Saturday, June 23, 2007


"Get it up! Wanna be cool, get a fan following and have chicks fall all over you? we tell u how to bring that front end up and rate the five hottest bikes to do the coolest wheelies with."

So you wanna learn to wheelie? You want to look ultra cool and hope the chicks notice you. Chances are the places you could do a wheelie will have no chicks sitting around to take a look at your insanity. If they are around, there is bound to be little or no place to pop one.

But you still want to wheelie, no matter what. Well, there are lessons - lessons and more lessons but nothing that works like real life experience. At least that�s how I learnt to wheelie. Riding an uncle�s RX100 as teenager, excitement got the better of my learning curve and I twisted that throttle hard and popped the clutch too hard in his parking lot and woah!, up went the front wheel. The rush was so addictive, it�s a habit I hope never to kick.

Initially being scared out of my wits though only goaded me to perfect the art. Or craft. I do not want to instruct you on how far you can go; those are limits you are going to have to explore yourself. But here are some basic instructions to get started.

Hemank of 'Gravity Warriors' can pull some amazing wheelies on his Honda Dio

Any and every bike available in the Indian market can wheelie. Geared and automatic scooters too, as any one will endorse. However just getting the front wheel off the ground is kid stuff. What you need is to be able to hold that wheel in the air as you travel on. And on, on one wheel.

STEP 1: Getting the wheel up:-
Like I said before, getting the front wheel up is easy. However we lack large capacity bikes with fantastic power to weight ratios. And Indian bikes� abilities to wheelie easily are limited. The average motorcycle in the Indian market makes barely enough power to do a rolling wheelie, where you are in motion and then pick up the front end. Most wheelies are generally done from standstill.

The basic wheelie requires sound technique to pull off. Since we are not in Rossi`s league it is necessary to sharpen one�s riding skills to exercise precise throttle control. This is paramount if you want to avoid flipping backward. It is also important to distribute one�s weight on the bike. That means positioning oneself just right. On our capacity bikes especially, transferring body weight as far back as possible takes the weight off the front end, making it easier to lift off. But take care not to go too far over into 'FOZ' (flip over zone).

Here�s when it gets tricky. Hold in the clutch lever and blip the throttle keeping the engine at the peak of its power band. Release the clutch lever instantly, a technique called popping the clutch, and watch as your front wheel lift off the ground. The trick here is in the timing. Pop the clutch the instant you feel the power surge at its max, not as you are bringing up the revs, nor when the revs are dropping. Keep at it, all the time controlling your right wrist so as not to overdo it and fall off. Ideally practice away from public view till you perfect the art.

A word of caution to rank beginners: avoid holding the throttle at max. Rather try popping the clutch at various stages of throttle action, increasing the revs as you gain confidence. Get a feel of how much throttle you need to apply to pick up the front wheel. Holding the throttle to max revs may result in nasty experiences if you are not sure at what point your bike will wheelie. Also be prepared to fall, incur some damage to your bike and most importantly get your ego and body used and bruised. This is no bed of roses and learning this art will claim its pound of flesh.
So you got that first step right and are now able to catch some air. Then it�s time to move on to step two: looking good.

Getting up from standstill is the easy part but doing a wheelie on the move is visually quite stunning. Again Indian bikes don�t carry enough power to pop that wheel any place any time, so you have to adopt a technique that will get you above thr ground. Roll forward, keeping your revs and speed low, in most cases below or just cruising at around 30kmph, then jab the rear brake for an instant. This is very important as what it does is loads up the rear spring, compressing the ride height at the rear and lightening up the front, making it all the more easy for the front end to lift off (u dont need to do this if ur wheeling a Pulsar 180/200/220 or karizma),. In the same motion keep the revs up till you feel the power surge and pop the clutch. Wheeelieee...!

Again timing is essential and the three steps need to be synchronised to perfection to get those striking tilts.

STEP 3: keeping it up
Getting that wheel high into the air is simple once you know how. But keeping it up there is what will truly make it visually stunning. Yes, there are techniques to do it but in the end it all boils down to how well you are able to control your bike. There are limits here as well and same as before these are governed by the power your bike makes. Without sufficient power you may not be able to carry a wheelie for long but again there are tricks to bypass this. Once you have your wheel up in the air don�t cut the throttle or this will cause the bike to settle back on the ground. Rather keep the throttle open and learn to balance the bike on one wheel. It�s not simple but practice will get you there. On smaller bikes you also need to be able to control the clutch action, even having to burn the clutch in some cases to keep the bike hovering in the power band. The minute your bike gets out of the powerband, newtons law of gravity will take effect.

Well, that�s it for now though there are more tricks out there which we will keep for another edition. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and rise to the thrill.

We strongly advise those attempting these stunts to use safety riding gear and this includes most importantly a helmet, riding jacket and ankle length riding shoes. we take no responcibility of u crashing or breaking ur bones and bike.

five hottest bikes to do the coolest wheelies with:-

1.) Yamaha Gladiator
Yamaha Gladiator type J.A

In the new executive segment Yamaha`s new Gladiator is the best there is to pull off some big air. Like all Yamaha products the Gladiator has a refined engine and superb mechanicals. Clutch action is very progressive and smooth without any jerkiness. It�s also got one of the best riding positions around with the handlebars raised a little above the level of the seat which makes it easy to bend forward, rev, pop the clutch and pull back on the handlebars simultaneously. This is one technique you can adopt on bikes which do not make much power. These attributes and its styling basically makes it one of the best wheelie machine in its category. Smooth gear shift also ensures that you can easily carry on riding perched on just one wheel. With just 10.8Bhp on tap its got just about enough juice to start climbing. Though it would do to give it some aid. Warm up the rear tyre well and look for a good hot patch of tarmac or else the rear wheel can slip when you pop the clutch reducing the height of the wheelie.

Doing a rolling start is also possible though not as easily as on the other bikes in this review. The rear suspension is soft though not so much as to hamper ride quality but for popping rolling wheelies it is ideal. When you pump the rear brake pedal the rear suspension compresses quite a bit making the front really light.

2.) TVS APACHE 150
Sherry pulling a wheelie on his Apache

Apache is like a small crotch rocket. She is really impressive with the amount of air she can catch between front wheel and tarmac. Sporting a 147.5cc engine that makes 13.5Bhp, kerb weight of 136kg and that short wheelbase really helps. On the flip side the max power comes in at a high 8500rpm and that means you need to rev her quite hard to get her juices flowing. Also avoid wheeling on damp surfaces since the Apache has a wide rear section which takes time to warm up thus reducing the grip, find a good dry stretch with nice tarmac, the stock TVS tyres are no good and dont have much grip. And grip is very important if you want to get max tilt with ease. Replace the rear tyre with a better tyre like pirreli sports deamon, u will be amazed byt this small bike`s wheelie capabilitys.

The shift quality is not good, so it wil take some time to learn to shift on this bike while wheelieng. Otherwise, She needs little or no encouragement to get cracking and she is quite impressive to look at from all angles.

3.) Bajaj PULSAR 180DTSi
Overcharged pulling a 12`O clock wheelie on his Pulsar 180 DTS-i.

We are now in the indian bike bike territory. Starting off with the Pulsar 180 DTS-i which needs little encouragement to take flight.

Wheelie maniacs around the nation swear by the abilities of the 180 to pull some of the highest and longest wheelies possible on Indian bikes.

The 180 DTS-i which makes 16.5Bhp of max power quite easily lifts off in first gear and with 14Nm of torque you can shift into second gear and keep trailing the wheelie for as long as you can hold the front wheel up. Further, power starts rushing in from quite low down the rev band with its strong low and mid range torque characteristics. Other than the high power and torque ratings it is the short ratios of the gear box that aid this character. Throttle responses are so sharp that it is hard to keep the bike down if you are the signal light racer type and you need supreme control to stop the front wheel from rising.

Riding position too comes in handy and you really do not need to shift your weight further behind to get going on your wheelies. The fat rear rubber cleanly lays down every bit of usable power down on the tarmac without losing any to tyre slippage.

Rolling wheelies pose no problems for this stylised hustler and she can just as easily lift off from speeds of 20-30kmph in 2nd gear which makes her all the more impressive.
One aspect of the Pulsar to watch for is the gearbox and riding the clutch too hard can do loads of harm to your bike.

A word of caution to the uninitiated: exercise extreme control if you are trying to wheelie the 180. The throttle fires up the engine and lays down the power to the rear instantaneously and the front end is quite light so there is little time to gauge how high the 180 would climb and you could quite easily end up with the Pulsar riding you rather than the other way around. Such is the beastly power of the 180 DTS-i.

4.) Hero Honda KARIZMA

The Karizma is the ultimate poser�s bike and her ability to do most everything is uncanny. And her wheelie-ing abilities make her one of the hottest machines. With around 16.7Bhp on tap, the right suspension, super smooth clutch, slick gears and that long wheelbase that gives her a sports bike stance, every aspect of a Karizma screams wheelie..

There�s good amount of power manifesting itself at the rear wheel and it does not even need to break into a sweat to release the front from the tarmac. No need of revving her till she gets into the powerband; just twist the wrist, pop the clutch and you�re up there in lotus land.

The long wheelbase, wide and long tank and short handlebars by default ensure your body weight is already transferred amidships and towards the rear. The gearing too ensures she stays up without having to keep sending the engine sharp throttle inputs. You can shift down to second gear and still keep her going. The one grouse is that the bike is too tall at full tilt and it�s impossible to see where you�re headed, so take heed.

In the Indian context the Karizma is by far the 2nd best wheelie tool. She looks good, rides easy and can really pop large and long ones.

5.) Bajaj Pulsar DTS-fi 220
Soulreaper wheelies 220

Want advice? Beg, borrow or steal and get a Bajaj Pulsat Dts-Fi 220 if you want to wheelie. She.. err... HE can do any stunt u can imagine on a bike. And his wheelie-ing abilities make his the BEST wheelie machine. With 20Bhp on tap, the awesome nitrox suspention, super smooth clutch, slick gears and that long wheelbase makes u feel like Pulsar 220 is made to stay on one wheel.

Pulling wheelies on this bike is extremely easy. U can pull 2nd gear wheelies without trying much.

The long wheelbase, wide MRF tubeless rear tyre (a massive 120/80) and and very low clip-on handle and that sporty riding position makes sure ur body weight goes to the rear wheel. The short gearing ensures u can keep the frotn end up easily. You can shift to 3rd gear and still keep her going. Controling 12`O clocks is very easy because of the rear disk brake.

Pulsar 220 is by far the best wheeli bike u can get in India, as i said before, Beg, borrow or steal and get a Bajaj Pulsat Dts-Fi 220.


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