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i just got into the whole wheeling thing. a year ago i got a 2006 kx450f for a good deal and decided it could be a good challenge to tackle to tame it. but i’m really struggling with wheelies 2-4 gear wheelies are super easy but really fast. now i’m trying to very slow graham jarvis style wheelies. i had them pretty good till looped it last week and destroyed my exhaust and fender. i’ve been trying them a lot lately, yes on a bent exhaust, while i’m saving to get a new exhaust but i don’t have the confidence & every time it drops straight the the exhaust and when i do get the wheelie down it falls right and then it kills my confidence. what am i doing wrong?? i’ve been thinking about a trials bike but just don’t have the money yet. ik a 450 motocross bike isn’t the best for this stuff but i wanna try and make it work. :(

 

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A 450 mx bike is about the easiest thing to wheelie. Practice finding the balance point and cover the rear brake. If you are having to give more throttle and upshift to keep it up you are not at the balance point.

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that’s the problem i get it to the balance point then hesitate. the bike is easy to wheelie but i can get taping the break down. any suggestions?

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It's just practice. There's no one tip that makes everything click. It's just seat time.
But a great skill that helps everything is to be smooth on the throttle (and rear brake). Sitting back on the seat and straightening your arms helps too. You'll get there! 

 

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15 minutes ago, HansLanda said:

It's just practice. There's no one tip that makes everything click. It's just seat time.
But a great skill that helps everything is to be smooth on the throttle (and rear brake). Sitting back on the seat and straightening your arms helps too. You'll get there! 

 

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absolutely love those pics and the bikes :) next problem tho and i think this could be mind over matter how do you not fall off the bike?  every 12 o’clock wheelie i’ve came close to gravity goes against me and i either start sliding so i can’t hit the brake or just flat out side off the bike it’s self 

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2 minutes ago, brvollman44 said:

absolutely love those pics and the bikes :) next problem tho and i think this could be mind over matter how do you not fall off the bike?  every 12 o’clock wheelie i’ve came close to gravity goes against me and i either start sliding so i can’t hit the brake or just flat out side off the bike it’s self 

You don't need to worry about scraping just yet, you'll just get into more trouble. The smooth throttle and brake skill must be mastered, because you're also introducing clutch.

But you don't fall off the seat because you're slowing your forward speed down. Your body's inertia is being pushed forward (horizontally) into the seat. If speed was zero, you'd drop right off of course. But since you're slowing down, you're stuck to the seat. Unless you slow down too much, that is...

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8 minutes ago, HansLanda said:

You don't need to worry about scraping just yet, you'll just get into more trouble. The smooth throttle and brake skill must be mastered, because you're also introducing clutch.

But you don't fall off the seat because you're slowing your forward speed down. Your body's inertia is being pushed forward (horizontally) into the seat. If speed was zero, you'd drop right off of course. But since you're slowing down, you're stuck to the seat. Unless you slow down too much, that is...

that makes so much more sense. i’m just trying to ride them out and i found out that being at or at least around the balance point is the easier way to ride it out but how do keep at a good speed with out revving out? tomorrow i’m gonna practice throttle clutch and brake controls and not care about height too much

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that makes so much more sense. i’m just trying to ride them out and i found out that being at or at least around the balance point is the easier way to ride it out but how do keep at a good speed with out revving out? tomorrow i’m gonna practice throttle clutch and brake controls and not care about height too much

If you’re at balance point you can keep the RPMs constant and keep going forever. But I usually upshift with clutch to get a longer gear and smoother throttle. Most of my wheelies start in 2nd or 3rd and I usually upshift just before balance point. Sometimes I downshift if I scrape and lose speed. You need the torque from the lower gear to pick up speed again.
If your wheel remains under bp, you will max out the gear you’re in. So when learning I got used to upshifting. Ideally no shifting would be necessary, but it helps smooth the throttle. Hope this doesn’t complicate things...

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27 minutes ago, HansLanda said:


If you’re at balance point you can keep the RPMs constant and keep going forever. But I usually upshift with clutch to get a longer gear and smoother throttle. Most of my wheelies start in 2nd or 3rd and I usually upshift just before balance point. Sometimes I downshift if I scrape and lose speed. You need the torque from the lower gear to pick up speed again.
If your wheel remains under bp, you will max out the gear you’re in. So when learning I got used to upshifting. Ideally no shifting would be necessary, but it helps smooth the throttle. Hope this doesn’t complicate things...

it didn’t complicate anything. it makes a lot of sense. tomorrow i’m gonna practice for smooth control and shifts instead of seeing how high i can get the wheel. i think it will go good wish me luck

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i’m just trying to ride them out and i found out that being at or at least around the balance point is the easier way to ride it out but how do keep at a good speed with out revving out?

Typically, you need to actually decelerate the bike to stay at the balance point. The bike must go past the balance point (12 o’clock wheelies in the previous pictures) so you can use the rear brake (or engine braking, much more difficult on these bikes) to slow the bike down. It’s usually a series of brief periods past the balance point, using the rear brake gently to slow as you bring the front wheel slightly down. If you don’t do this, the bike just keeps accelerating to keep “visiting” the balance point. The same principle is at work doing this up a slope. The bike wants to slow, so practicing on a slight uphill often helps at first. The best can slow wheelie downhill. Obviously, this requires a lot of rear brake use.

Notice Graham Jarvis’ subtle rear brake use.



In your first picture, your arms are not straight. It looks like you’re trying to pull your bike up, or your body forward. The bike will come up easier if you let your upper body fall back, catching itself when your arms are fully extended. This puts you in a better position to maintain the balance point and is much less fatiguing. If you’re pulling forward to avoid looping out, you need to rely on the rear brake instead.

There are many good how to wheelie videos on YouTube. Practicing on a mountain bike or bmx bike can also be helpful.

Have fun!
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okay imma try all of these today when i get the free time and make sure to record myself and see how it ends up. but practice makes perfect and they won’t be perfect but hopefully they improve. 

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2 hours ago, motrock93b said:


Typically, you need to actually decelerate the bike to stay at the balance point. The bike must go past the balance point (12 o’clock wheelies in the previous pictures) so you can use the rear brake (or engine braking, much more difficult on these bikes) to slow the bike down. It’s usually a series of brief periods past the balance point, using the rear brake gently to slow as you bring the front wheel slightly down. If you don’t do this, the bike just keeps accelerating to keep “visiting” the balance point. The same principle is at work doing this up a slope. The bike wants to slow, so practicing on a slight uphill often helps at first. The best can slow wheelie downhill. Obviously, this requires a lot of rear brake use.

Notice Graham Jarvis’ subtle rear brake use.

 

 

 

 



In your first picture, your arms are not straight. It looks like you’re trying to pull your bike up, or your body forward. The bike will come up easier if you let your upper body fall back, catching itself when your arms are fully extended. This puts you in a better position to maintain the balance point and is much less fatiguing. If you’re pulling forward to avoid looping out, you need to rely on the rear brake instead.

There are many good how to wheelie videos on YouTube. Practicing on a mountain bike or bmx bike can also be helpful.

Have fun!

 

nice video im trying to figure out wheelies myself as well. a bit scared though lol

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7 minutes ago, RideWithWill said:

nice video im trying to figure out wheelies myself as well. a bit scared though lol

it’s nothing scary looping out can hurt sometimes but the scariest thing is hurting the bike that’s why i’m forcing myself to get the back break down before going crazy

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a couple buddies today said that they drag their left foot while learning is that something i should try more? i never liked doing it that was because it doesn’t feel balanced and just really did it like that for a pivot turn

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so i just spent a little time practicing brake control and applying the throttle smooth now i just gotta get to balance point and ride it out instead of panicking and letting it down

 

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I can wheelie and manual a MTN bike all day, but I find the balance point on a Moto to be further back, and I'm not use to tapping the rear brake when past the balance point, so I can't quite get there. Sometimes I feel if I had a right hand rear brake like on my mtb I would learn immediately, because that's my muscle memory!

Seat time is key. I plan to practice before and after every ride. Kinda frustrating that on a pedal bike it's so easy for me but on a moto, which is much more planted and forgiving, I find it so much harder!

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1 hour ago, Ew83 said:

I can wheelie and manual a MTN bike all day, but I find the balance point on a Moto to be further back, and I'm not use to tapping the rear brake when past the balance point, so I can't quite get there. Sometimes I feel if I had a right hand rear brake like on my mtb I would learn immediately, because that's my muscle memory!

Seat time is key. I plan to practice before and after every ride. Kinda frustrating that on a pedal bike it's so easy for me but on a moto, which is much more planted and forgiving, I find it so much harder!

i rode a beat 4 stroke trials bike with a clake hand brake that also let me use the foot pedal as a brake too. my buddy spent 1000+ dollars on that but it made it super easy but so did the trials bike. i struggle with the brake at balance point too but trial and error for everything. i found pivot turns super easy for feeling the balance point and hitting the break, but doesn’t help side to side really at all. but anything that will help

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My suggestion is to understand that the rear brake is everything in learning to become more proficient at wheeling.

Technique can come once you obtained confidence in using the rear brake if going over.

It sounds simple enough and if it was then why are looping videos so easy to find.

Condition yourself for greater comfort with the rear brake by simply get the front up gently and then immediately apply rear brake. Do this enough times that you develop a sense of even how much pedal pressure to apply without it slamming down. I encourage enough practice at just doing that enough times you are supremely confident.

Only after almost immediate application of rear brake when lofting the front could you attempt longer periods/higher front wheel with immediate rear brake application.

Do not try this at speed. Like going through the gears. A hard stomp on the rear brake could eject you over the bars.

You don’t learn to jump by going for a set of triples. Wheeling control with the rear brake is no different. It’s an advanced skill set.

Trying to learn by going for maximus wheeling and hopefully you’ll touch the rear brake will get you broken fenders or like me, a ghosted bike into a strangers parked car I had to pay for over months when I was young.

You will be surprised at how little brake pressure it takes to maintain control. 

You know you have learned when you’re going over for sure and you automatically hit the rear brake. 

I know exactly where this occurred for me like 35 years ago.

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