It's common for riders to develop a need for more motorcycle 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 - not to mention save youself a few bucks down the line by taking care of your own bike repairs. NHProEquip.com recommends six 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 know both the dimensions and weight of your vehicle – to be sure it's within the maximum capacity of the lift table you are interested in purchasing. Often, motorcycles can include other accessories that may “weigh down” the bike. So, it's important to factor all of these extra pieces into your total bike weight in order to make the best motorcycle lift purchase for your specific needs.
2. Do I have proper space to store my lift table? Think about your garage or workspace and whether your lift will fit into this space comfortably. Logistics are important! A lift table can even be a helpful tool with respect to conserving space, in that you can store your bike on top of it through the winter months if you are not riding. If you live in a warmer climate and need easy access to your bike, the table may be well-suited for storage of another type. Not only can you store smaller items beneath it when it's at its full height, but you've created a new shelf to store items on the table top. We've had customers set up their lift to recess into the floor, too, which is an efficient way to utilize space.
3. 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, upper midwest, or northwestern regions of the United States, is “will I be able to use this lift for raising my snowblower or snowmobile?” Additionally, no matter where you live, if you have other vehicles, like a jet ski, atv, trike, or utv, you might want to ask yourself if the weight capacity is appropriate for your other vehicles. 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 works for your vehicles, and consider side extensions and /or front extensions for larger vehicles. Your lift table should be to cover all the bases regarding your multiple vehicles for maximum usage.
4. 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!]. Often, freight charges are incurred, for example, if you have the lift delivered to a home address. And given the heavy nature of a lift table, you will 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.
5. 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.
Another helpful consideration when choosing a lift table is the table's net weight. The heavier the lift, the more solid the structure. This is a good way to gauge the quality of your purchase. I prefer the old-fashioned way of setting up a spreadsheet with columns displaying each brand, what is included with each "package, " whether they are free shipping or not, and final price (including shipping costs, when applicable). Of course, always do your due diligence and seek out product reviews once you've narrowed the list down a bit. You might find one that meets your needs and is priced right, but is it a good value? The cheapest option isn't always the best option. Consider that there are tiers of quality in lift tables. Are you a part time seasonal ATV rider? Not needing to use the lift that frequently? Or do you have a shop and multiple vehicles to service?
6. 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 our company - 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 be apathetic. They give you short answers and hurry you off the phone. 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.