Have you ever looked at those videos of guys online, popping giant wheelies on their dirt bikes, and just been in awe of how they can get that much leverage on their bike, pop the wheelie, hold the wheelie, and not absolutely destroy the back end of their dirt bike OR the plastics kit attached to it?
These wheelie bars are great, so let's jump into the why.
What is a Wheelie Bar?
Dirt bike wheelie bars, also known as dirt bike wheelie guards, serve several purposes. The first, foremost, and most obvious, is, well, to help you pop wheelies on your bike.
A dirt bike bar does several things to make it easier for you to pop, and hold your wheelie, but they also come with different specialties depending on the style, as there are several different kinds, each with different capabilities.
For the sake of brevity, we're going to go over the two main styles, and talk about the pros and cons of each.
Yamaha WR250R/WR250X Wheelie Bar
This dirt bike wheelie bar is the most basic model you're going to find. It is exactly what it says it is; a bar. There are no wheels attached to it, or anything fancy like a few of the other models have, it's simply a bar on the back of your back that you prevent the back of your bike itself from getting all scraped up by the road when you decide to pop the front tire up.
However, that's not all you can use this bar for. Like many of the most simple inventions and components, it has many uses.
If you're needing extra leverage to get your front tire in the air, this bar is perfect. A simple, "C" shaped piece of metal attached to the back of your bike, not only will it catch your bike when it hits the ground, but it's also a place you can put your foot to get the extra leverage needed to actually get your bike to do a wheelie in the first place, which, on its own, is not necessarily an easy feat on its own. Just, you know, be careful.
Like I mentioned before, this wheelie bar can serve a number of other purposes. Since it extends behind the bike, you actually increase your carrying capacity when you use the bar, as far as available space goes.
You don't need to buy special bags for your bike, or any special contraptions that you'll only attach on the occasion where you're using your bike to hair stuff. Attach the wheelie bar, grab a bungee cord, and you are good to go. You can tie and strap almost anything duffle bag sized or smaller to it without having any kind of a problem.
You can also fit more people on your bike! Will this happen often? Probably not. Dirt bikes aren't really designed to carry more than one person, but, since the wheelie bar extends the back of your bike, you'll be able to fit one, maybe two more people onto the bike behind you! Why would you do that? I'm not sure, honestly. but you could, if you felt so possessed to have a higher chance of crashing your bike.
Ease of Installation
This wheelie bar and most of the others like it (as far as built and style goes) are incredibly user-friendly, and very easy to install, unlike that dresser you bought from IKEA.
Do you have to cut or adjust your plastics to get it attached? Absolutely not, nobody wants to ruin the flow and aesthetic of their bike, at least I wouldn't. Do you have to do to any welding to get it to stay? Nope! You don't have to worry about making any of those permanent or expensive changes to your bike, and you don't have to get your bike taken into a mechanic, or a specialist to get it installed.
This specific wheelie bar or guard take four bolts, and very basic tools to install it. Once you've got the bar in hand, less than ten minutes later it's attached and you're ready to go! No stress, no overthinking or permanent changes to the infrastructure of your bike, and you're off to try your first wheelie! Wear a helmet and pads, you're going to crash.
Short Fuse Motorsports Corp.WHEELIE GUARD v2.0
This, right here, is the wheelie bar I would choose if I were to attach a wheelie bar to my bike for the sake of popping wheelies. Which I never will. But if I did, this is the one I would use. Why? Well. Let me tell you.
This wheelie bar is a lot safer as far as actually popping up your bike goes.
This wheelie bar attaches to the side of the bike, near the back of the tire. Instead of just being a "C" shaped bar of metal that attaches to the back of the bike, this wheelie bar actually extends behind the bike and has an additional wheel attached to the end.
Being built this way has a NUMBER of pros when it comes to actually pop wheelies. For example, since it's more like an "arm" instead of a bar, you don't have to lean back NEARLY as far to hit the wheelie bar and actually be able to hold your wheelie with the support of the guard.
This wheelie bar comes capable of adjusting the length and the angle of the "arm", which enables you to decide just exactly how far back you want to lean back before the guard actually hit the road, giving you far more versatility and more customization than the other wheelie bar offers.
To be clear, the other wheelie bar offers you exactly none. None of those things.
Did I mention that it actually has a wheel attached to the end of it? Why, yes, yes I did. That wheel is the reason I absolutely love this wheelie bar. When the back of the guard its the road, instead of grinding metal on the pavement, as the other wheelie bar does, the wheel on this wheelie bar GREATLY reduces friction and drag, helping your speed and not putting so much strain on the body of your bike, or the area where the wheelie bar is actually attached to your bike.
Now, in addition to that wonderful wheel, why do I love this wheelie bar? Let me tell you.
Who among us just absolutely loves crashing our dirt bikes, recovering, and then looking over our bikes to see just exactly what the damage is. New scratches are common, and heaven forbid something happens to the plastics, like a crack. (If you really don't like this, don't do wheelies, you're going to crash. Why would you do that to your bike.)
If you can't tell, I hate damaging the body of my bike. Or the engine for that matter. This style of wheelie bar offers far greater fender clearance, which means that the chances of me scraping up my fender are way reduced. In addition to that, since you don't have to lean back nearly as far, the chances of you over correcting and crashing your bike are minimized, which means you don't have to worry as much about hospital bills for you, or mechanics visits for your bike. Getting things repaired is always expensive, whether it's you or your bike.
All Said and Done...
When all is said and done, the kind of wheelie bar you're going to want is going to depend on what exactly you're wanting from your bike. The Yamaha wheelie bar most certainly offers more versatility when it comes to offering more than just not scraping the crap out of the back of your bike.
The Short Fuse Motorsports wheelie bar doesn't offer as many other "features", but it does, in my mind, help you actually pop, and hold your wheelies FAR better than the other wheelie bar will. This wheelie bar would be much better if you're wanting to pop wheelies as a beginner, or if you're worried about crashing your bike.