There’s no doubt that wheelies are a lot of fun. They make dirt bikes feel powerful and exciting. But are they bad for your bike?
Some people seem to think so. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of wheelies and discuss what you need to know to stay safe on your dirt bike.
With a little bit of research, it didn’t take too long to find that when you do wheelies, you put too much stress on your dirt bike which ultimately damages too many components on your dirt bike namely your shifter over time.
Additionally, it’s also not good for your safety. If you’re inexperienced, wheelies are quite dangerous because if anything goes wrong, the occurrence of losing the bike can be very high.
But do you have to completely give up on wheelies? Let’s dive deeper in order to gain a better understanding of wheelies.
What is a wheelie?
A wheelie is when you balance your bike on the back tire only while the front wheel is off the ground. Riding a wheelie, especially on flat surfaces or when going extremely slow requires practice and might not be easy at first.
However, there are certain techniques that you’ll learn that will make it easier to achieve and maintain a wheelie. There are also three different types of wheelies:
- Long wheelies
- Tall wheelies
- Short wheelies
Reasons why wheelies are bad for your dirt bike
There are a number of reasons why wheelies are bad for your dirt bike. Some of them include:
It can be dangerous
The number 1 reason why we’re told not to ride wheelies is that it might be dangerous. There are only a certain number of people who can do it and keep good control over their bikes.
This means that riding a dirt bike in this manner or any other manner that you’re not strong enough for can cause damage and injuries. Moreover, crashing at high speeds (e.g. when going over bumps and obstacles) can cause major injuries to yourself or those around you.
Causes damage to your dirt bike components
The second reason as to why wheelies are bad for your dirt bike is because it causes damage to the components of your dirt bike such as:
Shifter: Your shifter is a vital part of your motorcycle. When doing a wheelie, it disrupts the normal transmission of power from the clutch to the rear wheel which can result in damage to this vital part. Leveling out too quickly can pull the shifter outward which wears it down over time and eventually causes it to break off. There are many other examples that might cause your shifters or gearbox to grind, slip or jam.
Engine: On most dirt bikes with an air-cooled engine, there’s no problem but once you start going faster with a specific wheelie, you might find your engine overheating – especially if you’re riding up a hill for an extended period of time. Since dirt bikes aren’t built for speed, they might not be able to handle it which can cause damage.
Causes too much stress on your suspension components
A wheelie doesn’t only affect the engine, but also the suspension. Too much stress can cause them to malfunction and in some cases, break especially if you’re doing long wheelies or high jumps.
This cheap motorbike track day insurance is something that should be considered before riding dirt bikes in general. Prolonged use of these parts eventually wears them down which makes it unsafe for you to ride your dirt bike at all.
Causes excess wear on dirt bike tires
Tires are another vital component of any motorcycle/dirt bike since they provide grip on the ground so that you don’t fall over.
Doing a wheelie means that you’re riding on only one wheel which can be bad for the tire since it’s not meant to support your weight.
This causes premature damage and replacement of tires, depending on how often you do wheelies.
Increases your chances of crashing
The reason why wheelies are bad for your dirt bike is that doing them can increase your chances of crashing quite simply because you lose control over the bike at high speeds or when turning.
This is something that could have been prevented by not doing a wheelie in the first place if you lose control, there won’t be anything stopping your bike from flying off so having proper dirt bike gear wouldn’t hurt either.
What are the benefits of wheelies?
Wheelies can be beneficial in certain situations.
It’s a great way to show off
Doing wheelies can be fun and more importantly, it makes good memories. Especially if you’re with friends or other people who like motorcycles, they’ll definitely appreciate your skills.
This is most common among teenagers since they are always trying new things just to have that adrenaline rush.
It looks cool
There are too many videos of dirt bikes online showing how skilled some riders are when doing wheelies so it’s not surprising that it can be considered as “cool” by the general public/motorcycle enthusiasts.
It can also help promote dirt biking in general which might generate enough interest for someone else to join the sport one day – especially if they see how much fun it is riding these powerful machines.
Are these reasons good enough to convince someone to keep doing wheelies? For me, they don’t and the dangers of doing wheelies are far greater than the benefits. I’d rather have a safe day of riding than risk damaging my motorcycle.
My final thoughts.
Wheelies are fun and they look cool but the risks simply outweigh the benefits. In fact, it’s often said that you should master riding a dirt bike before trying to do a wheelie since usually, beginners tend to crash when doing this maneuver.
I’d advise against getting into these situations because not only can it damage your motorcycle, it can also injure you in the process which is something no one wants to experience.
Riding a motorcycle isn’t all about skill, it’s also about knowing your limits and respecting other people on the road who might be going faster than you so don’t make an unsafe move like doing a wheelie unless you’re 100% certain that you can handle it.