It's common for riders to require more motorcycle accessories and gear as the years go by. Particularly as we age, it can be harder to make necessary repairs and work on regular maintenance of your bike when you have to crouch, or kneel or bend - injuries can occur! A motorcycle lift table can be just the thing you need to save yourself from physical strain as well as save youself a few bucks down the line by taking care of your own bike repairs. Clark Heintz Tools & Equipment LLC recommends five questions you should ask yourself when shopping for a motorcycle lift, motorcycle stand, or motorcycle jack.
1. Is this motorcycle lift the ideal size for my vehicle? Whether you are riding a touring bike or a moped, it’s important to fully understand not only the dimensions of your vehicle but the weight – and understand the weight capacity of the motorcycle jack, lifting stand or lift table that you are interested in purchasing. Motorcycles are known to come with other accessories that may “weigh down” the bike. Again, important to factor all of these extraneous pieces into your total bike weight in order to make the best motorcycle lift purchase.
2. I live in New England where it snows, so I have other vehicles! Will this lift be capable of handling my snowmobile? A legitimate question to ask yourself, living in the northeast region of the United States, is “will I be able to use this lift for raising my snowblower or snowmobile?” or "Is this lift heavy enough to lift my UTV?" Ideally, your lift should be able to service all of your vehicles, not just the ones made for summertime fun! Plan ahead and make sure the weight capacity, plus side extensions are as they should be to cover all the bases regarding your multiple vehicles.
3. I do not have a truck to pick up the lift. Will I need to consider shipping costs? Absolutely! Consider this: If you are paying for a 300-400 lb lift table, shipping costs can be significant. If you can find the right price that includes free shipping, obviously this is the better choice, but remember: no matter who you order your lift from, heavy freight charges will apply [though in our experience they vary greatly, so do your homework!]. This means, if you have the lift delivered to a home address, this will incur a fee. You will also likely need a liftgate to get it off the truck, which will also incur a fee. So, it’s best to find a commercial location (your business or a friend’s business, if possible) that has easy access, and grab a few buddies to help you get it off the truck. There is also the option of picking it up at your local terminal with a few buddies. Same idea..again, there is no fee to pick it up from the terminal.
4. How much bang should I be getting for my buck? A good question – this is where research comes in handy. As an example, the PRO 1200 motorcycle lift comes with a lot of extras, like a wheel clamp, front extension, loading ramp, and a drop through plate, whereas some of the leading American manufacturers are set up a la carte, and you need to purchase each piece separately. I prefer the old fashioned way of setting up a spreadsheet with columns displaying each brand, what they each includes, whether they are free shipping or not, and final price (including shipping where applicable). Of course, do your homework to find reviews of the lifts you are considering, as well... you might find one that meets your criterion and is priced right, but is it a good value?
5. Does it make more sense to buy local? We understand, as motorcycle lift dealers, that many people want to see the lift before they commit to a purchase. It’s a big ticket item! However, we’ve found that by making our efforts as transparent as possible, we can bring people from all over the country into our store, in a virtual way. We've filmed several videos demonstrating our PRO 1200 lift so you can see what the lifts - and we - are all about. As a small business, we know how important customer service is. So when you call to ask us questions, we are ready to help you and provide you with as much information as possible. I have had experiences calling companies that are far away who appear to not really care if they make the sale. So in those cases, I might prefer supporting some small local business. However, if I am getting outstanding, trustworthy customer support, I am very willing to purchase a product located several states away. The beauty of the internet nowadays is that we are all local to each other, in one way or another.
As a last *bonus* point, we’d like to also recommend that you check out product reviews. Google the product part number and find out as much as you can! Motorcycle lifts generate buzz in various places on the web and you can sometimes find some conversations about what ones people own, what they think is best, and what they like and don’t like about it.