Doing motorcycle maintenance yourself rather than handing it over to an auto shop will save you a hefty chuck of money. If you have the technical knowhow, or the patience to learn as you go, all you need next are the right tools for the job. Any motorcycle owner will tell you, if you plan on doing motorcycle work yourself, you’ll need a dependable jack.
Some motorcycle jacks are hydraulic, some function using compressed air, and some use both. Once you have your motorcycle elevated, it will be so much easier to work on it. You’ll be able to save plenty of money while gaining hands on experience with various tasks that you may have to do again in the future.
It’s possible to make a DIY motorcycle lift or functioning motorcycle lift table, but that’s not necessarily a safe way to elevate or store your motorcycle. Buying a well-crafted motorcycle jack is a much wiser decision. Here’s how to choose which is the best one for you.
Most Important Criteria in Selecting the Right One
Stability is of the utmost importance for a motorcycle lift or jack. If your jack is wobbly, that could be dangerous. Safety should be your first priority when elevating hundreds of pounds into the air. A really good quality jack can double as a motorcycle stand for easier storing as well. Jack lift function isn’t negatively affected when motorcycle jacks are used as long term motorcycle stands. It’s also possible to buy a jack with built in jack stands. Many motorcycle jacks have wheels, so if you choose a model that is wheeled you can move it around your garage as please.
Weight capacity is the next most important factor. You should make sure that whatever jack, stand, or lift you buy is designed to withstand the weight of your motorcycle safely. This poses another safety issue if not abided by.
If you’re unsure about the weight of your motorbike and are having difficulty finding it online, get a high capacity jack just to be completely safe. High capacity jacks are more useful in the long run anyway, because they can be used for almost any kind of motorcycle. Virtually all motorcycle jacks are designed to be universal, the deciding factor is its weight capacity. Whether you intend to use your jack for American made motorcycles or foreign, you ought to be able to use the same jack for any of them.
The size and weight of your jack may also be worth noting if you’d like it to be portable. Its weight will have to do with what material it’s made from, and obviously its size as well.
How to Use a Motorcycle Jack
How to Jack Up a Motorcycle
It’s always good to have someone help you jack up your bike if possible, but you may also do it alone. First, line up your jack as evenly as you can in the center underneath your motorcycle. Get on your bike and balance it upright. Slide the jack into place in line with the frame rails. Hold the handbrake so that the bike doesn’t roll.
Keep the motorcycle as stable as possible, and with one foot pump the pedal of the jack while stabilizing the bike with your other foot. Your weigh should be on the foot that is not pumping the jack. Pump up the jack until it catches on the frame rails. Once it does, pump only a few more times and then step off and check the alignment. If it looks okay, then keep pumping it up until the wheels are off the ground.
How to Take Your Bike off the Jack
Carefully get on the motorcycle while it’s on the jack. Hold the handbrake and keep the bike as still as possible. Place one foot firmly on the ground and put your weight on it while using the other to slowly press the release pedal. When the motorcycle is completely lowered down and its weight is back on the ground, carefully slide the jack away with your foot, and you’re done.
Top Motorcycle Jacks on the Market
We’ve narrowed the numerous options you may find at online marketplaces, retail stores and anywhere else you can buy motorcycle lifts to this short list. Depending on your required weight capacity, one of these should be the perfect fit for your garage.
Powerbuilt 620422E Heavy Duty 4000 lb Triple Lift Jack
Featuring swivel caster wheels, this mobile model is comparable to a harbor freight motorcycle jack or J&S motorcycle jack, but is significantly cheaper and functions just as well. With padded rails to protect your bike from any scratches, its 4,000 lbs capacity is enough for any motorcycle on the market. It locks into position to serve effectively as a motorcycle lift stand combo. When fully extended, it sits at about 6” from the ground and reaches roughly 19” high.
J&S jacks are known for being some of the best, but this jack proves that a brand name isn’t everything. For a high value, affordable jack that can be compared with the best, this is our top pick.
XtremepowerUS 1100Lbs Motorcycle Scissor Center Jack Lift Repair Stand
Titan Lifts MPJ-1500-GR Metallic Grey Multi-Purpose Rolling Hydraulic Jack (1,500 lb)
1100 LB Wide Deck Motorcycle Center Scissor Lift Jack
Occam’s Razor states that: the simplest answer is most often correct. This axiom holds firm in the realm of motorcycle maintenance and auto repair. The simplest tools are tried and true, and serve as the old faithful for countless mechanics and motorcycle owners around the world. This scissor style motorcycle lift jack, like the XtremepowerUS model above, is well equipped to handle any motorcycle around the half-ton weight range.
Extra wide, this easily collapsible jack provides a broad and stable surface to safely elevate your motorcycle for maintenance and even storage. The Wide Deck motorcycle jack reaches just over 13″ when extended, and is incredibly sturdy, durable, and reliable. If you don’t plan on using your jack often, then what more do you need?
BikeMaster Easy Lift & Lower Stand TLMLTD-01