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something to consider before buying a MC lift

if you are going to work on bikes that have full fenders on the back wheel, you have to get the bike pretty high up to take the wheel off, without needing to remove the rear fender

to some extent the front wheel too, because the fork extends when the bike is off the ground.
 

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I have the Craftsman Motorcycle/ATV Jack which that looks like the same. I have had it several months now and am very happy with it. Used it quite a bit to replace the starter clutch, oil change, new brakes, cleaning, etc. It lifts well, seems very secure, solid and lets the bike down gently and slowly although I bend over and use my hand to let it down. The only issue I have with it is that it will not roll under my Vstar 1100 Classic. The frame clearance is to low whether on the kickstand or holding it up right. But, most jacks I found would not easily slide under it. So, I built a ramp out of some old lumber that I roll the bike up on. The ramp is in 3 pieces so the middle can be removed. I also built up a pad for the kickstand to keep the bike upright while on the ramp. Once the bike is on the ramp and secure I remove the middle section, slide the lift under and up she goes. One other thing, the way the frame is made and the protrusion on the crank case I had to use some 1x4s that I cut down to match the with of the jack arms. Once I got those in place the bike lifts up on three of the lift pads with no issues and is solid on the lift. I left mine up for almost 2 weeks while I was replacing the starter clutch. I am happy with this jack.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Love it thanks ejtaylor... really like the creativity ...Didn't think about clearance for the lift ....thanks
 

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ejtaylor822 That is a very clever way to get the jack under the bike.

Questions: How do you change the oil with it on the jack? Isn't the jack in the way? Do you use any tie-downs to secure it while on the jack?

Observation: It looks like a lot of weight with a high center of gravity on a small footprint.
 

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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.
 

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I bought the Harbor Freight version (which is pretty much the same thing as the Craftsman) and I have an issue of the way the motor is that it rest on the jack supports, not the frame. Anyone else notice this? Mine is the 950 though, not sure how different that is
 

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I bought the Harbor Freight version (which is pretty much the same thing as the Craftsman) and I have an issue of the way the motor is that it rest on the jack supports, not the frame. Anyone else notice this? Mine is the 950 though, not sure how different that is
I used a 1x across the two supports and one along one so the low part and three higher points hit nicely.

The price on this one went way up after I bought mine. Good lift @ $190.

OTC 1545 Motorcycle Lift
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
$189.97

If you look you can see the 1x spacer.



 

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Discussion Starter #14
Actually tough to see where you put the wood but I got an idea .Just got a Pistburg from Craig list for $40 looks like new .
Sure enough when I tried to lift the star 1100 2007 the bike was either leaning toward the front or the bike . I got to add theses pieces of wood to evenly rise the motorcycle
 

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This is the lift I presently use. Purchased from Harbour Freight. The shipping was more than the lift!!! It lifts much higher than shown here. I also have a "Drive on" lift. Just purchased and haven't used it yet. I will modify it to lift my 660 Grizzly ATV.

 

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how much ?
Bought it 5 years ago....less than $100 on sale. Shipped it to Sault Ste Marie, MI for around $100.
400 mile return trip to pick it up! Absolutely no regrets. These are now available in Canada at Princess Auto, a store much like Harbour Freight.
Mike
 

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anyone ever lift a bike with chain hoist or engine hoist?

We have a 10 ton crane in the shop at work. Im not sure how I would attach it to the bike without crushing the tank or other parts with the straps.
 

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We use the lifts at work to pick our bikes up using straps. On mine I put a spacer in the strap to "hold it open. But I only pick up one end at a time.. I need a good lift made for MCs
 
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