If you have a motorcycle, chances are you have dropped it at least once in your lifetime. I think a lot of people will agree on that. But, knowing how to lift a motorcycle is not that easy and certainly requires some methods.
I’ve seen many new motorcycle riders using just raw power to lift off a heavy bike in the wrong way. One of two things can happen if you do keep doing it the wrong way. One – damage the bike while trying to lift it. Two – you can get seriously injured. In my 6 years with motorcycles, I’ve used the simplest methods to lift a motorcycle.
In this article, I will share with you how to lift a motorcycle without any hassle. All that’s required for this technique is a little bit of technique, and your bike will be up in no time.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is The Easiest Way to Lift a Bike?
- 2 What Tools do You Need to Lift Your Bike?
- 3 Lifting a Motorcycle Using a Jack
- 4 How to Lift Your Motorcycle without a Jack?
- 5 How to Lift a Dropped Motorcycle?
- 6 Takeaways
What is The Easiest Way to Lift a Bike?
In my experience, the best way to safely lift a bike is by using a motorcycle lift. Choosing the best motorcycle lift depends on your specific bike weight. Make sure you take note of that before rushing off to the market.
Now, being curious about how to lift a motorcycle isn’t going to solve our problem. We need to understand why do you need to lift your bike. Has it fallen down? Does it need maintenance or replacing tires?
Your solution depends on the answer to these questions.
What Tools do You Need to Lift Your Bike?
If you have the tools in your garage, this is all you need to lift, no matter what styles of motorcycles you own. Check out the list below:
- Motorcycle Lift Jack
- Jack Stand
- Wood Blocks
- Two ratchet straps
Lifting a Motorcycle Using a Jack
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to lift a motorcycle easily. Following these steps, you can effortlessly lift your motorcycle.
Step 1 – Clear Your Working Area
Lifting a motorcycle is a little different than lifting a car, so you need to be careful. Hoisting the bike on an uneven surface may lead to imbalance and either damage your body or the bike.
Lay the jack on the flattest part of the floor so that the weight of the bike can be evenly distributed. It’s better to work on a concrete floor as it easily supports the bike on the rough floor.
Step 2 – Find the Safest Spot to Lift Your Bike
Inspect underneath the bike and look for a flat surface under the engine. The center of the bike provides the center of mass for the entire bike. So, placing the center stand underneath the flat surface under the engine usually provides a nice safe position.
What kind of bike jacks you need depends on the types of motorcycles in your garage. For example – frame rails work best for touring motorcycles, while using the frame sliders is the best option for lifting a sports bike.
How to Choose the Perfect Motorcycle Jack?
Choosing the best motorcycle jack depends on the weight of your bike. For example – an LC2500 MotoWinch is ideal for heavy motorcycle and cruisers over 300kg / 660lbs, Adventure Bikes weighing over 220kg/ 480lbs including the carrier.
Step 3 – Work Up Your Motorcycle for Lifting
Make sure that your bike has its maximum stability before you start lifting it. Your work becomes a lot easier if the bike has center stands. If you don’t have center stands, then use a hydraulic motorcycle jack as an alternative.
Having assistance is a plus. If you have a partner, instruct that person to take hold of the front part of the bike by the handlebars and straddle using the legs. While your assistant is in position, stand at the back and guide your partner to put the bike in an upright position. It is important to keep the hands firmly gripped on the front brakes of the lever while doing this.
Pro Tip: To ensure complete safety, consider using ratchet straps to put your bike in its balance.
Step 4 – The Final Lifting
After choosing the safest spot for placing the lift jack, start raising your bike as slowly and evenly as possible. Most motorcycle lifts available in the market are height adjustable starting from 11 inches to around 16.5 inches.
Step 5 – Slide The Jack Stands In Its Place
Now that you’ve used the hoisted your bike successfully, it’s time to place the jack stand in place. Most jack stands in the market come with a lift that you can also buy separately. It enables you to do a lot more than light maintenance works.
How to Lift Your Motorcycle without a Jack?
On a bad day, you might need bike maintenance while you are away from the garage. Now, lifting your motorcycle is a daunting task. But if you follow these simple life hacks, it can save you from a lot of trouble.
Method 1: Using Stacked Boards
Resting the bike on a stack of boards is an age-old technique but still useful. Even more, you can use this technique to lift the front and the rear part of the bike.
And it’s even easier when you have two people for the job. Person A can balance the bike while person B can strap it to prevent it from falling off.
Method 2: Using A Car Jack
A car jack is the best alternative to a motorcycle jack in case of an emergency. This method requires using stacks of boards and a car jack simultaneously in order to support the hoisting process. If you have a partner, ask him/her to hold the other end firmly for security.
Pro Tip: You can also try using wheel chocks and ratchet straps for supporting your bike. Check out a setup like this so that you know what we are talking about here.
How to Lift a Dropped Motorcycle?
Dropping a motorcycle is a common incident in the life of every bike owner, and almost everyone will admit to dropping their bikes at least once in their lifetime.
Interestingly, you don’t need to be super strong to lift off a heavy motorcycle. In fact, simple physics and patience are all that’s needed to get over this problem.
To encourage you with facts, a 5-foot and 3-inch tall woman weighing roughly 120 pounds can lift a 600-pound bike.
6 Steps for Lifting a Dropped Motorcycle
Follow these steps if the bike falls on the right.
- Press the emergency engine shut-off switch. It should be on the right side of your handlebars. This is important because turning off the engine eliminates the chance of an accident.
- Put the bike in gear. What that does is lock the back wheel of your bike and prevents it from turning. Also, in this way, you don’t have to hold the brakes as the wheels are already on hold.
- Next up, put out the kickstand. The reason for this is – when you lift your bike in its upright position, it is going to stand on the kickstand to stay that way. Without putting out the stand, lifting the bike would be of no use as it will fall on the other side again.
- Clear all the debris that’s around your motorcycle before you lift it off. Besides, the chance of you putting your bike down and there not being any sand, or rocks, or gravel is few and far between. So, make sure that’s all nice and cleared away.
- Take a seat on the motorcycle. The idea is to place your butt on the seat as low as you can. If you sit on top of the seat, you get a little angle that’s going to take away the force you need to generate using your knees and feet.
- While you are leaning sitting on the bike, use one arm to grab the handlebars and the other arm to grab the fender from the rear end. Now, use your legs to finish moving the bike in the other direction.
And if it flips on the left side, do the exact same steps except when you are almost on your way to the upright position, hold the handlebars and quickly put out the kickstand to allow the bike to stand on its foot.
Some Must-Know Facts About Lifting Bikes
The task of lifting a motorcycle gets a lot easier once you learn how to use a motorcycle lift. Smartly using your height and weight are the only factors needed to perfectly stabilize a fallen motorcycle. And the bottom line is that anyone can do it.
However, here are some situations in which you should call for roadside assistance.
- In case you have back pain or knee pain.
- If your bike fell off on an inclined on a declined road. In this case, trying it yourself might be risky since stabilizing the bike will probably set it into motion along the road, causing more damage.
- If you see fluids coming out of your bike, make sure to put out your cigarettes to avoid major accidents.
These are the techniques on how to lift a motorcycle. At the end of the day, the best way to lift a bike is by using bike lifts because your safety is the first priority before working on the bike.