In order to avoid wreaking too much havoc on this old body, it was necessary to augment the garage shop with a few new accessories. The first of these is a spiffy motorcycle lift table from Harbor Freight. The original plan was to design and build a scissor style motorcycle lift loosely based on the chopper lift sold by Kendon USA. It’s a sweet lift, but a wee bit too harsh on the old budget.
There’s a lot of mixed feelings about this lift on the interwebs, but in the end, it seemed like a reasonable gamble. After stacking some coupons, it only set me back about $250. Some of the most valuable reviews of this lift indicated that two modifications would be necessary to make the lift truly useful. After these were resolved, two more issues became apparent.
Front Wheel Chocks
The front wheel chock that comes with the lift is really a bit lame. Since it doesn’t adequately support the bike on it’s own, it’s a bit dangerous to load the bike onto the ramp and secure the tie-downs. The solution was to purchase a front wheel chock upgrade, also from Harbor Freight, and secure it to the lift table.
The loading ramp that comes with the lift is a bit short. This was verified with the first load/unload of the Sportster onto the ramp. The bike bottomed out and gouged the ramp. The solution here was to build a new loading ramp that was 48″ long, rather than 20″. The result makes for a smoother load/unload.
Tie Down Loops
There are four tie down loops (U-bolts) on the lift table, two on either side. Unfortunately, these loops are set rather far back on the table. The problem is that when you tie down the bike, you’re pulling the bike off the front wheel chock. Perhaps this was a result of the front chock modification, but it doesn’t matter. The solution was to mount some heavy eye bolts in the mounting holes provided on the front face of the lift table.
Front Stabilizer Feet
Finally, when the lift table is fully lowered, the front end of the ramp extends quite a way beyond the supports underneath the lift (front wheels/stabilizer feet). Stepping on the front of the lift table in this position caused the whole left to tip forward. Can’t imagine what would happen if the bike was loaded when that test was performed. The solution was to measure, cut and weld some square tubing on the underside of the lift table to provide additional support.