Wheelie techniques

CaNaDiAn,Eh?

#1
I know wheelie questions have been asked a million times on this forum, and that you are all probably sick to death of them, but please answer if you can. I went out about a week ago, determined to learn to do just some basic first gear wheelie's. I'm still not that great but I am constantly improving. My question is this, whenever I am wheelying I always seem to turn the handlebars to the left. I don't know if this is good or bad. If it is bad could you all please tell me some ways to correct the problem, if you could I would really appreciate it!!
Thanks
 

Danman

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#2
I seem to do this too. I think its becase the wheel is spin and the forces tend to push it that way.

Just get out in a big field and practice. I don't like first much as the front end comes up to fast. Be sure to keep you right foot over the rear brake. If you get into trouble you just stomp on the rear brake and the front end will come down. Just remember that what your trying to do is to balance all your weight on the rear axle. So you wanting to shift you weight over the axle in a fluid motion. Once you find the balance point remember were it is (still have not found mine yet)

This is for trials, but the theory applies http://www.gasgas.com/Pages/Manniko/Wheelies/Wheelie-1.html

It seamed to help me a bit. He mentions how to get the front end up in the air with much power. Not sure what you ride, but you may not need to do that.
 
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#4
Originally posted by CaNaDiAn,Eh?
My question is this, whenever I am wheelying I always seem to turn the handlebars to the left.
Turning the bars is not bad in itself, but if you always do it in the same direction, it's probably symptomatic of some other problem, since turning the bars (or, rather, the spinning wheel) will generate forces to change the bikes orientation.

Maybe you yank the bars and make the bike veer off when you pull the nose up or maybe your rear wheel or frame is out of true and making the bike turn one way. At least make sure the rear wheel is put on straight (the adjustment markers in the swingarm are not always reliable).
 
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#5
Originally posted by Danman
I seem to do this too. I think its becase the wheel is spin and the forces tend to push it that way.
I tend to agree with this. I used to be very good at riding wheelies on my bicycle as a kid. I could ride them nonstop for blocks and my front wheel always turned to the left. It was never intentional it just always seemed to happen. I can ride short wheelies on my dirt bike and the same thing tends to happen.
As long as your not pulling too hard and it's not making you veer of to the left it should be alright. Here is a video link some of these guys have the wheel straight but some are also turning the wheel to the left.
http://www.bikepics.com/bikemovies/wheelies/
 

High Lord Gomer

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#6
I have always thought (and this is just a guess) that on a motorcycle it was because you have a stronger grip with your left hand (controlling throttle with your right) and you pull the left harder.
 
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#7
Ok, you got me thinking about this now. After watching some video clips and riding wheelies on my mountain bike this is what it seems like to me. Though my tendancy was to turn the wheel to the left I found myself alternating the direction the wheel was turned to maintain balance. There was a video clip I watched, the guy was riding a wheelie down a hill over a car and more. He kept his wheel to the right but also alternated to maintain balance. So though the rotation of the wheel has to have some effect on the bike I think it's the comfort of the rider and to maintain balance.
 

Smit-Dog

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#8
I believe that Doug Domokos, the wheelie king back in the 70's, used to have a small motor to keep his front wheel spinning constantly. Helped him maintain balance and control direction. The gyroscopic effect helps.

www.thewheelieking.com
 
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#9
At the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia they have a chair that rotates. You sit in the chair and hold a bicycle wheel by the axle and someone spins it. the chair will start to rotate in the direction you turn the wheel. So most likely depending on which way you tend to lean, the front wheel can be used to counter balance the bike to keep you up.
 
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#11
Smit dog had it right, the physics principle is called "gyroscopic motion". It's pretty cool. Does anyone use "reverse steering?" I learned about how it works (gyroscopic motion) with my crotch rocket, and works on the dirt too. You probably do it and don't even realize it. Get some speed and turn your bars to the right, your bike will dip and lean-turning you to the left. Gyroscopic motion is also responsible for tilting the bike up and down when using the rev/brake in the air.
 

Smit-Dog

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#12
Originally posted by boardadikt
... Get some speed and turn your bars to the right, your bike will dip and lean-turning you to the left.
Although this phenomena is true, I think it has more to do with the laws of gravity than gyroscopic effect.

Take a bicycle, and attach two pieces of rope approximately 10" in length to the end of each handlebar. Peddle up to just enough speed to balance going in a straight line. Hold the rope ends up vertically, and grasp onto the ends of the rope. Turn the handlebars to the right using the rope; the bike turns left. Turn the handlebars to the left, and the bike turns right.

By turning the handlebars, it forces the wheel/tire to change direction. The forward momentum of the bike used to be absorbed by the tire on the pavement. The tire where it contacted the pavement used to be there, but has changed direction. The forward momentum continues on, but the tire is no longer there to absorb it completely. So the bike "falls" towards where there used to be tire on pavement to absorb it. Gravity pulls the bike down slightly.

My explanation sucks, but I'm just trying to point out that when both tires are on the ground, gyroscopic effect has less to do with turning than gravity does. Now, when the front wheel is spinning up in the air, the gyroscopic effect can help "pull" the bike one way or another.

Please keep in mind that I have no practical experience doing this, but it's how I'm thinking about the whole concept at least in theory. But then again, I could be wrong! :think:
 
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#14
Yes it is called counter steering and man did we get off on a tangent. The guy just asked for pointers on riding a wheelie! :)
 
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#15
has anyone tried tapping the front brake while in a wheelie to see if the phenomenom still occurs, I'll volunteer to test it out on thw weekend(there goes another rear fender)