How to Pick Up a Dropped Motorcycle

Photos: John Gunnell

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No one wants to drop their bike, but the likelihood of it happening at some point is high (we’ve heard legendary stories of sales reps and press bikes and the dangers of not putting the kickstand down at the gas station.)

If you’re a woman with a V-Twin, odds are also high that your bike is going to be bigger than you.  Learning how to properly pick up a dropped bike, minimizing the damage to the motorcycle and to you, is an important skill and a matter of safety, something the Motor Company takes seriously. During the recent Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Rosemont, Ill., a big crowd gathered at the Harley-Davidson booth as H-D demonstrated how to pick up a dropped motorcycle. We’re sharing them with you. A refresher course in safety basics is always worthwhile.

1) Check the area to make sure it is clear and safe. Hit the switch to turn off the engine, then flip the fuel shut off valve. After the motor stops, put the bike  in gear so it won’t roll as you lift it. If the bike is lying on its right side, raise the kickstand so it doesn’t hit the ground as you lift the bike.

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2) Lean your backside against the middle of the saddle, as if you were sitting sidesaddle on the bike. Be sure your backside is not too close to the edge. Correct positioning helps raise the bike.

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3) Grab the handlebar grip with the hand closest to it. Swing the handlebars as close to the gas tank as you can. Find a place to grip the bike with the opposite hand.

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4) Move your feet close together. Press your backside against the bike using your legs and backside to lift it. Keep your back straight to reduce the possibility of an injury.

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5)Use both hands to guide the bike as you lift it up with your legs and backside. When it’s up, stretch the hand that is not on the handlebars  and grab the opposite grip. Then, carefully straighten the handlebars.

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6)When the bike is standing up, put the kickstand down. Check that the motorcycle is stable. Take a deep breathe and relax.

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