They might look stock, but most stunt bikes are heavily modified to withstand the rigors of stunting and allow for bigger tricks. These are some common mods Aaron Colton (whose bike is pictured here) and other riders make.
1. On most bikes, the rear brake is operated by a right foot pedal. For added control, stunt bikes have an extra brake lever mounted to the left handlebar.
2. A steering stabilizer on the handlebars reduces wobbles when Colton rides a stoppie—which is just like a wheelie but on the front wheel.
3. Riders sculpt concave divots into their gas tanks, which they can use as steps and seats. The divots are covered in rubber for extra grip.
4. Stunting doesn’t allow for passengers, so rear seats are carved into footholds for riders to stand on during wheelies.
5. Top riders frown upon tail-protecting wheelie bars used by amateurs. Instead, pros use small titanium plates that throw sparks when the tail scrapes asphalt.
6. Stunters tweak their mufflers and exhaust systems for lower weight, smooth power delivery, and maximum low-end torque.
7. To reduce lever effort and increase braking precision, stunt riders double the number of brake calipers on each wheel.
8. Stoppies and aerial tricks are punishing to forks. Some riders use bulked-up forks designed for racing; Colton adjusts the springs and valves of stock forks to maximize control.