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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a Western Motorcycle lift. I've never used one, and there are no use instructions with the lift. My questions are:
Is it more stable to put the bike on the center stand (see photo)?
or
Is is more stable to strap the bike to the lift with the front wheel all the forward?
 

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Thats a scarey lookin setup you've got there.I always run the bike all the way forward so the clamp is on the front of the tire to keep it from tipping.if you need to ,get Western's jack to jack it up on the center stand.I usally strap the bike to the lift if I'm gonna be torqueing (sp)anything.I think you have the Orange County Choppers procedure there.They had bikes falling off lifts left and right on T.V. for a while.
 

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jgburns said:
I just bought a Western Motorcycle lift. I've never used one, and there are no use instructions with the lift. My questions are:
Is it more stable to put the bike on the center stand (see photo)?
or
Is is more stable to strap the bike to the lift with the front wheel all the forward?
John, your pic is Ed Zachery how I put Toad on my lift. Always on the centerstand and with the front wheel vise tightened on the *tire* only - not touching the wheel rim. Surely a tie-down strap on either side somewhere wouldn't hurt, but I never have used 'em. Some folks wouldn't work on their bikes without straps, however. YMMV. Enjoy your new lift.
 

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jgburns said:
I just bought a Western Motorcycle lift. I've never used one, and there are no use instructions with the lift. My questions are:
Is it more stable to put the bike on the center stand (see photo)?
or
Is is more stable to strap the bike to the lift with the front wheel all the forward?
My $0.02: those clamps are great for smaller bikes, but I wouldn't trust one with my LT, as I don't believe it would be effective if the bike started tipping. FWIW, I removed the clamp from my Handy lift shortly after it arrived.
 

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I aint knocking your lift,but the Handy clamp looks kinda weenie compared to the clamp that Western makes.Just sayin'
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Say again

ChiefMn said:
Thats a scarey lookin setup you've got there.I always run the bike all the way forward so the clamp is on the front of the tire to keep it from tipping.if you need to ,get Western's jack to jack it up on the center stand.I usally strap the bike to the lift if I'm gonna be torqueing (sp)anything.I think you have the Orange County Choppers procedure there.They had bikes falling off lifts left and right on T.V. for a while.
This probably sounds stupid to you, but I just don't get it.

How does one get both the front wheel all the way forward and put it on the center stand? I bought the Western Jack, but I don't see how that would help. Please be more descriptive.
 

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Just Use The Tie Downs!

Looking at the picture, this bike should be tied down (as per LT instructions) on the front end for sure! If this bike ever tips while on the lift :eek: , one of two things will happen. 1) The bike is seriously damaged...that's for sure! :eek: 2) Someone could get seriously injured or killed. :(

There is NO WAY I would trust the wheel vise to hold this bike by itself. If the bike tips, the vise will NOT hold it and CRASH!!! It takes only 3-5 minutes max to tie it down and then and only then is it safe. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The clamp looks like it meant to stabilize

mneblett said:
My $0.02: those clamps are great for smaller bikes, but I wouldn't trust one with my LT, as I don't believe it would be effective if the bike started tipping. FWIW, I removed the clamp from my Handy lift shortly after it arrived.
... the bike -- keep it from rocking if it gets bumped. That's if the tire was all the way forward.
 

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ChiefMn said:
I aint knocking your lift,but the Handy clamp looks kinda weenie compared to the clamp that Western makes.Just sayin'
No offense taken -- but ya probably need to take a closer look at the Handy unit -- the Western unit is the same clamp as mine (nearly -- mine's painted grey :)). The lift is essentially identical, too -- down to the curved-ramp and roller arrangement of the lift tracks. I'd give better than even money that they are built under the same roof. Bottom line, I wouldn't trust either clamp ;)

One suggestion for anyone considering these units -- give serious consideration to buying the extension for the front end and dumping the clamp. The extra length allows the bike to be centered on the lift and not have the rear wheel partially hanging over the end of the lift when put on the centerstand.

Another thought -- no bike ever rises off the ground on my lift without tie-downs between the frame and the lift deck for stability -- period.

Yet another thought -- For non-electric centerstands, a 7" tall (height of two 2x4s), 18"x18" platform, topped with plywood, will allow you to stand next to the bike at the same level, making deployment of the centerstand *much* easier.
 

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I just ride the LT forward, then let Ernie tighten the clamp. After all, it is his lift. :D We haven't used tie downs for minor work (running wires), but always use them if we're doing anything that may push the bike around (shocks, swingarm removal, etc.).

The front extension does help to center the bike, and sometimes you can remove the front wheel stop and get it a bit further forward before using the center stand. But I'd still prefer to have a helper there, just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'd take that bet

mneblett said:
...The lift is essentially identical, too -- down to the curved-ramp and roller arrangement of the lift tracks. I'd give better than even money that they are built under the same roof...
The Handy is made in America according the company rep, the Western was build in China as a Handy knock-off. However, the Handy is 24" wide and the Western is 30" wide (enable ride up with a place to put the feet).
 

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I just received and set up the Handy with the 8" side extensions. Definiately wide enough now to support my feet while loading.
 

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jgburns said:
The Handy is made in America according the company rep, the Western was build in China as a Handy knock-off. However, the Handy is 24" wide and the Western is 30" wide (enable ride up with a place to put the feet).
Well, all I can say is that I bought mine directly from Handy and if the Western is a knock-off and built in China, mine came out of the same factory!
Somebodies pulling somebodies leg! The Western in the picture here and my Handy are identical right down to the red wheel clamp with black plastic end caps.
 

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Don't take chances!

I've been using a Silver bike lift that came with a vise; which I took off. It doesn't do anything. Forget the vise which is useless, and strap the bike on all four corners. Don't take any chances with anything, and you won't have any problems.
 

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well.there's your problem.You have the red clamp and I have the gray one. :histerica Actually, the picture of the Handy clamp I googled looked like it was made out of U shaped stock and looked like it would flex while mine is made out of square stock.If you have end caps it probably is the same as mine.my mistake
 

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jgburns said:
This probably sounds stupid to you, but I just don't get it.

How does one get both the front wheel all the way forward and put it on the center stand? I bought the Western Jack, but I don't see how that would help. Please be more descriptive.
haven't tried it with my LT yet ,but you would put the front wheel in the clamp and position the jack so the center stand will clear it .Jack up bike,lower center stand, lower jack so bike is on center stand.Like I said,I haven't tried it with my LT yet so there may not be a place to jack and still lower the center stand.When I use this method with my HD's I use a couple of chunks of 4X4 for a stand which is more stable than the jack.
I may be a nervous nellie, but I always figured itis easier to secure a bike than try and get it off me or repair it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here's an alternative to jacking it up ... maybe

ChiefMn said:
haven't tried it with my LT yet ,but you would put the front wheel in the clamp and position the jack so the center stand will clear it .Jack up bike,lower center stand, lower jack so bike is on center stand.Like I said,I haven't tried it with my LT yet so there may not be a place to jack and still lower the center stand.When I use this method with my HD's I use a couple of chunks of 4X4 for a stand which is more stable than the jack.
I may be a nervous nellie, but I always figured itis easier to secure a bike than try and get it off me or repair it.
I wouldn't feel safe doing what you suggest by myself. Check the photo out below, it's a photo from a Handy Lift review -- notice the vice is installed further back than where I bolted mine down. I'm going to move mine back, bolt a 2X6 stop on the front of the lift, open the vise, pull the bike to the stop, put it on the center stand, and then close the vice. I'll let you know how it goes.

The review is at http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-table-lift/

For all those freaking out about lack of tie-downs, I will use them when I actually work on the bike --- this was just a test and photo op to ask the original question.
 

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jgburns said:
I wouldn't feel safe doing what you suggest by myself. Check the photo out below, it's a photo from a Handy Lift review -- notice the vice is installed further back than where I bolted mine down. I'm going to move mine back, bolt a 2X6 stop on the front of the lift, open the vise, pull the bike to the stop, put it on the center stand, and then close the vice. I'll let you know how it goes.

The review is at http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-table-lift/

For all those freaking out about lack of tie-downs, I will use them when I actually work on the bike --- this was just a test and photo op to ask the original question.

yep,that outta work.The only point I was trying to make was clamping only on the bottom of the tire really isn't doing much.Wouldn't want to see any one get hurt
 

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I've been considering a lift for a while,
like many others I would like the best value for what I actually need it for.
After reading these posts and the other one regarding the Harbor Freight lift, I have to ask,
what in your opinion makes the Handy or Western lift worth twice the price of the Harbor Freight one?
 

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SilverBuffalo said:
I've been considering a lift for a while,
like many others I would like the best value for what I actually need it for.
After reading these posts and the other one regarding the Harbor Freight lift, I have to ask,
what in your opinion makes the Handy or Western lift worth twice the price of the Harbor Freight one?
Hey, Hans - I don't gotta comparison note 'tween the three lifts, butt .... I've yet to go into a dealership work area and see anythang other than a Handi-Lift. Some are really old and well worn, butt they're still goin strong and the techs swear by 'em. When I bought mine, I inquired of four dealerships just in my 'hood - 2 BMWs, one Honda, and one HD. All had Handi-Lifts. Works for me, and I've had it for nearly 7 years - love it. Long as I have a bike, I'll have a lift.
 
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