Ever had to pick your motorcycle up? If you haven’t yet you no doubt will at some stage. Not necessarily from a crash but perhaps because someone pushed your pride and joy over in the parking lot, or you didn’t quite put the kickstand down correctly when getting off. It’s a strugle to lift up smaller bikes, but massive cruisers and tourers? Forget it. A Honda Gold Wing weighs just over 900 lb (408 kg).
But there is a technique that will allow you to pick up even the heaviest of motorcycles with relative ease and won’t destroy your spine in the process.
It’s all to do with your legs. Using your legs instead of your back makes lifting a motorcycle, even massively heavy ones a fairly simple exercise and should be employed by both genders. Guys, you don’t get extra man credit for doing things the hard way.
There’s no doubt a multitude of ways to execute the finer points of this technique but we’ll approach it from a broad and simple perspective, allowing you to fill in the gaps where you see fit.
- Ensure the motorcycle is turned off.
- If you have a carbureted bike, ensure it’s not delivering fuel.
- Where possible, put the bike in gear. The reason behind this is that when you lift the bike – even when on flat ground – the bike will have a tendency to roll forward or backward. Putting it in gear will prevent that.Unfortunately, if the bike is resting on its left side, you won’t be able to access the gear selector. In this case, try your best to pull in the front brake lever as you lift.Also, if the bike is on its right side, extend the kickstand. Again, if it’s resting on its left you’ll have to do this later.
- Standing facing away from the bike, rest your butt against it in its center. Place your left hand on the pillion grab rail (or something similar, perhaps the frame) and your right hand on the bars.
- Pull the bar as close to the tank as possible.
- To lift, you’ll effectively be pushing backwards and upwards with your legs. Start with your knees bent and straighten your legs. This leverage will begin pushing the bike upright.
- Keep pushing backwards. You’ll eventually be able to take a few step backwards towards the motorcycle as it is lifted.
- Once you get it close to upright, extend the kickstand if not already done and let the bike rest back on it.
Voila. You’re done. Trust us, doing it this way will not only save time but it’s safer for you and your bike too. We’ve seen cases of guys lifting motorcycles up with their backs and arms, only to push the bike over on it’s other side because they didn’t have the stamina to control what they were doing properly. Check out the video above for a visual demonstration of lifting a motorcycle on both sides.