Harley-Davidson Demonstrates the Art of Lifting a dropped Motorcycle

Almost all of us have experienced the moment when a motorcycle tips over onto its side. Though reluctant to acknowledge it, this common mishap was evident during a presentation at the Harley-Davidson booth at the New York IMS, where few hands rose to admit to the occurrence. However, the demonstration proved that anyone, irrespective of their bike preference, could recover a fallen motorcycle. The showcased victim was a Harley Sportster – while not the largest, it still poses a challenge due to its weight compared to smaller models like the Honda Grom. Nevertheless, it was an ideal choice for the task, striking a balance between necessitating proper technique without overwhelming physical exertion. To safeguard against further damage, the area was carpeted, and all fluids were drained beforehand.

The procedure begins with ensuring the engine is off and, if fallen on the right side, deploying the kickstand. Although it may seem odd, this precautionary measure prevents potential mishaps as the bike is raised. Additionally, keeping the bike in gear prevents unintended rolling once it's back on its wheels – a scenario that would undoubtedly compound the embarrassment of the situation.

Seating oneself at the front edge of the saddle, gripping the handlebar with the left hand and a stable point with the right, one begins to walk the bike backward. Contrary to instinct, lifting with the arms or back is unnecessary; instead, the bike is leveraged upright using the powerful leg muscles.

Continuing to walk the bike backward until both wheels are grounded, the process isn't complete yet. Shifting onto the seat and adjusting the grip if necessary, one employs leg strength to push the bike upward. For taller bikes, sliding one's weight off the seat towards the near side aids in the maneuver. With a firm hold, steadily walking backward gradually returns the bike to its upright position.

The demonstration's presenter, an average-sized woman, exemplified that physical strength isn't a prerequisite for executing the technique effectively. She effortlessly narrated the process while performing the maneuver herself and even guided a smaller woman from the audience through the steps. The underlying message wasn't one of gender superiority but rather empowerment, emphasizing that anyone can master the skill. This presentation serves to instill confidence in riders, regardless of gender, enabling them to handle such situations independently. Ultimately, it's a technique worth remembering for future unexpected spills – regardless of who might come to the rescue.