As winter drew closer last fall, I began contemplating the laundry list of items I wanted to do to my Tracker in off season. With all these ideas going through my head, I started to wonder exactly how I was going to get all these items done; one thing was a certain, I needed to get something to put my bike on. I started to look into motorcycle jacks and lifts.
Traditional jacks only lift about 12” off the floor, barely getting the wheels off the ground, and once they got there they seem pretty precarious. So then I looked at table lifts. These seemed like the best option, not only did it give you the ability to stand up and work on your bike at near eye level but it also provided a surface to place the misc. tools I would be using. But still I wasn’t happy that I couldn’t remove the wheels while it was on the lift; I wanted a lift that would allow removal of wheels or forks. That’s when I discovered the Harbor Freight High Position Motorcycle Lift.
This lift performs exactly as advertised: “Now you can work on your bike safely and comfortably with this high position motorcycle lift. Supporting an 1100 lb. load capacity, the motorcycle lift provides a lifting height range from 2.6" to 30".”
For $189.99, I couldn’t find a reason not to try it. I went to my local Harbor Freight and picked one up. Assembly took only a few minutes. There are only a handful of pieces. I had my 1975 XS650 on it by that afternoon. That was September / November and it hasn’t left since. I have not put my much heavier V-Star 1100 on it yet, but I have no fear that this lift, with its rigid steel construction, won't be able to support it.
For my project, I have only found two cons to this lift. The first being once the lift is loaded with the motorcycle, that’s where it stays. The lift does have wheels built in, but they are only to move the lift when it is unloaded. With some minor fabrication however, you could add caster wheels for easily moving the unit while it is loaded. Second is the way the lift works with the hydraulic cylinder, there is an arm that inhibits working on that side (See photo below).
(photo above shows steel pivot structure)