So you wanna learn to wheelie? Simple. Fly to Holland and get a lesson with KTM stunt rider Jeremy Volk. Alternately, you could check out these quick tips, watch these how-to videos, and wear every piece of gear you own while you try this stunt out on your own.
Before you climb onto your favorite steed, there are a few things you will absolutely want to keep in mind:
- Body position. The is key finding your balance point. If you’re too far forward, it’ll be especially difficult to pop up the front wheel and detrimental when you do because your center of gravity will be very high. Too far back and you’ll quickly find yourself seated… on the ground. If the front of your front is about midway back, that’s closer to the sweet spot.
- Popping the clutch. Pull the clutch in—accelerate—pop it out as you pull gently on the front and feel your weight shift. What you’re aiming to do is get the wheel off the ground, just a few inches. No need to get into 12-o’clock position right away. The feeling of being up on one wheel will be exciting enough.
- Braking. After comfortably mastering the lift, practice gently tapping the rear brake to lower your front wheel back down. Again, the emphasis is on gradual improvement so that all your habits are good ones.
Most importantly, go easy on all your controls. When you land back on the front tire you will want to get in the habit of not squeezing the front brake too hard and not accidentally set off the throttle. Do make sure you’ve got the clutch disengaged to avoid any crazy acceleration when both wheels are back on land.
Got all that accomplished? Great. If you’ve still got the energy, you can start practicing drills based on the basic skills and eventually work your way towards more sustained and more acute (12 o’clock) wheelies.
The whole thing about wheelies is that they take time and finesse. A heavy hand on either the throttle or the brake will send you in one of two directions, neither of which will feel good.
Want to increase your chances of success and lessen the possibility of painful disasters? Find someone who has a super small dirt bike–of the 75cc variety—toss on all your gear, and find a friendly field to practice on. That, or you could just grab your Speedo and find a dude with a wheelie machine.
Whatever way you choose, remember that it’s supposed to be fun, so relax and enjoy the challenge. Oh, and then share your video with us.
Sources: YouTube, Reddit