How to Pick Up a Fallen Quarter-Ton Motorcycle… By Yourself

How to Pick Up a Fallen Quarter-Ton Motorcycle… By Yourself

  • Have you ever dropped your Motorcycle? THUD! And the obscenity-laden tirade ensues as you survey the damage.


    Maybe you use straps instead of the Biker Bar when you trailer your Harley, making it more unstable. 


    Even the most careful, experienced riders have to pick up a fallen motorcycle every once in a blue moon. And that’s a lot more complicated than it sounds when your bike weighs a quarter ton, give or take 100 pounds.


    Ideally, you’ll have friends nearby who can help you pick up your motorcycle, and we recommend getting help whenever possible. Also, you definitely should NOT try to pick up your bike if it’s leaking fluids, it’s on steep terrain that could cause it to roll, or y ou have back problems or health issues that could be aggravated.


    There’s a name for people who insist on trying to prove how tough they are by not using their heads in these situations. We call them hospital patients.


    But if you’re on your own and you’re not in a potentially dangerous situation, there’s definitely a safe technique for picking up your motorcycle by yourself.


    Before you get started, stop the engine, put it in gear to prevent rolling, place the side-stand down if the motorcycle is on its right side, and make sure you have traction next to the bike.


    Teaching how to pick up a fallen motorcycle


    To lift the motorcycle, follow these steps:

    1)      Squat down with your back towards the seat of the motorcycle.

    2)      Grab the back fender from the bottom and the lower handlebar grip – knuckles out, palms in.

    3)      Position your rear end between the center and upper edge of the seat.

    4)      Place your feet together underneath you or with one foot forward so you can push without slipping.

    5)      Push back using your lower body muscles, not your back or arms. Try slightly different stances and body positioning if necessary.

    6)      Rock the bike up to a 45 degree angle.

    7)      Adjust your body position so your feet are close together and your rear end is in the middle of the seat.

    8)      Using your lower body muscles, lean back and take small steps backward until the bike is standing up straight, and rest the bike on the kickstand.


    If your motorcycle fell on the side-stand side, follow the same steps but don’t push the bike completely upright because you risk dropping it the other way.


    When the motorcycle is nearly upright, you can either use your heel to put the side stand down and rest the bike on it, or you can very carefully turn your body so you’re facing the motorcycle, grab both handgrips, and use your toe to put the side stand down.


    You don’t have to be a power lifter to pick up your bike, and you don’t need the help of five people. All you need is the right technique and a little patience. Use leverage, not brawn.


    Of course, when you trailer your Harley or park it in the garage, the Biker Bar makes it virtually impossible to drop your bike, and it won’t tip over if someone bumps into it. Hey, wouldn’t life be easier if you didn’t have to pick up your bike in the first place?

    Special thanks to our friends at Harley Davidson and Carol Youorski of Pink Ribbon Rides for sharing these safe techniques for picking up a motorcycle!