When I was around eight years old, I watched an action scene I’ll probably never forget. I still remember every bit of this iconic chase sequence in Mission Impossible 2, but the highlight of this scene was towards the end, where Tom Cruise wheelies a Triumph Speed Triple which then goes on to explode mid-air. For years, there was no one cooler to me than Tom Cruise just because of that scene. That’s exactly what wheelies do, they look cool as heck.
That said, wheelies aren’t all drama and mastering them can help you improve as a rider, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with powerful machines. When you’ve got over 100hp and not a lot of electronics, front wheels on motorcycles like going up. This feeling can be a bit scary, but knowing what it’s like and learning how to control it can help you be a better, and yes, safer rider.
We were asked to lean forward and keep our elbows out as it would help pull the bike up.
Learning wheelies, however, used to come at the cost of having a few tumbles. But there are wheelie training rigs now and Ajmera IndiKarting and Sachin (aka Riderboy; the instructor) invited us over to give their set-up a go. Our class began with Sachin explaining how the rig worked and a simple up and down ride of the course to get familiar with it.
As a safety measure, we were also asked not to use the front brake or take our legs off the pegs under any circumstances. After that, we were positioned in the centre of the track, instructed about body positioning and told to give it a shot. Sachin observed what mistakes each one of us made and kept correcting us along the way. Despite being one India’s top stunters, he is a pleasantly frank and down-to-earth teacher. In the beginning, I found myself giving it too little throttle, but after I got that right, I had pulled my first proper wheelie. Yes, I didn’t look like Tom on his Triumph, but it was a good start.
The custom seat stops you from sliding off in case you forget to hold the bike with your legs.
Keep in mind, even with the rig and the professional by our side, it was still scary. We only began getting confident after around half an hour of attempts. This is also when he asked us to touch the wheelie bar on the back of the Pulsar to the styrofoam on the rig, at which point we would be pulling a 70-degree wheelie. Vishal and I got really close to reaching that point, but it was Rishabh who was the only one to achieve it. Rishabh also quickly grasped how to accelerate while the front wheel was in the air and to keep the wheelie going for more than 20 feet.
At this point, our session was over, but there is still so much to learn. If Vishal and I had also reached the same stage as Rishabh, the next session would include removing the layers of styrofoam step by step. The styrofoam stops you, essentially, it helps you increase your wheelie angle.
Sachin showing us how it’s done!
The class is being held right next to the Ajmera IndiKarting track and you can book a slot by getting in touch with Sachin Riderboy directly at 8767961180. A one-hour session will cost you Rs 2,500 and that includes fuel and wear-and-tear expenses on the motorcycles. Would I recommend it? Yes, because learning how to wheelie has never been this safe, fun and easy.