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What constitutes a wheelie?


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#1 Big Tone

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

As an old biker myself, I know wheelies are naughty/illegal but to what extent?

If the definition of a wheelie is that the front wheel is off the ground, (so could be by only an inch or two), that seems significantly different to someone deliberately pointing the front wheel at the sky for a hundred yards.

If I accelerate briskly my motorbike will lift with ease even at low rpm; a torquee twin. But I don’t do it or make it bigger to impress, (I'm way past 'the madness of youth' stage), and the added risk is negligible compared to someone trying to scrape their number plate off.

Is it at the discretion of the officer because, AFAIK, it could possibly be classed as DD or DWDC,? So it’s an area all bikers should be aware of I think, and I don't honestly know how it's assessed and/or prosecuted...

Tone/Tony

#2 Black Rat

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

It's down to the circumstances at the time mate

A deliberate action would no doubt see you fined and reported etc

An accidental lift after acceleration would perhaps get you words of advice

#3 The Black Rabbit

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:34 PM

Surely, if your front wheel rises from the ground at any time, any height (however small) for any reason, you cannot be deemed to be in 'full' control of your motorcycle.

I personally have been riding motorcycles since gaining a full entitlement over 25 years ago, I have continuously owned & ridden all engine sizes up to 1200cc during this period (nothing smaller tham 550cc). I currently ride a Honda 600cc Sports bike, daily. I can honestly say that in all this time, my front wheel has never left the ground accidently or otherwise, It's all down to throttle control and being in full control of your mototcycle at all times.

Also, it's about learning and adhering to 'The System of Motorcycle Control'

If you're not in control of your motorcycle, your motorcycle is in controll of you! This in turn is a sure recipe for disaster, pain or even death.

Ride safe . . . . .

#4 blueb

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

AFAIKthere is no definition in law for a 'wheelie' as it is a phrase that has evolved, but the Op suggestion of the front wheel coming off the ground seems a fairly generic and encompassing description. Whether it is one inch off the ground or pointing to the stars is just a matter of degree. Some mid sized bikes can tend to be more liable to a momentary wheelie than the lighter ones (limited power so difficult to achieve) or bigger bikes (tending to be heavier and again more difficult to achieve). Having seen a wheelie, the question to ask is 'did that happen because you were not in proper control of the vehicle (potential offence) or was it deliberate (again potential offence)?'

#5 Big Tone

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

Thanks guys.

As far a safety is concerned I agree that not doing a wheelie has to be safer than not, in the same way going slower has to be too and dry weather is safer than wet etc.

I don't post as a maniac trying to countenance or, heaven forbid, advocate doing it. I'm interested in the notion of "full control" because I would argue many motorists, if not most, will find themselves in that situation quite legally.

If, for example, the driver is fiddling with the radio, the A/C, directing vents in a certain area and so on...

I guess there's a necessary verses unnecessary angle here but the fact remains that if every situation where the driver or rider is not in full control could or should be prosecuted it would surely be a case of be careful what you wish for?

One of my personal rages is drivers whom still use mobile phones despite the cheap and simple alternatives. Any distraction is bad or, as my mentor told me when I was learning to ride/drive back in 75 "it demands 100% concentration".

But let's be Frank - that's idealistic rather than realistic; especially these days with so much road furniture and distractions.

Anyway, before I sound like Mr Topicdrift, (Soz), when it comes to being in full control I think there are very many actions which constitute this and, at the risk of looking like comparing apples with pears, I just wondered where a biker would stand on my query.

Cheers

Tony.

#6 MOP1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:35 AM

Motorcycle safety video:

:innocent:

#7 Big Tone

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:47 PM

:-D

Hadn't seen that before; wish my French was better.

Under the right circumstances I think skillful bikers can do these things with great dexterity and near 100% confidence that they won't harm themselves. I understand a public road isn't the best place, however there are certainly places which are worse than others IMHO.

I'm not quite as skillful as those guys, nor do I aspire to be, but short of an act of god I'm no more likely to come a cropper pulling a modest wheelie than letting go or the handlebar to do a hand signal.

Anyway, it sounds like I'm trying to justify it when all I'm really saying is I think there are degrees of risk and I'd hope these things are taken into account if witnessed by a traf pol. From an earlier reply it sounds like it would depending on how bonkers it is, to use a current political term, which is good and fair I think.

I know the law is the law, no ifs or buts, but therein lies a modern trend, (and not just road offences), towards absolute black or white regarding laws and limits. I could say more on this but I'm trying not to drift. :-)

#8 bikerscum69

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:21 AM

Thanks guys.

As far a safety is concerned I agree that not doing a wheelie has to be safer than not, in the same way going slower has to be too and dry weather is safer than wet etc.

I don't post as a maniac trying to countenance or, heaven forbid, advocate doing it. I'm interested in the notion of "full control" because I would argue many motorists, if not most, will find themselves in that situation quite legally.

If, for example, the driver is fiddling with the radio, the A/C, directing vents in a certain area and so on...

I guess there's a necessary verses unnecessary angle here but the fact remains that if every situation where the driver or rider is not in full control could or should be prosecuted it would surely be a case of be careful what you wish for?

One of my personal rages is drivers whom still use mobile phones despite the cheap and simple alternatives. Any distraction is bad or, as my mentor told me when I was learning to ride/drive back in 75 "it demands 100% concentration".

But let's be Frank - that's idealistic rather than realistic; especially these days with so much road furniture and distractions.

Anyway, before I sound like Mr Topicdrift, (Soz), when it comes to being in full control I think there are very many actions which constitute this and, at the risk of looking like comparing apples with pears, I just wondered where a biker would stand on my query.

Cheers

Tony.

ive had bikes since the age of six always had one ive got a blade at the mo .  now i dont point it at the sky  but from time to time i do feel the need to lift the wheel 3 to 6  inches. not to show off i just do it for fun  come on no one buys a machine that goes from 0 to dental records in 3 seconds and doesnt have a play from time to time

do they ?   if so why its just a waste of cash



#9 blueb

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:35 PM

Under the right circumstances I think skillful bikers can do these things with great dexterity and near 100% confidence that they won't harm themselves. I understand a public road isn't the best place, however there are certainly places which are worse than others IMHO.
I'm not quite as skillful as those guys, nor do I aspire to be, but short of an act of god I'm no more likely to come a cropper pulling a modest wheelie than letting go or the handlebar to do a hand signal.
Anyway, it sounds like I'm trying to justify it when all I'm really saying is I think there are degrees of risk and I'd hope these things are taken into account if witnessed by a traf pol. From an earlier reply it sounds like it would depending on how bonkers it is, to use a current political term, which is good and fair I think.
I know the law is the law, no ifs or buts, but therein lies a modern trend, (and not just road offences), towards absolute black or white regarding laws and limits. I could say more on this but I'm trying not to drift. :-)

There are places to do it - anywhere as long as it fulfils 3 criteria - if you get caught you don't whinge, if you get injured you don't claim, if you injure/damage anything you pay. Sorry that should be 'WHEN you get caught, WHEN you get injured, WHEN you cause injury / damage

Edited by blueb, 06 December 2012 - 05:36 PM.


#10 Big Tone

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:46 PM

There are subjects which are impossible to have a sensible debate on or, as I do, tell it 'as it is'.

If you have a 9" erection you don't use 3 of it". So maybe everyone who buys a sports car or motorcycle should automatically be given nine points or banned because they, as sure as eggs are eggs, are inevitably going to break the law...?

Ready to be kicked off again or suspended for 'telling it as it is'....

#11 blueb

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:15 AM

Big Tone, the OP started by asking about wheelies, and IMHO, they are a no-no for legal and safety reasons whilst it seems your suggestion is they are quite acceptable on the road. Were you hoping that wheelies would be endorsed or seen as an acceptable riding manner on a forum on roads policing, yes they may be inevitable but there are lots of riders who have never done them and yet had a very broad riding history. The inevitable part is that if they are done and the rider gets seen/caught, IMHO, some form of prosecution would be more rather than less likely to occur.

#12 Big Tone

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

Big Tone, the OP started by asking about wheelies, and IMHO, they are a no-no for legal and safety reasons whilst it seems your suggestion is they are quite acceptable on the road. Were you hoping that wheelies would be endorsed or seen as an acceptable riding manner on a forum on roads policing, yes they may be inevitable but there are lots of riders who have never done them and yet had a very broad riding history. The inevitable part is that if they are done and the rider gets seen/caught, IMHO, some form of prosecution would be more rather than less likely to occur.

 

Thanks..  No I wouldn't say they are acceptable but I do think it is about driving/riding to your abilty, or rather within ones abilty.  I think that's why I'm alive and well, and very lucky to have made out of my teens if I'm honest.

 

 

I went to a monthly meet last month for IAMS which is run, fronted, by a retired police biker.  It was a breath of fresh air because as well as being an experienced voice of reason he dispelled many of the myths surrounding enforcement.  I would say he was the opposite of a ‘jobsworth’ with many others like him there, and still actively serving.

 

He reminded me of how things were when I was much younger.  Depending on what you were doing, how bad it was and the respect and contrition you showed he may just tweak your ear.  A lesson learnt and you left not only feeling that perhaps you aren’t as clever or vigilant as you may think but also, and more importantly, a greater respect for the job they do.

 

But these days, sadly, everything is an absolute offence with no wriggle room or assessment of the situation or circumstances.  On an IAM test, when followed by the traf pol, the speaker said you would be expected to make the overtake where safe to do so on a NSL and, (my words), to hell with the speed or worrying about it.  Imagine if I were on my own and got zapped and then trying to explain that it’s how advanced riders and drivers use the roads.  So it was nice to hear this ‘told as it is’.

 

Anyway, back to my O.P.  Given that we now live in a world where any and every victimless crime needs to be eradicated, I wondered what the opinion was on what constitutes a wheelie from those whom police the roads.  For myself, and to borrow a slightly changed phrase from James May, I can do wheelies but I only do them rarely because I am a gentleman.  (And no, I’m not talking about vertical).

 

Driving and riding isn’t, (or at least didn’t used to be), just about getting from A to B.  It should also be a pleasure and, yes, fun too.  Not dangerous fun, I’ve never said or advocated that ever, but fun nonetheless.  If a wealthy and respectable man or woman buys a nice Merc or BMW does anyone here honestly believe that at no point ever will he or she see an open empty road and think I’m just going to open it up a bit?  Again, it may not be politically correct to openly say it but I always sense the fear of and, dare I say, hypocrisy surrounding what is actually normal behaviour for the majority.

 

Well, I’ve had a clean licence since about 1979.  I’m 54 now and have ridden and driven just about everything up to what my licence allows in all weather conditions both here and on the Continent.  I’m in one piece so I hope that suggests I’m doing something right.  Also, working in the NHS in Rehab, I see what happens to bikers after they have been scraped off the road if they still have a pulse.  :sad:  It’s very sobering, and saddening, so I hope I’m believed when I say I am genuinely concerned about real road safety.






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