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New to doing wheelies. Am I on the right track???

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I thought I would try to learn how to do wheelies. I want to do this to learn good throttle control, brake control and balance. I researched it a little and basically take small steps at a time. First is to get used to popping the wheel up while keeping the foot on the brake. It's a little harder than is seams. Then kind of drag the rear brake a little while popping the wheel up and the bringing it down with the brake. I guess I need to get comfortable with this before bringing the wheel higher. So far so good. Later on I will be expanding this practice a little higher to eventually find out where the center of gravity is while mastering the rear brake control. Does it sound like I am on the right track? Any other suggestion? I forgot to mention, I am wearing full gear for safety. I don't ride any other way, incase you wondered.

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...start off your practice in a soft field like grass if possible. I did my practicing in sand. More than likely you will tip now and then. Sand/soft turf would be my startegy. Mastering throttle control and rear brakes is also essential. Finding the balance point is key. You are definately on the right track,:thumbsup:

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Sweet. Thanks for the feedback. It seam to feel very right when everything come together correctly. I guess its a little hard to explain but it feels like the motor just wants to keep the wheel up controllably when the rear brake drags slightly instead of popping up very fast and out of control. Also, I heard the term Whisky wrist or something like that. What does that mean?

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I haven't done any real wheelies in a number of years. Back in the 80's I saw Doug Domokos on "That's Incredible" and wanted to learn how to wheelie like that. I started on my KDX80 but really didn't get the hang of it until I got my KX250 a couple years later. I would just pop up the wheel in first gear and do what your are doing. Try to stay up on the balancing point with the throttle and brake. Then one day I shifted into second gear while on the wheelie and then it was over. Within a week I was wheeling through all the gears. It got to the point to where I could get on pretty much anything with a motor from a 50cc scooter to my brother's GSXR750 and ride lengthy wheelies. However, I don't have the guts to do that today. Putting down the front wheel on a street bike after a long multi gear wheelie and seeing the speedometer read 120 isn't something I would dream of doing today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW1VQtVMZn4

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Smart of you to cover the rear brake. I've been riding a long time and still can't get in that habit. Maybe if I was smart I would practice like you.

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I have a hard time covering the rear brake but it is cruical part of a succesful wheelies:cripple::thumbsup::cripple::ride:

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"whiskey throttle" (as I understand it) is when you acceleration is pulling you off the back of the bike so you grip harder and try to pull yourself forwards with the handle bars but end up rolling on more throttle and therefore getting more acceleration and more force pulling you back off the bike which means you pull harder with your arms, adding even more throttle...... this cycle often continues until you lose control and crash.

The best way to prevent this (IMHO) is to stay centered on the pegs, ie. lean forward a bit as you accelerate so that you don't have to 'pull' yourself forward with the handlebars

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I dont do wheelies sitting down, I always do them standing (I can ride 4th gear all day long like that, lol), however the way I do them there is no chance to hit the rear brake, but the reason I do wheelies this way is because it is actually something I do a lot while riding in certain conditions where I want the front wheel off the ground like some whoop sections, or square edges, etc...and they look cool, we cant forget that!

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I dont do wheelies sitting down, I always do them standing (I can ride 4th gear all day long like that, lol), however the way I do them there is no chance to hit the rear brake, but the reason I do wheelies this way is because it is actually something I do a lot while riding in certain conditions where I want the front wheel off the ground like some whoop sections, or square edges, etc...and they look cool, we cant forget that!

Thanks for the input. I do wheelies through woops and ruff stuff to but that’s a whole lot different. I doubt you ride a full up wheelie through a whoop section or rough terrain. It's probably a power wheelie your talking about in terrain. The kind that is just a little higher than what you are trying to avoid, correct? Those are super easy to do and I am not really talking about those. Now your legitimate stand-ups are cool, I will give you that. That might be my next step. Thanks.

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I'm pretty new to wheelies, too so hopefully some of my experience will help you!

When I first started riding earlier this year on my 250f, I was way to scared to even try to loft the front wheel. Soon I got more comfortable on the bike but then I couldn't get the front wheel up... I would crack the throttle, and even use a little clutch but nothing would work. By now, I'd say I'm pretty good. The other day, I rode a 675 foot wheelie on my trials bike! Not crazy long like some guys, but considering my seat time, I'm pretty proud of that.

On my trials bike, there is no sitting down, so I am most comfortable with standing wheelies. On the trials bike, I usually wear my work boots because my MX boots are too stiff. I put my foot more or less centered on the peg and have my toe on the brake. A dip in the knees, push on the bars (not pull), and blip of throttle (clutch optional) gets me started. I drag the rear brake and use the throttle and body position to get the balance point right. On the trials bike I'm literally hanging off the back and after a while of practicing my forearms are pretty sore...

It's a little more comfortable on the YZ250F. It's also easier in some respects and harder in others. I always wear my MX boots when I ride my full sized bike. The problem is, they aren't flexible for me to be able to cover the brake when doing stand up wheelies. So on the big thumper, I do them with my toes on the pegs. WARNING! This is taking away a huge safety net! I have found the thumper has enough engine braking to keep me from going too far backwards if I just let off the throttle, but you should be extremely careful when you are learning! I tried the same technique on a 250 smoker and almost ate it when I went a little too far and was reminded of the lack of engine braking, all that saved me was a quick forward shift of my body weight.

OK, back to technique. Again, with stand up wheelies because that's what I'm best at. Start in first or second gear, I can do them up to 4th gear on my YZ250F (I think I have a 48t rear sprocket) but probably 2nd is easiest. You'll want to be just under the kick in your powerband as far as RPM goes. Too high RPM and you'll rev out without going anywhere. Too low RPM and either you'll just bog as you kick in the throttle, or you'll get a small lift, then a big one once you hit the power curve, but again you'll just rev out.

So just under the kick. Dip your knees to load the front and as it rebounds, push the bars and give it some gas. That should be all you need to do a small wheelie!

Now, don't get carried away and try one that's too big right away! Keep working the small ones. Get a little lift, then shut off the throttle. Later, you can extend the wheelie by letting the front come down a little, then blipping the throttle again to get it back of for a little bit then shutting it off again. You can get pretty good wheelies by blipping the throttle just right, especially on smokers, I like to be a little more consistent on the throttle, it seems to yield a better wheelie but it is a little harder at first.

After a 15-30 minutes or so, stop practicing. This is important! My friend was practicing wheelies with me the other day, I stopped for the day and he didn't, he wanted to do one last good one. He's got a broken arm now and I don't... If you practice too much, you'll either push yourself too much or get tired and both can lead to mess ups. Besides, i have found that the next time I practice, I'm usually better than when I stopped the last time!

Recently I have discovered the balance point (for stand ups, it's different for sitting ones). As you're bringing the front up, you'll feel the rear wheel kind of "pop" over center, sort of like it just rolled over a small hump. Just on the other side of this hump is where I ride my longest wheelies. You'll know when you find it, but don't go hunting for this sweet spot until you are comfortable.

Sitting wheelies are pretty similar, but here are some key points I have discovered. Cover the rear brake! It is harder to recover from too high of a lift with body positioning when you are sitting down, so you have to make up for it with the brake. The brake is also much more reliable than body positioning... You can scrape the rear fender and save it with the brake!

Sit far enough back! This was killing me when I first started, I just couldn't get the front up when I was up in the middle of the seat. When I do sitting wheelies, I am sitting right on the back of the seat. This also makes my knees bent at 90 degrees and puts my feet perfectly positioned on the brake. I'm 6'2", so it might be slightly different for others.

Throttle and optionally clutch will get it up, but a little body english will help. Just lean forward and then push back with your arms and add throttle.

Again, start small. Do small lifts and hit the rear to bring it down. You won't need the brake, but this will hardwire your brain to use the brake in a panic and could save you later. Remember not to practice too long, there's always next time... unless you fall off and break your arm, then next time will be in a month or two.

Hopefully this long rambling post helps you a little! Don't give up! I thought I would never get it, but I kept on practicing and now I'm getting a lot better.

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Thanks, I will keep practicing and keeping it short. I did start feeling the arm pump feel a bit the other day, then I stopped. I usually always stop after feeling that too much.

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Thanks for the input. I do wheelies through woops and ruff stuff to but that’s a whole lot different. I doubt you ride a full up wheelie through a whoop section or rough terrain. It's probably a power wheelie your talking about in terrain. The kind that is just a little higher than what you are trying to avoid, correct? Those are super easy to do and I am not really talking about those. Now your legitimate stand-ups are cool, I will give you that. That might be my next step. Thanks.

No not power wheelies, I can actually keep the bike at near balance point over bumps, whoops, or whatever and keep it up in a wheelie and ride away, and shift gears.

I have been riding and racing dirtbikes since I was 4 years old. I just love to ride wheelies, and always have since I was a little kid.

Just lots and lots of practice, I should bring my GoPro camera this weekend and I can show you from helmet view what I am talking about..since anyone can get on the forums and say anything reguardless of it being true or not, I can ride good wheelies, but I dont like to hit really big doubles or triple jumps so I have my downfalls as well, not a big jump guy. Just a Desert racer..

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I NEED one of those new GoPros! Well, I need a helmet cam in general, but those Hero2s look like the bee's knees!

Mark, it is good that you know when to stop. You'll never learn if you don't push yourself a little the trick is finding that balance point between pushing yourself and breaking yourself!:thumbsup:

When I ride wheelies on the trials bike, it's like I'm hanging off the back with just my arms! My forearms get so sore after a while! The plus side is you get totally ripped forearms:smirk:

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i have been doing wheelies for a couple of years now, and i enjoyy doing them stand up or sit down. stand ups or my favorites, but i found sit downs to be a little easier some people seem to think otherwise. anyways the best way and safest way to learn is going up a hill because ur center of gravity becomes lower, and do them on 2nd gear. and for u guys who want to master the rear break the best way to have that reflex is to start on a quad if u dont have access to one, what u can do is,(pay close attention) do hard accelerations in a short distance and tap ur rear brake as soon as possible practice that and ull have good rear break reflex. hop i was clear:)

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good tip on the slight uphill incline. it helps alot while learning. wheelies happen to be the only thing i am really good at. and, just like mentioned earlier by someone else: i practiced, and practiced, and practiced, then one day, kinda on accident, i grabbed 3rd gear while the front wheel was still up. it was all over after that, within a week i could go as far as i wanted LOL. thats been well over 20 years ago now, and i hadnt ridden at all in the last 2 years. picked up my new bike on the 9th of this month, and within 100ft, i was at the balance point in 3rd gear. felt sooo good. i love riding me some wheelies LOL. you are definitely on the right track. sit towards the rear of the seat (not all the way back, but behind center), toe on the brake, pull it up (i dont use clutch, some do), and modulate the bikes attitude with the brake. try hold hold the throttle steady, or at least be smooth with it. youll get it! once the brake technique becomes "instinct" start experimenting with bringing the front up higher, and higher. as mentioned before, you can drag the fender, and save it with the brake. you will be surprised just how high the actual balance point is where you can maintain speed without accelerating. i can actually slow down while in a wheelie. thats fun stuff!

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Im also trying to learn. when i get up i balance good. but are you popping the clutch to get the front end up? or compressing your forks then giving throttle? i just cant get the front wheel high enough on a regular basis in 1st or second gear. (unless i do a power wheely)

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If you're in 1st or 2nd just give it some more gas. Even while you're rolling you should be able to lift the wheel higher with that. You can also bring the revs up and dump the clutch. Something I do on the trials bike allot is bring the revs up high and slip the clutch to get rolling slowly, then I dump it when I need to go up or over something. It's a lot harder to do on a bike with a lousy cable clutch though:bonk:

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on any decent running bike, you should be able to power right to the balance point with no clutch in 1st or 2nd gear. if you cant, your not leaning back far enough. this is where the "instinct" factor on the rear brake kicks in. you have to let it come up. and it will, if you let it. i can power my 450 to the balance point in 5th gear with no clutch. you have to let it come up. if your elbows are bent anywhere near 90 degrees, your leaning to far forward.

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