So I took a plunge and signed up for the wheelie school at Stunt Asylum (North Weald Airfield) a couple months ago and yesterday the training day finally arrived.
The day starts around 9:00 and ends at 16:00 and you get plenty of time (I had just enough by the end of the day to feel tired). There were 9 people attending so they split us into groups of 3 and we did the exercises in turns. Each mini session lasts for about 15 minutes so if you’re in group 3 you have to wait for half an hour to have a go. It’s not too bad though as you get to watch others make mistakes and hopefully learn from them (it’s so easy to judge others! :D).
You spend the first two sessions on quad bikes (Honda TRX 400), first learning to find the bite point and eventually to wheelie them in preparation for motorbikes. Having never ridden one it took a while to adjust to the not being able to lean but it didn’t take me too long before I could already wheelie them. You can’t really pull long wheelies on quads as all their power is in the low revs and you need to start going through gears in order to prolong that (didn’t learn to do that just yet) but they’re still good fun and inspire confidence before you lose two wheels.
Once the first two sessions are done, you jump onto Fazers. Again, as with quads, the first session on bikes is all about clutch control and feeling the bite point. Once you’ve learned that all subsequent sessions pretty much involve you practising wheelies on your own with occasional input from instructors if they see you doing something wrong.
All in all I can say nothing but good about the whole experience - instructors were knowledgeable and helpful and the whole atmosphere was very friendly. The weather was perfect for this type of activity too so, in my view, money and time well spent. If anyone wants to learn to do wheelies properly and in a safe environment, this is definitely a place to go to.
Here’s a video of one of my wheelies that a guy from another group shot (I’m the second one, on the silver bike):
Additionally here’s what the instructors are capable of: