Best Motorcycle Lifts: Make Bike Maintenance a Snap
Bike maintenance is simple to do with these top motorcycle lifts.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON October 8, 2019
If you frequently work on your bike, it’s convenient to have a motorcycle lift for basic maintenance. The device lifts the bike off the ground so you can have better access to its parts and perform tasks such as changing the oil. If you're not sure which motorcycle lift is best, read our buying guide below for our top recommendations.
This lift extends up to 14 inches high and is easily hand-operated with a 7/8-inch socket or wrench. It has a heavy-duty steel frame and a rubber padding on the platform.
- Lift is easy to use
- Very sturdy and durable
- Features a nice, wide platform and smooth operating jack
- Not suited for heavy bikes
- While it's rated for 1,000 pounds, it works best on smaller, lighter bikes because it may collapse
- Jack may also be defective
This scissor-lift jack has a lift range of 3 3/4 inches to 13 2/5 inches and is made of heavy-duty steel. It's also oil-, grease-, and dirt-resistant.
- Jack is well-made, strong, and sturdy
- Lifts up smoothly, and the bike stays balanced while you're working on it
- Threads can strip over a short period of use
- Jack may flex, and the jack screw can break
- Raising and lowering it with heavy weight can be difficult
It's made of steel with a black powder coating. It has a lift range of 3 3/4 inches to 16 1/4 inches with removable adapters to adjust height an additional 2 to 3 1/4 inches.
- Jack is easy to use
- Reasonably priced
- Function is spot on
- Good quality and features thick gauge metal
- You may need to modify it because the jack may not fit under the bike without removing the sliding support brackets
- Surface is also slippery, and your bike may slide on it
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Benefits of Motorcycle Lifts
- Enhance your safety. Working on a motorcycle without a lift is challenging and potentially dangerous. Most motorcyclists prefer to maintain their own bikes these days, so it’s wise to get a motorcycle lift. Performing maintenance on your bike while on your knees is dangerous, inconvenient, and impractical. The right motorcycle lift is ergonomic and keeps you safe.
- Adjustable. You can easily adjust a motorcycle jack to the best height and carry out repairs, maintenance, or cleaning. You don’t have to bend down for hours trying to access the bike’s components and get aches and pains. The lift makes it easy for you to work on the bike and its components.
- Specially designed for bikes. Because a motorcycle lift is made specifically for bikes, it is easier and safer to use with a bike than a car jack.
- High load capacity. Some motorcycle jacks have a load capacity of 1,500 pounds (or above) and can hold heavy motorcycles. Ensure the jack you choose has amazing lifting power as you’ll be able to use it with a variety of motorcycles and even ATVs.
Types of Motorcycle Lifts
Air Hydraulic Lifts
These motorcycle jacks are air-powered and have an air pump that pushes the hydraulic fluid into the lifting cylinder. A foot-controlled pedal on top of the air pump activates it. The pump pushes hydraulic fluid into the lifting cylinder, starting off the lift movement. The air pump is operated by a foot pedal and inside it an additional reserve of hydraulic oil is stored.
Air hydraulic jacks are better than air lifts because they operate smoothly. The hydraulic fluid allows the lifts to move up and down without the hesitation and surging that is common with air lifts.
These are the most popular and least expensive motorcycle lifts. They are operated by compressed air and only require 100 PSI. The lifts have a foot-operated valve that causes an air cylinder to raise or lower. Most air lifts have a load capacity of 1,000 pounds. They also have different locking positions at various working heights.
Many air lifts have a wheel vise for securing the motorcycle and a drop tail/drop panel that gives you better access to the rear components. Most people use motorcycle straps to secure their bikes as well as the wheel vise.
This motorcycle jack is powered by an electric hydraulic pump. However, it is usually more expensive than an air lift and an air hydraulic lift due to the cost of electric hydraulic power. But it offers great value for money. Electric bike lifts have a better operating speed, operate consistently, and are convenient. Some come with hand-held remotes instead of a foot pump.
Hand Crank Lifts
Most scissor jacks have hand cranks and are operated manually. A hand crank does not rely on hydraulics, only a single screw. When the hand crank is pushed, the screw rotates, pulling the two sides of the scissor jack together and lifting up the motorcycle. Hand crank bike lifts are simple, cheaper, and don’t leak hydraulic fluid. However, if they are poorly-built, they can experience dramatic failure when their bolts strip or bend.
Extreme Max says it isn’t just a brand, it’s a way of life. That’s enough to let you know that this company cares about its customers. The tool and equipment company is based in Minnesota and sells various tools to different industries, like Powersports and marine industries. The company has invented many awesome products over the years, like the Snowmobile Lift and the Transom Saver. Each product the company designs offers top performance and can withstand high speeds. If you want to know what the company is all about, get the Extreme Max 1000 lbs. Motorcycle Lift.
Torin Jacks Inc.
This company goes by the names Torin, Torin Jacks, and Torin Inc. It makes automotive equipment such as wheels, jacks, engines, valves, and lifting equipment. Torin Jacks sells products to customers around the world and has offices in the United States and in Ontario, Canada. It is very popular with motorcycle owners and it’s easy to see why. The company makes amazing products like the Torin Hydraulic Powersports Lift Jack.
Motorcycle Lift Pricing
- $70-$200: The jacks in this price category are mostly air lifts or hydraulic lifts. Many have a scissor design. If you want a bike lift that will last, you must be willing to spend a little more—above $100.
- $200 and up: Most of these bike lifts are electric-powered. Some have a high load capacity—1,500 pounds and above—while others have lengthy warranties.
The Lifting Mechanism
The main job of a lift is to get a motorcycle off the ground. In this respect, every motorcycle lift has a jack, a winch, or a motor that hoists motorcycles. Most bike lifts use the same hydraulic technology used by car jacks. The lift mechanism can be either air, hydraulic, or electric. However, it’s worth noting that hydraulic and electric lifts are more expensive and require less effort.
Motorcycles are not equal and have different weights. For instance, a Harley Davidson Road Glide has a weight rating of almost 900 pounds while a Honda Monkey barely weighs 200 pounds. Get a lift that weighs twice as much as your bike. If you own a small dirt bike, get a jack with a 300-pound weight limit. If you want one that also works for ATVs and trikes, it must have a weight capacity of 1,500 pounds and above.
You can never go wrong if you choose a lift with a higher weight limit. Sure, it might be a little more expensive and take up more space in your garage, but it’s safer for you and your bike. Additionally, you never have to replace it when you upgrade to a bigger motorcycle down the road.
When using a motorcycle jack, your safety must be the priority. It should have safety features that help prevent injuries. Make sure it has a locking mechanism so that it doesn’t drop down on you when you’re working on the bike. The lifting platform should also have a rubber coating to prevent the bike from slipping and to protect its paintwork from damage. Some manufacturers sell their bike jacks with straps that can be used to secure bikes during the lifting process.
Working Height Range
Before you buy a motorcycle lift, check its lifting height. A jack with adjustable height is better because you’ll need different heights for different tasks. If it’s not adjustable, you may not be able to reach some parts of the bike. Most bike lifts can be raised to 30 inches and have a minimum height of 3 inches.
- Ease of use. The motorcycle jack you get must be easy to use. Check its height because the higher you can elevate the bike, the easier your job becomes. Also, bike lifts with comfortable handles and levers are easier to use than those with small hardware that pinches hands.
Best Motorcycle Lifts Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Select a lift that has a maximum lifting weight that is compatible with your motorcycle. First, you have to know how much your bike weighs. Then purchase a lift that can withstand a maximum weight that is 50 percent higher.
- Safety is most important when you use a motorcycle lift. Always secure the bike with the lift's safety and locking mechanisms. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to make sure you're doing it properly.
- The size of the lift is important, particularly if you don't have a lot of space in your garage or workshop. Look for a lift that isn't too bulky and that you can fold up or store out of the way when it's not in use.
Q: How does a motorcycle lift work?
Line up the bike properly, lock the wheels in place, and use straps or blocks of wood to keep the bike in place. Jack up the bike using the lever on the lift. Be sure not to overload the lift.
Q: Can I use a car jack to lift my motorcycle?
It's possible but not recommended. Motorcycle lifts are designed specifically for bikes. You want to use a device that will keep you and your bike safe from harm.
Q: Can I put an ATV on a motorcycle lift?
It's best to use a lift that's specifically designed for an ATV. ATVs are typically much heavier than motorcycles, and you don't want to go beyond a lift's maximum load capacity or it can fail.
Our pick for the best motorcycle lift is the Extreme Max 1000 lbs. Motorcycle Scissors Jack-Wide. It's sturdy, simple to use, and the jack operates very smoothly.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the OrionMotorTech Dilated Scissor Lift Jack.