Motorcycle hobbyists prefer working on their lovely machines on their own over sending it to a workshop. Almost every motorcycle hobbyist I came across prefer washing, oiling, and repairing the bikes with their bare hands. For a motorcycle fanatic, keeping their ride up-to-date and fully functioning is of the utmost importance. However, handling all the washing, oiling, and repairing a bike is not as easy as it seems. There’s a lot of lifting and moving the bike involved throughout the process and without the right tools, jacking up a motorcycle can lead to injuries and accidents.
Jacking up a motorcycle can be tricky in a home garage setup and hence it is important to follow the best and safest techniques to lift your motorcycle. Well, you can always use the homemade DIY setups to lift a motorcycle as an easy way out. However, these homemade DIY tools are often risky resulting in injuries to you and damage to your beloved ride.
So, the big question is, how to jack up a motorcycle safely?
Well, you can use the following techniques to lift your motorcycle with the utmost care and precision.
How to Jack Up a Motorcycle?
Lift your Motorcycle using a Floor Jack
A floor jack is an ultimate tool designed to lift heavy objects with precision and the right balance. With a floor jack, you can not only lift your car to change tires, but you can also lift it high enough to get underneath the car for some repair work as well.
The same floor jack can be used to lift your motorcycle too.
How to Lift a Motorcycle with a Floor Jack?
Whether you are jacking up a motorcycle at your garage or on the road, you must be careful while using a floor jack to lift your motorcycle.
Simply follow the steps below to lift a motorcycle with a floor jack safely and efficiently.
1. Find a flat surface
Always make sure that the bike is on a flat surface while planning to lift your motorcycle using any tool for that matter. Unless you are using chains to lift your bike from above, it is important to ensure that the floor is completely flat without any incline or unevenness of any kind.
Any kind of roughness or uneven space can result in the bike falling over or the jack slipping out of place which may lead to extreme consequences. Hence, the first step to lift your motorcycle is to find a flat surface.
2. Identify the center of gravity of your bike
This is the going to be the trickiest part as there’s no set center of gravity assigned to a bike, although there’s one for every bike. You may have to reposition the jack a few times to find the exact location for the center of gravity on your bike.
On most motorcycles, the center of gravity is under the engine either on the front side or at the rear side depending on the weight and type of the bike.
3. Examine the underside of the bike
Once you have identified the center of gravity of the bike, it is time to examine the underside of the bike where the floor jack will contact the bike. The contact surface must be flat, or the bike may fall during the lifting process. Most bikes will have a flat surface or a frame beneath the engine but there are always a few exceptions. Hence, you must ensure that there’s a flat surface underneath the bike to hold the jack upright and eliminating the risk of the motorcycle falling over.
4. Make some adjustments to keep your bike upright
If your bike has a side stand, then place some wooden blocks underneath it to keep the bike as upright as possible. You can do that with the help of a friend who can hold the bike from the steering while you can place the wooden blocks accurately from the rear end. This is to ensure that the bike doesn’t tilt too much on one side while lifting with the help of a floor jack.
5. Position the floor jack at the right place
Next, position the floor jack at the right place where you found the center of gravity. It may take a few attempts to perfectly position the jack.
6. Start lifting your bike by raising the floor jack slowly
Try raising your bike a few inches at a time to ensure that the jack is positioned at the right place and the bike isn’t falling over. Take your time and don’t rush in through the process. You can adjust the position of the floor jack
Lift your Motorcycle using a Car Jack
Lifting your motorcycle using a car jack or scissor jack is like using a floor jack. The only difference is the lifting capacity of a car jack compared to a floor jack. Also, a floor jack uses a hydraulic system, whereas a scissor or carjack uses a mechanical system where you must rotate the axle between the car jack to lift it.
Using a car jack can be risky too as it is designed for cars, especially to change tires.
How to Lift a Motorcycle with a Car Jack?
The first three steps are the same whether you are lifting your motorcycle with a floor jack or a car jack. However, there’s no need to make any side stand adjustments.
1. Position the car or scissor jack at the right place
Place the car or scissor jack directly under the engine at the same spot where you found the center of gravity. Again, a few attempts may be required to spot the exact location.
2. Raise the bike
Use the hook to slowly raise the car jack and watch your bike rising slowly. Patience is the key as you must be very careful and move slowly to ensure that the bike doesn’t get off balance at any point.
Lift your Motorcycle Using a Motorcycle Jack
Now, if the question, “how to lift your motorcycle safely”, is still bugging, then try using a motorcycle jack.
While using a floor jack or car jack is handy, the best technique to lift any motorcycle is using a heavy-duty motorcycle jack with a capacity of lifting 2 tons in weight. Motorcycle jacks are the same as floor jacks and use a hydraulic system to do the heavy lifting. However, they are designed for motorcycle lifting and ensures that the bike is raised at an optimum level. The owner can change tires, examine the engine, or carry out any repair work underneath the bike.
How to Lift your Motorcycle with a Motorcycle Jack?
Again, the first three steps are the same for lifting a motorcycle whether using a motorcycle jack, floor jack, or car jack.
1. Position the motorcycle jack at the right place
The next step is to position the motorcycle jack right below the engine. Unlike the floor jack or the car jack, the contact surface area and support for a motorcycle jack are wider and hence the chances of the bike falling off while jacking up a motorcycle are nearly impossible.
2. Lift the motorcycle by raising the jack
Press the hydraulic raise lever to slowly lift your motorcycle and ensure that the weight balance is distributed equally on either side.
Over to you!
Well, these are some of the best techniques you can find while looking for how to jack up a motorcycle safely. For additional safety, you can use ratcheting tie-down straps to hold your bike still once it is lifted in the air. You can also invest in jack handles to keep your bike steady for extra support on the floor while jacking up a motorcycle.