Learning Curves: Lifting a Fallen Bike
A few years ago at the Sturgis Rally, a woman at one of the vendor exhibits was demonstrating how to lift a fallen bike. I am sure she was well under 120 lbs. and to watch her lift a full-dressed touring bike sold me.
The first rule is to not drop a bike, and for sure, if you are alone or it’s just you and your 110 lb. passenger. But, it happens to all of us at one time or another so here is a summary of the steps for a recovery as written by Carol Youorski a 5'3", 118 lb. biker who demonstrates the technique to rally-goers.
- Shut off the engine.
- Put the bike into gear so it won’t roll away. If you can’t put it into gear, wrap something around the front brake lever and handgrip to keep the bike from rolling while being lifted.
- Squat down, facing away from the bike, with your butt against the saddle. If the bike is on its left side, use your right hand to grasp the left handgrip. If the bike is on its right side your left hand will grasp the right handgrip.
- Locate your backside low against the seat at a location that gives you the greatest leverage. If your butt is too high or too low you will not have the leverage needed to lift the bike.
- Find a sturdy part of the motorcycle below the seat and close to your body for your other hand to grab onto.
- Position your feet close together with your knees bent and your feet out in front of you.
- Pull the handlebar full lock toward the gas tank. Keep your arms locked to brace yourself.
- Use your thigh muscles to walk backward toward the bike, taking short steps and pushing your butt into the bike’s saddle. Use your leg power to gradually inch the bike up. If you’re not making any progress, rest the bike and start again, repositioning your butt or feet for better leverage. As the bike becomes vertical, it will be much easier to raise, so take care not to push it over onto its other side.
- Once the bike is upright, use the heel of your boot to put the side stand down. If the bike is lying on the right-hand side, put the side stand down before attempting to lift it.
It will take a bit of practice to get it right, but once you do, you’ll be able to lift your bike with surprisingly little effort.
So there you have it. You may want to drop your bike a few times in the front yard just to show the neighbors your new trick or just save the information for the day you really need it.
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