Harbor Freight bike lift review - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 2:01 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Harbor Freight bike lift review

Hello Everyone,

I am currently about 2/3 the way through my LT maintenance / shock replacement project. This is first time I have used my new Harbor Freight bike lift. This thing is absolutely fantastic. I had picked it up on sales for $320 and figured I could just sell it when the project was done. After using it for only a few days I can easily say it was a great investment and there is no way I'm selling it. No more laying on the floor for me. The lift works better than I had ever imagined. I give it two thumbs up and highly recommend it to anyone contemplating the purchase of a lift.
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post #2 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 2:12 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

+1. The only thing I don't like about it is the tiny swivel casters. When the table is in the down position about 2/3 of the total weight is carried by them & they're not up to the task. I like to move the bike around on the table to bring it outside to wash or tuck it in a corner so I added 4" swivel casters to the underside of the table - now it rolls around nicely. I store the table on end when not in use.
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2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)
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post #3 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Buddy of mine drilled 4 holes in the bottom and then used those to mark 4 spots on his garage floor. He then used a cement drill to drill 4 holes and set in 4 threaded sleeves.

He then rolls the lift over the holes, adds bolts to hold the table down and now you can run and tackle the bike on the stand and it can not fall over. when not in use he puts the bolts in the floor holes to keep them clean. I certainly feel that the whole thing is safer bolted to the floor and I will be doing the same.

Anyone claiming it's not strong enough for the LT has never used or seen one, it's obvious that the 1000lb rating is to make lawyers happy.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #4 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 4:43 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Right, bolting the table down will prevent the table from skidding forward as soon as the front tire hits the ramp. That was also an issue for me. I had no issue with the table's stability fully raised without bolting it down, though.

Jim
2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)
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post #5 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 6:57 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_McG
Right, bolting the table down will prevent the table from skidding forward as soon as the front tire hits the ramp. That was also an issue for me. I had no issue with the table's stability fully raised without bolting it down, though.
Just lay a piece of rubber under the skid plate of the jack to screw into ;that will keep it from moving forward.
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post #6 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 7:08 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

If you dont get your LT right the lift will fall over... So look out for that . I put my lift right on the floor with out wheels and that help that problem. At 834 lbs the lift made my job a dream.. Yes there are a few little bugs with it but ... Check the oil in the ram and she is good to go.. Some people had a hard time with the little wheel chock but found that it works good on the LT.

Strap it down, I use 1 on each side and one on the center stand to the front wheel. One from the bed (lift) threw the front wheel to keep it from hopping forward. It hopped on me once and fell off the center stand when I was going up with it so I now add one more strap.. do put a strap the center stand that bad boy will fall and all the straps will come off. Thank god I was holding it..

I do it like this:

The table will move if your trying to ride the bike on to this lift. I walk it on to the lift and that stopped.

Run the lift up and then set the safety bolt and let the ram back down. Saves your hydraulic ram as this is the one part that will fail very fast if you leave all the weight on it.

Last edited by 00K1200LT; Aug 6th, 2013 at 7:14 pm.
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post #7 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 7:21 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Quote:
Originally Posted by timgray
Anyone claiming it's not strong enough for the LT has never used or seen one, it's obvious that the 1000lb rating is to make lawyers happy.
The bike is only 834 lbs.. add 50 more for whatever.. and your still under that 1000lbs.. The lift does good, but has its problems..

You must place the bike in the center or it will lean/fall over .. the stand has a flaw in it.
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post #8 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 8:31 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00K1200LT
The bike is only 834 lbs.. add 50 more for whatever.. and your still under that 1000lbs.. The lift does good, but has its problems..

You must place the bike in the center or it will lean/fall over .. the stand has a flaw in it.
Agreed, the base needs to be nearly twice as large as it is now, or be more like a pro stand and designed to be bolted in place.

When bolted to the floor and it can't lean/fall over, Although I do thing you can side load it badly where you will create a dangerous condition, but you can do that on the $10,000 professional lifts. I think adding painted lines to make sure the tires are inside the line will help me on "brain fart" days to double check before jacking up the whole thing.

I hope to get rid of enough garage junk to permanently mount one to the floor with 6 or more big bolts so that there is no chance of tip over.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC

Last edited by timgray; Aug 6th, 2013 at 8:37 pm.
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post #9 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 10:14 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

I bought mine on sale for $300. It was of the best money I've ever spent. The lift isn't perfect, but I'm more than happy with it.

Centering the bike is a must, and the lift will slide when you try to get the bike on by yourself. What I do, which cures that problem, is I put a large square chunk of wood underneath the rear of the table, near the ramp, and that keeps it from lifting the front when loading/unloading- works great and the lift doesnt slide.

The other thing that I do, is I get the bike on the lift, set it on the side stand, and have a helper handy when lifting the bike. I put a single strap to the frame underneath the drivers seat, and wrap it around one of my ceiling trusses. When I get the bike up high, I lower the table, and then lower the center stand. I pump the jack back up and center the bike on the lift, on the center stand. Works great. Putting the bike on the center stand the normal way you would in a parking lot isn't a great idea on the lift.

I'd suggest it to anyone considering; just wait for the sale.

Paul L.
Upstate NY

2002 BMW K1200LTC
1998 Buell Thunderbolt S3T
1978 HD Sportster
1975 HD FXE
1978 Honda CB 750F Super Sport
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post #10 of 12 Old Aug 6th, 2013, 10:17 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

I have one of these lifts and have had no issues with it. It works like a champ to me for my LT's, KLR's, and scooters. I roll the lift to the center of my shop floor and then screw down the stabilizers and it stays right there. No problems riding my LT right up on the lift. I ride up until my front tire contacts the stop at the front and then lower my centerstand (electric hydro). I have my wheel clamp bolted in the holes that allow it to align in the center of my front wheel once the center stand is down. This keep the bike from rolling. The lift table has a U bolt on each side where you can hook a strap up to you bike on each side to help stabilize it. Once this is done it takes about 55 pumps of the foot pedal and my bike is all the way up. Place the safety bar through the lift arms and release the pressure on the bottle jack and you are ready to go to work. The removable floor panel in the table make rear wheel removal a piece of cake.
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Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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post #11 of 12 Old Aug 7th, 2013, 10:22 am
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00K1200LT
II do it like this:
You roll your bike up backwards?

I agree the bike needs to be centered and secured to the table. The attached pic shows mine rolled outside for a bath. Obviously I move it in the lowered position and it is in the half raised position in this shot. The center stand should land just forward of the removable panel under the rear wheel. It was when I tried to roll it back into the garage I knew those tiny swivel casters wouldn't cut it. I needed to assist the front wheels with a floor jack. No problem now with the large casters.

I wish I had the space to permanently bolt the lift down but I don't.
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2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)
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post #12 of 12 Old Aug 7th, 2013, 12:20 pm
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Re: Harbor Freight bike lift review

Like Gary said, some kind of rubber pad under the outriggers will keep the lift from sliding when mounting. I used a couple of old inserts that were in a pair of my old workboots.
I always put mine on the center stand, lock the front wheel, then put two cinch straps to two 3/8" eyebolts that I installed at the back of the lift to help stabilize any tipping or moving forward off the center stand. I also take off the down foot lever once up where I want it. I stepped on it once when the lift was up off the stop pin, and it created a pucker factor....

BMW 1200 LTC 2002


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