A motorcycle lift is designed to bring your ride up off the ground to make it easier to view the underbelly of the bike and to work on the motorcycle. Typically, a lift of this type will either use hydraulics or compressed air to provide the elevation power to lift a heavy bike off the ground.
There is no one type of motorcycle lift. For instance, some come with wheels attached and can be moved around quite easily when a bike has not already been elevated. Other models are fixed in position and represent more of an installation in a particular designated area in the garage.
The design of the majority of lifts includes a base with wheels, one or two flat platforms that move up and down with the hydraulics or compressed air system fitted, and a lever to control the movement of the platform(s).
Motorcycle lifts can be used to store a bike out of the way and cover it up with a protective sheet. Servicing a bike is much easier when using a lift to bring the motorcycle up to a comfortable level to reach all the major components without needing to crawl around on your hands and knees. As the years stack on, crawling around the floor becomes less attractive of an idea and is hell on the knees too, making this purchase a good investment!
Repairing a motorcycle is also a major consideration. Unlike with cars, a bike only has so many parts to it. Therefore, it is easier to master the essential aspects of the motorcycle, diagnose what has gone wrong and how to replace faulty parts with new ones to resolve the problem. Anyone serious about reducing their long-term ownership costs by performing the repairs themselves ultimately needs to have a motorcycle lift in their garage.
When deciding on a bike lift to purchase, you should know what the bike weighs to ensure the selected lift can handle the load. Overloading a lift is likely to cause damage to its systems, and the motorbike could fall off the platform and sustain damage too.
What’s Included with The Best Motorcycle Lift
A bike lift will include the stand, one or more platforms that the motorbike is positioned on, and the compressed air or hydraulic system that elevates the platform on demand. Usually, motorcycle lifts arrive completely assembled in the box.
A lever will be present on the lift to manually control when to raise or lower the platform(s).
What to Know Before Making a Purchase
A motorcycle lift is designed to fit cruisers, trikes, sports bikes, and choppers. It is important to know how much the motorbike weights. Check whether the motorcycle lift can handle that weight limit and does not exceed the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you plan to own several types of bikes over the years, then it may be a good idea to use a heavier weight than with a lighter current bike when looking at maximum load capacity.
Situate the lift with sufficient vertical clearance to raise the bike into position for a service. It will become a pain to store the lift in a place where there is insufficient vertical clearance to use the tool and then have to relocate it before a bike can be loaded on it, raised and worked on. Give a little bit of thought to the layout of a garage where the tool will be situated to decide where the best spot for the lift will be before purchase.
Some motorcycle lifts are more portable, whereas others are fixed in one position. Which type would suit your needs best? With that said, no lifts are going to be light as they are using robust materials. Therefore, even with more portable models, consider them to be in a semi-fixed position and plan accordingly.
Different materials get used in the construction of each motorcycle lift. Every bike weighs a fair amount, so any lift needs to be pretty sturdy.
Consider how the lift will be stored, in particular for models that have a substantial footprint. Covering up the lift with a protective sheet when not in use is a good idea. Also, remember the lift will occasionally be serviced to ensure it too stays in good working order.
There are lifting points on each bike that are intended to be used to elevate it. Do not use another area to lift the bike, because there is no strengthening added to this area for that purpose.
Engage the safety locks, available on some bikes, to stop the wheels moving, making the bike more stable. Before beginning any work on the motorcycle, double-check that it is indeed stable now and isn’t going to fall on top of the person conducting the repairs.
There is not always lots of space between the pinch points on the lift and the bike tires when the bike is loaded up. Be careful not to get toes or fingers trapped in the process.
Rage Powersports is a producer of products to help load, transport and haul cargo, bicycles, power sports equipment, and pet animals.
XtremepowerUS is an industrial manufacturer and home user device maker. The company founded in 2004 imports lifts and other useful tools internationally.
PowerZone focuses on producing outdoor equipment, with a specialization in lifts. This brand is particularly good for heavier bikes.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Assembly: Most motorcycle lifts need either no assembly at all or little needed. They work right out of the box once put in a suitable position.
Wider is better: Wider motorcycle lifts offer greater stability because they more successfully distribute the weight of the bike across a broader area. Look for lifts that have bigger bases, especially if you may own a heavier bike in the future. The downside is that larger motorbike lifts take up more ground space in the garage.