November 29, 2008 at 2:31 pm #2387boulevardboyParticipant
Hi guys – another questions from the newby!!
When I got my 650cc bike I was concerned about popping a wheelie without trying too – I had heard tales of it happening and it was at the back of my mind. Now, I don’t go screaching off anywhere, but I didn’t really have any idea of what it took to do it anyway. I was reading on another thread that it is rather difficult to do this on a cruiser style bike anyway due to its shape, size weight – is this true?
There was a kid with a sports bike across the street from us who used to pop them all the time, and it is something that I hope I never do!November 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm #15073MunchParticipant
Yes its harder to do on cruiser style bikes due to the fact that we are more stretched out. Sportbikes are more compact in length adding to their agility in corners. Think of it as us having a wheelie bar. I am sure you pop the clutch, wring the throttle and pull hard you can make it happen. The smaller the CC the harder… but you want it bad enough it can happen. I grew up around guys with full on HD Fat Boys ….their fun at the time was “walking” it down our dirt road and seeing who could drop the biggest pile of gravel out of their rear fenders. Needless to say THEY are the biggest reason it took me this long to start riding.
Back to your question though… yea think basic physics talking way back 4th or 3rd grade…. you know the whole see-saw demo…..our power distr. is relatively close to the weight center while the front is stretched out ahead of us… requiring more torgue needed to get the front end up. Sport bikes….. well unless your on a stretched “Busa” (retarded IMPO) everything is right on top of the weight center making it no problem to get that front end up.
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hDecember 1, 2008 at 2:46 am #15091dcJohnParticipant
You know, while I think there are plenty of reasons to shy away from 650cc+ bikes when learning, fear that they’ll spontaneously jump into a high wheelie with a slight twist of the wrist isn’t one of them. I’ve been trying to pop a small wheelie on my Versys–a torquey and light 650cc bike that’s reportedly wheelie friendly and fun to stunt around on (not my plan)–and trying to get the front wheel up is tough on throttle alone.
Now, where I think the extra power could get you in a lot of trouble, and certainly a quick way to pull up the front wheel on the bike, is if you rev the engine up and roughly pop the clutch.
And yes, there’s a world of difference between a cruiser and a sportsbike (or a cruisers versus a standard or dual sport for that matter), I’m going to write this up in a longer post, but I just recently spent some time on my friend’s 1100cc Yamaha Silverado cruiser. I was leery of all the extra cc’s, but actually the torque and power–at least what I perceived–was a heck of a lot more mild and relaxed than on my Versys (the Versys is essentially a dual-sport Ninja 650). I’d read how the extra weight and dynamics of a cruiser make a difference in how bigger engine sizes play out, but I was amazed by just how different the power and ride was.December 1, 2008 at 6:38 am #15093boulevardboyParticipant
I don’t want to ever pop a wheelie on my bike at all – and I think that I have got a good idea that without a bit of effort it is not that easy at all on a cruiser, so hopefully I’m safe.
I know that I have a lot more power than I had before, and I can really feel where the 650cc bike can be dangerous, but it is not really the bike that is dangerous, but the way it is ridden, and of course all the other people around you.
I think that as long as you have control of the bike and you are respectful of its power, then it does not really matter what size you start out on.December 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm #15098megaspazParticipant
power wheeling a cruiser accidentally probably won’t happen. Although, clutching up a wheelie accidentally would be much more possible.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…December 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm #15108
Accidental Clutching wheeling Rebel 250 by a 50 year old woman – in second gear – seen it.
Power/clutch wheeling (on purpose) an 800 pound Harely touring cruiser (fully loaded) done by a 90 pound 35 year old woman – seen it.
Wheeling a cruiser is harder, and not something I’d worry about in a smaller displacement one (like the 650). But it isn’t impossible. You’ll probably have one or two popped-clutch scares on any bike, but nothing like you would on a proper “hooligan bike”.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”December 10, 2008 at 2:55 am #15230kirkParticipant
I just need to be clear on this. How do you pop a wheelie? Trust me, I don’t want to do it. I’m just afraid of accidentally doing one. I started riding on a Suzuki GS500F. The first week I was learning to ride I popped a wheelie and next thing I know my mirror and a few other bike parts are several feet away form the bike. Suffice it to say that I took the MSF course and I’ve been accident free since then.
Now I have a Honda CBR1000RR and I still fear popping a wheelie. My riding skills are greatly improved but that fear is there. I understand that you have to rev up the throttle and let go of the clutch suddenly. Would this be correct?December 10, 2008 at 3:17 am #15231MunchParticipant
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hDecember 10, 2008 at 3:19 am #15232
“How do you pop a wheelie?”
You need a sudden surge in power, any sufficiently powerful surge will do it.
On most lower power bikes that means you need have the engine in the powerband, but not putting power to the back wheel (clutch in). Then when you let go of the clutch quickly (usually by mistake) the rear tire hooks up and starts accelerating the back of the bike near instantly and torque lifts the front of the bike (Remember Newton’s laws, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction… well, all the torque being transferred into the ground to rotate the front of your tire “down” is also rotating your bike “up”).
Any bike with enough available torque can “power wheelie”, that is, wheelie without dropping the clutch. You simply have the bike in a low state of power deliver (cruising along with minimal throttle, but engine in power band) and snap the power on.
This is (one of the many reasons) why big torque bikes like the Trimph triples and litre bikes like your own CBR1000RR are ill advised starter bikes. The amount of torque available during sedate riding (without having to pull in the clutch or drop a gear) is enough to loft the front wheel with a snap of the wrist.
On inline four bikes (again like your CBR1000RR, but also like the smaller 750cc and many 600cc super sports) there is also a dramatic rise in torque as you enter the power band. This means that at 4000rpm you can twist the throttle and only produce, say 25 pounds of torque. You get used to that, ride in that way, and never worry about lifting the front wheel. But then by 7000rpm that same twist of the wrist might make 40 or 50 pounds of torque, which is now enough to lift the front wheel. So someone learns the bike, “respects the bike”, and then one day, plays with the revs a bit higher, and the power delivery is much more than their body is expecting or knows how to handle.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”December 11, 2008 at 2:27 am #15239kirkParticipant
Wow! Thanks for the info. It makes sense. Just one quick question? What is the powerband?
I actually rode and practiced on the Suzuki for a little over a year before upgrading. I am by no means an expert rider but I have become much better. I love the Honda and I see many years of fun rides.December 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm #15240
Simply put, the power band is the rev range where the engine makes the most power.
Basically, every engine is efficient (produces the most torque) through a set range of revs. Below that range, and it struggles to push you, too high and the power peters off and you aren’t accelerating as fast as you could be (usualy happens close to the redline).
The simplest way to know your powerband is to play with your throttle at various engine speeds. If you are toodling along at 2000rpm (below the powerband of most bikes) you can give the throttle a sharp quick twist and not much will happen (if you hold the throttle steady, you’ll feel the acceleration “build up”, or get stronger as the revs climb). But if you try the same thing in the power band the bike will accelerate cleanly (no “building up” of acceleration, it just goes).
Be careful doing this on the CBR1000RR. Its has enough torque that even when you are technically below its powerband (but above the minimum useful revs) it should still pull cleanly. If you give it a whack of full throttle while in the powerband it WILL lift the front end.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”December 11, 2008 at 9:32 pm #15242samgoodyParticipant
Perhaps the following link may be helpful in explaining more about how wheelies are done (and how to get down from one). Just read the section on “basic sit-down” wheelies; the rest of the article will only be of interest if you have any aspirations of becoming a professional stunt rider.
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