Time for another rewind, bringing us back to June 2011. After my first few stunt riding attempts on the 636, I jumped on a buddy’s 70, had a blast and then decided to buy a mini for myself to learn on.
I purchased a stock, beat up 50cc pit bike for a couple hundred dollars. It needed a new carb, some cosmetic love and some basic stunt parts. For function, I purchased a new carb, spark plug, chain and sprocket. I also purchased a taller seat for comfort, new plastics so it looked a little fresher, a handbrake, and a 12 bar.
Once I had my bike fixed up and a little fresher, I immediately took my 50 to the lot and put in seat time. Because the bike is so small, it was not intimidating to try a wheelie. If you mess up, you can just put your feet down or let it fall back on the bar. I can’t stress enough how good of an idea it is to learn on a smaller bike first. Especially if you can be a little scaredy cat at times like I can!
I rode my 50 a handful of times during June, July and August 2011. I rode it just enough to learn the basics of poppin a wheelie such as how to give it throttle and not freak out. How to use the hand and foot brake. Also one main thing it helped me to overcome was the fear of standing up, staggered, and giving it throttle. It was very unnatural to me to use my throttle in any position besides a sitdown. My body automatically wanted to sit when I tried to wheelie standing up. The 50 was perfect to learn all of these things on, since the intimidation factor was a lot smaller due to the small size of the machine. You can just try over and over and when you fall, it’s not a long way down.
A great first wheelie is a foot drag, or a double foot drag. A foot drag is a sitdown wheelie with your right foot on the foot brake and your left foot dragging on the ground. This is very comfortable since you are in a natural sitting position, and also have a foot on the ground for stability. Come to a complete stop and throttle up on your 50 from this position. My 50 does not have a clutch. Most do not, so you learn to wheelie using the throttle timing. A double foot drag is a sitdown with both feet down. You can do this wheelie if you have a hand brake. This one is by far the easiest wheelie to learn, with both feet dragging and a hand on the brake, you can stand up and stop the bike if anything goes wrong.
After 2-3 months of utilizing the 50 to help me learn the basics, I decided I was ready to try the 636 again.
Next time, hear about how I got back on my 636 and how the session went!