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Old 06-21-2002, 03:46 PM
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Post How to pick up a fallen motorcycle

How to pick up a fallen motorcycle
from America's Backroad Reader, June 1997
The right way makes it easy, the wrong way will send you to a chiropractor, or worse.

Even a big touring bike can be lifted solo if necessary. Here are some tips.

Do not try to lift the bike with your arms or back. You should use the largest muscles in your body instead - your legs.

Turn off the ignition if it's still on. If you can put the bike in gear to lock the rear wheel, do so (after you shut off the ignition). Turn the front wheel as far as possible towards the ground. If possible, turn it to its stop and lock it in place. You may have to jerk hard on the handlebar to get the wheel turned, but this is a very important step. Why? Because by turning the wheel towards the ground, the frame is lifted off the ground. This means you are reducing the lean angle before you even begin to try to pick up the machine.

If the bike happens to be on its left side, you should check that the side stand is up, if possible. If it is on its right side, you must make sure the sidestand is down (before you pick up the bike!).

Next, you are going to plant your butt (not your hip) on the seat. Face away from the motorcycle and lean against the seat such that the top half of your cheeks are above your contact with the seat and the bottom half are pressed solidly against the seat. Your feet should be spread no wider than your shoulder width and planted firmly (you are wearing rubber soled boots, right?) on the ground away from the bike by a couple of feet. Your knees should be bent at about a 40 to 50 degree angle - anything more than that and you will probably not be able to straighten them. Indeed, though you may want some bend, the less bend in the knees that you can manage, the easier this effort will be. What limits your choice is the length of your legs.

Now you need to grasp your motorcycle with your hands on both sides of your body. You need to hold onto the bottom handlebar grip and the frame under the seat. Keep your arms as straight as possible - remember, the muscle work is coming from your legs. Now simply walk backwards (tiny steps, please) as you push against the seat. If the bike has a lean angle of 45 degrees or more, you must also lift. Be careful - keep your arms and back straight and don't lift with them.

As you approach vertical, the majority of the bikes weight will be on the tires. Proceed slowly to prevent going too far, causing it to fall over on its other side.

Once vertical, carefully lower the side stand and rest the bike on it. If the bike had fallen on the right side, gently allow the bike to come to rest on the side stand. (You did remember to lower it like I told you?)
 

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