First bike surgery with the Harbor Frieght lift

My moving present to myself was a nice Harbor Freight motorcycle lift.  I'd heard good things about them on the Chain Gang website and, since I spin a wrench now and again, I decided to go for it.

Peter and I finally got it into position last night (it had previously been used as a crap table for the garage while we're getting everything moved in) and put the DRZ up onto it.  Yep, it's only taken me 2 months since we returned, but I'm finally going to do the cross-country trip repairs on the poor little Suzuki.


As you can see above, the lift works perfectly for the DRZ when the latter is up on the little dirtbike stand that I got at Cycle Gear (the XT will also use the stand; the Beemer has a centerstand).  I use two tie-downs to stabilize the bike onto the lift's two U-bolts. 

The front wheel is also stabilized by a vice-like chock — I wouldn't rely on the chock to hold the bike's weight (i.e. minus the tie-downs) but it does keep the wheel from turning.


If I were going to do anything that would really require torque (removing the front sprocket nut comes to mind), I'd get two more U-bolts and tie down the bike in four places.  The lift has holes for four U-bolts, but only two came in the package.

Removing the DRZ's rear wheel was really easy with the little trap door in the lift.  In the photo above, the lift is all the way down, but when I was working on the bike I had it up farther and the rear wheel just dropped nicely through the trapdoor (it gave Peter a scare, though, when a spacer fell and noisily jangled its way down through the metal lift…I think he thought the bike crashed over onto me).

Raising and lowering the lift is super-easy with foot pedals.  The foot pedals can also come off of the lift when you're not using them so that hypothetically uncoordinated people don't hypothetically jam their shins into them whenever said people are walking around the garage.  Hypothetically. 

My lift also has a hydraulic lift attachment, but I haven't used that yet.

One of the best parts about the lift is that it's also easy (read: possible) to move the bike around mid-maintenance.  I got partway done with the DRZ last night, lowered the lift and, with Peter's help, paralled-parked the lift back in a corner of the garage so that it's out of the way of getting the Beemer in and out.  *happy*

All in all, I'm thrilled to death with this lift.  You'll be seeing more photos of it in the future!

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10 Responses to First bike surgery with the Harbor Frieght lift

  1. Ken Haylock says:

    People will be developing garage envy…
    Add a compressor, air tools and a MiG welder (or if you are seriously cool, TiG)and you’ll be the talk of the town…

  2. carolyn says:

    We do have a compressor and air tools…no mig or tig welder yet, but it’s probably just a matter of time until Peter finds one. šŸ˜€

  3. Ken Haylock says:

    Coo! With your air tools and your bike lift, you already rock. When you have a TiG welder of your own to fondle, you will rule. But to become the chosen one, unassailable before all comers, you must also have…

  4. Fairings says:

    Great job! What you’re doing is so cool!

  5. carolyn says:

    Ken, have you already forgotten our TechShop membership? We use their plasma cutter all the time. šŸ™‚

  6. Stephanie says:

    Seeing that makes me think of bodging a pit bull on top of Tony’s old tires to get the Triumph off the ground during the centerstand install…
    I think your lift is worth every penny.

  7. Ken Haylock says:

    > TechShop membership
    Actually, I had {embarrassed}.
    Although of course this serves two functions, one all good… and one pure evil!
    Good: It gives you the opportunity to use all sorts of cool toys like lathes and CNC machines and Plasma cutters, as required…
    Evil: It means that however tempted you are to buy one of your own of any of it for the workshop/garage, it’s even harder than it otherwise would be to suspend all common sense and judgement sufficiently to convince yourself that you really need a {cool tool/machine} and that it will somehow pay for itself one day…

  8. Ken Haylock says:

    Not seen: Parts washer… do you have a parts washer? Or is there a parts-washer shaped space in your new garage?

  9. Slablog says:

    As if we all didn’t already think it…These two photos confirm that you dear are the perfect wife.

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