accident?

The manufacturer of your motorcycle may be at fault if the motorcycle experiences an error due to defective manufacture or other malfunctions. A government agency may also be at fault if your accident was a result of negligence or failure to maintain road conditions.


Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

A tank slapper accident is a high-risk incident that can lead to severe injury and, in some cases, fatalities. If you have been the victim of a tank slapper accident, the attorney at Pyle Law can help you to develop a case and reclaim losses. Set up an appointment today with our experienced lawyer.


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Pyle Law was founded in 1999 with a commitment to fewer clients and better service. We believe that each and every client is important and everyone is entitled to justice and equal protection under our laws. We make every case a priority and are committed to keeping each client informed about the status of their case. We do not guarantee results, but we do guarantee effort.


This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney E. Thomas Pyle who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing personal injury trial attorney.