Not wheelie very good

Not wheelie very good

I have just got back into biking (I used to have a Triumph Tiger 500 back in the 1970s – good times) and bought a new Yamaha Rl on which to head out on rides with my mates. I had only had it for a few weeks when I had an incident.

I was out with the boys heading towards the coast when I went to overtake a line of cars. Doing so, I nailed the throttle hard and the front wheel went airborne with the power. Thankfully I managed to get my foot on the back brake and bring it down again and I narrowly avoided hitting a car coming the other way, so no harm done.

The problem is I had overtaken an unmarked police car and they have nicked me for dangerous driving. I want to defend it on the basis the bike was new to me and therefore I couldn’t have known how powerful it was. What do you think?


Firstly, I think you are a muppet. Can’t you control your right hand? Why on earth did you nail the throttle?

I love riding bikes too but nearly hitting another road user because you pulled an uncontrolled wheelie is just not cricket I’m afraid.

In short, do you really want to defend the matter at court by saying you were riding a bike on the road that was too powerful for you to be able to control and that is why you pulled a wheelie? I think the bump protruding from your head after the court throws the book at you will take a while to go down.

In short, if the Crown proves you were pulling a wheelie on the road you will be found guilty of dangerous driving. At the very minimum you will be disqualified for 12 months. At worst… the court does have the power to lock you up for a maximum of two years. That is in addition to a maximum fine of £5000 – with court costs on top of that.

My advice in this situation would be to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity, put forward mitigation and try and obtain the most lenient sentence possible.

Andrew Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly
October 2013

Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: March 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.


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