By Richard J. Cunningham
MOTO PHYSICS 101:
The ability to loft the front wheel is an essential survival skill for a motocrosser. Motocross racers become so adept at wheelying that in most situations it is a subconscious reaction. Nobody knows who
first coined the term “wheelie,” but it was undoubtedly the
first freestyle stunt back in 1914. While stunt wheelying
takes superb balance and lots of practice, most riders are
content to merely lift the front end high enough to clear
square-edged bumps, whoops or the legs of the poor sap
lying in front of them.
HOW TO WHEELIE IN
There is a special feeling that comes from yanking the front end up to its critical balance point and
running through the gears past pit lane. But, wheelying for
show and for go are different things. To be a better racer,
you need to understand what makes a motorcycle rear up
on its back wheel—a
cause your front tire to lift.
reaction at the rear wheel.
of gravity. Here’s the breakdown.