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The Raised Front: Types of Wheelies (Part I)

From notorious sounding exhaust notes to skid marks on the performance area, this section is here to begin dissection of wheelies in detail. 98% of the mango people or even 80-85% of petrol heads won’t know that a wheelie is not just a guy lifting the front wheel but more of an expression. An expression cannot be of just a kind, right?

Whatever we hear about a wheelie is a pretty draft, novice, elementary, superficial and basic. Today is the day when you lift your helmet’s visor to see details and explore the truth about wheelies. By definition, a wheelie is a trick wherein a rider lifts the front wheel of the bike in the air and keeps it so achieving a state of dynamic equilibrium. What’s different you ask? Is a wheelie lifted in various forms? Is it in a straight line or in a circle? Is a wheelie being lifted while sitting on a saddle any different from the one with your foot on the wheelie bar? Is a wheelie with the foot down different than without it? Such and more other doubts can be cleared in the upcoming articles.

There are three factors which every rider must master to execute any kind of a wheelie.

  1. Throttle control
  2. Body and bike balance
  3. Braking (Rear braking)

Today we will begin with the ABC of the types of wheelies. As one can see here are 18 wheelies listed in an infographic way for clear enough understanding.

The Raised Front: Types of Wheelies (Part I)

All the tricks are classified in accordance to the degree of their hardness to perform.

  • Beginners: Easiest of the lot. The wheelies are performed in mean sitting position (sitting in the saddle). The rider fiddles with brakes and throttle for a start.
  • Intermediate: Need to practice body balance to conduct these tricks making them one step up from the beginners.
  • Technical: Unless beginner and intermediate tricks are clear these extreme set of combinations cannot be practiced. Most of these tricks will be difficult to perform even with regular practice.

Every trick mentioned here is also tagged in the manner it can be performed.  There are two basic manners:

  1. Straight Line: This manner is the beginner level in general where the rider tries to balance the wheelie in a straight line form as the name itself says out loud.
  2. Circle: This is a much difficult manner of performing a wheelie as the rider has to maintain just the right balance between the centripetal force that the weight of the bike is exerting towards the center of the performing circle and the centrifugal force that the throttle of the bike is resulting in the tangent direction at every instant.

One has to understand that individual wheelies have their own characteristics. There are certain tricks which can be performed only in a straight line, some can be performed only in a circle manner but then there are a good number of tricks which can be performed in both manners.  To simplify with an illustration a Basic wheelie can be in both straight line and circle manner. The nomenclature for both of those becomes’ basic straight line wheelie’ and ‘basic circle wheelie’ respectively. Any circle wheelie is relatively difficult and needs more practice than the straight line.

All this doesn’t state that wheelies are done with, more will be updated later. Do stay tuned to the next article which will brief each wheelie in much more detail for you. Before you throttle ahead, a statutory warning to everyone who thinks roads are a place to play. Anything that this section and the articles promote here is about a motorsport or an extreme sport. Always wear helmets, wear safety gear, properly mod the bike and only practice in a controlled environment with professional supervision. Do respect and obey the road rules and make the roads a better place to be on. Cheers!

— Gaganbir Singh

Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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