A Motorcycle Lift From A Trailer Jack

If you have ever worked on a motorcycle on a regular basis with a limited workshop, you’ll know the challenge of taking off one or other of the wheels. You’ll probably have plenty of tales of bikes balanced precariously on blocks or suspended from the ceiling on a web of cargo straps, and if you are really unlucky you’ll have the Dented Tank Of Shame from the whole edifice tumbling down.

[Mike]'s bike lift, exploded view.
[Mick]’s bike lift, exploded view.
[Mick] has created a simple and elegant solution to raising his bike, a rather tasty unfaired Fireblade, after being unimpressed with commercial stands whose only aim seemed to be to operator ease rather than wheel access. He’s made his own stand using a trailer jack. The jack was very reasonably priced at $25, and has a rating of 3500lb which should be plenty for the Honda. He’s mounted the jack on a three armed steel foot with plenty of bracing, and created a mounting plate to locate with his bike’s frame and hold it securely.

The result is a simple, safe, and practical bike lift for a lot less cash than the commercial alternatives. It lifts [Mick]’s bike up to a comfortable working position without risk of calamity and allows full access to the wheels.

We’ve covered a lot of motorcycle projects over the years on these pages, but surprisingly this seems to be the first workshop stand. However there are plenty more projects to entertain you, such as this contemporary build of a 1905-era bike, this crazy gas turbine monster, or this rather frightening home-made frame.

20 thoughts on “A Motorcycle Lift From A Trailer Jack

  1. Great! I know exactly what he is talking about when he says that commercially available lifts dont really do the job. I find his solution to be both elegant and cost efficient.

    The bike itself is ugly as f*** tho.

  2. Makes me think of doing something similar for my bicycle. I normally turn it upside down with the seat and handlebars on the ground, which is not good for the seat and stuff on the handlebars (something you probably don’t do with a motorcycle).

    1. Yes I’ve thought of one for a bike. They make a lighter duty jack stand that you could hack. I wouldn’t cut off the base, just mount it to plywood and 3d print a clamping mount for the downtube. It would be cool to not only have the mount spin to flip the bike. I could see the mount also tilting the bike so you could lay it flat but up in the air to work on.

    1. The mount plate goes on and off in seconds. It’s only needed when I raise the bike. the plate is 3 lb of steel and I’ve shaved more than 50 lbs off this bike, but that for a later post.

    1. Perry Good eye, yes the sssa is from a VFR and the hub and rim is from a Triumph and back brake from a Duc. I heard 20% of balanced weight on a jack. So if your right at 10% of that should be 350 lbs load. My bike is 402 lbs wet. I guess I need to shave off 50 more pounds. I always wanted to do a carbon fiber frame :-) My next project is to redo the whole tail. I estimate that will cut off 20 more pounds.

    2. Actually, the recommendation is the tongue carries 10% of the trailer weight. So, a 7000# trailer would have 700# on the hitch.

      That says nothing about what the jack is rated for… particularly when you start getting into load distribution hitch configurations where the apparent weight on the ball may be 700# but the actual may be 1000# or more. ;)

    3. Trailer jacks lift a lot more than 10% of the trailer’s weight. Put a set of weight-distributing-arms on a hitch and the jack has to lift both the trailer and the back end of the tow vehicle to connect them.

      No, if the box says it’s rated to lift 3500 pounds, it can lift 3500 pounds. (Cranking that much weight upwards is an exercise left to the reader, and I do mean exercise.)

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