One of the best things about riding a motorcycle is probably wheelies and it is yet another thing that a car can’t do and a bike can. Popping a motorcycle wheelie is certainly one of the purest form of joys known to human race and one time or the other a biker has surely tried lifting the front wheel up. If intentional wheelies are fun, then unintentional wheelies are just opposite. They can scare the shit out of even the riders with steel balls. But whatever the case may be, wheelies are fun and no car guy can counter argue that. But are wheelies bad for you bike? You are just about to find out.
Some pop wheelies using the combination of clutch and sudden throttle twist, while others with more powerful bikes simply do power wheelies. Power wheelies can be done on some of the powerful middle-weight motorcycles, litre bikes and of course MotoGP bikes can be seen power wheeling all the time. So is wheeling harmful to the bike or not? The answer is, it’s not really harmful if done the right way but it may prove to be bad for the engine if done like a rookie.
Clutch assisted wheelies require the right timing and combination of clutch and throttle, they usually demand a snappy throttle twist and clutch release which is done at the right time to bring the front end up. It does pressurises clutch plates and may burn down the clutch chamber in a very longer duration of time. These wheelies may also prove to be bad for the front shocks as landing is as important as taking off and power deficient bikes usually redlines mid-air and then land with a sudden front-end smash.
This smash will give you a broken suspension seal after sometime which will spill a lot of slippery fluid on your brakes and rims and everywhere else, also it will not be cheap to get the forks repaired. What else can wheelies do to the bike? It is shock loading your chain and sprockets every time you are gaining that air time and this wears out the chain set even faster. At the worst, a bad wheelie can floor you if you still have to learn mid-air braking and you loop your bike backwards (more than required). This can seriously injure you and your bike, plus in this era of social media, a bad wheelie can embarrass you for a life time.
On the flip side, if you do a smooth power wheelie and bring down the front end on the ground without slamming your front end, then there are less chances you will harm your bike. Smooth wheelies are a sign of good rider and it all just lies in your wrist control. Make sure to learn about mid-air braking before you go popping the front wheel up, or else you may have to go through a long phase of embarrassment and bike repair bills.
If you are a beginner at riding a bike, do not even try to pop a wheelie. While if you are on a learning phase do take advice from professional riders before learning to stunt.