The ability to wheelie on a motorcycle may seem like an immensely difficult skill that will never be in reach; however, with the right mindset and format, this skill can be mastered with some practice and determination! Always make sure to obey general safety laws, wear your helmet, and above all else use common sense when attempting new and potentially dangerous tricks; these tips should help you out!
Basics of a Wheelie
To master the art of doing a wheelie, one must know what a wheelie is, to begin with. To put it simply, a wheelie is a trick in which one rides the motorcycle while the front wheel is lifted from the road or whatever surface the rider is on.
The length of time with the front wheel spent off the ground is up to the rider, and over time advanced wheelies that are longer and have a deeper tip becoming possible.
This skill is commonly referred to as “popping a wheelie” and done in various motorsports, each with their own unique skills and techniques that lead to mastery. With the size and weight of a motorcycle, it is important to learn to wheelie properly to ensure success and safety!
Before any of these instructions or considerations are possible, however, you must be comfortable with your bike. This means you should have experience riding your bike and advanced familiarity with all of its parts, which we will refer to throughout this article. Additionally, you should have and wear all of the necessary safety gear.
Selecting the Location for your Wheelie
When choosing where to wheelie there are several factors to consider and rules to abide by. For these reasons, it is best to avoid doing a wheelie where many other drivers are around as someone could get injured. Additionally, doing wheelies in a public area such as a main road may be illegal.
Particularly when you are still learning to wheelie, it is best to practice on a smooth, straight terrain. Additionally, select an area with minimal traffic as well.
Preparing to Wheelie
To simply pull off the cover, unlock the motorcycle, and hop on your bike and immediately wheelie would not only be unwise, but it also would probably not work! There are a few steps that should be taken before your wheelie to protect yourself and the bike.
First, wheelies actually require the use of more oil than standard motorcycle riding, which means you will need to put a bit extra in. Adding more than the standard amount is crucial and while it may seem like you are overfilling, this will ensure you can pull off the wheelie without the bike running out of juice!
While still preparing your bike, next consider your tires. The tires need to be in good condition, particularly the back tire since the front wheel will be off the ground. Release some of the pressure out of the back tire to allow for more stability and support.
Finally, ensure the motorcycle is sufficiently charged and functioning, but disable any sensors as you do not want the motorcycle battery shutting off completely while you are attempting your wheelie.
Performing the Wheelie
Now that your bike is in order, and you have all your safety gear on, you are ready to learn the steps of performing a wheelie. While this may be intimidating, as long as you know your bike and are easing into the skill it can be done safely with no personal injury or injury to your bike.
The first mechanism for a wheelie is using the clutch. Essentially, you will shift your bike into its first gear and then speed up. Once you reach at least 5000 rpm, pull the clutch inward.
As you increase your speed and release the clutch, the front wheel will come up very fast. This can be a startling motion so feel free to start slower. When you have finished your wheelie, simply turn off the throttle.
Another method for a wheelie, which is quite a bit more advanced, is the throttle method. This method is difficult but puts less wear and tear on your bike.
To perform the throttle method, accelerate until you hit the highest possible torque before quickly shutting off the throttle and turning it back on again. This will cause the front of the bike to lift up at a rapid speed.
Practice Makes Perfect
It is likely that your first wheelie will be far from perfect, and this will remain consistent as you get more comfortable with increased speed and holding yourself in the air. It is a balancing act, literally, as you learn to evenly distribute your body weight without causing the bike to come crashing down.
Another common frustration for riders is they are comfortable getting their front wheel in the air, but evenly coming back down and finishing their ride feels nearly impossible! This is understandable, but the true trick is to rebalance your weight and shut the throttle off at the perfect time so you do not harshly slam down or tip too far back!
However, do not be discouraged. With persistence, you can master this trick with minimal crashing overall. Many professionals have taken years to work up to their best wheelies, so by following these tips, you are already one step ahead of some of the best riders out there.
While you may have never imagined that you would be able to do a wheelie, the truth is that if you follow these tips and practice, there is a good chance you will be able to. Wheelies are a classic trick that are enjoyable and fun to attempt. More importantly, by learning the appropriate way to wheelie you ensure there will not be damage to others, yourself, or your motorcycle!