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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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basics on wheelies

i found this on a friends website. www.d-mann.com

The basics, or can I wheelie my bike?

If your bike doesn't have a side car, or a trailer, it can probably be wheelied. I've shifted into 2nd on one wheel on YSR's. I've wheelied dirt bikes, street bikes, and a couple of standards. I've seen Harleys, Goldwings, Katanas, and 125's all pawing at the sky. Yes, your bike can wheelie. Wheelies are made up of three parts. The launch, getting the front wheel off the ground. The balancing portion, riding the wheelie as long as you safely can, clicking gears along the way. This is the most difficult part of wheeling to master. And lastly, set down phase, placing the front wheel back on the ground as safely as possible, trying to place as little wear and tear as possible on your bike.

The Launch
The launch isn't the most difficult part of doing a wheelie. But I'll spend the most time on this section, because this is where there is the most variation. The less power you have, the fewer your options are. I'm going to divide the launch into three sections. Rolling it on, suspension help, and clutch help.

Rolling it on
This is probably the safest way, to launch a wheelie, but it doesn't work on an EX-500, or many older 600's. Simply put, just gradually increase your throttle while in first gear, until you are wide open. If your bike has enough power, your front wheel will just come up. I've found this to work very easily on a Suzuki TL1000s, and a Yamaha R1. Didn't work on my 93 900rr, sometimes works on my Kawaski ZX-11. Never works on my YSR. If you have a 600 that you want to do this with, just lower the gearing. With the race gearing I have on my GSXR600 this technique also works. With the stock gearing, no way in hell. So exactly how do you roll it on. Go to about 1/3 of your tach range in 1st gear, then in the amount of time it takes you to say one-thousand-one, have the throttle at full.

Using Suspensions to help
Ok, so your bike won't roll it on, but you don't want to abuse your clutch. I'm going to talk here about things you can do, that basically assist the roll-on wheelie. These may take practice to work well, but understanding the concepts will apply to any bike. If your bike doesn't do a roll on wheelie, find yourself a steep road, and see if you can wheelie uphill. Is it easier? It should be. The reason why, is that your center of gravity, has already been moved back, lightening your front end. Once you get the wheel off the ground, it takes less power to get it higher.

Those first two inches are the hardest part. Before you ride your bike next time, put both feet on the ground, and push as hard as you can on the front end. Then let it come back up. Practice bouncing the front end up and down. Push hard, and let it come back up. While riding your bike, you can get a similar behavior, by using the throttle. If you whack the throttle open, the front end will come up. At its peak, if you shut the throttle down, engine braking, in combination with the weight of your front end will cause it to go back down. When it's at the bottom of its stroke, if you whack the throttle back open again, you can use the expansion of your front springs, along with your acceleration, to help lift the front wheel. In fact, it doesn't take much at all, to do this.

I'll use my GSXR with stock gearing as an example. I would get going in first gear, so the tach was at about 8500 rpm. Then I would shut the throttle down, then whack it back on. Tugging at the bars a little also helps. This snapping of the throttle is a much quicker movement then rolling your throttle on. Not as quick as you can do it, but I guess that the entire movement should take about 1/2 or less of a second. Basically, go from steady state, shut down, then full open. After some practice you will learn how to time it with your suspension.

Using the Clutch
So you still can't get the front wheel to come up? I actually find that clutching it up, gives me the most predictable wheelies than any other method. Why? Its much easier to do exactly the same thing over, and over. Basically get rolling in 1st gear to an RPM of about 1/3 to 1/2 of your maximum hp. This is what worked well on my GSXR-600, when it had stock gearing. I would go to about 5000 rpm in 1st gear. Pull in the clutch, rev the engine a time or two, to time it so that the throttle would be wide open and the clutch releasing as the tach swept 9-10k. The next thing you know, your front wheel is way up in the air, and your RPM's are at about 8,000 with the throttle full on. At this point, I would have to roll off some, to find the balance point of the bike. As you learn to do this on your own bike, start out conservatively on your clutch release point, and gradually increase the RPM's each time you try it, until the wheel comes up so high you have to roll off the throttle a tad. You may want to cover your rear brake while you are learning this as well, in case you go too high. Standing up fast, will also help put the front end back down if you over do it. Remember these things!

Shifting
Ok, so now you have the front wheel up. How do you keep it up? Shift! It's actually much easier then it seems. When you can ride a long ways in first gear without being full-throttle, you are more than ready to shift. My favorite way to shift, is without the clutch. If you haven't done clutchless shifts before, practice on two wheels first. To do a clutchless shift, apply upward pressure to the shift lever, while you are full on the gas, then just briefly snap the throttle, off an on again. This is the fastest way to shift. When on one wheel, you have to get the front wheel really high, to the point where you need to let off the gas from tipping over. At this point, shift! Balance and practice are both important steps here. Practice those clutchless shifts.

Bringing it Down
So now your front wheel is going down. Either because you got scared and let off the gas, or you just don't have the power to keep it up. Make sure that your front wheel is pointing straight ahead, and keep the throttle open Wide! You want to set the front wheel down as easy as possible. If you chop the throttle, your landing will be very hard, so stay on the gas! Or if you need to come down, just briefly roll off the gas, then get right back on it again, until the front wheel sets down. Expect a chirping noise, and sometimes at higher speeds a bit of a wobble, but as long as the wheel is straight, it's not a big deal.

Body Position
Where you place your body during where wheelie can have some interesting effects. If you completely weight your footpegs, and sorta stand up, I've found it easiest to get really close to the balance point this way, but It's more difficult to shift while in that position. My reasoning for why balancing is easier standing, is that I've noticed you don't have to spend so much effort holding your body in place, which is frequently done by your hands pulling back on the handlebars. Another reason, could be that your legs are better balance sensors than your butt. In any event, it's definitely worth a try. Hanging off to the side, was something I really started doing without noticing and I was always veering off to one side. You might do this, so that you can see where you are going. When your front end gets way up in the air, you can't see over it very well. So you might have a tendency to lean over one side to get a glimpse around. What I found out, is that you can steer this way. To keep yourself, in the center of your lane, just hang off, the same as you would if you were riding with no hands.

Does this hurt my Bike?
When you are first learning you will probably do more damage to your bike then during any other time. This is mainly because of missed shifts, or rear brake stomping, or anything that slams your front end down. You may bust a fork seal. You will probably wear out your steering stem bearings faster than normal, and you will definitely need to tighten your steering head down more frequently. You may also wear your rear tire slightly flat, as hard wheelie acceleration wears out the centers more quickly than normal. You will stretch your chain out, if you use the clutch method. Another detriment to the clutch method, aren't clutch wear, but clutch basket wear. The sudden force of the clutch plates against the ears of the basket can notch the basket. This will prevent you from pulling in the clutch, any time there is load on the engine. Of course, all sorts of fasteners may come loose a little faster than normal, I've noticed mirrors and other front end body fasteners in particular want to fall off. So check out em out frequently. -D-mann
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 06:05 PM
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I busted a fork seal just riding! I'd hate to see what they'd do after coming down hard.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2004, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanMan14
I busted a fork seal just riding! I'd hate to see what they'd do after coming down hard.
i went through atleast 4 seals last year. everytime a seal went i had to replace my brakes as well....cha ching!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2004, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick hill
i went through atleast 4 seals last year. everytime a seal went i had to replace my brakes as well....cha ching!
It's that reason alone, and the small CC's on my bike, that I refrain.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2004, 10:54 AM
 
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I get get it on/off in 1st and I can clutch it in 2nd, just can't find the balance point yet. Thinking I may wait until I get a damper. .

Shan, that's the least of your problems coming down hard. Tank slapper, or worse, busting your balls on the tank.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2004, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Pigface1
Shan, that's the least of your problems coming down hard. Tank slapper, or worse, busting your balls on the tank.
Doh! Just the though of that makes me...
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2004, 02:10 PM
 
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First time I really got my front wheel up I clutched it in first. . didn't think about sitting back on the seat. It came up so fast I cut the throttle and came down right on the tank. You learn pretty fast not to do that. lmao
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2004, 07:03 PM
 
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I can pull it up on old Maxim 650, but its hard as hell..its a heavy old beast, and the only way to do it is to slam the clutch, so needless to say I dont do it that often, and its a 650, 900 Kit... I've tried them all the ways described above, and gone thru similar wallet slimming circumstances as you all have...the kat 750 should do me alot better.

but you gotta love the old beasts though, you can run them into the ground, day in and day out if you want, and they just keep on going like its nothing..
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2004, 09:30 PM
 
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I don't want to take the time to go into detail but thats pretty sketchy. I could do roll ons on my litre sport bikes but needed a little more throttle action to lift my GSXR600. No one taught me anything I just learned from progressive efforts. Eventually I learned to shift and could really do them well on my street bikes and absolutely at will on my CRF. Be careful and just feel it out. I frankly wouldn't even bother trying on cruisers of even sport tourers, to much effort and no glory. Shan was I into that when you an I rode? I was usually a little more reserved when I rode with people but Shan may have seen me float the front end a few times.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Douge
Shan was I into that when you an I rode? I was usually a little more reserved when I rode with people but Shan may have seen me float the front end a few times.

I don't remember you popping wheelies, that doesn't mean you didn't though. :p
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanMan14
I don't remember you popping wheelies, that doesn't mean you didn't though. :p

Yeah now I remember, the time we went out with Jim and he rode off the road out by Saguaro lake. That guy....geez
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 08:24 AM
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Everytime I am tempted to try and do this, I'm going to come here and read about busting your nutz, that'll talk me out of it

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 04:49 PM
 
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just think about spending $1800 plus to fix it when it comes all the way over on you. that will make you think twice about it.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by neverendingproject
just think about spending $1800 plus to fix it when it comes all the way over on you. that will make you think twice about it.
long time no see dude!!! how you been.....get ur ride fixed yet? get you all fixed up yet ?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douge
Yeah now I remember, the time we went out with Jim and he rode off the road out by Saguaro lake. That guy....geez
man - i remember that too - that bike was tore up!
i had to help him set up his haunted house that october - or at least pull stuff out of the attic - and shan - you were there - was that douge with us providing assistance?

hey nick - have you tried riding wheelies on pocket bikes - i can bet that it is much more difficult to do - but personally have no experience with it yet, as i am trying to set one of my pocket bikes up for bottom end to ride wheelies - changing clutch springs (centrifugal clutch) need a bottom end pipe for it, as well as a larger carb - then i'll try it myself!

the thing that scares me most - probably that scares most people most - is going over backwards - it's gonna cause some physical pain, as well as monetary pain!

Last edited by pintsizemoto; 09-13-2004 at 06:04 PM.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 07:51 PM
 
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The Gixxer 1000 will pull it in 2nd with no cluch, not the 750 race bike will pull it up in 3rd. It is a power wheelie machine. A bit scary on the track tho. I think powerslides are more fun than wheelies tho...
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