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Wheelie Control


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Most of my track ridding is done on a 1.3 mile layout with a steep uphill start finish straight. Due to the gearing required my front wheels heads skywards around 7000 rpm. I've still not figured out the best way to keep the front end under control, from the two options passed on to me.


1) Dabbing the back break

2) Using the quick shifter to change up.


Your thoughts and view would be helpful.



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Your avatar is very appropriate to your question!


Short-shifting (meaning shifting up a gear a bit early, before the bike is fully in the power band) is a common and very workable solution to this problem. A bit of rear brake pressure would work also but requires more attention since you have to monitor how much brake pressure and for how long; if you just short-shift, especially with a quick-shifter, you can just pick a reference point where you want to shift and tap the shifter - which will likely require less judgment and concentration than using the brake. Also I think that shifting would be easier to manage in any adrenaline-charged situation - like racing - where you might be prone to accidentally stomp on the rear brake with too much enthusiasm due to the pressure and excitement of the moment. FWIW I've done some data-logger comparisons of short-shifting versus not on the S1000rr and it has a lot less of an effect on overall acceleration than I expected - I started doing it more often after examining the data. Have you tried either or both solutions to see which works better for you?


If you aren't already doing so, getting your upper body as low and forward as possible helps reduce wheelies, as does being loose on the bars. If you are sliding back in the seat consider a back stop on your seat.


What kind of bike are you riding? Any on-board traction control or wheelie management?

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I have a similar problem with one of my bikes. I do exactly as Hotfoot is suggesting. One gear higher generally does not affect acceleration that much and makes the bike a lot more manageable as a result.


Using a higher gear has little effect as Hotfoot mentioned (I have compared data as well). For a rider that's not as used to wheelies you can experience multiple SR's and unintentionally roll out or slow your roll on. That can negatively affect your speed. Even a moment's hesitation can be a few bike lengths. Shifting and braking could take part of your attention and potentially slow you down.


If you have wheelie control take a moment to learn about the system and how it works. Most importantly figure out a way to completely trust it if you can.


I find that some situations short shifting does well but in others it does not. There's a track that has a hairpin followed by an uphill section and a crest that makes my bike wheelie in 2nd gear on the crest of the hill. Putting the bike in 3rd gear keeps the wheel down but the hill and the short area of acceleration have a bit more of an affect on the speed. Making the conscious decision that it's ok to let the bike do it's thing and understanding exactly where it's going to happen makes things a lot more manageable for me. Of course as well seeing the faster riders who bravely shift down to 1st gear and wheelie all the way up that hill helps me a bit with that. They have done essentially the same thing in a different gear. They made the decision that's the way they approach that corner and they trust their wheelie control and let the bike do it's thing. Once you know what to expect it's honestly a bit of naughty fun you look forward to each lap.

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Short shifting is a solution I used a lot when the bike wheeled after the exit of the corner. It helps a lot, as mentioned, when you know where wheelie will happen, move your body on the front of the bike as much as possible. Also if it is possible you can alter your wheel base (longer), gear ratio or tune your suspension by increasing compression damping or spring tension. Those last solutions are a bit radical but can be applied if it is really necessary. I would like to add for the 2010-2011 S1000RR users that after I installed the +1-4mm Alpha racing swingarm pivots, the bike just catapult straight forward and rarely wheelie if I do not want it.

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