Motorcycle Lifts


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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CMReynolds1
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Motorcycle Lifts

Postby CMReynolds1 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:36 am



I see a lot of talk about lifts. I am not a fan of HF quality & won't buy their lift. However, I would appreciate input on a unit that is good quality, safe, & trustworthy. After all, I am putting a $19000 motorcycle on it & don't need to go cheap, but don't need to pay through the nose either.
Would appreciate input from actual buyers/users. Thanks!


Ride Safe,
Taz


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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby Dogsled » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:26 pm

Are you talking about the type that slips up under the frame and gets the wheels ff the ground, that's what I have, great for changing tires cause they jack up high enough to slide even the rear out. If you're talking about the full table, what do you plan on doing to it you can't do on the ground? I have 3 friends with the HF ones and don't complain about them, then again once they jack them up they don't do anything to the bike that would merit owning one. Maybe for a mechanic that works all day on bikes he could use it. Originally they were assembly tables, after American Chopper came out, everybody wanted one. Only thing under my bike is the oil plug and I can lay on a quilt once a year to change that. The other thing is they take up a bit of space. I use my center jack and a little chair to change my alternator comfortably. A 19,000 dollar bike shouldn't need much work. Oh and like I said, my friends say their HF lift works good enough, prolly the next step would be a pro model for $$$$$$$$$ Good luck picking out what you need.
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harvey01
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby harvey01 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:33 pm

I have been very pleased with my Pit Bull lift. Yes, you can get a cheaper lift but this one will handle my GL1800, or the VTX, or the CBX with no problem. They can be viewed at: http://www.pitbullmotorcyclelifts.com/

They also come in a model that uses air to raise instead of the usual pump.

A source for purchase that is really easy to work with is: http://www.shinhopples.com/
harvey
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:35 pm

There are different HF lifts. Older ones used just angle iron for the structural support, and if there was any kind of torsional or lateral stress, it just folded up under heavy bikes.

The newer ones (like the one I have) use welded box steel for the structural parts, and is much stronger and stiffer. However, the release valve on the hydraulic jack portion is undersized, and operates as an "all or nothing" valve - i.e. when you hit it, it drops the bike violently to the floor, if the bike is near the upper weight range of the jack (which is the case with a Goldwing).

I fixed this by drilling the release pedal and installing a stop bolt, that limited the travel of the release pedal, so that it could only just barely release, causing the bike to be let down gently.

I also replaced the mystery bolts it came with (at least the structural load-bearing ones) with grade 8 bolts.

I've been using mine for years and it's always worked very well.

Image

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CMReynolds1
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby CMReynolds1 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:02 pm

Great info from all! Thanks. I am just after one to lift the bike for tire changes and such. Small garage and don't want to turn wrenches too much anymore. Did it for a living after I left the Fire Department on disability.

I like WingAdmin's personal upgrade to his lift read. Maybe you could send me a little more detail on what to look for on the HF Model and what alterations you did to your unit. Anything will help.

Thanks all!!!!
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Taz


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Dogsled
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby Dogsled » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:27 pm

Scott,
That is a mother when you hit the pedal to far and that bike comes flying down... :D

Mine (and yours should) go up high enough to get the rear wheel out as long a you block up the front wheel so it doesn't dive forward when you lose the weight. I've used mine enough I got the feel (and the fear) of how lightly to touch that pedal. I have a perfectly flat floor and it rolls like pushing a 10 speed. Mine has drop down locking arms on both sides of the frame to tame the weight off the cylinder and keep it from ever drifting. I keep the cylinder under pressure though so all the weight isn't on the safety arms. Someone gave me mine and there's no name on it, it's pre HF though. I'd trust a HF l;ike the one Scott has and ditto on the grade 8's wherever possible.
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby tom84std » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:06 pm

I've got the Harbor Freight lift. I've had it for around fifteen years and have used it to lift nearly a dozen different bikes. I don't trust strapping the bike to the base of the lift so I strap it overhead to a ceiling joist or C purlin. I've had my nearly 800 pound VTX on it for as long as ten days at a time with no problem. I've had three Wings on it fully assembled and partly dismantled. This is a lift purchased around 2000 but it appears to be the same as they picture for $89.99 now on their website.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:57 pm

WingAdmin wrote:There are different HF lifts. Older ones used just angle iron for the structural support, and if there was any kind of torsional or lateral stress, it just folded up under heavy bikes.

The newer ones (like the one I have) use welded box steel for the structural parts, and is much stronger and stiffer.



wingadmin, I have the exact same lift/jack you have, I went to my local pawn shop and bought it for $45.00 8-).

stuart.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby rudolphwolven » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:35 pm

The same lift as the previously showed YELLOW one from WingAdmin..........works very fine......complete restoration now in assembling phase......
(picture is during disassembling phase/the wood bar is an/my extra security besides the standard security device against collapsing)

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roadwanderer2
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:58 pm

hey Rudolph, that's a nice little "safety" bar you have there. if you don't mind, im going to copy it from your photo and use it with my jack/lift. nice looking frame, motor and exhaust you have there. I like the way its nice and clean and shiny.

stuart.

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rudolphwolven
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby rudolphwolven » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:14 am

Hi Stuart,
Thanks for comment............the hardwood bar has a U-notch on top and a V-notch (90 degr.) on the bottom.



Enclosed some pictures of my bike during the renovation...............................................



































Best regards, Ruud
Last edited by rudolphwolven on Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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roadwanderer2
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:22 am

wow, great job, looks really nice. post some pics when its all back together.

stuart.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:13 pm

Here's my lift....LOL
Here's my lift....LOL

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:27 am

littlebeaver wrote:
870170f9-f279-4c9f-9e82-b2c4cc466dfc_zps2e324331[1] (2).jpg



hey, what ever works and its safe, that's all that counts.

stuart.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby Dogsled » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:29 am

Hey Beaver that's pretty unique, got a picture of the whole thing? Is that high enough to get the rear tire out. I know my pump up jack gotta get pretty high to slide the tire out.
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:57 am

that looks to be a 2 x 6 or a 2 x 8 with a 1" plywood top?

stuart.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:31 pm

I threw my lift in the garbage :shock: ..... No..... I gave it away to the guy that bought my Nomad .... I posted this several times in the past,, I have to wonder just where in world you guys were at ,, perhaps having a BQ in the back yard or something....Or watchin Wild Hogs for the 300th time. :lol: . Naw it's just something I dreamed up because I was bored,,, It's my breakaway system, ride the bike up get off and place it on the centerstand and remove unwanted sections,,,
I never used a lift again.. Yes 2x8 frame on this one might go to 2x10 just for fun.. This project didn't cost me anything to build, I had the material for it laying around..9 out of 10 times a guy uses a lift to remove the rear wheel... BAM..This is how I do it.. Use one at your own risk.... :lol: :lol: :lol: I have my Voyager up there, it's a big ass bike.. Just as easy as getting the 1100 up there.. I hinge the boxes with door hooks and eyebolts so it stays together with zero movement.... I have to share this story because it's funny... the first time I tried this, I made the ramp a little bit too steep, what happened was I got stuck, the engine bottomed out and I was screaming like a little girl :shock: and laughing my ass off at the same time,, calling for Penny,, I wanted her to laugh too... :lol: I could get it unstuck,, freakin people walking by on the street...Oh crud...Penny got me unstuck and all but we laughed for 10 minutes after.... I made the ramp longer and never had a problem with it since.. :shock: Here's the thing,, it's at the same height as any of the lifts mentioned I just use the centerstand and a box.. Its as safe as the centerstand is and it doesn't have any movement because the front wheel is landed..Same as it would be if on the floor. Rolling it up is scary at first (riding) but it's nothing to roll up and down backwards for me..Might be for others though..
Last edited by littlebeaver on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:59 pm

that's not a bad little stand you built there. looks nice and sturdy. i'll have to think about making one for my garage once I clean everything out of it lol.

stuart.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:01 pm




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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:16 pm

The one modification I would make would be a steel plate (or strong diamond plate) on the wood right where the center stand goes, to prevent it from digging into the wood. Maybe with a rubber pad on top of the steel plate, to keep the center stand feet from sliding on the steel plate.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:27 pm

Great idea,,, ,, it's about 4" from the rear of the box is where I place the stand...I remember when framing this I placed an extra 2x8 right under that spot knowing it was gonna have some weight right there,,, I like the plate idea.. :D Oh I had a yellow lift from Harbor freight before and it was a good lift.... never had any issues with it....Other than it scared me... :shock: :lol:
Last edited by littlebeaver on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:29 pm

WingAdmin wrote:The one modification I would make would be a steel plate (or strong diamond plate) on the wood right where the center stand goes, to prevent it from digging into the wood. Maybe with a rubber pad on top of the steel plate, to keep the center stand feet from sliding on the steel plate.


excellent suggestion. but what I would do because I don't have really long legs, is I would extend the top of the platform back towards the ramp so my feet would be on the higher section of the wood so I could balance myself incase the bike stopped midway up the ramp without loosing my balance and falling over.

stuart.
Last edited by roadwanderer2 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:32 pm

If a guy has a patio with a slab that steps up all he would need is the ramp... :shock: I designed the box this way so I can roll around on my stool and work on stuff while on the ramp,, it's like 16" wide I think...But boy did it make it easier to remove my PG and work on it...

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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby roadwanderer2 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:44 pm

littlebeaver wrote:If a guy has a patio with a slab that steps up all he would need is the ramp... :shock: I designed the box this way so I can roll around on my stool and work on stuff while on the ramp,, it's like 16" wide I think...But boy did it make it easier to remove my PG and work on it...



yeah, it looks like it does make it easer to get around the bike to do what needs to be done. next thing I would do is make a removable section under the front of the motor so when I did an oil and filter change, I could set my oil catcher into it and not have to worry about any spillage onto the platform. once the oil and filter is changed and buttoned up, I would take the removable section and cover the oil catcher so I could roll the bike off the platform and then remove the oil catcher to drain it then put it back under the platform for the next usage 8-).

stuart.

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MikeB
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Re: Motorcycle Lifts

Postby MikeB » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:02 pm

Good looking set up Beav.

Trouble is, it takes up a bit of room and its weight makes it less portable than a jack.

The Pit Bull was a bit pricey 15 years ago, and a bit more now, but it fits my garage perfectly. When not in use, it rolls right under my workbench. I particulalry like the positive locking mechanism used to hold the lift in the up position. Very secure. Oh yes, it also comes down nice and smooth when you open the hydraulic valve pressure release.


I have a GL1800 on it now, been on it since August. In the process of being rebuilt after an accident. Truth be known, with it 90% assembled, I should probably take it off the stand but it is too mobile the way it is on the stand. I can roll it all around the garage and situate anywhere it suits me. A hard frame stand like Beaver's just would not be versatile enough for my purposes.

If you have a large work space, Beaver's set up would work out just fine. Or, a Handy Lift http://www.handyindustries.com/would be great too if you had that much space to play with. It is about twice the price of the PitBull and it takes up a bit of space too.



MikeB
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