Questions about safely Jacking the Voyager 1700 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about safely Jacking the Voyager 1700

All,

I've never had the luxury of using a floor jack in my 26 years of riding motorcycles and I finally broke down and bought a Harbor Freight model (I'm just too old anymore to lay on the floor and perform maintenance).

I am concerned with the bike being wobbly on the jack, and other threads on this site don't answer my questions fully. Can you help me out?

1. Are there marks on the frame where I should "center" the bike on the two jack rails? If not, what is the best fore/aft position? Should I just center the engine over the rails?

2. Strapping the bike to the jack... Do I just put a strap over the top (with seat off), or do you secure the bottom frame rails to the jack rails? I've also seen pictures of putting a strap over the front cylinder, any comments or best practices?

3. Before I use the Harbor Freight jack, apparently one has to step all the way down on the let-down pedal to lower "slowly" and anything in between is for the load to come down "fast." If I don't step on this pedal all the way, does the bike come flying down to earth?

If I insert the jack from the left side, can I just hold the bike and let it slowly come to rest on the side stand?

Everyone insures me this is not as scary as it sounds, but your comments will give me some direction and some piece of mind.

Thank you once again for helping me make my decision to purchase my beautiful 2012 Voyager
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 07:14 AM
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It does come down pretty fast. I definately use the locking leaver and lower it so it is resting in a notch. As far as placement I just find where it balences best. Just keep in mind if you changing the oil be sure not to block where you need to get to the drain plugs.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 07:19 AM
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The voyager is a BIG bike. So big that the bike jack I have been using for years wasn't big enough. The voyager frame rails were much wider than previous bikes were. I had Chuckster cut it apart and weld in a piece that made it wider. If yours is wide enough to fit, ...put the jack under the bike from the high side ( the right side). Start jacking while holding the handlebars- the left side will contact the jack first, once both sides of the frame contact the jack, just keep jacking untill you get it as high as you want it. I put it partially under the floorboard and mostly under the motor- kinda the center of the bike. I've never straped the bike to it, it's pretty stable. I don't work on the bike, just use this when I need to wash and detail it.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 03:29 PM
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Not sure what model of HF jack you have, I have the motorcycle/ATV yellow color one they sell. I think is rated for 1000 lbs, so you should be ok weight wise if you have the same one. I never like to lift bikes higher than what I need off the floor. And I lower them as soon as I'm done doing whatever.. This jack does come down very fast if you step on the pressure release pedal all the way, but you can master pressing lightly to lower the bike slower, my recommendation is to practice with something else, other than the Voyager, I have one too. Hope this helps.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 06:44 PM
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Is this the floor jack you have?

I have never had to go above the first safety click and it is very stable without straps. Light the other guys said, just center it up to lift the whole bike. Now you can go forward a little if you want to just lift the front wheel which will make it more stable. Yes you're supposed to press the relief peddle all the way down to lower slowly. It works slowly most of the time, but you sure you want to hold on to the handlebars when doing so. I would always move the lift in from the right side, this way you can let the sidestand out while lowering the bike. The only thing I can caution you on this to make sure the lift platform is centered correctly under the bike, because it doesn't stick out on both sides very much. Does this help?


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 06:52 PM
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There is no set point to jack from, trial and error until you find the sweet spot but it is usually further back than you think it would be. Jack from the right side, that way as you lower it, it will come to rest on the kickstand.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 07:08 PM
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Once you've had it in the air a few times, it gets to be second nature.

Note that, as others have mentioned, with the HF yellow jack, even though it seems counterintuitive, you want to mash the release pedal all the way in order for the jack to lower slowly. Push it part-way and it comes screaming down.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsheek View Post
Is this the floor jack you have?

I have never had to go above the first safety click and it is very stable without straps. Light the other guys said, just center it up to lift the whole bike. Now you can go forward a little if you want to just lift the front wheel which will make it more stable. Yes you're supposed to press the relief peddle all the way down to lower slowly. It works slowly most of the time, but you sure you want to hold on to the handlebars when doing so. I would always move the lift in from the right side, this way you can let the sidestand out while lowering the bike. The only thing I can caution you on this to make sure the lift platform is centered correctly under the bike, because it doesn't stick out on both sides very much. Does this help?
Yeah, that looks exactly like my Jack. Thank you very much to you and the others for giving me some piece of mind on this. I honestly don't know why I have been riding for so long and never broke down and bought a Jack until now.

Thanks again!
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