LAST UPDATED: August 7, 2019
Best Motorcycle Lift Tables: Secure Your Bike on a Steady Platform
Work on your motorcycle comfortably in an upright position with these top-rated motorcycle lift tables
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PUBLISHED ON August 7, 2019
You don’t always have to get on your knees when repairing or maintaining your motorcycle. You can use a motorcycle lift table to get your bike to a comfortable height to work on. Lift tables are flat steel plates with a textured surface and locking mechanism that holds your bike in place. Motorcycle lift tables feature compressed air systems or hydraulics that lift or lower the motorbike to a suitable height. If you haven't already purchased a motorcycle lift for your garage, here’s a rundown of the best motorcycle lifts on the market today.
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Benefits of a Motorcycle Lift Table
- Storage. Motorcycle lift tables make for safe and convenient storage spaces for your bike if you would like to put it away during winter. It prevents the tires from losing air pressure, and you will have your bike in the same condition when the season is over. They can also be used for bikes waiting to be sold at motorcycle shops.
- Work comfortably. It’s uncomfortable to work on your knees, and your back may get sore while you are bending down. A bike lift table places the motorcycle at a comfortable height where you can access all parts without having to bend or strain. It also helps you work longer hours on the bike.
Save money. If you like to be hands-on with the repair and maintenance of your bike, you will appreciate having a motorcycle lift that serves as a small garage for your home. Heavy-duty motorcycle lift tables are compact, portable, and can help keep the bike off the floor to provide a safe work environment. You will no longer have to spend money taking your bike to a repair shop due to a lack of space.
Types of Motorcycle Lift Tables
A hydraulic motorcycle lift has a foot pedal that works the air pump to transfer pressure from a small cylinder to a bigger one with the help of hydraulic fluid. The pressure produced is enough to lift heavy bikes. Most hydraulic lifts are solid and stable but are quite expensive.
Motorcycle scissor lifts have a hand-operated, screw-like lever that brings two metal frames together or apart to raise or lower the load, respectively. Scissor lifts are typically compact, lightweight, and budget-friendly. They also include a safety-lock mechanism to keep the load in place.
Air lifts only have compressed air in the system that lifts and lowers the bike with the help of a foot-operated valve. As an air operated system, the foot valve controls the movement of the compressed air cylinders to adjust the height of the lift. They take much effort to operate as the air lift lacks a hydraulic fluid to facilitate the movement of compressed air.
Electric motorcycle lift tables use the same working mechanism as a hydraulic motorcycle lift, but the difference is that the hydraulic pump is powered by electricity. The pump then activates the lifting cylinder that raises or lowers the lift table.
Orion Motor Tech
Orion Motor Tech is an online-based auto parts brand. The company designs some of the best automotive replacement parts, modification accessories, power tools, and automotive exterior accessories. Try out the OrionMotorTech Dilated Scissor Lift Jack, which is one of its best motorcycle lift tables for the money.
Pit Posse is an automotive products manufacturing company based in Florida. The company manufactures automotive chemical fluids, power tools, and transportation accessories such as ramps, tie-downs, wheel-chocks, trailer organizers, and lift tables. One of its best-selling hydraulic motorcycle lift tables is the Pit Posse Scissor Lift table.
Extreme Max makes outdoor gear, automotive, and marine replacement parts and equipment. The company is based in Lino Lakes, Minn. but most of its products are sold online. Extreme Max products are designed to withstand the toughest road conditions and extreme temperatures. Some of its top-rated lift tables are the Extreme Max Motorcycle Scissor Jack and the Extreme Max Hydraulic Motorcycle Lift Table.
Motorcycle Lift Table Pricing
- Under $100: Lift tables within this range typically come in smaller dimensions but don’t compromise on safety. Most are scissor lifts that have a small lifting range and a compact design suitable for home garages.
- $100 and over: Expect to find high-end electric and hydraulic lifts within this range. The lifts have larger dimensions, a larger lifting range, and feature additional safety features to guarantee the safety and security of your motorcycle.
The length and width of the motorcycle-raising platform is important. Choose a platform with larger dimensions of about 110 by 80 inches if you have a large bike. However, there are some high-end lift tables with smaller dimensions, but they can lift bikes weighing more than 1,000 pounds.
The overall construction of the lift should be stable enough to handle a motorcycle. Most lifts are made from steel since it’s a strong and durable material. The lift should have a finish that’s oil- and dust-resistant for a clean work environment and a rubber platform for enhanced stability when the motorcycle is on top.
Lift tables have a maximum weight that they can accommodate. This will help you determine what type of bike you can lift on it. Some have less than a 500-pound lifting capacity while others have a generous lifting capacity of 4,000 pounds. However, you should keep in mind that the higher the lifting capacity, the heavier the lift.
- Lifting Height: A lift with an adjustable lifting height offers the user the convenience of adjusting the height of the motorcycle to a comfortable working position. Most lift tables can be raised to a maximum of 30 inches and a 3-inch minimum height.
Safety Features: Look into the additional features that promote the safety of the lifting mechanism. This may include a rubber platform, locking mechanisms, and side extensions to promote maximum stability of the platform.
Best Motorcycle Lift Table Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Black Widow lift has a small and lightweight profile that’s only 30 pounds, but it can hold up to 1,100 pounds. That’s mainly due to its heavy-duty steel construction that’s topped off with an elegant, shiny, black powder coat. The jack can lift to a max height of 16.25 inches and goes as low as 3.25 inches. However, the lifting height can be increased by another three inches with the help of its two adjustable adapters.
The lift has a rectangular platform that’s 17.8 inches long and 6 inches wide. It’s fitted with a jack foot on each side for maximum stability, and the top of the platform is fitted with two rubber-lined cradles for the front and rear tire. The rubber cradles prevent the steel platform from scratching your undercarriage. This scissor lift is operated simply by connecting the hex handle to the hex nut and turning it to raise or lower the lift.
A major drawback of the lift is that the rubber cradles are the only support system for the bike. It may not feel stable for heavier bikes, and you risk damaging your motorcycle in case you accidentally knock it over. Also, you may have a hard time turning the hex handle when the lift is at a lower position. Despite that, the Black Widow lift can be used to lift sport bikes, cruisers, and the majority of off-road bikes.
This is a compact lift with a maximum lifting weight capacity of 1,100 pounds. It has a center-lift design that leaves most parts of your bike accessible for maintenance or washing purposes. The platform has rubber padding to prevent slipping, to protect the paintwork, and for enhanced stability. The rectangular platform measures 15.2 inches by 9 inches, and the scissor lift stretches to a max height of 14 inches and folds down to about 3 inches in height.
The lift is made of long-lasting, heavy-duty steel that’s oil-, grease-, and dirt-resistant. It also has a smooth and shiny finish that’s easy to clean up. Also, the unit is easy to use as you lift and lower the table by simply rotating the metal sleeve. The manufacturer includes a user manual with maintenance and repair instructions. The lift is covered by a one-year warranty.
A drawback of the product is that some important accessories that make operating the tool more easily are sold separately. For instance, it has room for a dolly tray that slides under the jack and needs a 7/8 inch socket to operate the jack, but both units are sold separately. Also, the product doesn’t come with assembly instructions, and the higher it goes the more wobbly it gets.
The Pit Posse is a professional motorcycle lift that’s made from oil-resistant, heavy-duty gauge steel. It works on a foot-operated hydraulic, scissor lift with an adjustable lifting range of 13 to 36 inches, and it has a rectangular platform measuring 13.75 inches by 16 inches. The platform has a thick-rubber protective layer that protects your paintwork and safety loops that help secure your motorcycle firmly on the platform.
There’s a drain hole in the middle of the platform for a clean work environment, and the lift has caster wheels that make it easy to move around the bike when you are working at different angles. With a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds and a compact design, the unit is recommended for small garages and motorcycle shops. In addition, the lift is covered with a two-year warranty and a full money-back guarantee.
A downside of this lift is that it isn’t strong enough to hold heavy motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles. Also, the unit is useless if one of the castor wheels breaks off, and it would be a safety issue if it happens when lifting a bike. In addition, the wheels also make the unit wobbly at full height.
- Remember to check that the motorcycle is secure before you raise or lower the lift. Ensure that the locking mechanism is tight, and use extra straps if you have to. Also, check that the floor and surrounding area is clear before you lower the motorbike to prevent injury or damage to your bike.
- Ensure that you constantly keep the table lift clean. Wipe off any oil or grease from the tires as they may cause the tires to slide and tip over. Also, ensure that the lifting lever is grease-free for a firm grip when you are working the mechanism.
- Do not forget to perform routine maintenance on your lift table to prolong its life. Dust the mechanism and remove any debris stuck in the locking notches. Take note of any loose nuts, and tighten them. Consult the user guide that comes with the unit to know what parts of the mechanism need extra attention.
Q: Can motorcycle lift tables be used for an ATV?
A: It depends on the maximum load capacity of the lift. ATVs are too heavy for most standard motorcycle lifts, and it’s a bad idea to overload it if you aren’t sure of the weight of both units. Your manufacturer's handbook will give you the exact weight of your ATV, but note that it will be heavier if you have modified it with new tires and other accessories.
Q: Are tie-down straps necessary if I have a stable hydraulic motorcycle lift?
A: Tie-down straps, loops, and other locking mechanisms are important for extra safety, especially if you are planning to lift the motorcycle to the maximum allowable height. Keep in mind that even the best hydraulic motorcycle lift systems get faulty with time, and you need to take extra precaution to ensure that the bike doesn’t tip over and hurt you.
Q: Could I use motorcycle lift tables to lift other equipment?
A: Yes, as long as the equipment doesn’t exceed the maximum weight capacity of the lift. You should, therefore, be sure of the weight of the equipment before you place it on the lift table. Also, make sure that the equipment fits into the dimensions of the lift for stability. It’s always a good idea to consult the lift table guide on the type of equipment that it can lift.
Our top pick is the Black Widow MC-JACK Steel Motorcycle Jack. It has a high lifting capacity, an expandable lifting range, and it’s easy to operate. Our value pick is the Extreme Max Motorcycle Scissor Jack. It’s a cheap motorcycle lift table that delivers both value and quality.