How to Pick Up a Fallen Motorcycle – Safety Guide

Have you ever seen several people trying to lift a motorcycle? It doesn’t seem like a difficult task, but it is since bikes are often quite heavy.

A bike can simply lose balance, or its kickstand might sink into soft terrain. As a result, you’ll find your vehicle falling to the side. Most riders will find themselves in a similar situation at some point. It’s a normal experience, so it’s essential that you know how to pick up a motorcycle.

There are several things you can do in these situations, some being more important than others. Continue reading to learn how to do this in the easiest and quickest way.

Take a Minute to Calm Down

Before you jump to pick it up, give yourself some time to calm down. Having your bike fall to the side is a stressful sight, but it’s already on the ground, it’s pointless to jump right at it.

Take a moment to calm down and think about what you’ll do. There’s more to this than just grabbing the vehicle and picking it up. For this reason, you need time to calm so you can think well about what your next step will be.

If you work under stress, you might drop the bike again or not think some things through.

Evaluate the Terrain and Area

The terrain plays a huge role, and it might even be the reason why your bike is now on the ground. Look at the terrain and the area around it to see if it’s even possible to do this safely.

Read more tips on safety here.

Is your motorcycle on the road? If so, you might put yourself in danger by approaching near it. More so, you might even put other drivers in danger.

Check the surface under the vehicle. Is it wet or dry? Is it flat or steep? Some surfaces are more dangerous to approach and work with, so you might need help.

If the area is wet, you can slip and even injure yourself, which is something you definitely want to prevent. The state of the terrain under and around your motorcycle will tell you what your next step is. It helps decide whether you can pick it up yourself or you need some assistance.

image of cross motorcycle accident

Ask for Help if You Need it

If you’ve concluded that picking it up isn’t something you can do on your own, it’s time to get help. Look around as onlookers are almost always more than happy to help with the process.

Make sure to warn people of the hot and sharp components if they don’t have any experience with these vehicles.

Shut Off the Engine and Assess the Motorcycle

Use the engine cut-off switch or the ignition switch to shut off the motorcycle. Turn off the fuel supply valve if your bike has it.

Take a minute to look at the motorcycle, trying to notice any damage. If it is damaged, think about if that will affect lifting it.

If you see spilled fuel, try not to panic. It’s normal for a little gas to drip out of the tank when the motorcycle falls. It’s gas, so be cautious and don’t bring any open flame near it. If the gas spilling is huge and possibly dangerous, you should move away from the vehicle and wait for help.

Check if the bike is on its right side and put the side stand down if it is. Place the motorcycle in gear. If it’s on its left side, you won’t be able to put the side stand down, and the vehicle might roll on you.

Lifting the Heavy Motorcycle

The best way to do this is by using your legs since these are the strongest muscles in your body. Bending down to pick up the bike puts you at risk of a severe lifetime injury.

The first thing you want to do is turn the handlebars to full-lock. The front wheel should be pointing into the ground. This places one handgrip close to the gas tank, and that’s precisely where you want it.

Now try and “sit” carefully and gently with your lower back/butt on the seat. Be careful with this because the vehicle will probably pivot under you.

Use one hand to grab the handgrip that’s the closest to the bike. You might want to use an underhand grip as it’s the best and securest.

Use the other hand to grab a hard part such as the frame, luggage bracket, subframe, or whatever else you can. Make sure to avoid any parts that could be hot or soft. Don’t hold on to wires, turn signals, plastic parts, etc. You might want to use gloves if you have some.

Get your feet solidly on the ground in a firm stand with your knees bent slightly. Use your leg muscles to lift the bike. Make sure to lock your arms, so they don’t bend in the process and take baby steps backward.

You should maintain control over the motorcycle without twisting your body. If it’s on its left side, try not to lift too much since you could flip it onto its other side. When you get it into an upright position, carefully put the side stand down.

image of massive harley davidson motorcycle

Check Before Continuing to Ride

Before you hopping back onto the bike and riding away, you should check if there’s any damage. More so, you want to pay special attention to its state if you saw some fuel leakage.

Check if anything is broken or may make riding unsafe. Once you make sure the bike is safe to ride again, carefully start the engine. It might be tricky to start until the fuel starts flowing again.

If you’re uncertain about its state, you might want to seek professional help with assessing the damage before riding.

Think About What Happened

Before you get going, take a moment to think about why the bike fell in the first place. If it was your fault, think about what you can do to avoid making the same mistake again.


As you can see, lifting a motorcycle isn’t as challenging to do if you know how to. Though your first instinct might be to grab and lift, that’s not the smartest idea since it can cause severe injuries.

Take a moment to think about how you’ll lift and maybe ask some people for help if you think you might need some. Either way, be careful about how you do this to avoid injuring yourself or further damaging your motorcycle.

As long as you think before acting and use caution, you shouldn’t struggle with lifting it. Make sure to call road assistance to help you if you see that you might not be able to do this on your own.

Additional Resources

The team at Road Racerz aims to be a source of knowledge for all riders, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or have been riding for 20+ years. We want everyone to enjoy safer rides and have access to rider-specific content to get the most out of every mile.

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