Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Commonground, I am right there with you! When I would see bikes up on these jacks it scared the crap out of me to think about doing that with my bike. I really wanted to get a lift. But when the starter clutch went out I got desperate and didn't have the funds for a lift. The jack worked great. First time I lifted my bike, I was a nervous wreck. Fractions of an inch, check it, fraction again, check it. I never did a full pump on the foot pedal the first probably dozen lifts. Once I figured out where the "center of gravity" is, I use that term loosely because it is not it's just where it balances, the bike is AMAZINGLY stable! I was shocked.
On mine (2005 Vstar 1100 Classic) contact is made on three "pads" on the frame. Two on the right (brake) one on the front left (shifter). Take a look at the picture and you can see the indention in the wood. The side closest on the bottom of the picture is the shifter side. I have heard comments that wood is not a good medium for this, but I think it is perfect as the wood crushes/conforms to the bike and the pad. I think it works great. Again, you can see the places on the wood. Notice the wood in the bottom right - no indention. It sits on the three pads and is amazingly stable. But, 700 lbs can do that and the weight makes it rather stable. I have pushed on it - cautiously - from the side to see if there was any instability at all and it would stay - the jack would roll instead. Like I said, I was amazed but going back to the weight of the thing and when you have 3 contact points in plane it does make for a very stable platform. I have had the bike up and rolled the jack around the garage. Cautiously.
The first couple of nights I had the bike on the jack I did tie it down. I would lower it when I was through working, then tie it down. But, the jack has these arms that "lock in" on the bottom of the frame, like "dogs", that prevent the jack from lowering should the hydraulic cylinder fail. I have locked in the dogs - cautiously - let it down and the dogs held it. Perfectly. After that I haven't strapped it down and use the dogs religiously. I do not work on it if the dogs are not in place.
Changing the oil is not hard at all. My "balance" point is for the front edge of the wood/jack arm to be almost dead center with the front bolt on the kickstand. This gives me clearance to remove the drain plug. I use my "pad" that I have for the kickstand on the ramp and set my oil drain pan on it since the jack being close does not allow me to set the pan on the floor. I have an ORK so I don't have to drop the pipe to get to the filter.
Hope this helps.