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Old 01-04-2005, 11:43 AM   #1
Pengaleng OP
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Riding a wheelie

This mere mortal can't do it. But I'm going to be learning.

Got an advise? xr600
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:23 PM   #2
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On an XR600, you should have no problem getting it up in second by dipping the clutch & giving it a small handful of throttle. Before tryin anything spectacular, get used to the bike coming up & play around with the revs at which you use to determine what's best.

Then get used to the balance point of the bike i.e. point at which the bike is steady & you're comfortable before trying to change up to third.

Alternatively, just dump the clutch in first with plenty of revs, first having goodbye to friends & family, wriTten your will & made an booking with the local ER :

I used to be able to wheelie an XL500 in third standing on the pegs, until it went wrong one day
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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I found the easiest way to learn on my old airheads was to find the sweet spot where the torque was nice and shift there from first to second. This got the front up and by managing the throttle I could get it up to the balance point. Going up a slight uphill also helps. I stopped all that nonsense when the wife and kids caught me doing a stand-up on the hill to our house. That and the CBR wants to stand up on the rear at far too high a speed.

The Adventure will pull the front up even with that huge tank filled. With the proper timing when shifting between first and second it's easy. Scares the heck out of small plastic clad little sport bikes in the canyons.

Now, if I can only get used to mud and dirt...
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:55 PM   #4
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You should cover the rear brake, and stay seated to modulate the pedal with the finest control. Finding the balance point means finessing the front wheel between too low and too high, which you control between the throttle and rear brake, respectively. Also, it's nice to know you can always stop from looping it.

Keep the front wheel spinning, the faster the better, it acts as a gyroscope - second gear wheelies will be easier to balance than first gear wheelies.

This is mountain biking wheelie experience... I don't want to try on the GS .
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:57 PM   #5
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its all in the right hand. start getting cute with clutch and brake and your asking for a lesson in humility.
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:02 PM   #6
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Hey - are you saying that my right hand ain't cute...

she's the cutiest thing I know.


Keep the good advise coming. I've heard about the rear brake peddal hover. I think it is a good idea.
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:38 PM   #7
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Being able to wheelie a bike is one of the things I used to do well. Getting older and sometimes wiser makes you think these things through, too far sometimes!

When you initially start, find the neutral point on the bike. Do not try to go too far too soon. Use your weight to help bring the front end up. To me it's more about balancing the bike as opposed to using horsepower to bring it up. IF you are using the horse power ALONE to bring the bike up you risk getting the front end too high, hitting the power band and shooting the bike out from under you.

I, unlike SNAPPER do not use the back brake to bring the front end down. I just use the throttle. I can wheelie the GS pretty well, but it sure is a big bike to land.

The best street bike I have ever had as far as riding wheelies was my V65 Sabre. While going to the lake on the weekends I would hit GA 400 @ I-285 and bring it up coming off the ramp, shifting with the front in the air and ride it for miles. Early edition of Biker Boyz. I look back and wonder WTF was I thinking!
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
its all in the right hand. start getting cute with clutch and brake and your asking for a lesson in humility.
right 1st roll off roll on it will come up. If you find a hill and do it while riding up it is even easier.
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:46 PM   #9
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Scoot forward as far as possible. keep your head level and keep your back straight up and down.
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:25 PM   #10
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advice: Don't flip.


1) Bringing it up
- Sit as far back as you can, where have good feel over all your controls (foot and hand). The further back your weight is, the lower the bike will achieve the balance point. Remember- as the bike rotates up, your moment changes in relation to the rear axle. I put my ass back to bring it up, and then scooch forward and straighten my arms once it's up.
- Actually, on dirtbikes, I smash the back of the seat with my ass just as I hit the clutch. The bike comes up nice and easy, and generally won't spin even on slippery surfaces.
- I prefer clutch to throttle for bringing her up. The clutch reacts much faster than the throttle will. Practice tons of launches- on an XR 600, it's easy to roll along just above idle in 2nd, give it a pop of throttle, and bring her up on the clutch.
- Once the clutch is out, leave it out. If you bring it in, you lose your ability to control the wheelie with the throttle.

2) Keeping it up
- Once you are comfortable with the launch, and with your ability to bring it back to earth by snapping the throttle shut, start lookign for the balance point. It's a LOT higher than you think. You'll be looking through the handlebars, along the forks when the bike is actually balanced. You can hold it up below that with the power, but the length of your wheelie is limited by the amount of r's you have left.
- The balance point is much higher or lower depending on your body position. Use this to your advantage- play around with balancing it with your torso forward (steeper) and with your arms extended (lower).
- Slow wheelies are less committed, but MUCH harder than fast wheelies. 1st gear is very hard on the big XR's, where 2nd/3rd are easy squeezey lemon pleasy. Bike doesn't want to fall off line all the time...
- Practice on a hill. That way the wheel is closer to the ground at the balance point.
- Shifting: There's two ways to do this. First is to get beyond the balance point, just a bit, so that you can unload the tranny an hit another gear. The other is to blip it hard, and smack a shift in while everything is temporarily unloaded after the blip.
- Use the rear brake very sparingly. It's easy to smash the front wheel down so hard that you lowside. DAMHIK.
- Ideal is to roll out of it before the rev limiter does it for you. That way, as you approach earth, you can pin it again and ease the landing.

It's hard to establish the connection in your brain between right wrist and height of wheelie. XR 100's have been the key to that for me, because it's alright to loop them...


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Old 01-04-2005, 06:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus
Scoot forward as far as possible. keep your head level and keep your back straight up and down.
NO! All wrong!

Sit back. This puts the weight further to the rear of the pivot (rear tire) and makes it much easier to get your bike up. The further forward you are, the more the engine has to work to get the front of the bike up.

In first, you can get up to your thick torque spot, get off and back on the throttle very quickly (kind of bouncing the front end) and it will come right up. This saves your clutch too.

In second, you'll either need to make a quick transition with a good bit of throttle from first to second, or involve some clutch slip and a good bit of throttle. The KLR does not like to do this (unless the saddlebags are really loaded; see above about weight and pivot points).
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Old 01-04-2005, 06:51 PM   #12
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It's like balancing a hammer in your palm. If the heavy end is up high then you can feel small changes in the angle quicker and make adjustments quicker. I am 47 years old and don't wheelie as often as i used to. I discovered a long time ago (25 years) that you can hold a wheelie longer if you are scooted farther forward on the seat. The faster you are going the easier it is. I can hold a wheelie as long as the front wheel is spinning. I have seen guys wheelie a couple of hundred yards and then SWEAR they went a couple of miles. I can honestly say that i have wheelied over a mile 2 or 3 times, half a mile probably 100 times. I have done slow 1st gear wheelie for several blocks. I have brought it up in 1st and shifted through fifth. I have done one handed wheelies for a block or so. I used to be able to touch the rear fender and keep going. I can still turn a corner on a wheelie, and i have ridden a wheelie all the way around the block (4 turns) several times. All of this was done while scooted up so my nuts were on the gas tank.
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:34 AM   #13
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Beg, borrow, or steal a smaller bike, Xr100s are damn near perfect for learning almost anything on .
Busting your butt on a XR100 or something similair won't hurt nearly as much, and will allow you to learn without the fear of a big sucker crushing you.

Trials bikes are the easiest to learn wheelies on, but are hard to come by. These days I do mostly standup wheelies, even on the GS, drop the knees, then straighten up, pull the bars back, slide your butt back, and roll the throttle on at the same time. Going uphill while learning will help a lot.

On the GS, I cover the rear brake, and use the throttle to control the height. On the trials bike I cover the rear brake, but also the clutch. I use the clutch more and a whole lot less throttle, less than 1/8, esp if it's slippery.

Good luck, practice on dirt or grass, it's a whole lot softer
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus
It's like balancing a hammer in your palm. If the heavy end is up high then you can feel small changes in the angle quicker and make adjustments quicker. I am 47 years old and don't wheelie as often as i used to. I discovered a long time ago (25 years) that you can hold a wheelie longer if you are scooted farther forward on the seat. The faster you are going the easier it is. I can hold a wheelie as long as the front wheel is spinning. I have seen guys wheelie a couple of hundred yards and then SWEAR they went a couple of miles. I can honestly say that i have wheelied over a mile 2 or 3 times, half a mile probably 100 times. I have done slow 1st gear wheelie for several blocks. I have brought it up in 1st and shifted through fifth. I have done one handed wheelies for a block or so. I used to be able to touch the rear fender and keep going. I can still turn a corner on a wheelie, and i have ridden a wheelie all the way around the block (4 turns) several times. All of this was done while scooted up so my nuts were on the gas tank.
learn by neduros way and move up to this both are correct.
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Old 01-05-2005, 08:09 AM   #15
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Get someone take pics of the first few attempts, just in case you know what happens, it'd be nice to capture on film for the recovery period couchwheelies Thats me right now. Happened while teaching a new rider how to ride a quad rut w/ front tire out and rear tire in (like a curby on bicycles) it is good for balance practice. I guess I need more practice. Clavicle broke in 5 spots.
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