Rise Up: Best Motorcycle Lifts And Jacks (Scissor and Table)

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Lifting motorcycles for maintenance, repair and cleaning can be done in many ways but one of the most common ways is using a scissor lift or a table lift.

During this guide we’ll be looking to equip you with the knowledge to make the right decision for your needs as well as giving you our recommendations for lifts to fit different situations.

 

Our Top Pick

Constands XL Lift

Quality, strength, value

The Constands XL lift earns top spot in the rankings, quality for the money is outstanding and it provides a large stable lifting platform which should enable you to lift pretty much any bike.

For a home user looking for something to last them a long time and enable them to take on any job their bike may throw at them this is the lift we would recommend.Check On Amazon

Budget Pick

Oypla Scissor Lift

Basic, simple, effective jack

The Oypla gets top pick as the best budget lift, for smaller bikes and occasional lift it provides a simple and easy to use method of raising the motorcycle off the floor.

There may be some adaptation to use on certain bikes and it’s unlikely to stand up to heavier usage but for the money it’s easy to see past the drawbacks.Check On Amazon

Types of lift


Scissor lifts


Scissor lifts raise a working platform from underneath the motorcycle and support it from the centre in order to lift both wheels off the ground at once.

These kinds of lifts are simplest to use on off road machines and cruiser type motorcycles where the frame is the lowest part of the motorcycle.

If your bike has the exhaust lower than the engine it is possible to use pieces of scrap wood to spread the load on to either the frame or a solid part of the engine casting (not the sump) and safely raise the bike in this manner.

A scissor lift will generally bring a bike around 30-40cm off the floor and give plenty of access to work on wheels and suspension at either end.

It’s unlikely you’ll be stood upright working on the motorcycle all of the time, but it’ll raise the bike higher than for example using paddock stands whilst enabling you to work on the wheels/ suspension components at either end of the bike.

Scissor lifts can be had for very reasonable money compared to a table lift and if budget is a concern this is probably the type of lift you’ll be looking at.

 

Table lifts


Table lifts are large working platforms which allow you to raise the motorcycle up to a comfortable working height. The best thing about these lifts is flexibility – using straps, wheel chocks, jacks and stands it’s possible to position all motorcycles into a safe and comfortable working position.

This does however mean when budgeting for a table lift you’ll probably be wanting to budget for other lifting equipment alongside it to enable you to move the lift and raise wheels and frame off the lifting platform.

The biggest upside to a table lift is the ability to work on a bike from a standing position – saving your knees and your back and providing easier visual access around the engine and lower areas.

There’s also the obvious benefit of being able to place tools and parts down on the table along with the motorcycle making the organisation of your work area much easier (especially with the addition of some magnetic trays).

Table lifts are relatively high-ticket items so whether you consider it worth the investment is down to the kinds of bikes you work on and whether you feel the extra cost justifiable for the level of use it will see.

 

Jack pressure type


Hydraulic

Hydraulic ram illustration

Hydraulic lifts use an oil filled hydraulic ram which can be pressurised to push the platforms up and down. To do this air is pumped into the hydraulic actuator using a hand pump, foot pump or electrical pump.

This provides a gradual, easy, lifting motion however seals can harden and fail over the years especially on cheaper models, so parts availability should be taken into consideration.

Better lifts tend to use foot or electric pumps as these allow hands free operation meaning you can check straps and keep hands on the bike as you raise it.

 

Screw

Screw operated jack

In the case of screw lifts a large threaded rod is wound in and out to move the lifting platform up an down.

This requires a bit of muscle power to move heavier bikes.

The method of lifting is slower, less controlled and can wear out quicker than its hydraulic counterpart.

The upside is that is it very cheap to produce and this will be reflected in the price you pay.

Often people will hook up a screw lift to a drill or impact gun to save manually winding it up and down which can save a lot of effort.

 

Motorcycle lift providers


There are numerous producers of motorcycle lifting equipment so let’s look at what’s out there on the market right now and what might lead you to pick one over another.

 

Lesser known brands

Oylpa, Liftmaster and Wiltec are examples of more generic providers.

Companies such as these will work with manufacturers to produce kit at a knock down price.

Quality can sometimes be a gamble when going down this route so it’s important to do your research to minimise the chances of a dud.

Another issue with lesser known brands can be finding detailed product documentation, spares and post-sales support which is something worth considering if you plan to use your lift a lot.

Overall buying a lift from one of these providers can save you a good chunk of cash for bacon butties and the odd fill up of shell v-power – it’s whether you consider the potential drawbacks a worthwhile risk to take for that saving.

If you just want a lift for occasional use this is no bad route to go down at all.

 

Widely known brands

You may pay a little more for a widely recognised brand however the money usually guarantees you a level of consistency with quality, finding spares and seeking after sales support such as warranty claims.

Constands is a specialist in motorcycle lifting kit and accessories, the quality is fairly well known among owners forums. Aftersales support and availability of parts and documentation across the product lineup is very good.

For a heavier user or someone seeking that extra level of quality Constands are a decent choice.

Sealey makes all manner of garage equipment and tooling directed primarily toward the home user and have been doing so for decades, again aftersales support and spares availability is going to be better with a Sealey product.

 

How to lift a motorcycle

There are numerous videos and guides on how to use motorcycle lifts out there, we’ve provided just a couple below.

 

 

Note:

If you’re planning on using a scissor lift and you have obstacles to overcome (such as the exhaust) use blocks of wood to navigate around these parts so that the load is placed upon solid metal like the frame or substantial pieces of the engine casting.

It may be helpful to first bring the bike upright in this situation using a paddock stand or the help of a friend.

Never attempt to lift the bike against the exhaust or sump.

 

Best motorcycle lift reviews


Oypla Scissor Lift

Best Budget Jack

At the budget end of the market we have the Oypla single plate scissor lift providing a great solution if you’re only looking to lift a smaller bike occasionally.

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Pros:

Great price point

Low entry of 9cm lifting to 37cm this gives a plentiful range of motion and should allow you complete most jobs on a motorcycle with relative ease.

Great for smaller bikes especially MX and Supermoto

Cons:

Threaded lifting mechanism

The rubberised support mounts may leave some marking as they seem to be made of a soft rubber.

Main lifting platform isn’t rubberised and may slip on the frame/ scrape paint if nothing is placed between the frame and the plate.

Single lifting platform may be unsteady on longer bikes like cruisers

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Constands Scissor Lift

Premium Scissor Lift

The Constands lift edges on the best scissor lift we’ve looked at, but with a premium price tag this is to be expected.

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Hydraulically operated using a foot pump it allows you to be stood upright holding the motorcycle as you raise it for extra peace of mind if you don’t have a helping hand.

The tremendously wide lifting platform really does make it feel secure. For sure this lift is one of the best in the class and would be great for heavier use and larger motorcycles.

Pros:

Dual rubberised lifting platform

Very wide footprint (67cm) inspires confidence and would be great for wide cruisers

Great range of motion entry of 10.5cm and Max height of 42cm

Strapping points and casters as standard

Well known company with proven aftersales service

Cons:

More expensive than other lifts in the class

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Sealey Table Lift

Best Table Lift

The Sealey Table lift is in a league of it’s own against scissor lifts, raising the bike up to a comfortable 76cm from the wheels.

As anyone who has worked on motorcycles all day can attest having it at anything other than a comfortable working height is recipe for a bad back and lots of twisting around like a pretzel to see what you’re doing.

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This is a major investment but Sealey are known to be consistent in quality and aftersales support.

It’s worth sticking with a brand when it comes to spending this kind of cash. The MC365 should last for many years – if you do a lot of work on bikes it is well worth considering.

Pros:

Huge 76cm lifting height with securing points at 50cm and 64cm

Foot operated raising and lowering

Strapping points

Inbuilt front wheel chock

Great spares availability and aftersales support

Cons:

Won’t lift wheels off the ground without additional jacking equipment

Much pricier than a scissor lift

Will only support a maximum of 365kg (though most bikes weigh less)

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Liftmaster Scissor Lift

Best Mid Range Jack

The Liftmaster is a step up in price from the Oypla, but for this you do get a much more substantial lift.

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Dual rubberised lifting plates around 30cm long and 30cm apart and a 680kg weight capacity give much more confidence in its ability in terms of design.

For anything over a 600cc capacity/ a cruiser style machine this is probably the minimum configuration you’ll want to have a level of confidence in the stability once raised.

Pros:

Rubberised double platform gives plenty of contact with the bike

Low entry of 11.5cm and max lifting height of 37.5cm

Foot raise and release enabling you to hold the bike steady in motion

Strapping points and swivel casters included for stability and ease of use

Cons:

User experiences seem to indicate some quality control issues

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Wiltec Scissor Lift

The Wiltec is another midrange scissor lift, in many ways it’s extremely similar to the liftmaster, coming in at around the same price point, same 680kg weight capacity and same lifting configuration only small things differentiate it.

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Pros:

Rubberised double platform gives plenty of contact with the bike

Max lifting height of 38cm

Foot release to lower enabling you to hold the bike steady as it drops back down to earth

Strapping points and swivel casters included for stability and ease of use

Cons:

Minimum entry of 13cm may present issues with lowered bikes

User experiences seem to indicate some quality control issues

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