Whitham's reet good guide to doing a stoppie

The fine art of taking a motorcycle near-vertical on its front wheel laid bare. Just don’t come blubbing to James when she goes over the top

Stoppies, while being as easy as wheelies, are much harder to save if it all starts to go wrong. Consequently, even after you know the theory of how to do one, you need more bottle and confidence to practice than you do to pop the odd wheelie.

Make sure you’re front tyre is warm and the road surface is dry and grippy. Brake gently in a straight line with your arms straight and your knees gripping the tank. When the bike is doing about 5mph, squeeze the front brake lever harder until the rear tyre leaves the ground. You’ll need to be more aggressive with the brake than you think. As the bike stops it’ll plonk the rear wheel back down again. Most people have done this by accident at some point.

Keep doing this, gradually getting the wheel further and further up. You’ll need a bit more speed every time. If at any point you think the rear wheel is going too high, let go of the brake and it’ll come back down. Likewise if the front wheel starts to lock, release the brake lever. The action of letting go of the brake the moment you don’t feel right must become second nature. You’ll find this easier if you brake with two fingers and grip the twistgrip with the remaining digits.

Once you’re confident, do exactly the same thing only at 20mph. Squeeze the front brake lever a little then, when most of the weight has settled on the front tyre, squeeze harder until the rear lifts. Each time it does, only partially release the lever. Keep the deceleration going to keep the rear wheel in the air.