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Old 04-16-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
DudeClone OP
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I had to pick 'er up

And I couldn't do it!!

Just how does one pick up a 600 pound motorcycle off the ground? Or lift it, tilt it, and just get it on its two wheels again once down?

I tried a couple of techniques I saw posted on the youtube but apparently I haven't the strength of a 5 foot, 100 pound female rider using her back! So there I was, fresh from hitting some curbside sand with my bike on its side and leaning toward....the curb. I was afraid if and when I got it lifted it would tilt the other way and fall on the sidewalk

No need to worry though cuz the bike was not budging up one way or another. So I had to humbly motion to a guy in a minivan to come out and help lift the bike. He was pleasant and asked if I was ok. I was, and more concerned with the bike. Just a scrape on the clutch cover, so I am thankful for that. A "soft drop" it was, and grateful for that, too. But soft or hard the damn thing was still on the ground.... and on its side!

And its not even 600 pounds. More like 450, wet. But it reminded me of a time I saw a MC cop drop his bike after parking. It went down, he went down, and I helped him lift it back up. That was far heavier then my bike and did not fall as flat due to all the cop stuff on its side. But it still took me, the officer, and his partner lending a hand to get the beast up!!

So, if and when your bike has fallen how have you dealt with it? I mean do you just stand there and look at it? With all the riders here their must be a good way, a best way, THE get our bikes off the ground when no one else is around.

Oh, the humanity

DudeClone screwed with this post 04-16-2014 at 01:59 PM
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:33 AM   #2
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The youtube techniques you're talking about really do work. Honestly, the best thing to do is probably to take your bike to a soft grass field and kick it over and practice getting it back upright solo. Watch the videos, try to learn the techniques.

You're never going to be able to just deadlift it off the ground and place it back on its wheels. There are tricks to lifting that both make the task easier and save you from a hernia or a spine injury.

It is definitely easier if it doesn't fall over all the way, as you noticed with the cop bike (though the huge weight of those doesn't exactly make it an easy task). Maybe a set of engine guards would help?
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
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Watch the videos closely and notice the position of the front wheel.
It can help you or fight you.
2007 BMW GS Adventure / 2000 Ducati 900ss / 2010 Harley Ultra Limited / 1975 BMW R90/6 / 2006 DRZ400S
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:04 AM   #4
Navy Chief
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Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
Watch the videos closely and notice the position of the front wheel.
It can help you or fight you.
Yep, one of my grip points is always the grip on the downed side so the wheel rolls the right way.

And don't forget to put the sidestand down before you pick it up if it falls to the right side, it sucks to pick the bike up only to realize that you have nothing to lean it onto....
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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Those youTube, butt-against-seat-hand on bar-bar turned the right way-hand on rear rack-push with legs (usually) works for me (my bike is 377lb dry). Here's an example:

It is much tougher to execute on a slope, or with poor footing, or if exhausted from dragging it out of a mud hole, etc. In those cases, I take a rest and try again and hope someone else eventually comes along to help!
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:54 AM   #6
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:23 PM   #7
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Practice Practice Practice. Those videos work if you are executing it right. I'm usually hopped up on adrenaline/embarrassment from the dump that it hardly seems difficult.

Try practicing it in your yard/driveway till you get it down/up whatever.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:05 PM   #8
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...and make sure it is in gear so it's not trying to roll away from you.

Yeah, the front wheel should be turned inward towards the fall, not outward.
I find your lack of faith in the force disturbing.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:15 PM   #9
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Bike in gear is a must. Kickstand down is also a good plan, when nearly righted keeps you from having to deal "oh chit" #2. Back in the day I could get away with picking up a full dress Harley by following the drill... secure against rolling, kickstand down. lift with your legs and put LOTSA ARSE into it. As I got older but regardless of age learned if you can't pick it up...the bike is too big for you. Yeah sucky hit to your pride realization but less sucky than hoping Mrs soccer mom in her SUV hauling the team wanders by.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:28 PM   #10
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don't be discouraged. All these videos make it look easy are always with big wide bars or a bmw resting on it's cases (do those things even count as a tip over?) Not so easy with a sport bike that has no grab points and clipons, good luck getting your butt even close to the seat.

On tough drops like those I stand beside the front bar/clip on facing the bike, squat, lift straight up with the legs like a dead lift. Sometimes there just ain't no way to pick it up by yourself so get help. Sometimes the enraged hulk yell helps to get the adrenaline going. That or carry a can of spinach I guess.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:31 PM   #11
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really 450 lb. bike . not on a downhill slope or on a slippery surface? just grab hold and pick it up. you're probably only lifting 125 lb for the first little bit. then it gets lighter quick. time to hit the gym?
btw lifting the bike with ass against the seat and using the knees, does not work when you're 6'7 and have stiff knees.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:37 PM   #12
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I have had a couple of incidents with my work bike (ST1300) that I have dropped it, and been by myself.

With all my police equipment on there, I think it is around 675 lb.

Using the youtube technique, I can pick it up by myself, no problem. (I'm only 5'6" and 170)

Mainly, just walk it backwards with your legs.

I did, however, drop it on a grassy hill once, and it went to the downhill side. It actually wound up "past" horizontal.

I had to drag that stupid thing down the hill on its side, 'til I reached some flatter terrain, to pick it up

(Wasn't funny at the time, though)

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Old 04-16-2014, 02:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by farmerstu View Post
really 450 lb. bike? time to hit the gym?
Yeah, you are missing something in the technique. Really shouldnt be that hard.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by farmerstu View Post
really 450 lb. bike . not on a downhill slope or on a slippery surface? just grab hold and pick it up. you're probably only lifting 125 lb for the first little bit. then it gets lighter quick. time to hit the gym?
btw lifting the bike with ass against the seat and using the knees, does not work when you're 6'7 and have stiff knees.
Farmerstu, your profile seems to peg you as a farmer from Minnesota; you SHOULD be strong enough to lift it up (likely with only one arm)! I, on the other hand, am a 58-yr-old Psychotherapist from Massachusetts; see where I am going with this?
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:25 PM   #15
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After dropping my GSA1200 about 6 times the other day out in Death Valley, I solved the problem by buying a KTM690 Enduro, which weighs 320 lbs wet.

If I'm riding my GSA solo in the dirt (which I suspect will be an exceptionally rare event these days) I carry a snow mobile hi lift jack (called a SnowBuddy) in my top case. It weighs 6 lbs or so and will handily jack up the GSA.

Since I bought the jack many years ago I have never had to use it to lift the GSA outside of practice, as I have always managed to lift it up by myself or have had others with me to help.

I do think the ass on tank method works better the more solid footing you have and the shorter you are.

The following is my old post (search snowbuddy in Gspot):

Link to original thread (note, if you read this thread note that I took lots of abuse in it from "fellow" inmates, so FYYFF's in advance for any negativity here):

Mods - I'd like to see this in GSpot at least for a while as I think the GS/GSA's are about the only dual sports heavy enough to need one of these.

I was at DeansBMW's place in Show Low Arizona last Monday and decided to try out the new jack I recently picked up for my GSA. I have dropped the bike a couple of times and not been able to pick it up by myself, which really has me concerned about taking dirt roads when riding solo.

This was my last solo ride up Lynx Road in Angeles Crest. I was having a hell of a time trying to get the bike up when a 4x4 truck driver came by to help.

So I started thinking that I would like a light weight motorcycle equivalent to a high lift jack I've used for off road driving. I finally found this site which I thought would fit the bill: Edit May 2010- looks like this web site has been hacked. See post 67 of this thread for a recent phone number that I hope still works.

Originally Posted by dfhepner You will need to call 1-888-766-9116 and tell them that you want the unit to pick up your bike. They will sell you the lighter unit which is less.
Originally Posted by dfhepner

I bought one a few weeks ago so I think that they are still around.

The owner of the site has designed these jacks for snow mobiles (snow machines for the Alaska crew). He sent me a lightweight model that he first made for snowmobiles that he decided was just a bit too lightweight for dead lifting and pushing over a snow mobile. He sent me the light weight model with a cordura bag that is great for storage, and also is great to use as a barrier between the bike and the lift cable. For a reduced price (I think about $130) I was sent the full snowmobile jack minus the foot plate and first half a bar, the foot plate being designed for snow.

As the jack is made out of 1/2 inch square bar stock (aluminum), I had Dean's welder buddy in Alpine TX (we were in Alpine over the weekend) make up a base foot and about a 10" long 3/4" steel bar with holes drilled. I figure if I need a bit more height on the jack I can get a pin to go through the holes on the 3/4" bar so the 1/2" jack bar slips in and sits a bit off the ground.

I gently let my GSA down. The bike is a R1200GS ADV with about 6 or 7 gallons of gas and the cases and top box stuffed full for a week trip, I'm guessing mybe as much as 650 lbs.

Here is the jack, actually a snowmobile jack modified with a different foot assy by Don Holms (great welder) at Starsovertexas in Alpine Texas.

The best results were hooking its attaching loop to the cylinder crash bars, which Dean figured out.

After figuring out the best way to place the jack I was able to ratchet the bike up without too much effort.


A happy man, able to pick up my loaded ADV by himself. When the bike was laying down in the dirt, I could not even budge it the slightest with any convential method.

The jack worked great using the Adventure tank/engine bar as a lift point. Dean helped me figure out that the best lift point for a GSA is towards the front, and by using the tank bar you get a moment arm off the centerline of the bike.

Use the right lift point, use the jack carefully and correctly, and it was pretty easy to get the bike up to a point where I could push the bike the rest of the way up using the butt to seat, hand on bar end and passenger handle (the way the woman rider has people pick up bikes in the video floating around the web).

I think even with some injury it would be possible to get the GSA up with this jack. I have not tried it, but the hand grip (handle bar) might also be a good lift point. Also, I did not have to take the cases off the bike to lighten it up. I'm sure I had 100 lbs in cases and contents, and about a half tank of gas. You have to be a stronger than average guy to pick up a GSA single handedly even when pretty empty, much less with a load.

The jack inside its cordura case will fit in a GSA top box, although it has to be diagonal in the box. I believe the jack bars are 15 inches.

The guy making the jacks is sort of out of the business and is selling off his stock. If this is of an interest I would check it out sooner than later. BTW, I turned down the jack seller's offer for any deals on my jack if others buy, I just wanted to figure something out. The one thing I do not like about the GSA is that I no longer felt comfortable travelling on dirt in back country by myself. This jack cures this problem. For that, its a cheap $150 or so.

'07 White (the coolest color) GSA rider
'13 Husky Strada & '14 KTM 690 Enduro
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