Top 10 Motorcycles For Wheelies

Share this Article

7. Suzuki SFV650/Gladius/ SV650

Suzuki Gladius Wheelie

The SFV650 (nee Gladius) makes this list because it’s closely related to the beloved SV650 that continues to hold a special place in our hearts for its playful nature and budget price tag. Although it has the smallest-displacement engine on this list, the torque thrust out by its willing V-Twin powerplant supplies ample torque for exuberant wheelies when provoked, even if they require a bit of a clutch dump. It’s an affordable way to get a wheelie-capable streetbike.

Related Reading
2013 Suzuki SFV650 Review
2011 Hyosung GT650 Vs. Suzuki Gladius Shootout
2009 Naked Middleweight Comparison
2006 Suzuki SV650S V. 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Get Motorcycle.com in your Inbox

28 Comments

  1. Posted October 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Kawasaki ZX6R B1. All you had to do was give it full throttle in first gear and hold it wide open till 11k rpm. No skills required!

    • 'Mike Smith
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Try it on a R1!

      • Jarett Bailey
        Posted October 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        R1 are a very oversquare engine. Out of the 1000 class def not the best wheelie bike. Unless you are referring particularly to the newer cross-plane bike.

        • Luan Boshoff
          Posted October 24, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          I flipped both my R1′s with its STUPID limited slipper… Never on my blade

  2. Jacob Evans
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    How did a KTM 990SD make the list? 75deg vTwin, wheelies in every gear (with stock gearing), granted 2 KTM’s did make the list (3 if you count dirtbikes), so I’ll accept that.

  3. Jason Loy
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    as an owner of a 2010 speed triple I agree. And would have even if I didn’t own one. It is a Holligans hooligan.

  4. Rob In Cali
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Having ridden most of these bikes I’d agree with some, like the Speed Triple and Z1000, but I think the Gladius/SV is too underpowered to really cut it. I’d have to put the 02/03 GSXR1000 on this list as I nearly flipped the first time I tried to wheelie one….in second gear!

    • Kevin Duke
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      I tried to include a variety of bikes, not just the high-hp ones. The pop-up speeds of an SV are lower, but that sweet motor allows carrying it a long distance.

      • GEAH
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        It says, “Top 10″, not “A Variety”.

        • Kevin Duke
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          It also says, “What follows are 10 of my favorites.” :)

  5. Craig Hoffman
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Loved this obviously well “researched” article as I am also a wheelie a holic.

    The best wheelie bike I have ever owned was my ’83 Honda XL600. 5 gear easy balance wheelies were cake on that bike. It just had the perfect solid but not in any way hard hitting power delivery.

    Had a funny episode on a friends naked SV650. Was in mid wheele, which had probably gone on awhile by then, when I saw a cat running across my path just ahead. In that split second motorcyclist in trouble logic, I decided to stay on the gas, because I am a dirt biker, and that is what dirt bikers do. The lofted front tire went over the cat and the rear just missed. It was close.

    My current Husaberg FE450, with it’s crank mounted back and center, is good for wheelies as it has a nice balance point. Power is strong and smooth too. Not epic wheelies like my XL600, but that bike was easier and I was younger and stupider 25 years ago. Here is a clip of me post ride squidding on the ‘Berg :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BioHi9TuL7I

  6. victor perdigon
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I had a sv650. It does have good torque but i blew the engine because the oil was not going threw the engine. The oil pick up in the engine faces forward so when you lift the bike up the oil is not circulating.

  7. monsterduc1000
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    My 2004 zx10r is a wheelie machine as well with just a little tug pulling that nose up under acceleration in 1st and 2nd.

    Totally agree with the Monster as a great wheelie bike! Unfortunately I went over backwards on my 2006 s2r 1000 a few years backs and that ended my wheelie career as the fear is still with me.

  8. Peter Mars
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Stand-ups made easier if you place your left foot on the pillion

  9. Steve Hill
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    As the owner of an 09 STR, I can attest to the triumph’s ability to get up and out of its’ own way…on one or two wheels…and away from other bikes of even greater displacement.

  10. Phaedrus
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Daffy Duck

    Great article to improve our image as responsible citizens!
    Just finishing reading the article on lane splitting. This would play great with the bike friendly people at city hall…

  11. Jarett Bailey
    Posted October 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I was totally expecting to see the TL1000S on the list. Especially the early 1997. I could hardly keep the front wheel on the ground!

  12. Michael Stumbles
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I’d agree with the speed triple being number 1. Here is me on my ’09 model doing the same thing.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=345102214494&l=e4008a58c6

  13. Luan Boshoff
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    S1000 a better wheelie machine than the Blade? Right. . .

    • Kevin Duke
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but barely. The S1000 has more power, but there is no problem whatsoever doing a wheelie on a CBR1000RR.

  14. mike martins
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    How did the 02 – 04 yamaha R1 not make this list?

    • Kevin Duke
      Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      That’s another worth one, and so is the Gen-1 version.

  15. Guest
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    No MT09 and no Kawasaki Versys? Every review say they weelie like nuts…

  16. Gustavo Gonçalves
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Lets forget the obvious examples of RR and liter bikes for a minute… What about the recent MT09 and the wheelie-machine called Kawasaki Versys 650?

    • Kevin Duke
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      The MT(FZ)-09′s ride-by-wire throttle isn’t as predictable as some others, but the grunt from it’s motor makes getting the front wheel up easy! The Versys can do nice, long wheelies, but the best 650cc Twin for wheelies is in a Suzuki. :)

  17. 77BeatsPerMinute
    Posted February 7, 2014 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I heard the new Honda Grom is a wheelie machine. That little putter is the rage right now for noob stunters and pro riders.

  18. Swiftblink
    Posted February 7, 2014 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    Missed one of the best wheelie bikes of 2013/2014
    Yamaha mt-09
    Its not the best bike overall but not many can wheelie that easy like that one :D

  19. rustyman44
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t have alot of experiance in the matter but from a newby I have a 01 gsxr 1000 and only been riding 3 months on first street bike and can pull it up in first gear ride thru it shift to second and keep it up pretty good. It maybe fact that I practiced on a 82 YZ100 for a few year’s, but that was 25yrs ago and not having a bike in between that time.maybe its from memory or I’m not doing as good as I think I am on my gsxr

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>