Pull two wheelies in Illinois, go to jail

Dailies -



A new law that went into effect on January 1st in Illinois attaches specific legal penalties to wheelies. Pull a wheelie once, while exceeding the speed limit, and the minimum fine attached to that specific offense is $100. Twice: up to $1,500 and six month in jail. Three times? $2,500 and a year of hard time.

Photo: Zgradis

Illinois Senate Bill 3452, which was passed last July, address various actions and parts related to motorcycle safety. It also becomes an offense to remove both hands from the handlebars while the bike is in motion or to fit handlebars that reach higher than the rider’s head. No more ape hangers. Much of the bill though focusses on stunting, in addition to those wheelies, it also bans the practice of sitting or standing on any part of the motorcycle that’s not the actual seat.

In the law, a wheelie is defined as, “operating a motorcycle, motor driven cycle or moped on one wheel.” Presumably, the same penalties are then attached to stoppies.

In most places, a wheelie just falls under the generic “reckless driving” catch all along with other nebulously defined offenses like driving/riding in a dangerous manner. The Illinois law is remarkable in attaching specific penalties to wheelies.

Embedded below is the complete text of SB 3425.

  • kentaro

    Yet another reason to ride completely around Illinois.

    • wes roberts

      Good. Thank you for keeping wreckless motorcycle operation out of Illinois. While you are at it, keep it out of Ohio too. There is no place for motorcycle “stunting” on public roads. Keep it on the track, stay off the roads. Ride safe.

      • 8v92

        Do you ever stand on the pegs when going over a bump, or pull up on the bars to lighten the load when going down into a pothole? Neither of those are legal in Ill. now!

        • http://www.operationtechnology.com/ Operation Technology

          Do you stand on pegs”while speeding” over bumps or stunt to lighten the load?

      • nick2ny

        Now wheelies are reckless? I’m willing to bet car drivers kill a lot more innocent bystanders and riders per vehicle mile than do motorcyclists. Do you ride motorcycles Wes? Can you wheelie them?

      • roma258

        You lost me at wreckless.

      • orthorim

        “wes” roberts with 1 post? obvious troll, don’t pay attention. yes. trolls. they post things they think will elicit strong responses.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1396992384 Tony Natola

        So how many people are killed by stunting a year in Illinois? How many people are killed by drunks and texting – get a clue man!

      • Hoover Niebold

        Asshats gonna asshat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/supersick58 Lindsay Ross


    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.berndt.73 Jonathan Berndt

      oh boy glad i dont have one of those! wow a monster S4RS, surely one of the scariest rides out there!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Mucci/91000156 Dave Mucci

    From the same state that put “Report Reckless Motorcycles” on the illuminated signs over the highways. Meanwhile texting while driving in IL is considered a petty offense with no jail time. But it’s those damn Ruff Ryders that are the REAL problem apparently…

    • Hoover Niebold

      I report every idiot on the road not just bikes. Dash cams are great and have excellent resolution that law enforcement absolutely LOVES to review.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OMG.Awesome Clint Keener

    I hate stunting on public roads, but I’m not sure if this bill is a good thing.

  • http://twitter.com/KeyserBroze JB

    Little kids love wheelies. This is a law against inspiring spontaneous, unbridled joy in the little boys and girls of Illinois. Think of the children, man… The children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.c.cade Brian Curtis Cade

    Wow, did they give much thought into the increase this will cause in evasion?

    Also IIRC Illinois has no helmet law…

    • Hoover Niebold

      One can only hope it increases because most end in the rider meeting the ground. Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

  • http://twitter.com/KeyserBroze JB

    On a serious note, having spent a lot of time working in rural Illinois and knowing what the riders out there are like, I can comfortably assume that the Harley riders, a group that makes up the lion’s share of riders out there, is behind this legislation. Think about it; they’ve banned exhibitionist behavior typical of young sportbike riders, but have also gone so far as to outlaw certain practical riding behavior akin to the Aventure Touring and Commuter types. Meanwhile, the state continues to be a helmet free state so you can still “ride free” on your road king.

    • Isambard

      Say what you want about the Harley guys, they’re organized. But yeah, it sucks.

  • Heatsoak

    And you definitely don’t want to lane-split in Indiana. Whoa boy do those cage drivers get pissed when you do that!

    • Hoover Niebold

      And how do you feel about flat bed duallys with very large fixed steel mirrors? Wanna feel one and see?

      • Heatsoak

        I have felt a mirror or two in my life. But lane-splitting is still going to happen, whether i’m in California or not.

  • maxkohl

    ” it also bans the practice of sitting or standing on any part of the motorcycle that’s not the actual seat.”

    I’m sorry but how the fuck are you supposed to go over bumps and use your legs to absorb the shock?

  • http://twitter.com/DirtCrasherJB Joe Bar

    Pretty much the same in VA. It’s “reckless driving”. They can really throw the book at you.

  • Chris Reedy

    I’ll preface that I’m not a lawyer, but the law seems to read that these penalties are for “Aggrivated operation….one wheel.” which is the operation of a vehicle on one wheel while also violating section (b), I’m assuming of the previous code, where it states that you must have one leg on each side, facing forward, etc. So in reality I think this law might be more of a “get caught stunting in the street twice and go to jail” law than just the wheelie part.

  • Isambard

    Actually, that’s illegal too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/OMG.Awesome Clint Keener

      Will they put you in jail for a year if you do it?

      • Isambard

        No, you’re right – it’s a moving violation. The worst that can happen, if you don’t cause an accident texting behind the wheel, is losing your license. Although I guess you could argue that if you persisted driving beyond that point you could end up in jail. But it’s not like the judge HAS to jail you for a year if you get busted for wheelies three times, either – that’s just the maximum possible sentence for a class A misdemeanor.

        In my experience, it’s almost impossible to end up behind the bars of an Illinois prison for anything you do on the road, however dangerous or stupid, as long as it doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol. I’d be surprised if this law changes that, in practice.

        Most folks who’ve been busted for wheelieing that many times are probably riding without a license at that point anyway.

        • anon

          These are basically the same fines as for speeding in Illinois. 30 over is 6 months $1500 and 40 over is a year and $2500, though nobody ever gets these sentences.

  • Hoover Niebold

    Wheeling is fine if it’s not on the streets and over the speed limit. As it should be. Having had a bike pass my family on the left side on the interstate on one wheel and then promptly leave the roadway to tumble down the embankment I completely agree with this law. I felt no remorse for driving on and not subjecting my children to the outcome of this riders asshattery. Others behind us stopped and I learned later that he only had minor injuries. Lucky for him it was just grass and he’s also lucky I wasn’t alone and stopped to find him ok because he certainly wouldn’t have been straight away thereafter.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scottbaker610 Scott Baker

      Christ, you are the worst person ever. You would leave a guy in a ditch to die because he was stupid? Really? And you’re really so petty to report every person on the road you think deserves it? God I hope you’re a troll, I don’t want people like you on my planet.

      • Hoover Niebold

        No I chose not to subject my family to the outcome of the asshats irresponsible actions. Others were stopping behind me and alas I am no medic. How would you feel about your 3 and 7 year old child watching a person commit a tragic injury to himself Scott? Would you subject them to it if given a choice? And no I don’t send video in very often at all but when a semi nearly takes off my rear bumper and continues menacing for several miles or a construction truck and trailer goes screaming by on the interstate with a load of rebar in and out of the median I did send those in. I also reported a neighbor that was beating his girl back in college too. I’m such a horrible person.

  • Former Illinois

    Hello Hoover Niebold. Can I borrow your cam this weekend? Your girl and I need to tape something from the seat of my cycle.

    • Hoover Niebold

      No. I will be using it to video some wheelies and what not through the snow on some single track with the newly studded tires on the TTR. Perhaps you could send me some pics of your girl and I could be persuaded to loan it to you another day tho.

  • nick

    Solution: wheelie within the speed limit. Hint: I gave part of a great bike’s name in the solution.

    • Hoover Niebold

      Oh Obvious Reasonable Nick.

  • karlInSanDiego

    Two years ago riding up the 5 on commute home at 4:30pm in San Diego, a stunter decided he would show off for me and the cagers. Pulled up along side of my bike, gave me a stare, jetted ahead, and stood on his seat at 75 mph in the center lane in front of me. I just decelerated to 55 hoping the cars behind me might back off enough to give this tool some room to die alone. I’m pretty sure everyone who witnessed the event, thought we were riding together. I would’ve taken him in for wreckless driving and a psych eval if I was a LEO.

  • Blue Milew

    According to CPD (from the last time I got pulled over for lane usage), I am the only person downtown with a enduro/sumo and a neon yellow helmet. FML.

    Also, the new law makes it illegal to have your plate location modified specifically to reduce its visibility. Ask how I know.

    • Hoover Niebold

      Question is why would you want to reduce the ability of others to properly identify your machine? Better plate placement could have maybe reduced your chances of being “the only person with a enduro/sumo and a neon yellow helmet” and confirmed it was indeed not you. Unless of course it was.

      • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.jung.56 Patrick Jung

        you sounds like a fun person Hoover…

        • Hoover Niebold

          Thanks budday.

  • KeithB

    Really…REALLY! And people who are caught DUI get the chance to keep driving.

    They did something similar in Ontario.

    Apparently the “careless driving” charge wasn’t enough (pretty heavy charge actually) and they implemented a “racing” clause that allows the police to suspend the drivers licence, charge them on the spot and confiscate the vehicle if you are going 50kmh over the limit or doing anything that could be cosidered racing. Like wheelies, stoppies , standing on the seat or, wait for it…..actual racing on the streets.
    If, as in some cases, you are found not guilty, you still have to pay the fees for the vehicle impoundment and any other costs incurred.
    These are draconian laws which won’t solve anything other than show the lawmakers are doing”something” to fight these bad bad people. (rolls eyes)

  • the 5th

    gotta catch me to write me a ticket

    • Hoover Niebold

      No problem. My video trumps your speed. Try to appear a minivan to avoid being recognized aight?

  • Kr Tong

    Mandatory prison time just means second time offenders are guaranteed to run.

    • Hoover Niebold

      And rid the roads of their bikes and often riders. Win win.

      • theUg

        At the price of higher risk to bystanders? Really, is it a win?

  • stunterx

    HAHA we’re going to do what we love ain’t nothing going to stop that