Picking Up A Dropped Motorcycle

It's probably one of the most embarrassing moments in a biker's lifetime: dropping your motorcycle. It usually happens to everyone, one moment of inattention, a slippage of your foot, some loose gravel, or even something that was not your fault (like car car bumping into your bike while it was trying to park).
So now you need to pick it up. If you have got a 50cc moped, it's not an issue, even if you have no body strength. But if you were riding a Honda Gold Wing, or a full dresser Harley, it is not that obvious. Another area where motorcycles get dropped frequently, but requires a different technique is off road riding.
Whatever way you try to pick up your bike, you will always need to do the following:
1.Turn the engine off
2.If possible, put the bike into gear (this way it'll not slide away)
3.If possible, extend the kickstand
4.Make sure there is nothing that will make the tires slip (oil, gravel)
So here are two ways of picking up your motorcycle:
1. Medium to Heavy Motorcycles
This technique involves using your legs as leverage. Put your butt against the center of the motorcycle, which is usually the last part of the biker's saddle.
Place one hand on the pillion grab handle or luggage rack (or whatever else there is to hold on to), and the other hand on the handlebar.
Pull the handlebar towards the fuel tank (if possible).
Push your butt with your legs strongly into the bike. Make sure your knees are bent (one foot forwards, or both feet level – choice is yours). While pushing yourself into the bike, slowly straighten your legs (stand up). This will cause the bike to slowly straighten without using your back and upper body. It sounds complicated, but it's not. Once you do it, it's straightforward. You can do it in stages, rocking the bike a bit.
Here's a video to show you how to do it:

2. Lighter Off Road/ Trail Motorcycles
When your motorcycle falls down while riding off road, something that is normal and happens frequently, there is a different technique. Obviously this will not work if your motorcycle weighs a ton and you aren't that strong (I have managed several times to pick up a BMW R1150GS this way, but using the method described above would have been better; but that is not always possible with such a heavy dual-purpose bike).
But if you are riding something less than or equal to a 650 cc bike, this technique works well especially since smaller displacement bikes are lower, so putting your butt down onto the bike can be problematic if you are tall.
First thing you need to do is make sure your motorcycle is not pointing up or worse, pointing down. So if your bike has gone down while riding a hill, grab the handlebars and turn your motorcycle so it'll not run downhill when you have picked it up (I have seen that a couple of times, it can be quite funny – unless it's your bike).
Stand between the front wheel and the fuel tank. Hold the handlebars with both hands, turn the handlebars slightly towards the other side and straighten your body. The bike lifts itself easily and you can control it better, especially when you are in the dirt, mud or gravel.
Here is a video showing you the technique:

So whatever technique you'll be using, make sure you never put pressure on your back. And don't be embarrassed. Everyone will eventually drop their bike. It's only a question of time.

1 Comment to Picking Up A Dropped Motorcycle

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Very good method, smooth. I saw a guy do it once, but in the rush of things, I didn`t notice exactly how it was done. Now, you have illustrated the technique well. Thanks.

8/13/2015 at 12:08 am