If you ride a motorcycle, you’ve probably thought of raising the front wheel off the ground and riding just on the back wheel. Depending on who you ask, a “wheelies” or “popping a wheelie” can viewed as an exciting display of a rider’s abilities or a hazardous maneuver that might damage or kill a rider.
The majority of people; including many riders, consider the technique is “foolish and dangerous,” therefore don’t surprised if a well executed wheelie results in a traffic citation or a police officer handcuffing you. Despite the fact that film of motorcyclists performing wheelies can found all over the internet, a thorough investigation of wheelies, including the physics and hazards involved, may offer a better understanding of why wheelies are illegal in the United States.
Are Motorcycle Wheelies Illegal ?
You might be wondering if motorbike wheelies are prohibited, given that a Google search for “motorcycle wheelie videos” returns over 1.2 million results. The short answer is that purposefully raising the front wheel of a moving motorcycle off the ground is illegal in all 50 states.
Even though popping a wheelie can result in a fine or, in certain situations, time in a local jail cell. You might have trouble finding explicit mention of wheelies in your state’s traffic or criminal codes. Instead of having a statute that specifically addresses lifting the front wheel of a moving motorcycle. The vast majority of states rely on their dangerous driving laws. We’ll go through state legislation in more depth later in this article.
What leads you to do a wheelie?
The front wheel of a motorcycle will lift off the ground and into a wheelie position. If you use the throttle to produce a rapid burst of power. A wheelie; is generally easier to pull off on a lightweight motorcycle with a powerful engine and a short, compact wheelbase. A wheelies would be more difficult, if not impossible, to pull off on a heavy road bike with a long wheelbase.
Another method for lifting the front tire that relies on the clutch rather than throttle speed needs more experience and talent to execute. Whatever method a rider uses; the end result is that the motorcycle continues to go forward with only the back tire balanced.
The risks of performing a wheelie
The first danger associated with doing a wheelie should be evident. A motorcycle’s front wheel, which allows the rider to maneuver it, is off the road surface. While it is true that when the steering component is removed, a motorcycle will generally track forward in a straight line, the risk of crashing increases.
When you lean a motorcycle back to execute a wheelie, your riding position or too much speed may cause the bike to continue traveling backward until you crash. Other risks associated with wheelies include the following:
- If the motorcycle isn’t balance and tracking straight; when you push up on the handlebars to start a wheelie; you won’t be able to make adjustments until the front wheel is off the ground.
- Pulling up into a wheelie position while putting uneven pressure to the handlebars might make the motorcycle unstable.
- The only way to change the direction of the motorcycle once the front wheel has been raise is to make little weight shifts. Try a wheelie only if you’re confident in your ability to control your motorbike by adjusting your weight and body position.
- When you raise the front end of a motorcycle; the headlight rises, making your motorcycle less visible to approaching automobiles. And obstructing your view of the road and items ahead of you.
Lowering the front end to the ground after a wheelie has its own set of risks. If the front wheel is not positioned to hit the ground in the same direction as the motorbike is travelling. A spectacular wobble and accident may occur. If the front wheel is allowed to drop too far; the rider may lose control of the motorbike and tumble.
When there are no other cars on the road, why are wheelies prohibited ?
Some state statutes that make it illegal to elevate a wheel off the ground include language that eliminates the need for other people to be present and in danger of committing a violation. When a motorcyclist in Tennessee pulls a wheelie without the presence of other people; in a “frequently frequented by the public” area, the rider may charged with reckless driving.
Riding a motorcycle in a position that may hinder the rider’s view or control and operation of the vehicle is banned in Pennsylvania. For example, without the presence of other people who may injured. Most reckless driving regulations leave it up to law enforcement officers to determine whether a rider’s actions represent a danger of damage to other people or property.
Are Wheelies Illegal in a Parking Lot ?
State regulations frequently enable police to enforce traffic violations in public parking lots rather than private land with no public access. For example; the California legislation against risky driving states that it applies not just to infractions done on the road. But also to violations committed in off-street parking spots.
The kind of parking facility dictates how wheelies are enforced in parking lots. If you perform a wheelies in a public parking lot; authorities can come in and enforce traffic rules. But if you do it on private property that is not open to the public, you may exempt from prosecution.
To avoid being arrested for trespassing; you should contact the owner for permission before riding on private property. In a parking lot that isn’t open to the public. You should also check your state’s laws on wheelies and other unsafe maneuvers to ensure that doing one on your own property or elsewhere is not against the law.
Motorcycle Wheelie Laws: A State-by-State Guide
It’s a good idea to check the motorcycle regulations for equipment and licensing requirements before riding your motorcycle in another state. You should also check the rules for wheelies. And unsafe driving to make sure you don’t inadvertently or intentionally breach them.
To help you get start; all states require that when riding a motorcycle, you observe the same traffic regulations. And rules of the road that apply to other motor vehicles on the road. Only a few states prohibit doing wheelies or stunt riding on a motorcycle. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get a ticket or get arrested. In all 50 states; reckless driving is prohibited, therefore pulling a wheelie might be deemed reckless.
Riding a motorbike with only one wheel in touch with the ground is illegal in the following states:
Similar regulations exist in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Prohibiting riding a motorcycle in a manner that interferes with the rider’s operation or control of the vehicle. With the rider’s ability to see the road, which police may use if they see someone doing a wheelie.
Although the remaining states’ laws do not specifically address riding on one wheel. Or doing a wheelie, their hazardous driving laws empower law enforcement to stop and issue tickets. Jail motorcycle riders; who are witnessed performing wheelies or other dangerous and reckless behavior. The state of Nevada’s risky driving law goes even farther, prohibiting motorcycles from doing feats on public roads.
Make certain it’s secure. Maintain the current state of affairs.
Be safe when riding your motorcycle by following the rules and avoiding unsafe behaviors. Take a look at some of the videos on the internet of motorbike riders whose wheelies didn’t go as planned if you’re thinking about attempting one.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether a wheelie was involved; contact a motorcycle attorney right away.