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Dropped Bike Pick-up
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Carol Youorski
aka “SKERT”

Atlanta, GA USA
Iron Butt Association
SS1K, SS5K, BB1500, BBG,
ButtLite II, IronButt 2001—finisher and done!
AMA #328269
BMWMOA #64389
MOM #1

Pink Ribbon Rides
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Picking up a Dropped Bike

At 5' 3" and 118 pounds Carol feels quite comfortable aboard a BMW R1150 GS with its 31.5 inch seat height and its nearly 600 pounds. And... she feels equally comfortable picking it up if it is dropped! Want to learn the technique? Don’t miss the videos at the bottom of the page!

Dropped Bike Pickup Technique

Click on any image to view its larger image

This technique assumes that the motorcycle is on its left side. If it is on the right side, the same technique applies. Just remember to reverse your hands—left hand on the right hand grip and right hand under the seat. Also, remember to put the side stand down before raising the bike!

Click for larger image

First, stop the engine using the engine cutoff switch. When the motor is running, the spinning rear tire could cause injury. Additionally, when a bike is on its side, no oil is circulating in the motor which could cause it to seize.

Remember the the engine cutoff switch is always located on the right hand grip. The ignition key could be anywhere (including on the ground side!).

Click for larger image
Turn off the gas, if necessary, and you can reach the fuel supply valve. It would be necessary to turn the gas off if it is leaking! Click for larger image
Before attempting to pick up any motorcycle by yourself, ask for help! Just because you can pick it up, does not mean that you must pick it up by yourself. Click for larger image
Always wear your gloves and boots before attempting to pick up a motorcycle. Not only will these items help with your grip, it will also help you get your mind focused on the task at hand. Click for larger image
Make sure the bike is in gear—if you can get to the shifter. If the bike is not in gear and you cannot get it in gear, tie the front brake. The only good news here is that generally you were moving the motorcycle when it fell which would mean that it is in gear. Click for larger image
You must have good traction under your feet or your feet will slip. If there is gravel under your feet, sweep it away with your boots until you get dirt—same for grass. Click for larger image

Place your butt in the middle of the seat.

Click for larger image
Stoop down and take the left grip in your right hand. Pull the grip until it is as close to the tank as possible. Click for larger image
With your left hand find something sturdy to grab hold of under the seat. The closer your left hand is to your body the better. Do not use a plastic part or anything that will easily bend or break. Click for larger image

Place your butt mid way on the edge of the seat. This is CRUCIAL.

The placement of your butt too high or too low on the seat will not give you the leverage angle.

Click for larger image

Place your feet close together.

You are pushing the bike with your butt and upper legs. You will have to pull up with your arms a bit—but mostly you will be pushing the bike up with your legs.

Click for larger image
Be careful not to push the bike over the other side ;-) Click for larger image

Once you have the bike up, carefully put the side stand down and lower the bike to it.

If you can’t get to the side stand with the heel of your boot, turn carefully and grab both grips—then put the bike on the side or center stand.

Click for larger image

If you feel like there is no way this bike is going up like this, then move the position of your butt. If that doesn't work try changing the flex of your knees. Try not to flex your knees too much to begin with. Be careful! Often when you get the angle just right the bike goes up like it’s made of paper. Adrenaline tends to push the bike over to the other side ;-)

Check out our slideshow of some ladies picking up a dropped bike for the first time!

Skert’s Videos

1. Why “Skert”? 2. Stop the engine 3. Put the bike in gear 4. Push with your legs
5. Picking up the bike 6. First try! 7. Now—“The Pro”  
* Videos 6 and 7 are AVI files and may not play on all media players (sorry!)

Please note—for best results, set printer to Landscape mode.

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