While most of us learned how to do wheelies on our bicycles by trail and error, with more than our share of bumps and scrapes along the way. As they got older many riders stepped up to the world of motorcycles and continued to learn by finding that perfect balance, or wiping out while trying. There was just no way to “practice” wheelies that didn’t put you on the verge of crashing, even after you had the process of wheelieing down pat.
In recent years, however, an alternative has emerged to allow both new and experienced riders practice the artform without risking their lives and their bike to either learn how to ride a wheelie or for practicing to refine their skills. Functioning sort of like a dyno, the Wheelie Simulator holds the bike in place while the rider cranks the throttle and brings the front end in the air. Tie straps keep the bike from going too far in the air, though, allowing the rider to learn where that perfect balance point in a controlled environment without having to worry about wrecking themselves or their bike.
With a little time on the simulator, most any rider should be able to learn what it feels like to pull the nose into the air and find the bike’s “happy place”, the balance point where a little throttle modulation is all that is needed to keep the front end sky high.
Now, after perfecting the basic principle, the guys who built the simulator have decided to add the feeling of lateral movement, which is certainly a factor in a real wheelie, to try to make the simulator even more lifelike. With a simple pivot point welded to the frame and a couple of heavy duty springs to dampen the motion a bit, the new simulator is ready to test. With a little tweaking, it gets the stamp of approval and is all set to help riders get even closer to a perfect means of practicing in the safety of their garage.