The wreck shut down the Belt Highway in both directions near Lafayette Street.
Officers say a 23-year-old Wathena man tried to pop a wheelie on his motorcycle when he lost control of his bike and was thrown off.
Police say he was wearing a helmet but still suffered a significant head injury.
"I don't think speeds were necessarily that excessive, just the careless, trying to show off and do a wheelie," said officer Chris McBane, St. Joseph Police Department.
The rider was ticketed for careless driving.
His name has not been released.