Can't find balance point! Please help (frustrated)
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Thread: Can't find balance point! Please help (frustrated)

  1. #1
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    Question Can't find balance point! Please help (frustrated)

    What's up guys? I'll start out by telling you that I have been riding for a while, but I am new to street riding! I just recently purchased a Suzuki DR650... I have been practicing wheelies recently, and I have some questions and things I want your opinion on:

    1. The DR650 is a heavy bike (for a supermoto), and is hard to pop up. I can get it up easily in 1st gear, but for 2nd I have to compress the front end and pop it up, which makes me do a stand up, and it's very inconsistent getting the front end up (you have to get it perfect). Do you guys have any tips for getting it up? I don't want to ONLY do stand ups (have to in 2nd gear). Should I sit back on the seat or even right past the seat when I pop the clutch?

    2. I have a hard time finding the balance point... I think I hit it one time because it felt like I was about to die lmao. When I hit the BP I panicked and let off the throttle, losing the wheelie. Any tips for finding the BP? I know it takes practice and repetition.

    3. Recovering the BP- I see many people hit the balance point, let off the throttle, and hit the throttle again.. The bike always (in these videos) seems to come up with very little struggle. With my bike, if it starts going down on a wheelie, even in first gear, it's done. It seems there is NO way to pick it back up again! Is this because my front wheel isn't as high up as I think it is? I am assuming that's what it is because I haven't found the BP yet. Can anyone give me tips on that?

    4. SHIFTING- I can ride a 2nd gear stand up pretty well, but I am always chasing it... I feel like if I could shift to 3rd I could ride it 2-3 times longer! How can I achieve this standing up? I would put my right foot on the back peg (I have passenger pegs installed), but I am afraid not to have a back brake, even though I don't think quick enough to use it. *FYI- I haven't even tried doing a wheelie with a foot on either back peg*
    Any tips? I have almost achieved it on a 1st gear sit down several times, but I normally end up hitting it into neutral and slamming the front end down.

    5. It's simply a heavy supermoto, so ANY advice would be helpful to me! If you can think of anything I didn't mention, please share! The more words the better. I am more than willing to read an essay because this matters to me!


    *UPDATE*
    So, like I said, I recently bought the bike. I found out that I wasn't using nearly enough throttle trying to clutch up the wheelie! I wasn't doing it right. I was doing it the way I did it on my dirtbike that I race, which is obviously different cause that has "motorcross power"! Now, I hit full throttle and slip the clutch, pops up perfect going 20-24mph.

    I've been practicing, and I learned to shift finally! I don't use the clutch, it's simpler to shift it without it (IK you may be triggered by that lol but it's different for everyone! haha).

    I wrecked 2 days ago though... Wasn't bad. Going 30-35mph. I accidentally shifted when I let off the throttle to engine brake and looped the damn thing. I slid 30 yards the bike went further. I hopped up as I was sliding and chased my bike. Bike was shooting sparks and all, but almost NO damage! Small scratches on engine, the kickstand hits the swingarm when I bring it up, tiny scratch on back blinker (spray painted it, looks brand new), and shredded up the tip off the handle bars, which can be replaced! The only actually damage I got was the shift lever bent forward and up, but I just got pliers and a crowbar and it's good as new. I walked away with a tiny circle of road rash on the inside of my elbow and BAD but very small area of road rash on my left lower back. I had gloves, a backbrace, backpack, skid plate under my pants, and helmet all on. Walked away lucky.

    Scared me a little so I'm going to take it easy for a little until everything heals! I am getting better though.
    Last edited by Klutch Krazy; 10-03-2016 at 06:56 AM.
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    Bike:
    DR650 w/ Dyno Jet

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  3. #2
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    The balance point is there, trust me. And it is a fine line. Try first gear wheelies at a snail's pace to find the balance point. An oops there isn't nearly as painful as looping out at 30mph on you or the bike. Try a grassy hill, going up of course. And practice practice practice. Did I mention practice. After you actually pass the BP a few times and get used to the sensation you'll get the idea. Breathe, don't panic and chop the throttle closed or stab the brake. You can usually loop it at 5mph and catch or at least slow the fall of the bike limiting any if not all damage. Just don't tear up the neighbors lawn in the process.

    This all coming from someone that chases the wheelie. I'm too old to heal up one more time.

    Oh, and practice. Good luck and post up a video or two. And you can edit out the mishaps, but in true SMJ we prefer raw footage crashes and all. And bonus points for compound fractures or blood.😂

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lloydstrans View Post
    The balance point is there, trust me. And it is a fine line. Try first gear wheelies at a snail's pace to find the balance point. An oops there isn't nearly as painful as looping out at 30mph on you or the bike. Try a grassy hill, going up of course. And practice practice practice. Did I mention practice. After you actually pass the BP a few times and get used to the sensation you'll get the idea. Breathe, don't panic and chop the throttle closed or stab the brake. You can usually loop it at 5mph and catch or at least slow the fall of the bike limiting any if not all damage. Just don't tear up the neighbors lawn in the process.

    This all coming from someone that chases the wheelie. I'm too old to heal up one more time.

    Oh, and practice. Good luck and post up a video or two. And you can edit out the mishaps, but in true SMJ we prefer raw footage crashes and all. And bonus points for compound fractures or blood.😂

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
    I get what you're saying but this is one more thing.. I'm horrible at slow wheelies! It really has to do with my bike. The DR650 has more torque than power low end.. It's not like a true dirt bike, it's a designed dual sport. Getting up at 0mph is scary as fuck because it either doesn't get enough power, or sends you're bike 40 feet in the air... Tips?

    Another thing- are you saying find the balance point by going past it and slamming the brake? It's hard for me to focus on the brake but I believe I can do it... My instinct isn't the brake. I honestly don't know what my instinct is lmao cause it happens so fast' The main thing about me practicing this is dropping my bike is a no no (even though I know it will happen). It's clean as hell! So I'm trying to take the safe route on everything. (For the record, I know it will happen and I HAVE dropped it on a freak mistake hitting oil, however I want to do everything in my power not to)

    Let me know your thoughts! thanks for the reply.

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  6. #4
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    Remove the plastics. Borrow a friends beater. Once you get past the Oh, hell, no feeling you're 90% there. No don't slam the brake, you only have to touch it. It is a steep learning curve. If you watch people that can wheelie they can wheelie pretty much any bike. It is getting over the fear factor. And some scuffed up crap.

  7. #5
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    Do you pull the bike up just by engine power or do you use clutch-up wheelies? I thought a dr650 could (easily) wheelie in second gear.

    If you feel like you have to shift to wheelie longer you're not high enough :P

    I always thought that i was pretty good at wheelies and thought i was driving around my balance point, but i was always (slowly) accelerating and needed to shift up. I tried going higher and higher until i noticed i wasn't nearly near my balacne point now i'm slowly learning to wheelie past balance point with the rear brake.

    If i were you i would practice clutch-up wheelie the bike in second gear. Would be much easier to reach balance point (slowly adding more throttle) because the bike is less twitchy in a higher gear.


    And last, practice practice practice
    KTM 525 EXC Racing SM

  8. #6
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    Angry I wrecked, but I'm getting better

    Quote Originally Posted by SM3 View Post
    Do you pull the bike up just by engine power or do you use clutch-up wheelies? I thought a dr650 could (easily) wheelie in second gear.

    If you feel like you have to shift to wheelie longer you're not high enough :P

    I always thought that i was pretty good at wheelies and thought i was driving around my balance point, but i was always (slowly) accelerating and needed to shift up. I tried going higher and higher until i noticed i wasn't nearly near my balacne point now i'm slowly learning to wheelie past balance point with the rear brake.

    If i were you i would practice clutch-up wheelie the bike in second gear. Would be much easier to reach balance point (slowly adding more throttle) because the bike is less twitchy in a higher gear.


    And last, practice practice practice
    *UPDATE*
    So, like I said, I recently bought the bike. I found out that I wasn't using nearly enough throttle trying to clutch up the wheelie! I wasn't doing it right. I was doing it the way I did it on my dirtbike that I race, which is obviously different cause that has "motorcross power"! Now, I hit full throttle and slip the clutch, pops up perfect going 20-24mph.

    I've been practicing, and I learned to shift finally! I don't use the clutch, it's simpler to shift it without it (IK you may be triggered by that lol but it's different for everyone! haha).

    I wrecked 2 days ago though... Wasn't bad. Going 30-35mph. I accidentally shifted when I let off the throttle to engine brake and looped the damn thing. I slid 30 yards the bike went further. I hopped up as I was sliding and chased my bike. Bike was shooting sparks and all, but almost NO damage! Small scratches on engine, the kickstand hits the swingarm when I bring it up, tiny scratch on back blinker (spray painted it, looks brand new), and shredded up the tip off the handle bars, which can be replaced! The only actually damage I got was the shift lever bent forward and up, but I just got pliers and a crowbar and it's good as new. I walked away with a tiny circle of road rash on the inside of my elbow and BAD but very small area of road rash on my left lower back. I had gloves, a backbrace, backpack, skid plate under my pants, and helmet all on. Walked away lucky.

    Scared me a little so I'm going to take it easy for a little until everything heals! I am getting better though.

  9. #7
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    Nice to hear that you're getting better! Practice makes perfect! I'm no wheelie expert myself, but i keep practicing. I'm hoping to 12'oclock or scrape the bike soon :thumb:


    I personally use a full body protector when i'm practicing stunt riding/wheelies. I like the one from Fox the most:


    This thing is made for protection on dirt tracks, but it has seen asphalt more than once and can really take a beating
    KTM 525 EXC Racing SM

  10. #8
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    Sep 2016
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    Thumbs up I am all for protection

    Quote Originally Posted by SM3 View Post
    Nice to hear that you're getting better! Practice makes perfect! I'm no wheelie expert myself, but i keep practicing. I'm hoping to 12'oclock or scrape the bike soon :thumb:


    I personally use a full body protector when i'm practicing stunt riding/wheelies. I like the one from Fox the most:


    This thing is made for protection on dirt tracks, but it has seen asphalt more than once and can really take a beating
    I am all for protection, but even though I wouldn't tell my friends/classmates (I'm 18, and a senior in high school), I don't have much money... I work 2 jobs and run a business all at the same time (Lane Customs. Just started it! I customize people's trucks, bikes, boats, jeeps, cars, etc. with lights, interior paint, and more). The fact I even got this bike was a miracle. I think God was lookin out for me got a bike worth OVER $4000 for $2500. Guy said he wanted me to have it cause he saw how I looked at it lol.

    I will buy proper protection as soon as I can though. I have some cheap gloves, a nice helmet a rider in my town gave to me, and that's about it. I wear a backbrace I use because of my 4 spinal fractures I got from bull riding, so it protects my back pretty well both from a hard hit and road rash.

    Do you know of any cheap protection for all areas of the body? Arm, legs, back, ass, etc. What's a good cheap brand? I know some brands, but I am curious if you know of any that I don't!
    Last edited by Klutch Krazy; 10-03-2016 at 04:52 PM.
    YouTube (click me)

    Bike:
    DR650 w/ Dyno Jet

  11. #9
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    Sounds like you were having the exact same problem as me. I have an inherently horrible sense of balance, in fact my balance is so bad I actually failed the balance test for an 80 y/o person... I can't even do a hand-stand for 1 second!

    When I started riding, I found it incredibly hard to do wheelies on my dirtbikes. I would try doing them in 1st gear, which is a very slow wheelie, And I got frustrated. Even after years of riding, it was no easier, so I just accepted the fact that I didn't have the skill-set for wheelies.

    Many years later, with almost 3 decades of riding experience, I bought a 500exc. This thing just wants to wheelie everywhere and in every gear. So essentially the bike was wheelie'ing by itself, And it wasn't too long before I grasped what was going on beneath my clumsy bum. With that came the realization that fast wheelies don't rely much on balance. That knowledge alone lead to a rapid progression from 100kph wheelies (chasing) to sustained 30-40kph wheelies.

    While not naturally gifted with a sense of balance, my brain began to adapt to feedback from the bike itself. My success (if you would call it that) stemmed purely from that, And relied almost completely on the only developed riding attribute I had (control input).

    Admittedly, my inability to balance properly is on a long list of my short-comings as far as rider skill is concerned. My cornering game is very unconventional, my foot still refuses to cover the RB, And my filtering skill is questionable. But I've learned to make do with what I've got. For someone who would fail a sobriety test Sober, I'm quite proud to say I can now wheelie indefinitely, which I believe is a testament to what is possible, even if you're a failtard like myself.
    I don't fear death, only the moments leading up to it.

    There's more to life than jerking off in front of the computer .... I just haven't figured out what that is.

  12. #10
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    Everything lloyd says is right. One way to feel the balance point is to hop on a little xr200 or something light and lock the back brake and have a few buddies hold up the front end until they are not supporting any weight, i.e. balance point. It's farther back than you think. just learn the back brake feel once past that point. The problem with first gear wheelies is that you are going so slow that you have no gyro for stability and you also run out of rpms very quickly and the faster the front wheel is spinning when you pull it up the more steering control you have. Just my 2 cents. Cheers!

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