For all those bike fans out there. As this blog is all about how to, i decided to make a post on doing a wheelie on your bike because i personally know many who would like to do a wheelie to impress others. So read this and start impressing some one.


First, some simple rules( MUST READ THIS )
1) Never do wheelies with vehicles in front of you. If you get overexcited and forget to wind the throttle off, this could be very embarrassing.
2) Never do wheelies with vehicles behind you. If you come off, the added pain of that semi driving over you and your bike might be unbearable.
3)Never do wheelies approaching intersections where cars or pedestrians are likely to enter. If they do enter the intersection, you may not be able to get the bike down quick enough.
4) Over 80% of your braking ability is lost with the front wheel in the air!
5) Always cover the rear brake and your clutch. They are your friends if things start going pear shaped.

OK, now that's out of the way.....

I'm only going to talk about 1st gear power wheelies. They are the easiest to do (IMHO), and save your clutch. I'll also cover changing into second. REMEMBER "Practice makes perfect!"

Find a nice flat safe spot to practice. Staying in first gear, get the bike up to speed. Somewhere between 40 and 60 kays an hour is fine.

Move your weight to the rear of the seat. You should be able to feel your lower back against the passenger seat. Try not to tense up your shoulders or forearms and keep a light grip on the bars. Tense your knees up around the tank (This prevents damage to the crown-jewels when the bike comes thumping down, as it will be sure to do a few times.). Sit a little more upright than normal, but keep the weight and stiffness out of your arms.

Cover the rear brake, and wrap one finger around the clutch. (I use my pointer finger.) Keeping the bike at a nice constant speed, cut the throttle so that it is completely off. You should feel the front of the bike dive. Get the throttle off as quickly as possible.

Now, the important bit. Crack the throttle open. I don't mean gently wind it on, I mean get it from completely off, to fully open as QUICKLY as you possibly can. Try it a few times, and you should feel the front start to lift. (There is no need to pull on the bars!!).

Unless you have mastered the wheelie on your first attempt, you'll probably find that the front wheel is in the air maybe an inch or two, or possibly a foot at best. It will feel like it's a lot higher than that, but get a friend to film you, you'll see where it's really at.

Why is the bike only going up this far? It could be for a number of reasons. Either you've chickened out, or you haven’t really opened the throttle as far as it could be opened. The balance point on these bikes isn't far from vertical (depending on your weight and body position.), so let's give it another try.

Find a nice straight stretch of road, and practice opening the throttle to the stop. Don't worry about cutting the throttle, or trying to wheelie, let's just find out how much twist the throttle really has. If you can’t get ht efront into the air, you’lre probably only opening the throttle about 70 or 80%. See how far you can turn it until it can go no further? That's were we need to be. Even doing this, you should feel the wheel popping up a little.

So, let's get back to the wheelie. Cut the throttle, now crack it. ALL THE WAY!! This should take a split second. If you've done it right, the wheel should now be coming up. Quickly. If it feels a little too quick, you have a number of options. a) pull in the clutch, b) use the rear brake or c) cut the throttle.

I find that as the wheel is coming up, if I button off a little, and then back on, it steadies the bike. And it also let's me consciously work out what the throttle position is.

It will take a while to get to a point where you feel comfortable with the height of the front wheel. Just keep practicing. And as mentioned, if you can get a friend to film you, it will help immensely.

If you're still having trouble getting the front to lift, try this. Roll your wrist over. Take a look at the way you hold the throttle. The top of your fist (ie: the other side of your palm) is probably parallel with the road surface. Roll the top of your fist forwards towards the front of the bike so you have a slight kink in your wrist. Now try cracking that throttle open....

If that doesn't work, then keep practicing. You'll get there. The two biggest problems are a) feeling that the front wheel is too far off the ground and b) not opening the throttle quick enough or far enough!

OK, so the front wheel is up. Let's assume that you've managed to get it into the air a good 3 foot or so. Try just holding the throttle open until the power runs out. The front should come down nice and smooth. Now, try holding the throttle open, and then open it some more, the front should keep rising. Close it a little, and the front should drop. First gear wheelies are really sensitive. Little changes on the throttle can make a huge difference. So, time to drop it into second.

Try this exercise. Ride around normally, with your pointer finger covering the clutch. Whenever you need to change up a gear, use only this finger. And, as you are changing gears, keep the throttle rolling on. You probably do it this way: clutch in, throttle off, change gears, clutch out, throttle on. I want you to do it this way: twist throttle, keep twisting, clutch in just enough that the bike will slip into gear (change into gear as quick as possible), keep twisting throttle, clutch out, keep twisting. You should not be throttling off at any stage.

This is how we need to change gears when the bike is on it's back wheel. There are plenty of other ways to do it, but I find this works best on the ZX6. So, using your newly acquired first gear wheelie skills, wave the front wheel at the sky. Now, try and get it into second. Try and try again. You'll get it. You need to be changing gears either at the balance point, or on the way up to it. If the front is too low when you change gears, it will come back down.

So, there you have it. Remember, be careful. Don't panic if it starts to go wrong. Clutch in, throttle off, or get onto the rear brake. If you do drop it, don't say you weren't warned. Wheelies, like all stunts are dangerous, and should only be attempted in a safe environment. And, like all stunts, "PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!"

Now lets go to the video:

Thanks to Kawasaki Sports Bike Riders club [ Link ] for the write up and to youtube user Crociffixio for the video