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Discussion Starter #1
Though I have no genuine interest in doing wheelies, I ran across a comment in an article in April's issue of "Canadian Biker". Neale Bayly writes about his oportunity to ride 4 laps on Valentino Rossi's championship motorcycle in Valencia, Spain.
During his recollection, he describes (and I quote) " ...I could see my hands flapping, which meant the front wheel was off the ground, ...".
~So I ask: What EXACTLY do your hands do when you begin performing a wheelie, and WHY does it happen. I pulled a very minor wheelie around a corner once but I can't relate to the description mentioned above.

From one curious rider to another, Thanks in advance !
 

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ninja machinist
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The guy's talking about his clipons swaying side to side. As in, he was experiencing some head shake.
 

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Fastronaut
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Watch some on bike feed from MotoGp, and you'll see a veiw of the front wheel from around the chin of the fairing. The front suspension will constantly unload, and the wheel will lift. It'll give a little twitch when in looses contact with tarmac and another when it touches down. That's the flapping hands he's talking about.

Any street bike that's got real nice torque will gave the same little transient power wheelies. My VTR would do it all the time on heavy throttle, and I'd just carry on doing whatever I was doing when the wheel lifted, and then when it got past the fat of the power it would drop down again. It only goes up a couple inches, but you know when it happens.
 

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I suspect that in most cases the flapping is when the front wheel is only JUST in contact with the pavement. Once it's up in the air the bars just flop rather than flap or wiggle in your hands. And bear in mind that unlike headshake this sort of bar wiggling does not make the bike steer from side to side. It's just due to a sort of intermittent contact.

Last year on my motard I had a turn exit wheelie. I was on my way back to upright but still leaned at about 20 or 25 degrees and hard on the power and went to zig through the bus stop chicane onto the straight and the bars just went over to the stop. At least I had the presence of mind to bring them back straight before easing off the gas... :eek :D From the front end drop I figure I was carrying about 3 to 4 inches of air while coming out of the turn just fine... until the bars just flopped lifelessly to the side.....

PS: I should add that often if your bike is prone to a big headshake or a full on tankslapper that it can often happen if you go over a ridge or other oddity in the road while hard on the power and still slightly leaned such that the front tire is in tenuous contact. For some reason this is prime headshake time.
 

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Ya, whatever.
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cyclestarter said:
Though I have no genuine interest in doing wheelies, ...
From one curious rider to another, Thanks in advance !
Are you sure? Wheelies are part of riding motorbikes. Power wheelies right up to fender scraping. Know what is going on and you will be in control. Fear it and the bike has control.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sloan said:
Are you sure? Wheelies are part of riding motorbikes. Power wheelies right up to fender scraping. Know what is going on and you will be in control. Fear it and the bike has control.
Ok, shoot me with my own arrow. The idea of performing my own wheelie at will isn't something I'd shy away from. Rather, I'm into my second season as a motorcyclist; don't want to advertise that this is something I'd like to pull off anytime soon; and that the terminology and description is soooo vague that I can't relate to the moment described.
And after reading some of the feed back, I can sincerely say I'm just as confused. Is the handle bar making a vertical shake giving the flap suggestion? Or is this a term to describe a certain type of "tank slapper" that isn't as bad? So far I'm still scratching my head here. High side/low side was pretty self explainitory.... this is testing my knowledge of physics to a new level.
 

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Fastronaut
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Ok, so the front wheel has inertia. When it's in contact with the ground there is resistance to that inertia. Remove, or reduce that resistance and the wheel will correct, or overcorrect till it stabilizes. That's the flap.

This is simplified, there's also the rest of the bike to consider. The change in geometry from the wheelie, and what you're doing to the bars to also feed into the math.
 

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Formerly kanelupis
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Basically a very mild tank slapper


- that is to say, initially when the tire just touches the ground , if you come down on a wheelie un-aligned, you could end up in a serious tank slapper.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now it's becoming all clear. Now I can say that I enjoyed the article.
Thanks all. You made this rider a little wiser.

cheers
 
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