Should I learn to wheelie?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Hesaid, Oct 23, 2013.

?

Should I learn to wheelie?

  1. Yes, it is a vital skill and you'd be a fool not to.

  2. Yeah, you might as well, it could be handy someday.

  3. Yeah, Chicks dig it.

  4. Yes, but only after you've gotten good at doing it in the car.

  5. No, it is not really useful.

  6. No, it is dumb and dangerous (just like all the best fireworks)

  7. No, it is the first step towards The Darkside.

  8. You should sell the motorcycle and all other worldly goods to become a Ugandan prairie dog hunter.

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Vankaye

    Vankaye n00b on the move

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    BINGO!
    Well said!!

    I love to wheelie my dirt bikes. My streetbikes... meh... not as fun and really risky for the paint work and shiny parts...

    For the DR owner: Slide your butt back on the seat and give the throttle a squirt. If it doesn't come up you need to do some jetting. (my bone stock 99 with a cv carb will wheelie all day long if you shift the weight back just a little bit)
    #21
  2. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I demand proof, sir.

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    I'm in the same dilemma as the OP.

    I've geared my DR650 so much toward the highway that the one time I did actually really try to wheelie the damned thing only came up about 4 inches.

    Would I like to have the skill to wheelie? Yes.

    Do I think that at 42 years of age it's something I want to chance with bikes that just aren't suited for it? No. (Not saying the DR650 isn't a wheelie king - but mine isn't just since I have gears that allow me to easily do 90 and 100 MPH to try to keep up with south Florida traffic on the super-slabs).

    If I've ever given free reign on a 250cc dirt bike, and soft ground, I'm sure I'll try it... but until then I just won't.

    I still get air time from smaller jumps and shit, but that's easier.
    #22
  3. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    Then learn, it takes 5 minutes to change the front sprocket on a DR, a 13 or 14 tooth sprocket costs $20.
    Since I started riding off road (at 50) I've learnt more about riding bikes than 35 years of street riding ever taught me, take the opportunity and gain some new skills (bruises supplied free). :D




    I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
    #23
  4. InsideThePerimeter

    InsideThePerimeter North GA bound

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    Help me out here I tried yesterday and failed to wheelie my Wee Strom. It's got crash bars - skid plate - hand guards and didn't cost too much so my only concern is my health because at middle age stuff doesn't heal up like it used to.

    Having found a mostly hidden slab where a big box store was torn down by my house, I was practicing the skills Off Road Fanatic has on U-tube.

    Figure 8's -then one handed figure 8's -then standing figure 8's - mostly failed at standing 1 handed standing figure 8's - didnt even try knees on the seat or side saddle stuff.
    Emergency stops all good - lock up back tire -squeeze front hard while leaning back.

    Could not get the Wee to do a roll on throttle wheelie - takes off fast but no wheelie even dumping clutch and wide open throttle in first gear.

    Tried rolling start - shift to second pull in clutch - rev and drop clutch - front jumped but just compresseed back suspension still no wheelie.
    On 4th try chain made a bad sound so I went home. :cry

    Am I not leaning back enough ? Not pulling up on the bars ? not reving it enough ? not dumping the clutch hard enough ?

    Help me out here I can't afford a Ducati because apparently that's what they we built for as anybody on one pulls a wheelie ever few miles around here.
    #24
  5. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I demand proof, sir.

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    • fall off of the back
    • injure myself
    • injure my favorite bike
    • have to buy expensive parts
    • not be able to work for a while
    • getting fired from not working for a week

    I don't know, but again, I think I'll reserve learning until I have something other than pavement below me, and a lighter, better geared bike that I don't have to fuck with then put right back together (I commute on it nearly every day).

    And, from another thread just minutes ago:

    #25
  6. CRP6001

    CRP6001 Photographer

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    Did you vote???
    #26
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Well said.

    #27
  8. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

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    I don't have a wee, but I find it hard to believe it couldn't wheelie WITHOUT dropping the clutch. My f650 certainly could. At the mid-to-top of 2nd gear, give it a bit of front brake til the nose compresses and you get back down into the powerband rev wise, you let off the front brake the forks will push the nose up and you just roll on the power.

    You may have to shift your weight back and give it a tug but I wouldn't recommend that til you know how to predict what the bike will do.

    It's far easier to learn on long straight steep uphill grades too.
    #28
  9. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    I understand your reservations and you are right to assume there will be carnage, I've done more damage in the last 7 years than the previous road riding ever did. I'm not advocating learning on the road or even using those "skills" on the road, it's an off road skill and one to learn off road.
    I'm simply pointing out that it is easy and cheap enough to learn those skills on the bike you have if you wish to.

    Having said that, the only wheelies I did on my DR were accidental and I didn't semi-master the skill until I was on a 200cc 2 stroke dirt bike. :D
    #29
  10. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    Before I really got into offroading, I decided I would practice wheeling my DR650. I had it set up like a street motard and I used to ride with a guy who could endless wheelies and all sorts of street hooliganism.

    Anyway, I could kinda sorta do little wheelies, but have never really practiced much other then once or twice when I was out riding. So I was riding by myself and found a good spot to practice.
    I started getting pretty good at doing roll on wheelies in first gear. Then I tried doing a multi gear wheelie. I looped it going from first to second...
    Since then Ive been a little scared about continueing my wheelie training. However, my lifting the front wheel skills for offroading have gotten much better since I have a better dirtbike and have done a lot more offroading.
    #30
  11. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I demand proof, sir.

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    Thank you for making me feel better about it, lol :D
    #31
  12. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    Ok, lemme see, where to begin...

    Thanks for the, um, input. I guess. Any advice on how I could improve? Was it too many choices? The mundane bits of humor? Was it too hard? Do you have strong socio/political ties to either Uganda or it's prairie dogs? Let me know, and I'll try to do better.

    This seems like some useful information. I guess I'm more interested in "lifting" than the actual wheelie. That's the part that seems like it could be a useful skill, as opposed to the stunting type. That said:


    Randyo has a valid point here as well. I ought to be able to control my bike at all times, not just when things are going well. Which leads us to:

    Now this next part, I have to admit, it had been some time since I'd tried, so today after work, I went for a short ride. Guess what? I think I was wrong before. It will wheelie. Bear in mind that I wasn't trying to wheelie, but I wasn't trying not to either. I was just in my normal riding position, completely off of the clutch, at about a 12.7mph roll in first gear (yeah, I've got GPS), and if I grab a handful throttle, it will begin to pull right up. Once this happens, I immediately let off and grab some clutch, 'cause I'm a chicken, but the bike seems ok with it. I think I got ~2"-4" a couple of times, but I wasn't trying for more. I just wanted to know what would happen, and what it was like. I can imagine that if I was actually trying, it would have only been better.

    So, with my mission accomplished, I decided to stop by my folks house. Mom was just taking cookies out of the oven, so I got to snack on homemade warm Andes mint chip cookies while explaining to my parents what I was out and about doing. I think I know what mom would vote on the poll. Dad can see the logic, but is also interested in Ugandan prairie dog hunting, so...

    MV
    #32
  13. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    That's where I am with my practice. For a long time I would grab clutch and take my feet off the pegs. (old habit from going too high on a pedal bike) But with a bit of practice I have gotten out of that habit, and at times have increased throttle and ridden it out. Just keep practicing and get comfortable with it.
    #33
  14. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    imho, it is a lot easier to control wheelies when you clutch them up rather than just throttling them up.

    be a gear higher (2nd or 3rd gear), relatively low in the RPM range, pull the clutch with one finger, rev the motor a bit, dump the clutch. don't rev it much at first and just get used to the feel of the bike "lurching"/bringing the tire up a wee bit.

    as you get comfortable, bring the front up further by increasing the RPMs more before dumping the clutch and also start using your body...slide back on the bike and yank a bit on the bars (or, ultimately, preload the suspension and let the rebound help you out).

    it might seem less intuitive/scarier at first than just twisting the throttle and yanking the bars, but ultimately it is much smoother and more controllable imho.

    try to learn to cover the rear brake so that if you start to go past the balance point, you can use the rear brake to bring the front back down. (if you have your brake pedal set really low, you might need to bring it up a bit to be able to effectively use it while wheelie-ing).
    #34
  15. operose

    operose Mama tried

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    [​IMG]

    :norton :lol3
    #35
  16. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    Well, crap. When you put it that way I guess I don't have much of a choice!

    MV
    #36
  17. RobbieO

    RobbieO Muskokatard

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    Learn off road first........

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zjUJlnamVXs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Then take it to the streets......

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PNbr_Orel58" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #37
  18. ehatcher

    ehatcher Hello? Is this thing on?

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    Probably best to learn how to control a wheelie intentionally at your own pace before you are hard on the throttle, hit a bump...and have to figure it out on the fly...




    E
    #38
  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    can't wheelie worth a shit .. have always wanted to
    #39
  20. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Want to learn this, but probably better not over here in DE... Also see the wisdom in learning on dirt.
    #40