Bike Lift Advice in the UK please


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Sadanorakman
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Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »



Hi all, hope you're keeping safe in these testing times.

I'm looking for advice on a suitable hydraulic bike lift/trolley in the UK for my 1991 GL1500 SE please. I figure my bike weighs around 880lb (400Kg) with a full tank. It must be able to spin the bike around nose to tail.

Been looking at ones like this, which seem quite a common design, and I guess are probably mostly Chinese made:

https://www.sealey.co.uk/product/563719 ... dbike-lift ...says it can lift 1500lb (680KG)

Apart from lifting the bike to work on it, I want to be able to SAFELY turn my bike around 180 degrees using this lift (flat concrete pavement slab surface next to my house). This is because I have a sloping front drive that runs around 82ft (25mtrs) to the road including the sidewalk. This will save me having to reverse either all the way up, or all the way down! (I'm quite a short-ass, and turning the bike sideways across this slope is really not a clever idea).

My experience of budget car trolley jacks, is that they carry 'optimistic' lifting capacities to say the least, and quickly run out of steam as they rise. I wonder if these bike lifts (in your experience) are similarly anaemic in their true lifting capability?

For those of you with experience of this kind of lift, are they properly suitable for such a heavy bike, and do they roll around adequately on those tiny caster wheels once they have 400KG of GL1500 on them? Also any alternative ideas please? The covered slabbed area at the side of my house is only about 9ft wide max, so I cannot walk the old gal back and forth to turn her around, therefore need to have some kind of trolley or turntable.

Many thanks.


Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Viking »

I have three, slightly different from each other, but all quite like the one in your link. To raise up a Goldwing, with stability, on these type of jacks, it is really advisable to manufacture a sling sort of affair shaped like the underneath of the Goldwing and bolted to the flat bits of the lift. Otherwise, the bike is rocky on the lift.

Secondly, unless your jack is sitting on really smooth concrete, with no slant in any direction when you attempt to turn it 180 degrees on one of these lifts, you run a great chance of tipping the bike onto its side.

In my opinion, to lift is one thing, and you can do it with your linked lift, but to be able to turn it around requires a different mechanism. They make trollies on wheels for just this action. Here is one being used:


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Sadanorakman
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Thank you Viking.

Putting the stability to one side for a moment, do these at least lift such a large bike adequately, or do you get the sense that they are struggling, or on the verge of twisting or deforming?

The slabbed area is 100% level. It is covered in what we call 'council pavers', which are utilitarian 3' x 2' x 2" thick concrete slabs. They have a very slightly textured surface just to make sure they are not slippery when wet.

The trolley you show seems quite a substantial bit of kit. I wonder how safe it is to get the bike on and off of one of these, as I'm only 5' 8", with quite a modest inside leg: e.g. I cannot quite flat-foot the bike.

I had considered mocking up a small turntable (18" diameter) out of 1/4" plate steel, and setting it into the surface of the paving, with the idea of putting the bike on it's centre-stand on this, and then just putting a strop through the front wheel to lift and spin the bike around when necessary. What are peoples thoughts on this idea?
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Sadanorakman
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Viking »

The lifts I have, two of which are very similar to the one you have linked to, easily lift my 2009 GL1800. Because one of the support bars is under the engine, the bike is wobbly on the lift. I have made a form fitted modification for the arm that goes under the engine, so that it supports better, however, I still would not attempt to spin my motorcycle 180 degrees on any of my lifts. The all steel lifts are a bit more steady than my third lift, which is aluminum. It lifts the bike easily, but has some flex to the uprights due to the fact that it is aluminum. The other item I showed you could have a two inch plank placed on each side for when you ride up onto it, and the planks could be moved to spin the motorcycle around. This would take care of your length challenges in your legs, LOL. I also am 5'8", and with lots of riding practice, I would not be afraid to mount that device. :twisted:
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Thanks again Viking, particularly on your feedback re the rigidity and stability of the hydraulic lifts. I'll make sure I get a steel one, not aluminium!

I don't have an endless budget, and I have very limited space. I think the best thing I can therefore do is go for one of these lifts, and a separate centre-stand turntable like the one I linked to.

I can look to fashion some wooden bearers or plate to attach to the lift to better match the underside of the bike. I will then strap the bike to the lift when lifting, and I can then steady the bike fore and aft using straps to the framework that holds the canopy over my work area, and to the wall of my house to stop the bike teetering over whilst I'm working on her.

A centre-stand turntable will be very much cheaper and less bulky to store than the ride-on trolley that you kindly showed me. I only need it to turn the bike around for riding out again, so I can lift it and hang it on a wall-hook when not being used, in order to move the bike lift in when necessary to lift her up. Maybe I'll have to ride the rear wheel onto a 1" block of wood first to help take account of the thickness of the turntable, to help me get the bike onto it's centre stand.

With your help and input, I have been able to make an informed decision NOT to try to spin my bike around on a bike lift, and instead to buy a turntable for Circa $120: At that price, it's not worth trying to fabricate one myself. (I wasn't aware that I could buy one of these ready-made until I started looking last night.) Thank you also for the advice re adapting the lift to better fit the underside of the bike. now if the weather could just warm up a bit!
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by WingAdmin »

I have a steel version of one of those hydraulic lifts. It is close to its limit lifting my GL1500, in terms of the hydraulic cylinder. The frame is relatively stiff and not close to deforming, but its rigidity is based on the orthogonal angled pieces that make up the lift arms and cradle. Any significant twisting or off-axis forces could cause buckling in one of those pieces and it would fold up.

I will put my bike up on it (I use wood pieces to transfer the load to the frame members, rather than have it lift by the relatively weak and thin aluminum engine case) to work on. I strap it down to keep the bike stable. However, it is extremely top heavy when lifted up, I would never attempt to actually move the bike while it is lifted up in the air this way. The castering wheels are very small in diameter, so the smallest stone or piece of grit could cause one of the wheels to bind up against the ground and that could be a very bad day.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by rudolphwolven »

*****



















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Sadanorakman
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

WingAdmin wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:19 pm I have a steel version of one of those hydraulic lifts. It is close to its limit lifting my GL1500, in terms of the hydraulic cylinder.
As always Scott, you bring excellent advice thank you. This is exactly one of the aspects I was pondering. I can buy a 2-3 tonne trolley jack, and it wheezes by the time it's 3/4 elevated. I had figured it would be similarly true about these lifts. I would hope that there is a little mechanical advantage gained the higher you go though, as the parallelogram of the frame tends towards being square?

Well I haven't seen one that does better than an advertised 1500lb. What is yours rated at please?

Good advice also on transferring the load onto the frame members. The aluminium sump plate is probably not the best to take so much load!

Great photos too thank you @rudolphwolven. I'm guessing a Gl1000 is a fair bit lighter than a gl1500 SE. Superb safety idea with the wooden brace!!!

...just checked:
GL1000 dry weight=584lb, GL1500 dry weight=820lb.
Wow, that's 40% more!!!
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Viking »

What Scott said is what I actually have done. The formed pieces are shaped to clear the bottom of the engine, and allow the support to be on the frame.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Viking and Wingadmin, can I trouble you for a picture of your lift adaptations please?

Many thanks in anticipation.
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Richard291 »

Sadanorakman
Have you tried lifting the front wheel of a GL1500? I don't think a strop would fit well with the plastic bits in the way either.
If you go for a turntable, then may I suggest something like this to allow an easier front end lift and rotation about the turntable?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dirty-Pro-Tool ... 730&sr=8-7
Cheers

Richard
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Richard291 wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:28 pm Sadanorakman
Have you tried lifting the front wheel of a GL1500? I don't think a strop would fit well with the plastic bits in the way either.
If you go for a turntable, then may I suggest something like this to allow an easier front end lift and rotation about the turntable?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dirty-Pro-Tool ... 730&sr=8-7
Unfortunately your link does not work for me, so I don't know what kind of tool you are trying to share. Can you clarify please Sir?

To be honest, I normally use my side stand, and hadn't thought much about how much plastic would be in the way of me threading a strop through the front wheel to lift.

Perhaps I'd get enough leverage pushing down on the rear of the saddle to lift the front wheel a bit to spin her round on the centre stand turntable. Does anyone here use a centre stand turntable for their 1500?
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Richard291 »

Try this one, if it comes up it gives you an idea of what I am on about.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1500lb-Hydra ... Swkkxd8NkX

Failing that search for hydraulic wheel dolly/skate

I go over 16stone presently and can happily sit on the rear seat on the centre stand and the bike does not go down at the back. Obvs don't push down on the top box.
Cheers

Richard
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Richard291 wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:08 pm Try this one, if it comes up it gives you an idea of what I am on about.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1500lb-Hydra ... Swkkxd8NkX

Failing that search for hydraulic wheel dolly/skate
That's great thank you Richard. Looks to be a good idea. Think I might buy the turntable first, and see where I go from there. I could try a simple cantilever frame (like a capital 'A') with a couple of 4" fixed casters under it that would slide under the front wheel, press down to lift the wheel, and then use it to draw the bike around on the center stand turntable.
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Richard291 »

Thanks

Sounds like a good idea, pics if you're happy.

Take care.
Cheers

Richard
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

Richard291 wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:37 pm Sounds like a good idea, pics if you're happy.

With pleasure Richard. This will probably get done around Easter-time. Unfortunately have a list of spring jobs to achieve first, once this snow passes.

Keep Covid Safe :D
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Richard291 »

Snow?? ahh the white stuff wandering downwards today. Very little and almost gone now. :)

Look forward to the pics.
Cheers

Richard
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Sadanorakman »

About 5" to 6" here. Just enough to cause problems. Should be gone by about Thursday, as rain due Wednesday. -5 Celsius tonight in the Midlands, so the snow should have a nice crispy top on it in the morning.
Was speaking with my 19yr old son today: he has no idea what 'vertical hold' refers to.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Eboness »

Hi Sadanorakman, This the style of jack I use to lift my 2013 GL1800 Level IV, although I would not try to rotate my Wing using it. I use this lift alot
to not only do work on the Wing but to assist in cleaning my clear coated factory wheels. You see I also have a ride off centre stand instead of the
OEM centre stand and because of this when I put my Wing on the centre stand I can't rotate my rear wheel due to it's ride off design. This design
makes it very easy to lift my Wing onto the centre stand. Anyways the positioning of the jack, under your wing, is very important for the stability
of your wing while on this type of jack. I always place the left jack pad under the top part of the centre stand and the right jack pad positions itself
naturally under the engine. I place my Wing on it's side stand which of course has it leaning to the left and place the jack on the right side of the
wing. Then I pull my Wing to the right so I can place the jack under it while holding the wing level.I will also use four tie downs, two on both sides of my
Wing connected to the engine and saddlebag guards in a cross fashion to the jack for safety. BTW, this jack is an older model from MotoMaster, a brand
used by Canadian Tire here in Canada, but I'm sure if you use my reference photo you could find a similar one in the UK. BTW, for turning around your Wing
check this link out, some interesting reviews, but you should get the idea.
Ride safe.

https://www.thedrive.com/reviews/30240/ ... ycle-dolly
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by NCC »

I have had one of these for years http://bigbluemotorcyclelift.com/big-blue/#I have used it for my GL1800 these lift the bike approx. 600mm / 24" off the floor and at the top of the lift they are very very stable you can push the bike back and forth and from side to side without a problem they are approx £400 new but for that, you get stability and security, these are operated using a 12-volt battery drill with ease.
Mine is for sale for £150 as we have moved to another house and the garage roof is too low for me to use this. Please PM me if interested. We are in Halifax UK.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Oldbear »

I'm a big fan of the full table lifts vs the small jack style. I know you won't be able to turn the bike on the big table but it will be far more solid and gives you a workbench while wrenching. I also use the lift as a height-adjustable table when the bike isn't on it. No more bending over to work on the snowblower or lawnmower. My Wing might be gone but I still ride and wrench - plus the lift and my tools help keep the beer fridge full when others need time on it - I have a few of these "tool rental" decals around my shop (on the four-post lift and such).

As far as turning it - one of the guys I ride with has a couple of this style. https://www.discountramps.com/motorcycl ... SER-DOLLY/ They let him drive on and drive off. He can also roll the bikes under a shelf to make room to work on his VW bugs.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Viking »

Yes. Now this is probably the best option I have seen yet, however, it is pretty pricey at a thousand dollars here in Canada.
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by Oldbear »

Viking wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:55 am
Yes. Now this is probably the best option I have seen yet, however, it is pretty pricey at a thousand dollars here in Canada.
That looks "space-lanch ready"
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Re: Bike Lift Advice in the UK please

Post by waynehere »

So I was looking at jacks as well and this one, the J&S lift, seems to be the best one for the Goldwings. It has the right spacing for the wings. Little pricey, but no tiedowns needed....



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https://jsjacks.com/product-category/mo ... ycle-lift/

Not sure about international shipping....


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