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Wheel Lifts With No Approach Room


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I just moved up a grade and things are a little tighter now.


One area where I need improvement is front wheel lifts with little or no approach.  I have no problem with wheel lifts when I have a comfortable run in, but when there is little or no room, I just "cant get it up" (he he).  I am also progressing well with double blip - but again - only when I have a nice amount of room for the approach.


Currently I dont use the clutch for front wheel lifts.  I do the basic compress, blip, pull back.  I have been told I need to add the clutch pop, to help with wheel lift in short approaches.  


So two questions:


(1) can I get a couple of "simple old guy learning new trick" steps to incorporate the clutch pop without breaking me or the bike?  Something like "well first, become friendly with going to high and use the clutch to briong it back down, use you current technique and bring it up high and..."  that kind of stuff.


(2) I have a hard time covering the back brake.  I am old, and my ankles are a mess and my foot just does not move that way any more.  Can I simply replace the "tap the back brake to bring the front down" with a clutch pull? Or will this just turn into a bad habit which I will learn to regret later on?



thanks for the tips.


BTW - yes I have watched a lot trials wheelie videos and looked at a lot of threads, but none seem to answer my questions above.

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Push down the rear suspension whilst pulling and leaning back and let some of the clutch out under load. There's no need to pop the clutch completely depending on what you're trying to lift over. The whole movement can be quite subtle with timing and practice, it's surprising how light you can make the front end just by body movements so a power/clutch input can be quite soft.

You'll need to use the back brake to bring the front down in some circumstances but not always and it would be the favoured way to control the lift if you need to stop quickly or bring the front down.

Edited by the addict
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Break it up into to steps,start by just practicing the wheelie into the rock/log/whatever and it's ok to stop with the front brake,do the wheelie early enough that the front wheel drives into the obstacle. Get the feel of the fork compressing into the log/rock and rebounding,that's when you give the bike some help and jump yourself up and then push the bars forward. 

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Practice the following without using the clutch.


On level ground or slightly uphill, with the bike running at only just over tickover in bottom or second close the throttle ever so slightly and depress the forks at the same time. Then open the throttle slightly and lift the bars towards your chest pushing down on the footrests at the same time. The whole sequence has to be done as one smooth almost instantaneous movement.

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  • 3 weeks later...


I am just learning how to get the front over a log or rock from static. I don't know if this is what you mean.

There are some good replies here.

Here's my tuppence worth.

I am putting my front wheel hard up against a rock or log just smaller that the front (or down to a foot tall or so) (nothing scary but you need an obstacle).

Having the wheel hard up against the rock helps me keep balance whilst I compose myself and get mentally prepared.

I then crouch low and well back, getting ready. (I've seen it loads on-line by the "experts") 

When I feel ready, I move forward just enough to compress the front a little and on the rebound lean back, a little throttle, a little clutch. (I'm on a 4 stroke)

The bike, with front light, rear wheel loaded, lifts the front nicely and propels itself forward nicely.

Then jump forwards and up to lighten the rear as you do with the double blips.


Only just tried it, never had the nerve before.

Very, very pleasing.

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You could try adding a little throttle before moving forward for the rebound.

Then you can get the throttle steady and the revs right whilst getting ready. One less thing to think about. (you may hear the pros doing this too)

Then it is just the clutch and body position you have to concentrate on getting right.

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Every ride I start out with a coupe, of things to warm up.

Ride to a stop- squat to compress forks, let out clutch and apply just a bit of throttle, wheelie and try to place the front tyre exactly where I want.

Pretty easy, and if you proactive on flat ground you will pick it right up.

Start with very small wheelies.

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