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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings-

After spending way too much for an oil and filter change at the dealership, I want to start taking on some of the more simple maintenance issues myself, like changing the oil and filter, stuff like that.

To that end, I have been researching different models of jacks; I have read the thread about the wood jack, but I would like something that I could also use as a dolly when storing the bike in the winter in my garage (so I can move it into a location out of the way).

I'm looking for suggestions of which jack you've used and been happy with. I did read about the Craftsman jack and the related problems (leaking/dead hydraulics), so I'm looking for your input.

As always, you all have been extremely helpful in the past!

Thanks,
 

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I've had the Craftman jack for about 3 years now. No leaking, no problems. If you read the comments page on the Sears sight you will be getting only negative views. The rest of us never thought to go complain about something that worked. One of the negative reviews actually complained that the guy used the jack, stored it out in the weather for half a year and then it was rusted solid when he went to use it again. Metal does that.

There are higher priced, almost identical jacks to be found for sure, but the Sears one and the wood jack are all I have and need, use the wood jack to change oil the Sears one when I'm changing tires, it's a lot easier to raise the bike just enough to take pressure off the axles.

You can get the same jack at Pep Boys, Harbor Freight and some other place too, find out which one has a sale on it this week and go with that.
 

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I got the Harbor Freight lift and I like it. I admit I was turned off of the Sears lift by the reviews, but Mr Clean makes a good point (I wouldn't be suprised to find out it's the exact same lift).

As for using it as a dolly, if your floor is really clean and smooth it should work OK. The wheels are small and hard and ANY little impediment will stop it dead in its tracks.

I've only had mine a few months, so I can't speak to its longevity.
 

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Pitt Bull lifts....... its great no straps necessary , very safe , cost more , rolls very easy.. Ive had mine 2 years and use it almost everyday with no problems.... They sell them at most bike shows. We were at Bike week in Fl. a couple of years ago the salesman jacks up a full dressed Harley waist high then climbs all over it, starts it , sits on the handle bars etc. no straps thats what sold me... Good luck
 

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I got the little red one from Northern Tool. It works fine as a jack. But like the last comment, the wheels aren't the best for rolling it around the shop. Although, when you are trying to press hard on a bolt, she'll roll off on you when you don't want her to. Maybe I should chock the wheels.

Also, and this is important, whatever you buy, measure the length of the lift arms in comparison with the distance between the frame rails. Also, check the width of the arms in comparison with the distance between the rear shock mount and the little casting protrusion on the bottom of the crank case. I was unable to find a lift that would fit perfectly at any local store. So I had to modify mine to make it fit. I cut 2 pieces of angle iron to fit inside and slightly above the lift arms. The pieces were longer than the lift arms too per the standard arms wouldn't quite reach all the way across the frame. Now it works well as a shop lift and has saved me a lot of money in the long run.
 

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I use a js jack. I also got their oil pan adapter that allows you to drain the oil right on the jack. It's very sturdy and has a slightly smaller footprint than the Pitbull lift. I did have to shim it because the engine protrudes below the frame, but that was no big deal. It's American made with lifetime warranty (2 years for bottle jack).
 

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i use 2 blocks made from 5 8 inch long 2 x 4's nailed together creating a stack, slide one under one side. lift the bike from the other side and put the other in with my foot, lifts either the rear or front wheel clear depending on placement, dont have to worry about the zerks underneath and is completly stable on level ground, i have a lift jack and have never felt comfortable i using it.... Something about having all that money dangling in the air just waiting to fall off i guess
 

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I have the ATV/Cycle lift from Harbor Freight, 1500#, the yellow one, $59 on sale. On a smooth garage floor it will roll around but risky if you don't use straps cuz the wheels are small. Also, don't rely on hydraulics to hold the load - lock the lift in place. I can't speak for the models discussed but mine locks at several heights.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your help and suggestions; this forum is the best place for quality advice.

I'm going to look into the Pit Bull, but $$$-wise the Craftsman or HF jack might be more what I'm looking for at the time.

Again, I always appreciate your help and advice!
 

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I'm confused

I just bought the Sears Craftsman Professional aluminum motorcycle jack, the twin of the higher-priced Harbor Freight jack. While it's nice, I can't see how it would work with the 900.
There is only one area underneath the frame where one jack rail would span the frame without hitting anything. The other rail would have to be lifting under the engine, since it extends below the frame rails. There is no place for the two jack rails to be in contact with only the frame!
How is anyone else using one of these?
 

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if it's just for oil changes, why do you need a jack. i do mine on the kickstand, then stand the bike up to get the last of it out. The whole oil change is done in less than 10 minutes.
 

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if it's just for oil changes, why do you need a jack. i do mine on the kickstand, then stand the bike up to get the last of it out. The whole oil change is done in less than 10 minutes.
Hmmm.... not sure who you're answering here. At no point did I write that I wanted a jack just for oil changes. Several have written that they have this style jack; I just want to know how they can possibly use it on a 900.
 

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Pitt Bull lifts....... its great no straps necessary , very safe , cost more , rolls very easy.. Ive had mine 2 years and use it almost everyday with no problems.... They sell them at most bike shows. We were at Bike week in Fl. a couple of years ago the salesman jacks up a full dressed Harley waist high then climbs all over it, starts it , sits on the handle bars etc. no straps thats what sold me... Good luck
Those guys get such a kick out of showing those jacks off. (wow that doesn't sound right, but I don't know how to rephrase it) They love when they lower it and walk away. And about every guy watching jumps forward to grab the bike as it smoothly settles on to its kickstand.



Then to all you guys that have talked about how the engine pan sits too low and the frame is too wide for most jacks and you need to make some sort of mod to work. Lets see some pics. Cuz I bought the cheaply priced jack that Northern sells and returned it the next day cuz of this very reason. That and the fact that you have to get on your knees to turn the set screw to lower the thing all the while trying to steady the bike.


I want to get this lift http://www.oncycles.com/catalog.asp?r=1&pn=MCS00255 cuz of the adapters that allow four point lifting. But I wonder if our bike sits too low. I mean I could always drive up on some 2x4 to raise the bike then slide the lift under. Thats what I did for my VN750 to make it easier to get it on the center stand. I wish bikes still had centerstands. I removed both wheels and lubed greased the drive splines with no lift and just the centerstand and some stratigically placed straps to concrete blocks to balance the bike, and straps from the forks to the stand so it wouldn't fold.
 

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Jace i was one of those guys grabbing the bike ok..... I do roll this jack under both of my big bikes and it takes about 60 seconds to have it nearly waist high > My V2K requires alot of hand polishing so i work on it 3 or 4 evenings a week its my therapy when im not riding.. Her 900 has been lowered ( as low as it will go ) so i do drive it up onto about a 3inch tall small ramp i built roll the jack under it and up it goes. I lower it onto the same ramp so i can get the jack out the whole process takes me an extra 5 minutes.. Bottom line is the Pitt Bull works great for me, its dang near idiot proof, there have been a couple of times ive had it to far back and saw as soon as the front wheel wasnt going up as fast as the back end, just lower it and shift forward. I have done it so many times now its second nature, and i dont have to worry about dropping my toys.. I spent 6 months looking for a lift, didnt wana get stuck with a piece of crap or worse trash one of my bikes.. The arms or what ever you wana call them i believe will work on just about any bike.....Bottom line for me is i want to protect my investment and i sure as hell dont wana have my bike fall on me cause i didnt spend an extra 200.00 bucks.... Bulldozer
 

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Oh yeah bulldozer I can understand the investment that's for sure. And I jumped for her too. So you didn't have to make anykind of mods or adjustments to miss the 'private parts' on the 900? Like Jeep Pirate and Mc Dsm had to do?
 

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NO, the ways this thing is spaced it doesnt hit any sensitive areas on the 9... I will confess MRS. Bulldozer expects her ride to be spotless so her bike gets polished more than mine so i have had it up on the jack like 300 times give or take ... Im gonna take some pics and post them, but rite now we gotta go ziplinin.
 

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Wow... I will be one to say I'm amazed at that jack... but the price tag is a little much for me. How about y'all all pitch in and get me one for Christmas?:D
 

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If you're going to use it several times a week, constantly, or just have the money, buy the best jack you can. If you're going to use it infrequently by the jack you can afford and take precautions. I don't NEED a jack to use my bike as a pummel horse. It'd be nice I guess, but if all I need to do is change a tire once a year then I can do well enough with the cheap jacks I have. But it doesn't mean I won't show up at your shop and watch you impress me with your expensive one.
 

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Mr.clean, good eVening to you.. I am a pit bull advocate for mainly safety reasons, all it takes is one slip and the damage is done.. I have indicated thaT I use my Lift on a daily basis, got no reason to bs anyone that's not what this forum is about.. From my perspective if the average guy or gal can afford a motorcycle they can probably scrap the doe together to buy a good product or at best a product some of our fellow riders has reviewed . One of my buddies bought one of the craftsman lifts and the first thing he did was drop his bike he was lucky no major damage .... Mrs. Bulldozer says if i were to drop her bike my a$$ is grass ..... So that's the real reason I have a Pitt Bull Lift, I was scared... Bulldozer
 
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