Phuzzy's Guide to Stoppies
Stoppies, also known as nose wheelies and endos, are a sure-fire way to gain respect from your motorcycle riding peers. Within this document you will find information gathered over literally hundreds of seconds of stoppie contemplation by that infamous hooligan, PhuzzyGnu.
Part One: Can I Actually Do This?
The answer to this question is a definite maybe. As far as stunts on road-going bikes go, the stoppie ranks right up near the top for damage potential for both you and your bike. Stoppies are troublesome in that if you mess one up, the chances are you will end up on the ground with your bike. Some things to remember:
1: Start out small. Stoppies are not easy. This is why you rarely see them done.
2: Realize the difference between your intentions and your capabilities.
3: Wear gear! As I said, if a stoppie goes wrong you will most likely end up on the ground. Since you are doing a stunt that requires hard use of the brakes, you will most likely not be travelling that fast. However, even at 20 miles per hour or less, a good bump on the noggin can hurt you big time. Road rash doesn't feel too good either. So wear a helmet and gloves and all the rest of the usual stunt gear.
Part Two: Equipment
To do a stoppie on a motorcycle, you need four things. First, you need a motorcycle that is not likely to fall apart under stress. Second, you need good front brakes- after all, you are going to be using them to stand the bike on its nose, right? Third, you need good sticky tires. If your tires are not up to snuff, all you will do is lock the front wheel. Finally, you need good pavement. If you choose to do a stoppie, look for good grippy asphalt or concrete without oil, dirt, or loose surfacing that will come up and dump you on your nose.
Part Three: Location, Location, Location
Find a good spot to practice stoppies. Look for a place with good, clean pavement, for the reasons noted above. Also, look for a place where you can act like a fool without bothering people. Last but not least, make sure there are no police anywhere. Keeping all of this in mind, good places to practice stoppies include clean parking lots, roads fronting co-ed dorms, and the streets adjacent to hospitals.
Part Four: The Man Hates Stoppies
Police hate stunts on motorcycles. If you are on private property and the police find you, at the very least you can expect to be shooed away. If you are unlucky, there are always trespassing and disturbing the peace. If you are on a public road and get caught standing your bike on its nose, you can get nailed for whatever the cop feels like nailing you for. I have a friend who got a ticket for "Exhibition of Deceleration," can you dig?
Part Five: Is This Likely to Break My Bike?
If done right, probably not. Chances are if your bike would be damaged by a stoppie, it wouldn't be capable of doing stoppies in the first place. I have seen pictures of bikes being endoed with their fork tubes bending. The only thing you really have to worry about with a stoppie done right is the back tire slamming back to earth, so maybe your shock might take some abuse. Also, if any bodywork is loose, this may be exacerbated by the aforementioned slamming.
Part Six: What If I Screw This Up?
First of all, If you lock the front wheel while the back is in the air, you will crash, unless you are incredibly lucky. Second, unlike a wheelie, where you can save yourself by slamming the throttle shut and/or hitting the back brake, if you start going too far over in a stoppie, only your God can help you.
If all goes wrong, expect broken bodywork (if your bike is so equipped, bent things if it is not), most likely on the side. Imagine standing your bike on its nose and toppling it, and you can get an idea of the damage. There is also the chance that the bike might flip over the front wheel and bodyslam itself to bits. If you are under it when this happens, you might get squooshed. Ever have a bike fall over on you and bury a peg in your head, your spine, or you grollies? Neither have I, but just imagine..
Part Seven: Let's Stand the Bitch on Her Nose!
There are two kinds of stoppie- The Stopping Stoppie and the Rolling Stoppie. The Stopping Stoppie is easier than the other, so we will start with this one first.
First thing you want to do is make sure your tire is nice and sticky. Ride around with the front brake on a while to warm up the tire. It works nicely.
Next, ride forward and practice mashing the brake. Using all four fingers, get some good hard stops in, testing the limit of the tire. Practice getting the tire to the point of locking so you are familiar with the phenomenon. Get to where if the front tire locks, you know it before it puts you on your ear. You should already know how to do this being a motorcycle person.
Now, having ensured that your tire will not lock easily and knowing what to do if it does, ride forward at about 20 miles per hour. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and on your hands. Pull in the clutch. Now, using all four fingers, progressively squeeze the front brake, loading the front tire. As you get closer to 0 miles per hour, sqeeze harder and harder.
Right before you reach 0, kinda bounce on the pegs and mash the front brake really damn hard while leaning forward slightly to get the weight on the front. Remember what you are doing at this point, you don't want to flip over, ok? So think about it.
Chances are the back won't come up on the first try. Try again, using more brake and more weight transfer. If you do it right, the rear tire will come up slightly. If it is going too high too fast, which it will feel like it is doing no matter what the first few times, let off the front brake. Have your feet ready to put down. Also, make sure you are straight up and down on the bike and not leaning either way. Keep it straight, When the back wheel comes down, you can either ride off, or just sit there.
Now practice it some more, over and over, until you are used to the sensation of the back wheel coming up. Once you are familiar with it, now you can move on.
Part Eight: Moving
Once you are proficient at stoppies at around 0 miles per hour, you can now try the rolling stoppie, which is sure to bring you adoration and attention from the opposite sex.
The process for rolling stoppies is the same as for stopping stoppies, except you are much more likely to crash. Rolling forward at the speed of your choice, on warm, super-sticky sports tires, squeeze the clutch and grab the front lever with all four fingers.
Progressively squeeze the lever, shift your weight forward, bounce on the pegs to unload the rear end, and then clamp them down. If you know what you are doing, the back end will come up. More brakes, more altitude. If it starts getting to high, less brakes. Simple, really (yeah, right).
You can either ride it out to a stop and drop the wheel, or you can release the brake early and drop the rear wheel while moving and ride off.
Gary Rothwell, popular stunt bloke, recently did a rolling stoppie from 108 miles per hour! Apparently, he tried to do it from higher speeds but the front wheel kept locking. I would have pissed myself.
Once you can Endo a bike at a stoplight while eyeing the soccer mom in the minivan next to you, you are ready to take it just a bit further!
Part Nine: Variations
Once you have stoppies down, you can spice them up a little. Here are a few ways.
Wave! I haven't ever done this, but I saw it done. Take off your left hand and wave or flip off whomever. You probably have to a hella-strong right hand and big furry coconuts to do this, or any other variation.
Take feet off! Take one or both feet off and kick them out, for the hell of it.
Bring a friend! If you have a really good bond with someone and think you are up to it, bring them along. I have not done a stoppie with a passenger before, but I have been a stoppied passenger. It scared the hell out of me.
Turn! If you think you can, turn the handlebars and get it sideways. If you come down sideways with any sort of speed, you'll probably drop your bike. It also takes a bit of strength to keep a 500 pound bike in line. It is also possible to do a G-turn, where you pivot around 180 degrees or more on the front tire.
There are probably other variations, but I haven't done them. If you think of any and do any, get some pictures and let me know.
Part Ten: It Ain't My Fault
The author of this Guide takes absolutely no responsibility for the actions of anyone who might read it and practice the techniques described herein. Any damage whatsoever that may arise from attempting stoppies is not Phuzzy's responsibility. By reading and attempting anything contained in this document you are taking your chances. If you crash and burn and maim yourself, you are on your own. Trying to stand a multi-thousand dollar sportbike on its nose is pretty stupid, after all.
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