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How to Lift a Motorcycle


If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, doing your own maintenance on your bike can be a source of personal pride—there’s really nothing quite like getting up close and personal with your ride. The only right way to do motorcycle maintenance is to raise your bike off the ground, and you can’t rely on makeshift boards or other DIY solutions to lift your bike—it’s a bad idea that can result in damage to your bike and injuries to you.

Luckily, there are helpful tools that can help you lift your bike and keep it stable for whatever jobs you’re doing, including motorcycle stands and lift tables. Here’s how to use these two options to get your bike off the ground.

sports bike up on front and rear stand
Sports bike up on Front and Rear Stand

Lifting a motorcycle on a stand

If you want to work on your motorcycle, you need to make sure it’s “grounded” before you can do it safely. The only way to do that is by lifting it off the ground using a high-quality motorcycle stand. Don’t rely on your kickstand to keep the bike stable as you work—while kickstands prevent a motorcycle from tipping over in normal circumstances, if you’re tugging, loosening, tightening and pulling, you could run the risk of the bike toppling over on you. You need to invest in high-quality stands to keep you and your bike safe as you work.

sports bike up on front stand
Sports bike up on Front Stand

If you’re using a front motorcycle stand, secure the rear of the bike first. When using a rear motorcycle stand, secure the front first. You can choose from front and rear motorcycle stands that have either a front fork pin, front prong pin, rear swingarm pin or a rear spool pin. No matter which option you choose, make sure the pins are correctly installed in the stand first.

Raise the motorcycle by rolling the stand in place, ensuring the pins will fit properly under the bike. Keep a firm hold on the motorcycle with one hand, then use your other hand to push down on the stand until the motorcycle is off the ground and the stand is resting on the ground. To lower the motorcycle when you’re done working on it, pull up on the stand with one hand while keeping a firm hold on the bike with your other, until the bike rests on the ground again.

Sports bike up on Black Widow ProLift Table
Sports bike up on Black Widow ProLift Table

Lifting a motorcycle on a table

Many riders who work on their bikes choose to invest in a high-quality table for safety and efficiency. The wide range of motorcycle lift tables from Black Widow Pro have plenty of features that make DIY jobs a breeze, including easy-to-use lift mechanisms, rear drop out panels for easy access to wheels and integrated dolly wheels for maneuverability.

The process of getting your bike on a lift table varies depending on what model you buy (hydraulic, pneumatic, or air-operated), we’ll detail how to operate the hydraulic option:

  1. Position the lift on a solid, stable surface, then wheel the motorcycle up the leading plate and onto the platform.
  2. Clamp the front wheel in the built-in vice to hold the bike in place, then strap the motorcycle securely on the platform.
  3. Pump the foot pedal to raise the lift, and once the platform has reached your chosen working height, pass the locking bar through the lifting arm to hold the lift in place.
  4. When you’re done with your work, check for any obstructions below the lift. If everything’s clear, remove the locking bar then slowly press the release foot pedal. Remember that the release valve controls how fast the lift lowers. Ensure a slow and controlled descent by gently pressing the release foot pedal. You can also adjust screws to change the speed of lowering.
  5. Once the lift is fully lowered, you can unstrap the motorcycle, then open the vice jaws to remove the bike from the lift.

This process looks much the same across all lift models. Make sure you’re investing in a lift that can handle your bike’s wet weight capacity, including the weight of all the accessories you have on your motorcycle.

Cruiser up on Black Widow lift table
Cruiser up on Black Widow Lift Table

Quality Stands and Lifts Make DIY Motorcycle Maintenance Safe and Easy

If you’re ready to experience the pride of working on your own bike, you need the right equipment to get the job done safely. Black Widow Pro’s wide range of motorcycle stands and lift tables are sturdy and reliable and will hold your bike in place no matter what job you’re doing.

Want to find out which option is best for your bike?

Talk to the experts at Black Widow Pro today, and feel free to share any tips or tricks you have when lifting a bike in the comments below!

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