How to Ride a Wheelie on a Dirt Bike? (Step by Step Guide)!

James Albert is a dirt biker for about 6 years with a passion for helping others get into the sport without knowing anything. He shares...Read more

It is a good idea to perform a wheelie on any dirt bike if you have a good grip on its control already. Without proper control, safety could be a big concern. If you have always wanted to be a stunt rider or ride a wheelie on your dirt bike, we’ve got you covered today.

We’ll talk about how to ride a wheelie on a dirt bike.

You need to ride on flat ground and position your body at a 90° angle. You will first have to put your bike in the right gear, let off the brakes, and find your balance. Once you have that down, you and your dirt bike will be doing wheelies in no time

The best way to start with riding a wheelie is to learn the principle and start slowly till you master the tricks of riding a wheelie on a dirt bike. Well, learning to ride a wheelie on a dirt bike requires a lot of practice.

Let’s get you through the process and help you ride your dirt bike like a pro while doing a wheelie.

What Is a Wheelie?

Wheelie refers to keeping a dirt bike’s front wheel off the ground and riding it on the rear wheel only. In Dirt biking, doing a wheelie is the most common stunt. It has multiple uses. One can use it to clear an obstacle by raising the front wheel. Also, one can get up a hill by doing a wheelie.

What Is a Wheelie

It is simple and fun to do, and while there are some rare situations where you can get away with popping a wheelie and not crash, these situations do not come up very often. It means you got to always use your safety gear, especially when riding a wheelie on a dirt bike.

A simple rule of thumb with riding a wheelie on a dirt bike is that it is probably not a good idea to get on the bike if you are afraid of doing a wheelie. But if you want to try a wheelie on your dirt bike, you need to learn how to get your balance on the bike.

Learning how to do a wheelie on a dirt bike will help improve your balance and control to give yourself an edge when racing against other riders. It is also an excellent skill for riding trails and jumping off mounds and other jumps.

Can You Do a Wheelie on a Dirt Bike?

Yes, you can do a wheelie on a dirt bike. Wheelies are fun and exciting, but they can also be very dangerous if performed incorrectly. If you are not comfortable doing a wheelie, don’t try it.


It is easier to wheelie a dirt bike than wheelie a regular motorcycle with street tires. A dirt bike has knobby off-road tires that give the rider more traction and have more grip when riding on trails. While the street motorcycles have smooth street tires that give the motorcycle more speed on roads, the rider won’t get much from the tire when it comes to traction in the dirt or pulling a wheelie.

Also, dirt bikes have suspensions designed specifically for jumping, and some suspensions can be adjusted depending on the type and the model you get. And it helps to keep the rider safe and comfortable.

In addition, most riders learning to do a wheelie will typically start with small uphill or elevated land and find that the bike will lift its front end naturally. Once they get used to this, they increase their speed until they can take off from the flat ground.

If you ever want to start your wheelie training, you should practice in an open area with no fences, walls, or gates. It is dangerous to wheelie where there are lots of obstacles.

How to Ride a Wheelie on a Dirt Bike?

The basic idea is simple; you pull up on the handlebars and move your body weight back farther than normal. If done correctly, the bike will balance on the rear wheel. It sounds simple right? But it can be tricky, and that is why you need to learn how to do it rightly.

How to Ride a Wheelie on a Dirt Bike

Below are ways to ride a wheelie successfully on a dirt bike, even if it is your first time.

Locate a Flat Surface as a Beginner

First of all, you need to locate a smooth ground surface. It can be either dirt, grass, or gravel. Also, if you are just learning how to wheelie on a dirt bike, you don’t want to run into any obstacle. It is why you need to get your bike in any area that is safe with no obstacles.

Find a flat and smooth surface with plenty of space, good grip, and no dips. Ideally, the ground should be hard-packed dirt. Once you can ride a wheelie on a smooth ground surface, you will be able to practice on a road with bumpy surfaces.

Start with the Second Gear

Start riding in second gear, do not try to ride a wheelie in first and then shift up into second once you have the front wheel high. If you get caught too low while attempting a wheelie, it can be very easy to fall over if you are not prepared.

You should start by putting the bike into second gear to have more power. Then, find an empty stretch of road or field to practice in. As the clutch is pulled in, twist the throttle and get ready to pop the clutch. It will make the tire break loose, and you can take off.

Body Positioning

Your body positioning is one of the most important things you need to master to do a wheelie on your dirt bike. The secret to pulling off a wheelie on a dirt bike is having the right body positioning and weight distribution on your bike.

Body Positioning

To do this, you need to sit down on your bike and lean back, with your feet planted firmly on the ground. It will help you balance and keep your motorcycle moving forward instead of falling over backward.

The basic body positioning is having the rider sit not too far to the back and not too far to the gas tank, with the chest and belly against it. In this position, the weight is directed through the rear wheel.

Understanding the Controls

The controls assist you in performing a wheelie, so it’s critical you understand them. The most important element to wheelies is learning the controls of your bike. When riding, you should sit in a neutral position on the bike than normal to help maintain balance and keep weight over the front wheel.

The clutch and throttle control are a must for dirt bike beginners and experienced riders. To perform the wheelie, you need to understand how to modulate the clutch. You will have to gradually increase the throttle until you feel a slight power drive to the rear wheel.

Sit in a Neutral Position

You should sit in a neutral posture to don’t lean forward or backward too much. The dirt bike neutral position is important to learn and keep your balance when standing on the pegs or sitting.

Sit in a Neutral Position

You should sit, so that much weight is on the rear wheel and not on the front. Also, take note not to sit at the back too much so that you do not fall whenever you pop up the wheels. As you advance in training and practice while sitting, you can then try wheelie standing on the dirt bike.

You do not have to get fearful here, as you have to do this with courage and boldness. You have to stand up on the bike while you bend your knees. Do this every time you roll up to the bars or your bike or move back and forth on it.

The idea is to get you set up for the how-to ride a wheelie; this is not just a movie done once then never again. It is a repeatable skill that will add value to your riding. One of the benefits you get from practicing this often is that it helps build your balance.

Note: As a beginner, you must start learning while sitting and not standing. A professional rider can find it easy to stand and pop up the wheel, but it will be hard for a beginner to do that.

Pop up Wheels

You have to raise the front wheels of your dirt bike. It requires a combination of power and momentum and some practice. The front-wheel can be got off the ground through various methods and techniques. But, the most used method is clutch/throttle lift.

Pop up Wheels

While you are in the 2nd gear with your weight on the back of the bike, clutch out and the throttle open about halfway to get moving. As you gain speed, ease off the throttle for a split second, then twist it back open just past where the engine started lugging.

At this point, you will feel the front wheel begin to come up as it tries to regain traction. All you need to do is hold on and keep moving while you use your brake often to gain traction.

Balance and Rear Brakes

You need two things to maintain your balance while you ride a wheelie on a dirt bike, and they are your balance and rear brakes. You don’t want to spin out and crash, so a good long practice is key.

You have to always apply the brake as it is your lifeline to remain on the bike. Most people who fall off the bike when riding a wheelie fail to understand their rear brakes’ right application. It will always give you the balance and the bike the grip it needs.

Dos and Don’ts of Doing Wheelie on a Dirt Bike?

There are some things you should do and should never try when you ride a wheelie on a dirt bike.

Dos and Don'ts of Doing Wheelie on a Dirt Bike

  • You should practice with only 1/4 throttle in 1st gear while you slowly learn to pop up the wheel.
  • Always keep the foot over the rear brake pedal to prevent looping out, i.e., falling off the bike.
  • You need to always use your safety gear.
  • Your rear brake is your friend, and you should use it always for the right traction and grip.
  • You should never start too fast, as slow riding is the key to keeping you safe.
  • You should start from the safest gear and the second gear is the right starting point for beginners.
  • Do not ride a wheelie if you do not understand the basic control and how to ride.
  • You should always keep a neutral position on the bike to certify your balance before you try any stunt.


A wheelie is a stunt where the rider balances their bike on its rear wheel. The front wheel rises in the air for as long as the rider can balance it. Wheelies are fun to do and look great when performed well. While it can be difficult for a beginner, the guide above on how to ride a wheelie on a dirt bike should be a great starting point.

If you are a beginner, the right sitting position is crucial. It will determine your balance and carry the weight of the bike. While the rear brakes also influence your ability to control the bike’s balance as you pop up tricks on wheels.

James Albert is a dirt biker for about 6 years with a passion for helping others get into the sport without knowing anything. He shares his expertise and reviews dirt bikes and related tools.

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