Wheelie and lose wheel, licence or bike

MBW does a wheelie in a private carpark Triumph Street Triple

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you pop a wheelie? You could lose the front wheel like this unfortunate guy, or you could lose your licence and your motorcycle.

The video above shows a rider doing some competent stunts in the safety of what looks like a carpark. Apart from the lack of bike maintenance and pre-ride checks, he has some other issues.

First, he’s not wearing any protective clothing and even though it’s a slow crash, just try running and then throwing yourself on the tarmac wearing shorts and a singlet and see how much gravel rash you suffer.

Second, performing the stunts in a public carpark may not be too wise as the rules of the road will also apply there and police could take some stiff action right up to losing your licence.

I admit to popping wheelies, ever since my first on a bicycle in the ’60s. And who can forget the opening scenes of On Any Sundays with the kids popping wheelies on their bicycles and laughing.

They may be fun, but they are also dangerous. We’ve all seen YouTube evidence of wheelies gone wrong.

Our advice is to save the wheelies for off-road use where they are a safety device for hopping rocks and logs or leave it to the professional stuntmen like Dave McKenna (see video below).

We’ve all popped wheelies in our time, but be aware that rather than a display of riding skill, it is now considered hoon behaviour with dire consequences.

Pop a wheelie or do a burnout in Queensland and your bike could be confiscated for 90 days – the toughest anti-hoon penalty in Australia.

Do it again in the next five years and your bike could be sold or crushed. No third strike rule there. Two strikes and you’re out!

Other hoon activities include street racing and evading police.

A hoon hotline has been set up. (Do you really want to know the number? Ok, it’s 13HOON or 134666. Note the last three numbers. Coincidence? We think not!)

MBW does a wheelie in a private carpark Triumph Street Triple
MBW performs a wheelie in a private carpark

Victoria upped the anti-hoon ante in 2011 when they increased the confiscation period for first offences from 48 hours to 30 days. Score three strikes in three years and your vehicle can be sold or crushed.

You could also be charged with “careless driving” and cop a $295 fine and three demerit points.

In NSW, police can confiscate your number plates on the spot or impound your vehicle for three months for street racing and burnouts, but owners can apply to the courts for an early release. Repeat offenders can lose their vehicle permanently.

Wheelies could be considered either negligent “driving” (up to $623 fine) or dangerous ($2200 for a first offence).Peeves wheelie licence

In South Australia, police can impound your vehicle for popping a wheelie which is termed “misuse of a vehicle” and you’ll also cop four demerit points.

Dangerous or “anti-social driving” in Western Australia will result in your bike being impounded for 28 days for a first offence and three months for a second offence. There are also fines up to $3000 and demerit points.

In Tasmania, “reckless or dangerous driving” can result in clamping or impounding the vehicle even if it isn’t yours, arrest, a court appearance, $600 fine, loss of licence for up to two years, or jail for three months. And that’s for a first offence!

Subsequent offences mean the vehicle could be forfeited.

And remember, video evidence from an action camera on your helmet or bike could incriminate you!

 

3 Comments

  1. Just imagine if cars popped wheelies every time you hit the power or endo’d when hitting the brakes too hard. It would make the school run interesting! Point is, it’s stupid, dangerous and totally unnecessary and above all, not cool anymore

  2. I accidently popped a mono when my brother was sitting on the back one time.

    He wasn’t sitting particularly far back and he isn’t particularly heavy but the shocks were particularly soft… which moved the weight back too far… and made it much too easy to accidentally pop a mono.

    It wasn’t a particularly vigorous take-off so we were both surprised when it happened.

    Worst thing was it was right in front of the Footscray Police station.

    How would you tell the difference between an accidental mono and one done on purpose?

    I suspect anyone watching would have thought it was done on purpose (given the location).

    That experience prompted me to put in heavier springs in all my XT600’s (I owned 6 of them).
    The rear shocks were very soft on all XT’s.

    🙂

  3. I would hope mr plod would use some common sense in determining what constitutes a wheelie? I have unintentionally lifted the front wheel on a number of occasions just moving off at the lights with only a small amount of throttle. The only time I have ever intentionally popped a wheelie was when entertaining the kids in the back yard at a birthday party.
    I had my nine year old niece screaming do it again go faster and stop no more do it again all in the same sentence and not wanting to get off to let the others have a go.
    So I hope the fun police restrict their crackdown to those who deserve it.

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