A “wheelie” is when you pop up the front wheel of a motorcycle and proceed forward with a tire in the air like you just don’t care. Stupid stunt? Maybe sometimes, but the skill can be downright useful and this is the best tutorial I’ve seen yet.

If you’re not already familiar with Crosstraining Enduro and their YouTube channel, you’re welcome.

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The Australian site is full of, in their words, “dozens of poor quality vids with misleading or totally inaccurate information about bike setup, cross training skills, riding tips, hard enduro techniques and how to ride a dirt bike.”

They’re really good, and narrated with more intelligible elocution than I previously thought was possible with an Aussie accent.

Anyway, on to popping wheelies. You already know riding a motorcycle makes you look like a total renegade who kicks ass and takes names in equal measure. A perfect wheelie cements your legendary status to all who witness it! It can also be a great way to get over logs.

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The blokes at Crosstraining Enduro are sick of hearing excuses that your bike is too slow, heavy, or you just don’t have the muscle to get the front wheel off the ground.

“Good technique,” they explain in the video, “means using your bodyweight and the bike’s suspension to provide the lift.”

Like so many things in motorcycling, it comes down to finesse over force. Get the motions down and you’ll be raising your front wheel without tipping over or picking up too much speed.

As their breakdown basically goes:

  1. Make sure your foot’s ready to hit the rear brake.
  2. Jump on the foot pegs to compress the suspension.
  3. As the suspension rebounds, give the bike just a little throttle and pull up on the handlebars a bit.
  4. Tap the rear brake as needed to control speed and bring the wheel back down.

Crosstraining Enduro goes into more detail about covering the rear brake, which they really insist on mastering, in another video:

And if you’re still struggling, take a look at their tutorial on using bumps (or “kickers”) to help get that front wheel elevated.

None of this is going to win you a stunt trophy or strike fear in the hearts of local squid gangs, but it will get your bike over an obstacle without getting out of control.