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How To Lift A Motorcycle With A Floor Jack

Motorcycles can easily weigh over a thousand pounds. If you make a mistake while lifting your motorcycle, it can come crashing down and become permanently damaged. There are many tools to choose from that’ll help you lift your motorcycle off the ground.

Using a floor jack is a safe and inexpensive way to lift the motorcycle from all the common options that are available. But if you don’t know how to do it the right way, you can mess up your motorcycle for good. So, we’ll walk you through how to lift a motorcycle with a floor jack in this guide.

If you do repair or maintenance work on your motorcycle yourself, you’d need to lift it. Even simple bike jobs like changing a tire or lubricating the chain require the bike to be jacked up.

While you can choose motorcycle stands for the job, floor jacks are a great option too.

As long as you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to lift your bike with it. 

Let’s take a look at how you can lift your bike with a floor jack in easy steps.

lifting a motorcycle with a floor jack

Using A Floor Jack To Lift A Motorcycle In 7 Steps

Before you get started with the steps to lift your motorcycle, make sure the floor jack you’re using is capable of handling the weight of the bike. Otherwise, your bike can fall off and all the efforts will be wasted. Once you check that the floor jack is alright, follow these steps to lift your bike:

Step 01 - Locate the Surface

When you jack up your bike, chances are you may be working on it for several hours. You need to choose the right surface to jack up your bike so that it doesn’t fall flat on you.

The ideal surface for jacking up your motorcycle is a flat surface that’s made of concrete. It’ll be safe to lift your bike on such a surface and you’ll be able to work on it for hours. Don’t lift the bike on a carpeted floor as it can cause the floor jack to slip off due to the additional weight of the bike.

Step 02 - Identify the Center of Gravity

There’s a point in your motorcycle where all its weight can be supported without it falling over. This point is called the center of gravity. It can be quite tricky to locate it but if you do it, your job will be much easier.

Raise the front wheel of your bike and move it back and forth to get an estimate of the center point. Mark this point with a rag or chalk so that you don’t forget where it was later on.

Step 03 - Check the Underside of Your Bike

Lay on the ground and check the underside of your bike. There should be a flat surface under the engine to lift the bike using a floor stand without making any adjustments to it. If the surface isn’t flat, there will be uneven weight distribution when you lift the bike and it may fall.

Step 04 - Adjust the Position of Bike

The goal of this step is to set the bike in an upright position as much as possible before lifting it. Put wooden blocks under the stand if it has a side or center stand to make the bike upright. The bike shouldn’t be leaning on any side. Use as many blocks of wood as it takes to achieve that. 

If you’re having trouble doing it yourself, you can always ask a friend for help. Hold the bike while you have him place the wooden pieces.

As an added safety measure, you can use tie-down straps to connect the bike to the floor jack. It won’t leave anything to chance and the bike will have a much less likelihood of falling even if it becomes unbalanced.

Step 05 - Put the Floor Jack in The Correct Position

The floor jack should be directly placed underneath the flat surface of the motorcycle that you identified earlier.

This area will be close to the front tires for most bikes. Once you’re happy with the position of the floor jack, secure its place using a chain or a strap. That’ll prevent it from slipping off when you’ll lift the bike.

jacking up the motorcycle

Step 06 - Lift the Motorcycle

You’re all set to start lifting your motorcycle. Make sure you press the foot pedal without rushing it and raise the bike at a slow speed. It’s good to be slow when lifting it as you’ll be able to detect if the bike starts to wobble.

If it starts to move too much and seems like it's about to fall, lower it right away and make the adjustments to it once again. Remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry and repeat the steps as many times as necessary to get it right.

You can usually lift your bike to certain heights starting from 11 inches to 16.5 inches with most floor jacks. Raise the bike slowly to your desired height based on the parts you need to access.

Step 07 - Place the Jack Stands

Once you raise the motorcycle to the height of your choice, you can put jack stands under each wheel of the bike. It not only secures its position further but also helps you do certain types of work on the bike. You can do oil changes and wheel replacement easily if your bike is secured with the help of jack stands.

Wrapping It Up

While floor jacks are amazing tools that empower you to do repair and maintenance work on your bike yourself, not using them correctly can do more harm than good.

Hopefully, now you know how to lift a motorcycle with a floor jack after completing this article. Follow these steps carefully and pay special attention to whether the bike remains steady or not when you lift it. Leave a comment below if you have any more questions about lifting your motorcycles using a floor jack.

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