Here's Why You Need Wheelie Bars On Your Racecar! | Street Outlaws

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

If you watch Street Outlaws with any regularity, you’ve seen how hard these cars launch, and how high they can pick the front end up, even on a surface as tricky as virgin road they sometimes use for testing. When they find themselves on a road with a lot of rubber or at the dragstrip, they can really send the nose high in the air, making wheelie bars even more of a necessity.

The main goal of the wheelie bars is to control how high the nose of the car comes off the ground when the driver drops the hammer. If the nose gets too high, the driver not only loses the ability to steer the car, but eventually the back bumper will drag the ground, followed by the car slamming back to earth and likely breaking parts. Wheelie bars keep that from happening, but they also do more than that.

As Big Chief points out in this video, wheelie bars can be used to “soften the hit”, meaning that when the car leaves and the wheelie bars hit the ground, they act as a lever and lift the rear tires slightly, allowing them to slip in a controlled manner without fully losing traction and going up in smoke. Also, if the car has a tendency to go to the right or left under hard acceleration, and the front wheels are off the air, you can’t really steer the car back into the groove with the steering wheel. If they’re setup just right, you can actually use the wheelie bars to steer the car while the nose is in the air, like a boat’s rudder. All of this takes time and testing to learn, and constant adjustment to keep everything working as expected. A good set of wheelie bars is worth their weight in chromoly, and often cost more!

All of this takes time and testing to learn, and constant adjustment to keep everything working as expected. A good set of wheelie bars is worth their weight in chromoly, and often cost more!