How to Do a Wheelie in a Motocross

by Todd Bowerman

The wheelie is one of the most basic tricks you can perform on a dirt bike, and is often necessary to help you safely navigate obstacles along a motocross course. You can perform wheelies for fun or as a trick. Dirt bikes can take a bit of abuse, so performing a wheelie is much better on one of these bikes than a traditional road bike.

Step 1

Kick your bike into first gear and slowly let out the clutch while you roll the throttle back. You are looking for a smooth start off the line.

Step 2

Open the throttle up completely in first gear. On many bikes, this alone is enough to pick up the front wheel.

Step 3

Open and close the throttle to give your bike more or less power as you balance your front wheel. More throttle raises the wheel up, less power drops the wheel down. Practice this until you can ride a few feet in first gear.

Step 4

Raise your front wheel up high, drop your throttle and kick the bike into second gear without using the clutch. If performed correctly, you should be able to keep your front wheel up as you shift.

Step 5

Point your front wheel forward as it comes down towards the ground. Stay on the throttle to help the wheel touch down gently -- if you panic and drop the gas, you will slam the front end down.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your bike will not lift the front wheel in first gear, you can throttle up then quickly drop the gas. This forces the front suspension to compress. When it starts to bounce up, quickly hit the throttle again for an added boost to your front end.
  • Always wear a helmet and protective gear when riding motocross, especially while doing stunts. You will probably take a few falls while you practice wheelies.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images