American Motorcycle News

Here’s how to master the skill of motorcycle wheelies

If you’re looking to become a more skilled rider, then it’s about time that you look into how to perform wheelies.

Not only does this teach you throttle control, but it can also help you better balance your bike. And it doesn’t hurt that they are also very stylish and generally look great.

And if you really want to learn how to perform a wheelie, here is the dedicated guide that will go into the details of performing wheelies.

Luckily, you don’t need a specific wheelie bike or a dirt bike to perform one. All you need to learn is the technique.

What is a Wheelie

A wheelie is a skill where you can balance your bike on the rear wheel for an extended time. While getting the front wheel off the ground is often the easy part, it takes a lot of skill to control the bike and keep it in that position for a long time.

While there is a little bit of a technique to it, it is nothing that a little bit of practice can’t fix. Wheelie skills can generally be very impressive, especially if you can maintain it for a long time. Once you do, you can easily impress other motorcycle enthusiasts as well.

Of course, popping a wheelie isn’t just impressive, but it can also come in handy during a tricky situation. If you want to get on a higher platform but don’t see a ramp in sight, you can just easily pop a power wheelie to get over.

So how do you do these clutch wheelies? Well, it is simple, but it is in no way easy, as multiple practice wheelies will tell you.

How to get started with wheelies

Popping a wheelie isn’t just impressive because of how flashy it looks; it is also impressive because of the skill that goes into it. So even though, in theory, it is very simple to perform, it can take a lot of practice.

The basic principle is that you want to lift the handlebars up while pushing your weight forward and giving a slight push with the throttle.

Only scratching the surface

This sequence of events, which many would call a clutch wheelie, can send your front wheel off the ground and just leave you on the rear wheel. What you also want is the right protective gear so that you can stay safe in the event that you fall.

Of course, this just scratches the surface of what you’re supposed to do when trying to perform a wheelie.

Make sure you’re riding in a clear and open space

The first thing that you want to be careful of when you’re out practicing your wheelies is to first pick a place that doesn’t have any obstacles or people in the way.

They can be very dangerous

While wheelies can be very fun and flashy, it is also very important to remember that they can be very dangerous, especially for people who are still new to learning to wheelie.

You can very easily lose control and hurt someone, especially yourself, even if you’re wearing full protective gear.

Getting familiar with the parts of your bike: the rear brake, rear wheel, clutch lever, and front wheel

Before you can really start doing wheelies out in the open, you first want to get used to the many parts of your bike that will help you keep hit that sick wheelie.

The back brake

The back brake is very important since you want to stop as soon as the bike is going too fast for you.

The rear and front wheel

Next is the rear wheel; this is the wheel that you will be balancing on. The front wheel will be in the air, and your focus will be to keep it in the air as long as possible.

The clutch lever

Finally, you have the clutch lever, which you will be used to rev the engine and pop the front wheel into the air. With all of these in mind, you can now get into the actual technique to perform a wheelie.

How to Perform Power wheelies and clutch wheelies

So there are two different types of wheelies, both of which function very similarly and can generally be broken down into two different types. One for beginners and the other for intermediates.

Learning both of these can be handy, and we will be going over the technique to perform both of them.

Power Wheelie

For power wheelies, you first want to get comfortable on the bike and make sure there are no obstacles in your way.

Next, you want to start out in first gear, and then leave the clutch out and give a little more throttle to help you push the front wheel up into the air.

find the optimal balance point

You want to find your optimal balance point on the back wheel, and you preferably want to start at a slow speed.

Doing a wheelie on a dirt bike vs a sport bike

You can do this on both a sport bike and dirt bike, with the only difference being that you have to pay more attention to the rear tire.

You will have to lean forward when you’re on a small dirt bike. Just remember that this will do a number on your front suspension.

Performing the clutch wheelie

One of the major reasons why people go about practicing wheelies is because it helps them with clutch control.

Luckily, you don’t have to do something too different from the power wheelie, as you just need to make use of the clutch as well.

Start by riding in first gear and then press down on the clutch slightly so that it slips. Once it does, you want to increase the throttle and let the clutch out to bring the front wheel up. You can especially do these wheelies on modern bikes, but make sure that you have the proper gear before you go out riding.

Keeping your speed slow

You should also ensure that you never go too fast and keep a low speed when trying to do a wheelie.

If you go too fast, the bike will slip out from under you, and you could fall.