How To Pick Up A Motorcycle (Large & Small)

Step 1. Don’t Take A Nap

NEWSFLASH: Your motorcycle is going to fall over. It’s just a matter of time. It’s possible that the laws of physics and dumb luck will work against you at the worst possible time. Maybe you’ll be in front of a large group of peers you’re hoping to impress, or getting off your bike in a parking lot and forget to put the kick stand down. Hopefully you’ve outfitted your motorcycle with some world class crash protection to help keep your engine safe. No matter where you are, there is generally a right way, and a wrong way to pick up your bike. In this post and related video, we’ll go over the best practices for a single person pickup on large and small motorcycles, as well as a single person pick up on a large ADV bike.

Your Motorcycle Fell Over. Now What?

  • Turn off your bike. It probably already stalled, but if it hasn’t, hit the kill switch before the engine starves itself of oil.
  • Put it in gear. This will keep it from rolling away from you as you’re trying to right it.
  • If the motorcycle fell kickstand side up, take a moment to put the stand down before you begin lifting. You don’t want it to go “over center” and end up laying on the other side.
  • Turn the handlebars so the steering is against the lock. You don’t want the bars moving just when you’re applying lifting force.
  • Lean your butt against the seat and slowly start to walk backwards, slowly tilting the bike toward vertical. You’re lifting at the same time. Do the work with your legs and not your back.

That’s pretty much it. For a more detailed look at how this can be done in pairs, and with different sized motorcycles, take a look at the video below.

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