Jump to content

I have a confession....


Recommended Posts

..I have never wheelied a motorbike. There, I feel better now.  :D
 
Just about every review of our bike mentions the ease with which you can pop the front wheel up and I often read it in threads on here. But I always ride with TC on, and I'm too chicken, so the wheel stays where it was designed to be.
 
So to the questions. Do you have to be a demi-god in terms of "feel" for the bike to wheelie in a controlled manner? Isn't it pretty easy to make an arse of yourself when bringing the wheel back down again and lose control?
 
Browsing youtube brings up lots of videos of failure, as well as some very talented skinny girls holding wheelies for long stretches (but that's more a comment on my browsing history) so I'm guessing that it can't be too difficult, but costly if you get it wrong.
 
Power on wheelies seem to be the most difficult to control, clutch popping seems the preferred method. Or am I way off base here?
 
Where does a wheely virgin start or should I give it up as I'm just too sad, old and risk-averse?

Red 2015 Tracer, UK spec (well, it was until I started messing with it...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im not a big fan of wheelies in what i consider when one rides thru traffic on one wheel with 5 go pros on...im talking like when the front wheel gets about knee high hitting high speed bumpy fire roads on my dirt bike, thats a wheelie to me, it feels controlled and doesn't catch me off guard...does it happen on my 2 roads bikes? sure if i hit the train crossing bump in town at the right speed it will loft the front wheel knee high, thats a wheelie in my book...
 
Your best way to learn is on a used 250F sized dirt bike...they can take abuse of learning to wheelie mistakes and the dirt is soft compared to the Thors Hammer hardness of the asphalt... As for technique, there are one too many ways to accomplish that...
2012 wr250f - C-class 30+ age group
2015 fz-07- Hordpower Edition-80whp
2015 fj-09- Graves Exhaust w/Woolich tune by 2WDW @120whp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too am sad and old, but do ride with some risk...push it a bit. I watched some how-to wheelie YT videos, canceled the TC, completed one very brief wheelie that did not land too hard...but it was kinda freaky. That was last summer and have not touched the TC since. Not to say that I wouldn't try it a few more times. I look forward to the comments from others here...I'm sure there's a lot of similar concern, and experienced commenters.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to be ashamed I know some fast riders that can't or won't wheelie. But, I love me some wheelies! I play around and power wheelie in 1st gear , but it's easier to manage and can ride it further when I clutch wheelie in 2nd gear. I haven't had my fj 09 long just made the first payment yesterday!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This bike wheelies very easily. Going straight, first or second gear, twist the throttle and slip the clutch a little. The front wheel will come up. In the beginning leave the TC on, this will pick up the front wheel and set it back down gently. After getting used to this and you want more, turn of the TC. Then you can start learning how to do a power wheelie. When the front wheel gets too high applying rear brake will bring it down. As fjmax said "foot over the rear brake pedal" you need to be ready to react instantly, foot off pedal you can't do that. Warning this is hard on fork seals!!!! Plan on replacing a set or two of those. Hope this helps.
 
Kurt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with you. I will wheelie a dirt bike but have never done a street bike.  I think the power scares me away from trying, although I've never really felt the urge.
 
 
To me the fj 09 feels like I'm sitting on a dirt bike
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
I would also recommended learning in the dirt if you really have to do it, and don't use a bike that's any heavier than what you would want landing on top of you when things don't work out so good. 
BLB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
I prefer to keep the front wheel on the road. I am a bit of a wheelie weenie, probably because I don't have a dirt bike. I gotta admit that it is fun to wheelie with a simple twist of the wrist. However, I would rather accelerate with maximum torque and the wheelie slows down the acceleration. Doesn't it? This bike has been tested 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds. That must be with the front wheel down.

2015 red FJ-09: Cal Sci screen, Sargent seat, ECU flash, slider combo, cruise, Rizoma bars, Matts forks, JRi shock, slipper clutch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wheelies are fun and satisfying when done right.....love doin' 'em....love watching buddies do 'em.....FJ makes them relatively easy.....just start with brief-low ones and get a feel for increasing height and duration. It's all in finessing the throttle. Oh, and picking the right time and place!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

wheelies are fun and satisfying when done right.....love doin' 'em....love watching buddies do 'em.....FJ makes them relatively easy.....just start with brief-low ones and get a feel for increasing height and duration. It's all in finessing the throttle. Oh, and picking the right time and place!
+1 You don't start out by doing, long balanced wheelies. I have done small wheelies without trying. Leaving the gas station, getting up to speed with traffic, TC on, did short wheelie. This was unintentional but, no big deal. Find a quiet street, when shifting into second gear slip the clutch a little, twist the throttle let the clutch out fast. The front wheel will come up for a couple of seconds and congratulations you are no longer a wheelie virgin. Things didn't quite work, try again. The TC will keep you from getting into trouble. This should produce a short 6" to 12" wheelie. Distance from the bottom of the front tire to the ground. Remember be going straight. Regrets are normally the things we didn't do, not the things we did.  
Kurt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might add a couple thoughts......there is a big difference between "balance-point" wheelies and simple (though sometimes pretty lengthy) wheel lofts. BP wheelies generally take more skill (and risk) and should be learned VERY gradually--flipping a street bike at 50 to 75 MPH is not gonna end well for you. Learning these motorcycle control skills is made easier with dirt bike experience, but it's a control skill like any other, like threshold braking, aggressive countersteering techniques or hanging off and dragging your knee around a corner (preferably on a track :)) I guess my 2 cents would be to never let your skill sets stagnate at a certain level. Wheelies are NOT risk-free but hell, neither is motorcycling.
IMG_4454.jpg
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2014 FZ09 I first had was a wheelie machine. Nearly any time you tried to get going in a hurry, the FZ09 would loft the front wheel, especially in first, second and even third gear.
 
But, that was with NO traction control or ABS system.
 
On the 2015 FJ09, it's been more fun to ride really. I don't have to worry about it due to TC. And ABS has saved my butt from at least two situations where I would not want to find out what happened if the front tire had slipped.
 
Wheelies look cool, and can be fun when pulling away from traffic, but really? They are dang dangerous and I've seen very skilled riders who can and have ridden wheelies for miles and miles and miles...
 
CRASH. And go down hard at speed too. It never is fun to see your friends wipe out a nice bike, and get their gear/skin/lives all scraped up and injured.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×