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View Results: Should I learn to wheelie?
Yes, it is a vital skill and you'd be a fool not to. 38 20.43%
Yeah, you might as well, it could be handy someday. 50 26.88%
Yeah, Chicks dig it. 42 22.58%
Yes, but only after you've gotten good at doing it in the car. 16 8.60%
No, it is not really useful. 14 7.53%
No, it is dumb and dangerous (just like all the best fireworks) 8 4.30%
No, it is the first step towards The Darkside. 5 2.69%
You should sell the motorcycle and all other worldly goods to become a Ugandan prairie dog hunter. 13 6.99%
Voters: 186. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-24-2013, 09:57 AM   #16
gravityisnotmyfriend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic View Post

I wheelie a lot, because it's addictive and fun as hell.
Pretty much my position exactly! My KTM 620 will wheelie in 1st 2nd and 3rd just by rolling on the throttle. I like 3rd gear wheelies best - higher speed means more stability. It will wheelie in 4th, but it takes a pretty good yank. Compressing the front end helps too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic View Post

It's also a TERRIBLE idea with very few redeeming qualities (outside of trials type riding) and a lot of risk, esp to insurance premiums

I gotta agree here too. It hasn't bitten me yet, but I fear it's only a matter of time if I keep pushing it. I'd really like to get up to a full balance wheelie, but that's when I gotta ask... why? From a pure cost/benefit analysis, I'd be gaining nothing and risking a ton. But, what can I say? If I wanted to completely eliminate risk, I'd be driving a car.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:15 AM   #17
KustomizingKid
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Its fun to just coast down a country road for a half mile with the wheel sky high
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:05 AM   #18
LittleRedToyota
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being able to loft the front and place it where you want it is a vital skill for technical trail riding. you aren't getting over any decent sized logs, rocks, etc. without being able to do it.

you are also eventually going to bury your front in some mudhole or rut and superman over the bars if you can't do it.

comes in handy on the street once in awhile, too...for getting the front over potholes, etc. (though you can usually just go around them or just ride through them and take the hit instead if you want.)

being able to ride wheelies for long distances is not really useful in and of itself. however, the balance, throttle control, clutch control, rear brake control, etc. involved is very useful for all kinds of riding. so, while i would not say it is a very useful skill in and of itself, it certainly does hone some basics that can save your ass someday.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:20 PM   #19
storymitchell
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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
I will say I once won a game of Chicken with a big assed & mean german Shepard once I decided I was gonna hit anyway and the wheel came up
Yeah, that's what I thought would happen. Unfortunately the dog wasn't smart enough and/or fast enough to get out-of-the-way.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #20
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Why not learn to?

It's a skill that teaches clutch, throttle, brake and balance control, what's bad about that?
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisis management View Post
Why not learn to?

It's a skill that teaches clutch, throttle, brake and balance control, what's bad about that?
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)
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:09 PM   #22
Mambo Dave
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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.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #23
Crisis management
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
Would I like to have the skill to wheelie? Yes.

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).




I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #24
InsideThePerimeter
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Cry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto-X Fil View Post
The three categories of wheelies:

1) Unweighting or lifting the front wheel. It's quick, not very aggressive, and very useful. The front wheel barely comes off the ground, but it's useful for getting over logs and the like. It's not particularly fun, and can be done with a quick weight shift and a little throttle on almost any bike.

2) Sustained power wheelies. You've got the front wheel decidedly off the ground, but still a ways from the balance point. You're holding it up by being at full throttle, or close to it. This is very useful for getting through water without getting soaked or endo-ing. It's also really fun on a bike with the balls to hold one for a while.

3) Balance wheelies. These are harder, and completely useless. They are stunting. They are riskier to do than a power wheelie, but can be done at lower speeds, since you have to accelerate hard to hold a power wheelie. I can't really do these very well yet, but I keep messing around because it's a fun thing to try and get. I only do this on my dirt bike, because I feel like looping it is not unlikely.
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.

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.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #25
Mambo Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisis management View Post
I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
  • 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:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtMedic View Post
Here in Florida we get fined over a thousand dollars for popping a stupid wheelie. If the tire comes off the ground you can hand over about $1300 if a cop wants to push it. They can also take the bike. I had a fellow firefighter pop a wheelie and a cop lit him up. He ran. I don't blame him. If the fine was a couple hundred bucks, it would be lesson learned. Pull over, take your lumps and move on. Nobody can afford that kind of fine. It is out of hand.

...
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Barnone View Post
Still a stupid poll. Not a stupid skill.
Did you vote???
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #27
foxtrapper
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Well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
being able to loft the front and place it where you want it is a vital skill for technical trail riding. you aren't getting over any decent sized logs, rocks, etc. without being able to do it.

you are also eventually going to bury your front in some mudhole or rut and superman over the bars if you can't do it.

comes in handy on the street once in awhile, too...for getting the front over potholes, etc. (though you can usually just go around them or just ride through them and take the hit instead if you want.)

being able to ride wheelies for long distances is not really useful in and of itself. however, the balance, throttle control, clutch control, rear brake control, etc. involved is very useful for all kinds of riding. so, while i would not say it is a very useful skill in and of itself, it certainly does hone some basics that can save your ass someday.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:43 PM   #28
xymotic
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Originally Posted by Newby1 View Post
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.

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.
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.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #29
Crisis management
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
  • 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 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.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:45 PM   #30
Bucho
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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.
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