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Old 10-28-2003, 08:38 PM   #1
L.A. OP
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How to wheelie a GS

Any of you studly riders out there that can wheelie your GS? Just curious...tips and pics would make this thread really interesting.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:20 PM   #2
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Seems the best way is to roll on the throttle nice and smooth, and put some emphasis down somewhere around 4k rpm.

On my way home from work there's one red light where the cross-road has a large crown. The GS really likes that. Caught me by suprise the first time when the front wheel lifted about two feet off the ground.

Somewhere around 8000 miles (odometer) the GS seemed to get more wheelie-happy. Usually, when I get moving from a stop the front end gets pretty light, sometimes bouncing around a little. But nowadays it's getting lighter and lighter.

I don't know. Tips? Put more miles on your bike, maybe? If you want to force the issue, get your weight back, or even put your body in a backward motion before you lay down the throttle. Pull up on the bars, etc...

There's plenty of GS wheelie shots here. Search for the Jimmy Lewis threads in ride reports, or some of Iillyyaa's threads, or Guzzler's smugmug page, etc...
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:32 PM   #3
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In first, get going about twenty. pull the clutch, give it gas and dump the clutch and hold on. Be careful, it might go up farther and faster than you expect. Also shifting to second sometimes it wheelies.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:43 PM   #4
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Cover the rear brake with your right foot...if you start wheelieing too high, use the rear brake to get the front back down (before the bike rides you).

You can also practice in the dirt (after all, it is a GS)...not as messy if you fall over.

You can make a slight mound of dirt to help kick up the front tire if you can't do it with just the throttle (or while learning how to do it with just the throttle).

Just as you get to the mound, roll on the throttle...KEEP THE REAR BRAKE COVERED.
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Said configurationspace:
There's plenty of GS wheelie shots here. Search for the Jimmy Lewis threads in ride reports, or some of Iillyyaa's threads, or Guzzler's smugmug page, etc...
I have a smugmug page?

Actually the only way I have done a decent wheelie was to have my friends fat wife as a pillion

She ask for a ride, I took her down the residental street. I just twisted the throttle, and noticed that the view was changing. I starting thinking "Hey, is the front tire off the ground?". I rolled off the throttle and what do you know, the front dropped.

To be honest, I am terrible at doing wheelies. I only get them when I am not paying attention. Mainly when just accelerating really hard, no popping of the clutch. If I try to do one on purpose... it gets ugly, really fast. And it isn't limited to the GS, anything I try to wheelie, I suck at.
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:51 PM   #6
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Firstly look closely at this pic ... then find some water so when you fall off...
OK jokes aside many of you will have seen this pic some time back of SA BMW Off-Road Academy instructor Jan du Toit doing a 'depthcharge' wheelie in water. What he taught me some weeks ago at his course was to truck along at about 10-20km in 1st or 2nd and then merely close throttle quickly and then open again quickly... wheel comes up. Taught this on a dirt road.
Also though a BIG caveat is that the snatch on the shaft drive train on these bikes is most UNHEALTHY for them and so really not advised as a regular practice unless large bank balance accompanies
your sense of balance!
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:32 AM   #7
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Wheelies are not hard. Just roll on the throttle in first gear when you reach about 3500 rpm, give it full throttle. You will see the front end rise. Almost a wheelie. When it peaks, roll off the gas, the front end will drop. as it bottoms out, whack that throttle full open and lean back if you're nuts. Do it this way and the front end should come up about three to four feet. It takes timing and practice. The trick is to bounce the front end once.

If you do this smoothly, there will be less stress on the drive shaft and rear end.

The 1150 GS is not a great wheelie bike. I suspect the new 1200GS will be much better for tricks.

Eric
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Old 10-29-2003, 08:26 AM   #8
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A long time riding buddy of mine does 'em sick. For example, 6 looooong gears on his 996SPS and you don't wanna know fast he sets a Hayabusa back down at. Anyway, he wheelies his '00 GS all the time. Not like the other bikes, but 3 or 4 gears goes a pretty long way. This bike turned over 90k miles on a recent ride we took up to Montana. It's on its third clutch, but the first replacement was under warranty due to a faulty input shaft seal. Its final drive was replaced at about 30k miles after being tweaked in a rainy lowside, so this one has about 60k miles on it. In other words, GSs tolerate wheelies pretty well. At least this one does.

Being the incurable kid that he is, he's tossed up this wheelie page.
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Old 10-29-2003, 08:40 AM   #9
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Easy. Don't use the clutch - just your throttle. Just above 3.5K RPM in first gear roll on gently to unload front suspension (at this point you're probably around 4-4.5K RPM), then brickly roll off (to compress the forks) and back on. You can do that in 2nd as well as long as you don't have a full tank of fuel.

Make sure if you practice in a parking lot that you have enough room and don't run out of safe braking distance. Start with brief wheel hops - just to learn how much throttle is needed to lift it, and how fast it comes up. Then learn to carry it for a while. Remember not to cross the bars when you land - try to keep them pointing forward.

Then try doing the same while standing on the pegs. The weight of your body tugging on the bars actually helps lift the front.

Then try it standing on one peg with the other leg over the seat.

Then try it standing on the cylinder heads.

Then sitting on the tank.

Then sitting on the beak. Backwards.

ATGATT, have someone take pictures, and if you get past standing on one leg, post them in the Face Plant forum.
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Old 10-29-2003, 09:19 AM   #10
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.....oh yeah, and get ready for it to pull to the right...
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Old 10-29-2003, 09:29 AM   #11
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Fuel level

Being new to wheelie practice, I'm amazed to find what a huge difference the amount of fuel in the tank makes. I guess it makes sense with the weight up there. I rarely get a good 'pop' of the front end until I get to around a half tank...

And I've never been able to get the stupid thing to come up in the dirt without the help of a rock or something; it always seems the rear tire just spins - anyone else see this?
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Old 10-29-2003, 09:37 AM   #12
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more on weight

fuel level, stuff in the topbox... or a long gradual uphill was the best way for me to master it on my 916 a few years ago. Nothin' wheelies like a nice powerful and SKINNY twin. When I first tried a standup-wheelie on the big GS the jugs hit me in the shins. Ouch!
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Old 10-29-2003, 09:43 AM   #13
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Re: Fuel level

Quote:
Said Mudhen:
And I've never been able to get the stupid thing to come up in the dirt without the help of a rock or something; it always seems the rear tire just spins - anyone else see this?
You need to make sure that the rear wheel is loaded at the moment when the maximum torque is applied. To do this you have to really tug on the bars, and throw your weight back. Also, you need to give it just enough throttle to lift the front, but not too much so the rear starts spinning. It's not easy, and is a matter of finding the right balance of weight shifting and power application. Keep practicing.

Remember - if you are trying to wheelie over an obstacle, you don't want to lift it much above the minimum necessary level. Maybe even a little below - so the front wheel just touches it. What goes up must eventually come down, and while your front wheel is in the air, you have little to no control of the direction in which the bike is going. Also, be ready to get kicked in the rear hard as the rear wheel goes over whatever it is you're jumping. If you have already rolled off by that point, the kick will be exhaggerrated by the downward motion of the front. If you're still hard on power, it may launch you up and forward - better make sure that you have enough room ahead of you. So, you have to balance the two and consciously control the amount of throttle you're applying.

This is not something I read or was taught - so it's entirely possible that I learned it wrong or atriculated it poorly. If anyone wants to comment, you are absolutely welcome to.

One thing is for sure - you have to be a heck of a lot more careful when doing this stuff on a 600lbs GS. You'd better learn all the basics on a lighter bike before you go full out on a GS.
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Old 10-29-2003, 11:26 AM   #14
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YES

Good description...'kicked in the rear' definitely sounds familiar. I hit the obstacle and completely fail to get the front up. So the front end is wallowing on the ground when the rear hits...and up the backend comes. Pretty embarrasing.

Actually, I softened my suspension so I can touch more - would firming it up help? Maybe that is what's allowing the front to take up the hit from the obstacle and stay on the ground?

Feel free to stop by with a lighter bike for me to practice on. Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2003, 11:44 AM   #15
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Re: YES

Quote:
Said Mudhen:
Feel free to stop by with a lighter bike for me to practice on. Thanks.
Hey, your profile says that you owned an F650GSD. You could have practiced on that one!

BTW, I don't think I could comfortably make it to Kensington on my lighter bike. I once did a jaunt to Loudon for a Turkey run. I got someone else with a truck give me a ride back. I don't think I'll be trying any distance pavement riding at highway speeds on a trail 250cc 2-stroke anymore.



Cheers!
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