Learning from the Pros Part I: How to Wheelie

Like with all exciting but potentially dangerous activities, don’t even think about doing a wheelie until you’ve got the prep right.

What does that mean? It means getting everything in place before you start. First (and most important) is you! You ready for this? Got enough Supermoto hours under your belt? Totally in control of your machine at all times?

Right, let’s go. Get your full protective kit on.

Next, the bike. You need power, plenty of it – minimum 500 cc. Check the rear tire is in perfect condition, with plenty of tread. Disable or remove the tip-over sensor, and you’re set to move.

Where? Ideally a track or some place where there’s help on hand in case something goes wrong. (Do check wheelies are legal where you are).

Start up your bike, first gear, and accelerate gently to 10-20 kph. Pro tip: you can choose other gears and you can go over 20 kph, but for first few times don’t go wild.

Ready? Drop your speed a little, then simultaneously hit the gas hard, lean back slightly and lift the front wheel.

The secret of holding the wheelie is feeling at one with your bike: you are both part of the same machine. You have a single centre of gravity: sense where it is, and use that feeling to maintain balance.

If you get it right, it’s one of the best feelings a rider can have. So don’t wrench or force it, just relax into it. Throttle back a little.

To come down, step carefully on the rear brake and let the front ease down slowly. As this happens, throttle up a bit to keep balance.

There you are, you’ve done it. Now do it again. And again. And again, until you’re in perfect control.


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