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SHIFTING(in a wheelie) 101

32026 Views 65 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  londongixxer
OKay So you want to learn how to shift in a wheelie Ill make a lil tutorial

Purpose: There is more than one purpose on shifting in a wheelie.
- Gain more rpm: Some people are at the point where there wheelies are constantly redlining, mostly because they're are chasing their wheelies and instead of gonig higher in a wheelie to hit balance point a alternate way to hold your wheelie just a tad longer can be to shift gears and you gain more rpm thus giving you a few more seconds to hold your wheelies. Doing this is fine..... some people dont want to bring the wheelies higher cause they're not use to the height yet......
- Have More Throttle Play: As you should know the higher the gear you are in the easier it is to play w/ the throttle..... 1st is more twitchy than 2nd and 2nd is more twitchy than 3rd and so on. For some people they like to have alot of throttle to play with because its obviuosly more easier to control and apply small throttle increments. Applying small throttle increments is key to keeping your wheelies in balance point...... you dont wanna be jerky and you want to be as smooth as possible. Itll definitly be weird to get use to at first but you will get use to it and find it towards your advantage..
- Do fast wheelies: Well this is self explanatory like the gain more rpm..... you cant really go 100mph in 1st gear.
- Make Up for loss of power & Save RPM: Well some people really want to do 3rd gear wheelies, for some people it might be hard and take alot of effort...... like some of those on the 600... yes it is possible to lift it up on 3rd gear but really whats the point if you know how to shift? Example to do a 3rd gear wheelie on a stock 600 you would have to be around 80mph give a good bounce and hit that throttle hard..... Chances are your wheelie will come up slowly too which makes you waste rpm just getting the damn thing up to balance point!!.... Now look at this...... your in 2nd gear and you bounce it up at 50mph, once you get use to the power you can bring up the wheelie pretty damn fast to balance point.... by the time your at balance point your only at 55mph and thats where you can shift into 3rd gear and there you are riding a 55mph wheelie in 3rd gear .

Things You Need to do or be ready for before trying:

- Well since this is im pretty sure you all have gsxrs and im pretty sure that all gsxr's are capable of going reverse shifting. Reverse shifting makes it so much easier... There is no special kit you need to buy to do reverse shifting unlike the R1's where those kits cost 100+ so why dont you just take advantage of a good free thing? Just do a search for GP shifting in the forum your bike falls under. The advantages of reverse shifting is obvious, you simple have better foot position and you wont miss 1st to 2nd gear as much and you would with regular shifting. Yes it may take a little while to get use to but id say its worth it.

- When Shifting in a wheelie I highly recommend NOT to use the CLUTCH, i repeat I HIGHLY recommend NOT to use the clutch. Yes it is possible to do it with the clutch and some people can do it with the clutch and do it pretty damn good, i just dont recommend it and this is why.... There is more things that i can see go wrong when using the clutch in shifting in a wheelie...
- since your learning to shift in a wheelie most people are still learning and unless you can release the clutch to the catch point and apply the correct amount of throttle to sustain the wheelie i wouldnt do it.... cause its just too much to think of when learning......
- Thing can go horribly wrong.... if you release the clutch too late its like your double clutching 1st gear..... execpt this time when you do you double clutch itll be in the air and you'll most likely flip over...
- Sometimes when you land hard or akward your right hand might hit the throttle, and if your left hand is still playing aruond w/ the clutch you might be in for something unexpected
- Like i stated earlier I believe its just harder, however as it is obvious safer for your tranny, i think its better to risk wearing down your tranny a little bit than fucking up your bike completely...... Stunting will harm your bike more than regular riding...... accept that fact


- well there is a proper way of doing it and if you do it correctly it wont hurt your tranny. and yes you may practice this with both wheels on the ground. Go a speed your confertable with ... maybe 30mph in 2nd gear??keep the throttle steady and put your foot on the shifter getting ready to shift and right when you let off the throttle thats when your transmission will be open to go into the next gear.... a good way to get the feeling of it first is to apply small pressure on the shifter, not alot ....if your grinding the gears thats too much. Anyways apply small pressure and let off the throttle.... it will fall right into gear....... when you think you got that down you can do it at faster speed.... and also try it in 1st to 2nd gear cause thats where it might go wrong since you might slip into neutral.... but its really not that hard......... no more than 1 minute of practicing that and you should get it.

PREREQUISITE for shifting 1st to 2nd gear (sitdown)
- Should be able to ride 1st gear wheelie to redline... not absolutely neccessary but i reccomend it and thats how i learned it.
- Got your no clutch shifting down w/ two wheels! obviously

- No throttle jockeys, i dont recommend any twitchy first gear wheeliers to shift gears yet.... learn to ride 1st gear relatively smoothly...... you dont have to be that high, just be smooth.

PREREQUISITE for shifting 2nd to 3rd gear (standups)
- Should be able to lift up 2nd gear standups constantly
- I recommend you know what 2nd gear balance point feels like or at least know what the throttle feels like when its near balance point (throttle should feel light and you should be feathering the throttle to keep it up in 2nd) why i say you should be at balance point is because 2nd to 3rd gear shifting shouldnt be about having more rpm to spend..... it should be about saving rpm and keeping the speed of your wheelies slow 50-60mph ish.... the reason for this is 2nd gear can hit 100mph on most bikes..... if your hitting redline 2nd gear standups , dont you think your going too fast already??? your goal for 2nd to 3rd is too bring up 2nd gear and shift 3rd gear straight into balance point and you should be adjust to the throttle since you have more play.

**SHIFTING 1st to 2nd in a wheelie**
okay now that you know what you need and what to expect i can explain what to when shifting in a wheelie
- So you go the speed you do your regular 1st gear wheelies at (5-35mph)
- I suggest power wheelie so you gas on , gas off, and gas on again... Itll come up smoothly this way
- Keep your foot on the shifter and apply real little pressure.... if you have reverse shifting just rest your toe on the shifter so itll be easier to shift when your in the air.
- Once your front wheel comes off the ground, let off the throttle and at the sametime shift into 2nd gear , dont even bother riding out 1st gear at all....... its simple just lift the wheel off teh ground and shift into 2nd right away.
- You give the exact same throttle you used to bring it up in 1st to get back on the throttle again in 2nd..... usually you'd use 1/2throttle or less to bring it up in first, if your using more than that you need help!! the whole shifting proccess is done in a split second.... i cant really type out what im trying to say so i have uploaded a video for your viewing pleasure.... Its kinda hard to tell by the video so just listen to the audio and see how it sounds like when i shift it into 2nd.
Remember you dont have to be at balance point when shifting, THis is the height im at when i shifted into second

Okay chances are you wont get it the first time, or the second or the third for that matter.... here is somethings you might of ran into
-most common problem is you slip into neutral. This is because either you didnt bring your wheel high enough the ground due to you bring up the wheelie slow
To solve that try to hit the throttle harder when you bring it up in 1st, when you do this the bike will still have the momentum of going upwards even when you shut off the throttle.
The other reason you hit neutral is your not clicking it hard enough into 2nd...... remember apply pressure on the shifter before the wheelie.....and make sure you have your clutchless shifting down.

-Another problem that could happen is that you click it into second gear but when you got on the throttle again you slip into neutral..... This has happened to me alot...... i think its part of the tranny thats going bad but you can correct by doing the same thing you would do if you hit neutral in a wheelie.... just make sure you click it into 2nd good and you got your clutchless shifting down....... the higher you are the lighter the bike would be........therfore putting less strain on the tranny when shifiting in the air....

- Another problem you might run into is you manage to shift into 2nd gear but you just dont got enough power to keep it up..... GOOD you got it to shift into 2nd gear!! thats a important part..... you just gotta get a tad higher and make sure your shifting is efficient and FAST.... there can be no lag when you let off the throttle to shift gears....... its Gas up to bring the wheelie up , let off throttle and shift gears, and get on the throttle again all done within a split second.... only practice can help you out on this one.

**SHIFTING 2nd to 3rd in a wheelie (STANDUP)**
Okay so you wanna know where the funs at??? its in the 3rd gear standups
Again like 1st to 2nd gear wheelies you shift into the next gear pretty fast.... but you may want to shift it right at balance point cause the purpose of this is to save RPM and keeping the 3rd gear wheelies slow right?
- Bounce or Clutch your 2nd gear standup wheelie up pretty hard.....
- Make sure your foot is over the shifter ready to shift into the next gear and when you get near balance point let off the throttle and shift into 3rd at the same time.....
- I like to bounce up 2nd gear hard...... so when i shift into the 3rd gear the bike is still floating upwards and has the momentum of going up still....
- So now that i shifted i should be right at balance point..... i get on the gas and im riding out a 3rd gear wheelie..... you'll notice that youll have more throttle to play w/ to keep it up in 3rd gear but you'll just get use to that in time.

Not much can go wrong here...... if you cant keep it up in 3rd you just gotta go higher and give more gas....
you cant miss shift becuase there is no neutral between 2nd and 3rd.....
just remember you want a quick shift, snap your hand off and on to shift
I uploaded a video of me doing 2nd to 3rd gear shift..... sorry about the music , i ripped this from a dvd.

**what i want you to notice is right before i shift the wheelie, notice how the bike kind of shooots up fast.... thats what i meant by bringing the wheelie up hard.... if you shoot it up that hard...itll float up there for a split second enabling me to shift into 3rd gear......... you may have to replay the video a few times to see my right hand let off the throttle and get on it again..... i do it real fast, almost looks like im snapping the throttle and thats how it should be done. ( dont pay attention to my wheelie form, my legs were tired okay??? i couldnt keep em rock solid straight
) i brought this wheelie up at 55mph and rode it out at probably 60..... you can tell by looking at the median or the little circle bumps on the freeway that im not going anywhere near 80mph.
here is a picture of the height im at when i shift into 3rd gear....

Well mods please sticky this.
And this is just a rough draft.... i have to wait for your guys replies to see what i need to fix and add on so post away.
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great post. I think this is the hardest part of learning how to wheelie, so I think this should be a sticky for sure. My only complaint is that you posted all of this great info and it is too darn cold to ride

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