We all like to think that we are such good riders and general managers of our motorcycles that we will never let our precious bikes fall over! But is this really honestly a true picture – well actually no. However highly skilled we are, there are things which will make our bikes end up horizontal rather than vertical. Motorcycles are inherently tippy, top heavy and unstable on their two wheels. Added to that there are many additional hazards out there which can add to the risk of falling over, for example we may have to park the bike on its sidestand on a bit of gluey, melty tarmac so its centre of gravity gradually moves and it slides over, we may hit a pothole, we may just slip and slide over while riding on some gravel, invisible black ice or oil – yes it can happen.

Free fall
If you feel your bike going over, for whatever reason, then just let it go. Whatever you do don't try to save it by taking the weight with any part of your body, like your spindly little leg – or even your muscly big leg. Whatever style of leg you have, your bike will probably be heavier than anything your leg can take, and you risk injury or even breaking your leg by using it as a brace to prevent an unstable heavy motorcycle from hitting the deck.
Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. So when it starts to go and you know a fall is inevitable then surrender to the fall and try to get clear of it and let it go, providing this is not going to put you into the path of any other road traffic.

Had your chips?
So, say you park up, go for lunch in your favourite cafe and, replete with egg and chips, come back to find your machine lying there on its side, having been knocked over by some incompetent car parker. After the initial cursing and blaming, what do you do next?

Firstly check the whole bike over to see if it has sustained any obvious damage – particularly look at the tank and fuel lines first to see if there are any fractures and petrol or oil is leaking out, as this can be dangerous. Check over the throttle and brake cables, as damage to these is dangerous to the operation of the bike. Have a careful look at the wheels, sprockets and swingarm for any injuries and look over all the obvious external parts like the indicators, to see what might have been pulverised in the fall.

Once you have a good idea of how bad and how extensive the damage is, then you can make a decision about what to do next, will the fall fallout affect the bike's running, or is it just cosmetic like scratched paintwork? Should you call out the rescue truck for evac to a garage for essential repairs, or pick your machine up to continue on your way – it's worth saying at this point that if you are in any doubt whatsoever, call in a pick up as riding your bike with damage could be dangerous, illegal, and is not worth the risk.

Just say no!
In short don't ride your bike if:
The tank, fuel lines, brake lines, throttle or throttle cable, wheel, swingarm, sprocket or frame are cracked or damaged – to ride it would be unsafe! Anything else which looks at all out of true, just don't take the risk.

Once it is over, then do the visual check over, switch it off if it is running, switch the petrol off and put it into gear if possible so it doesn't roll off when righted and then preferably get assistance so you don't strain yourself. Be super careful as your instincts will be to rush to get it upright but again you might hurt yourself as they are not all Honda MSX 125s, some can be a tad bigger.
Here is a good demo from MCN, of how to pick a fallen bike up safely if you have to.

The main thing to remember is that it happens to everyone, you haven't been a klutz, bikes are just going to go over it's a fact of life so don't feel stupid and don't hurt yourself just take your time and all will be well.

Do you have a dropped motorcycle story you'd like to share with us? Or any Top Tips on what to do or what not to do – our top tip is be careful that in your enthusiasm to push the bike up you don't get a bit over zealous and topple it over on the other side – yes done that - doh!

We'd love to hear your story because it's happened to all of us! Let us know at or drop us a message on Facebook.

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 22 June 2021 in General News



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