Watch This Motorcycle’s Wheel Pop Off Mid-Ride

When “popping a wheelie” becomes a little too literal.

Popping a wheelie on a motorcycle comes with a few inherent risks, but most of those can be more or less cancelled out through some basic safety measures: using a helmet, wearing a cycle jacket, not popping a wheelie in the first place. To that list, however, we are now forced to add an addition that should have been obvious: make sure your front fork is securely fastened, or else your motorcycle's wheel might pop off.

The video, which we originally found on LiveLeak but have embedded below via YouTube, is a simple comedy in two acts:

ACT ONE: A young man buzzes around an empty parking lot on a small motorcycle or dirt bike, repeatedly lifting his front wheel into the air as he rides around. His friends watch from afar.

ACT TWO: The front wheel of the motorcycle pops off, catching the rear of the bike and propelling it skyward. The young man on the bike suddenly finds himself flying through the air, suspended only by momentum and his own disbelief.

And yet words cannot define the sheer sense of schadenfreude that comes over the viewer in that moment where bike and rider pop into the air with an almost childlike sense of abandon. It's as though kismet, sensing the wheel fork's imminent collapse, convinced gravity to take a split-second breather, just to give the motorcycle and its youthful occupant a chance to gain the ideal amount of altitude for maximum humor.

It is, oddly, beautiful. And also painful. But above all, funny.

And as always, when documenting your friends' potential acts of vehicular idiocy, we at The Drive remind you to shoot horizontally.