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There are people who were born with luck, people with great luck, then there are people with a luck that you cannot believe it and much higher up, there on the edge of the stratosphere, there is this biker that we bring you today. He calls himself Hammy Moto On his YouTube channel, he has a Kawasaki Z1000 and the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, Saint Joseph and even the mule and the ox from the manger appeared all in the same action. He is miraculously alive.
"I'm not dead! I'm not dead!"
The clip that our friend uploaded to his channel was extremely brief. If the clip extracted from the total is this short not by chance, but because possibly Hammy previously would have performed a wheelie (or trying) at high speed, hence also hiding the speedometer.
The youtuber's problem came when the front wheel landed. An imperfect contact with the asphalt immediately caused a tremendous shimmy in the front end. Anglo-Saxons call it tank slapping, slapping the tank, by the lashes that hit the handlebar against the tank. And not without reason.
Hammy ended up losing control of his Kawasaki on the highway while a large trailer passed by, he fell to the ground converging his path with that of the truck and although in the video at normal speed it seems that nothing has happened, it did: Hammy's body slipped just below the trailer with a proverbial fortune.
This is not an exaggeration. If we look, the gap between the wheels of the tractor unit and the frame and legs of the trailer is really limited. That truck had a metal box hanging from its belly that it possibly used to store equipment in which the motorcyclist could have been trapped in the best of cases. At worst, it would have been directly crushed by the rear wheels.
"I'm not dead!"Hammy yells to himself several times from the middle. It is not for less, friend. Today was your lucky day. It would be better if you go to take the Euromillions after having learned a lesson of such caliber: doing the prawn with the motorcycle on the highway has its risks.
Unfortunately we have too many (and I say well: we have too many) examples of youtubers or simple motorists who suffer an effect of intoxication from adrenaline every time they get behind an action camera trying to demonstrate something to the rest of the internet, putting their lives at risk, and those of those around them, for a few likes.
What is a shimmy and why should you be careful with them?
In this video you can see the effect of another shimmy, in this case on a Yamaha YZF-R6R riding recklessly on the road.
But what happened to Hammy has an explanation. The shimmy It is one of the biggest problems that motorists face. It is very likely that you have ever felt it, no matter how powerful your mount is. This is a nod from the direction caused by a lack of support on the front axle or a specific loss of grip on the front tire.
Pushed by the rear wheel, when the front end regains grip it tries to get straight again, but if the contact is not perfect or if we do not act properly on the handlebars, this recovery can become a jolt that begins to replicate from one side to the other as the rubber grips the asphalt and the steering travels frantically between the stops of its travel.
In very different circumstances it is also possible for shimmies to appear. Above these lines there is a video that illustrates it perfectly. It is a Triumph Tiger 800 that also suffers from steering oscillations, although in its case it may be due to effect generated by air pressure over the handguards on a wide handlebar.
To compensate for this and not see ourselves in such terrifying incidents like the one in the video, the current motorcycles most prone to suffering this badly equip those known as steering dampers that we already explained previously what they are and how they work. These are devices that dampen parasitic reactions by joining the steering (mobile point) with the chassis (fixed point), placing in between a mechanical or electronic filter that digests violent movements.
As a side effect, shimmies produce another dangerous consequence. By shaking the address more or less vehemently from side to side, the brake discs push the pads, which can cause the caliper pistons to back out and cause a loss in deceleration ability.
This occurs because the hydraulic circuit sends pressure to the calipers, but since the plungers are in a further position of the discs must be pumped repeatedly so that the pads return to their position and begin to bite on the friction surface.
In any case, no steering damper will make us immune to the possible consequences of unresponsive driving. On the road, safety is the main thing, and even more so on a motorcycle. So you know, like Hammy says: Ride safe.