The more fun you want to have on your motorcycle, the more important fitness becomes. A good level of motorcycle fitness can help with stamina, endurance, and of course lifting your bike in the event that it goes down.
That's particularly helpful if you do a lot of dual sport or adventure riding, where you reasonably expect that you're going to have to lift your bike back up at one point or another. But even if you plan to stay on road at all times, you can't always predict when you're going to need to pick up your (or someone else's) bike after an off. Stuff happens, and it's usually not convenient when it does.
While you can't always predict when you'll need to pick a downed bike up, nor how heavy that bike might be, you can control how well prepared you are (again, within reason). That's why seasoned adventure riding instructor Bret Tkacs put this video together, along with a crossfit coaching buddy.
Key Takeaways To Prepare For Bike Lifting
Get ready for when things go sideways!
The techniques that Tkacs demonstrates differ, but there are two key points that unite them all. The first is that you aren't really lifting so much as you're driving. Optimally, you're using your leg and core strength and momentum to push the downed bike off its side and onto its wheels. Then you're using leverage to maneuver the bike back upright.
To use your leg and core strength, you need to first build your leg and core strength and then apply good technique so you don't hurt yourself. Be sure to watch the video (not just read what we're writing about it) and maybe even bookmark it to help you in your own journey toward better bike fitness.
The second most important point for bike lifting is also one that's important for riding more generally. That's grip. Good grip strength will make it easier for you to control your bike while you're riding it, particularly if you plan to spend long hours in the saddle. Building good physical fitness also improves your stamina in general, including in riding.
Grip strength is also an essential part of maneuvering a bike (yours or a buddy's; doesn't matter) back up off the ground. If you can't keep hold of the bike to apply your strength and technique, you're not going to have much luck moving it.
Since this video takes place in a gym, they're able to demonstrate not only picking up bikes, but also the associated exercises you can do to help build your strength and technique for bike lifting at your local gym. It's useful, helpful information for riders who are looking for guidance to help build their own riding fitness routines.
Any other fitness routines you engage in regularly are helpful for motorcycle fitness, too. There are reasons why professional motorcycle racers are usually some of the fittest athletes you're going to see. Cycling, running, swimming, hitting the gym; you name it, they probably do it.
While you don't have to be in peak physical condition to ride a motorcycle, every little bit of fitness can help extend your enjoyment (and your seat time). Isn't that what most riders want?
What's your favorite moto fitness tip or routine? Let us know in the comments!