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Harbor Freight 1000# Motorcycle Lift—Best Buy on the Planet?

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Before I start spewing accolades about the Harbor Freight 1000-pound motorcycle lift that I just bought on sale, let me make some qualifying statements: 1) I'm not a shill for Harbor Freight; 2) while it would be nice to get Harbor Freight advertising at the magazine, they're not on board yet nor have they been solicited, so gaining advertising is not my motive for the following comments; and 3) some of what Harbor Freight sells leaves much to be desired...tactfully put.


I have been watching this item on sale at the motorcycle magazines for a couple of years and saw it close up at the Harbor Freight outlet locally. You've figured out by now that I'm a weldor and metal fabricator, and for me, the cost of steel, machining, stamping, hydraulics, forming and painting made this ramp type lift an absolute bargain...


Its full retail price around $700 (U.S.), the chronic sale price at the magazines around $300, the lift deserves your attention! When it went on a three-day sale at $319.99 plus local sales tax (without freight charges since I could pick up a fresh, crated unit from the local Reno store), I took the plunge. My birthday and Father's Day this year will be remembered as the "Year of the Harbor Freight Motorcycle Lift!"


The package weighs 317 pounds, mostly steel, and the crating is appropriate for getting the lift from China to the U.S.—and your shop. Harbor Freight loaded the package from a forklift into the Dodge Ram truck bed. I used an engine hoist to unload safely at my end.


Note the stand/chock I added after reading the lift reviews at the Harbor Freight website. I also purchased the recommended bottle of jack oil and used 1/3 of it to top off the lift's jack before using the lift. A very small funnel is helpful for filling the bottle jack. Handle the barrel-shaped rubber fill plug with care. The plug is necessary, so resist the impulse to cut the plug into small pieces and toss it out...Harbor Freight could improve on the bottle jack's fill plug design. A threaded plug with copper or O-ring gasket would be one approach.


For the most part, this is a pre-assembled, easier package, yet it still took me over an hour from opening the crate to the lift fully assembled (properly) and ready for use—plus another half hour to drill holes and mount the heavier stand/chock and add-on, heavy duty eye bolts at the rear of the ramp deck. Some say the lift can be set up in half an hour—really? I'm detail oriented, so maybe it took me 15 minutes longer than others. Incidentally, the stand/chock paid off big for tying down the motorcycle on the lift by myself.


Note: The removable ramp end is hefty and diamond plate like the lift ramp...I found all of the steel and engineering suitable for my kind of motorcycle service work. Some reviewers boast about Harley-Davidson full-dressers being well within the lift's ability. Maybe so and great—I'm glad my cycles never weigh over 550 pounds these days, one GL1500 Goldwing was enough from both a riding and serviceability standpoint.


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Here are the features of my new lift, you can judge for yourself. If you do motorcycle or ATV work and are tired of bending down and struggling with minor or major repairs and powertrain work, take the pro shop level, ramp lift approach—at your garage, motorcycle shop or home shop! 

(Click on photos to enlarge. If you're visiting as a guest and find this kind of forum helpful, consider joining so you can enjoy photos and other member features—all for free!)


All said, the 1000# Harbor Freight motorcycle lift is the best buy in the World at the sale price...I have other Harbor Freight heavy steel products and do use Pittsburgh heavy duty impact grade sockets and ball-joint tools—alongside my professional OTC, Miller, Snap-On, Craftsman, Mac and Proto tools! 



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  • 7 months later...
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Great equipment in the Australian market!  Shipping costs from Australia to North America would be an issue, though shipping looks free within Australia.  I see that some of the automotive equipment at Garage Workshop is U.S. product:  BendPak for those interested.


You have terrific four-wheel drive venues at Australia and a keen interest in dirt/dual-sport motorcycles.  It's great to see your participation at these forums!  Like to hear more about four-wheeling and dirt riding from Australia—and New Zealand, too!



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