Of course everyone knows that you can easily crash a wheelie by going over backwards or running into something. But what very few people know is that bringing the front tire down out of a wheelie sometimes can be the most dangerous, especially at high speeds. If the front tire is just barely off dead center straight when landing, you will get head shake (handle bars bouncing back and forth).
The thing to remember about head shake is that once it starts, you will most likely crash unless you can control it. I have had even the smallest head shake get so bad that I crash within 1-2 seconds of it starting. Head shake is serious and you must learn how to control small doses of it to learn how to control the serious high speed head shake that could end in death.
Also, don't forget that your front tire slows down the longer you ride a wheelie and can sometimes come to a complete stop. This causes a big disruption when landing and can easily cause head shake. Think of it as an airplane landing, you will get the same tire squelch if riding on the street.
What is the best way to control Head Shake? Get down low with the bike and tense every last muscle in your body to get the wheels back into alignment. A position similar to riding through whoops is ideal, tucked down low holding on with everything you got.
The Basics to Riding Wheelies
- The Balance Point - Every bike has one and every bike is different. I always start small by not riding a wheelie but just popping the front tire off the ground to get the feel of what the bike wants to do. After several pops then, if you feel comfortable, you should move to a 20-30 ft. wheelie and work your way up from there.
- Trick to the pull up - Everyone knows how to give it full throttle to pull up the front tire but there is a trick to sticking the pull up. The trick is to gently EASE off the throttle once the wheel is high enough. This easing off the throttle will easily bring the bike into the balance point without any herky jerky action. It's all about being smooth and flowing with the bike.
- Most important is that you slowly roll on & off the throttle. Doing this will make you feel more in control of the wheelie giving you more confidence that others will notice.
Chris Nicholas - President of Husky OUTLET
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