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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks!
I'm moving into a new house very soon and one of it's best features is a unattached 3 bay ( 2 roll up doors and one bay with a man door) shop/ garage. Finally room for more bikes and some real shop equipment too!

My wife and I want to buy a table type lift, like the ones in a dealer's shop, and I'm looking for advice on good brands, bad brands, brands to stay away from, pitfalls, etc? I've never used one, only a jack, but was always jealous of the ones in the dealerships.

We both ride heavy baggers so this thing has to be sturdy, for 900+ pound bikes I need something that is not a toy. Do I want a wide lift or a narrow one..I saw a few people complain online about it being tough to walk a bike onto a narrow lift since they had no where to put their feet..is that a valid concern?

The shop has a compressor so I am thinking a pneumatic powered one would be nice, I also have electric of course. Manual pump up seems like it might be a chore but maybe I'm wrong about that?

I would want the drop down rear and jack for changing wheels, I already have 2 Condor brand wheel chocks I got a deal on so I figure I'd probably mount one of those on whatever lift I buy, those are great chocks. Are there any other accessories I should be getting with a lift table?

I tried to do some research online and ended up more confused. A co-worker has a harbor freight brand lift, he swears it works fine for his Street Glide but I checked one out in the store and it doesn't look very well built to me. I don't want to go broke (I'm buying the house tomorrow after all, and I still have a bike habit to support) but I also don't want to buy junk which might cause more problems than it's worth. I'd be quite happy buying a used high quality piece of professional equipment if anyone knows a good source.

I'm also considering getting some tire changing equipment too so I can do it all in house, I'm not sure it's really worth it, but it would be nice...
 

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On The Road Again!
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Mike, a friend of mine has the Harbor Freight lift table.
We've had his Goldwing and another from the neighborhood on it with no problem. They don't come much heavier than that.
The only complaint is that there is no place to put your feet while you are moving the bike up onto the lift.
A couple of portable wooden platforms to go alongside would cure that.
I would also like to see a drop down section for tire changing myself.
Mike, in my shop, I rigged up an overhead chain hoist to pick the entire
rear of my Wing up off the floor. If you have the overhead structure to support it, it would be another good idea to consider.
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-chain-hoist-996.html
 

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I have a Kendon bike lift that's rated at 1000 lbs. Its powered by an air compressor that worked well for lighter bikes like the Triumph Bonneville and the Thunderbird. When I tried the Goldwing or the Trophy on it, the table wasn't steady enough when at full height, so I'd stay away from the Kendon. The main selling point for me was that one man could roll it into the corner of the garage and stand it up like a dolly saving a lot of space when not in use. A buddy of mine has had a Black Widow that he purchased from Discounts Ramps about 5 years ago and He's had no problems with it. He didn't like the front wheel vise that came with it, so he changed it to a locking wheel chock instead. He rides a Harley and I used it a couple of times when I owned the Triumph Trophy. Here's the link https://www.discountramps.com/motorcycle-lifts/c/2121/
 

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Ace Tuner
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We've been using, Handy Air Lifts from Western Manufacturing Corporation for well over 20 years.
Even though I haven't shopped for them in over 20 years I do remember they ain't cheap.

BTW, if you get a fairly wide lift it will be hard to 'get around and under' the bike to work.
 

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How about a real shop project? You could take this rotating table and add a motorcycle pad to the size you desire and use it for about anything. Take the pad off and you could lift a car! I would recess it into the concrete floor as well. I bought a more conventional 30"x80" from HGR and it will lift any bike as it is rated for 2000 pounds
https://hgrinc.com/productDetail/Ma...worth-Electric-Rotary-Lift-Table/05182550143/

Here is my table after paint and engineering a new bushing housing and off the shelf bushings. I can lift it to 42inches off the floor and stand /jump on one end with a bike loaded on top. The X frame is 3/4" plate steel with a massive lift cylinder that holds a gallon of hydraulic oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the hints and tips. Keep em coming...


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Mike, Just an FYI if interested. I just received an email from Discounts Ramps this morning running a promo of 15% off plus free delivery. Promo code is FLASH.


For myself, I'd love to have this 1500 lbs rated Pro-Lift.
 
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HF makes two different types of lifts. Aluminum and steel. I bought a steel one years ago while on sale at 299.00. My '66 FLH is on the lift right now. There are NO problems with that lift. I added a few extra 'U' bolts to it to strap the bike down..front, sides and rear. Always use the safety bar and release the pressure, adjust the stabilizer pads, and you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's the one I'm currently looking at too, does anyone have one and have a review or opinion? I was thinking get the longer loading ramp to make the approach angle easier.

For myself, I'd love to have this 1500 lbs rated Pro-Lift.
 

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I have the HF lift. I built 8' long boxes out of 2X8's to put on the sides of the lift with 3/4" plywood hinged tops. Put the handles on the lids to the very front of the boxes where they will not be in the way of my feet while loading and unloading bikes. On top of the lids I put 4" wide skid tape so they aren't slick when boots are wet. Inside the boxes I keep things like filter wrenches, oil filters and drainplug washers. That way everything is there when I do a simple oil change. I also changed the tire clamp to one that locks the tire in when you pull into it. Holds the bike upright long enough to tie it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Planning ahead? You can put a trike on that
 

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That's the one I got from the same place. Only difference was Fort Worth is one of their warehouses so shipping was nothing. Looks like the price has gone up just a hair in a year. You'll like it. But you better have a way to move it. It isn't light. I have pallet forks for my tractor and glad I do. Once you get it off the pallet you can lower the wheels and move it where you need. But my carrier demanded a forklift. But they did have a tail-lift on the truck so don't know what the big deal was. I still picked it up from the truck. Got it out of the box it comes in then lifted it again to put in my shop. So hope you are prepared Mike.
 

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Looks like a very well made lift, good price too. It heavy duty, over 700 lbs.
 

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I got the Harbor Freight lift a few years ago and it is one of the best things I ever bought. As I got older, bending down, or getting on the floor to work on my bike was getting to be a real chore and the lift makes it so much easier. I also do some furniture making and the lift makes a great assembly and finishing table that can be adjusted to the height needed for the piece. And when working on a car it makes a great tool/parts bench.

I did replace the wheel chock with a better one, and I also had to return the first lift I bought because of a faulty hydraulic ram.
 

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HF used to offer a pneumatic version of their basic lift. I have owned one since
2009. It lifts my Ultra Classic with no issues. In fact I stored the bike on it all winter last year. it was originally bought as a temporary lift until I could buy something better, since I did not have a lot of money as a college student after my military service. But it has worked so well I feel no need to upgrade. This model has a taller wheel vice, as well. I have not seen it listed on their website anymore in years, so I think it has been discontinued. The basic one they sell now would work fine, but I would modify a few things, such as the wheel vice.

With all that said, if I was building a dedicated shop and was starting fresh, I would buy one of the more expensive models on the market, that have all the bells and whistles. I mean why not?

Here's my 10 year old lift with the Sporty on it.

 

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Planning ahead? You can put a trike on that
You might get a regular trike on it but not sure about a reverse trike. I know my ATV won't quite fit but it's close enough that all I need is another 4 inches, so I can make it work. The way they've done it there are several ways to make it wider without working hard at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
They are delivering it Friday with a lift gate truck, no forklift required.
I’m going to assume the worst that it’s a big truck and the best we can do is get it dropped on the bottom edge of the driveway. I’ll have to figure out a way to get it about 40 feet up a very gentle slope on asphalt and into the shop, from there it should be simple. I have a couple of heavy duty furniture dollies, a hand truck, 2 rolling motorcycle jacks, a floor jack and a lot of ingenuity. I think I’ll figure it out. :)

It’s funny to me that moving a couple hundred pounds is a problem at home, at work I move really heavy units all the time, hanging a 25,000 pound PCA unit is nothing unusual for my crews. I wonder if I could drive a forklift home for the weekend?

That's the one I got from the same place. Only difference was Fort Worth is one of their warehouses so shipping was nothing. Looks like the price has gone up just a hair in a year. You'll like it. But you better have a way to move it. It isn't light. I have pallet forks for my tractor and glad I do. Once you get it off the pallet you can lower the wheels and move it where you need. But my carrier demanded a forklift. But they did have a tail-lift on the truck so don't know what the big deal was. I still picked it up from the truck. Got it out of the box it comes in then lifted it again to put in my shop. So hope you are prepared Mike.





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