Best Motorcycle Lift

To help you find the best motorcycle lift for Harley Davidson or any other kind of bike for that matter, we’ve compiled volumes of research and testing on the top performing DIY and professional motorcycle lift tables. We’ve looked at capacity, stability, dimensions, ease of set up and installation and especially durability.

Our top pick, the Extreme Max 1000 lb motorcycle scissor lift, is easy to operate with a socket wrench and swiftly raises any bike weighing up to a thousand pounds.

Top 5 Best Motorcycle Lift

 #1  Extreme Max 1000lb Motorcycle Lift

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: A great motorcycle lift for Harley and other cruiser bikes, it’s easy to use with a socket wrench and has a folded height of under 4.”

Pros
  • Great lift for cruiser bikes
  • Works for bikes with low ground clearance
  • Rubber grip for stability
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a crank bar
  • Bike must be carefully centered

This Extreme Max motorcycle lift is a wide jack designed to span frame rails and securely lift your bike up to 14”. It can also be used at a lower height as a center stand. It’s a manual lift which keeps things simple. To operate this motorcycle scissor lift, you just turn the peg with a socket wrench. Of note however, it doesn’t include a handle for gaining leverage, so having a long 7/8” socket wrench or breaker bar on hand is important. That said, this manual lift is still a bargain considering its 1000 lb capacity.

A big plus with this motorcycle lift, for Harleys especially, is that it fits under even bikes with low ground clearance. It’s folded height is just under 4” so you should have no problem getting it under your bike. It also makes it convenient for storage. This will keep the best motorcycles safe while you are working on them.

 #2  OTC 1545 Motorcycle Lift

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A 1500-lb capacity and large, 17” long skids make this one of the best motorcycle lifts on the market for Harley Davidson’s larger and wider cruisers.

Pros
  • Largest weight capacity
  • Sturdy, hydraulic lift with foot pedal
  • Locking caster wheels for convenience
Cons
  • Some assembly required
  • Foot pedal operated lowering can be jerky for some

One of the top rated hydraulic motorcycle lifts for larger bikes, this wide and stable lift has a large capacity of up to 1500 pounds, enough to hoist Harleys, late model Indian motorcycles, Honda Gullwing cruisers and more.

It has 17-inch long skids and a 17. x 14 lifting area. It folds down to a very compact 3 and 1/2 inches, slim enough to fit under nearly all motorcycle frames, and raises to a height of 16 and 3/4 inches, more than enough to change a tire or adjust a chain. Additional features include caster wheels with locks, two ratcheting tie down straps, and a removable handle for 360-degree access. You’ll be happy to have this while you are fixing any electric motorcycle for kids or adults. Be sure to also check out the Goplus Motorcycle ATV Hydraulic Scissor Lift Jack Stand, which can lift up to 1,500 lbs. and has an adjustable deck height. The lift comes with a safety lock feature with multiple locking positions to ensure safety while lifting your motorcycle.

 #3  Orion Motor Tech Scissor Motorcycle Lift

Award: Most Compact Motorcycle Lift

WHY WE LIKE IT: This scissor type vehicle lift for street bike, tourer and dual-sport motorcycles is compact, easy to assemble and can lift bikes up to 1200 lbs.

Pros
  • Great for touring bikes & cruisers
  • Made of heavy duty steel
  • Small 9 x 14 inch footprint for storage
Cons
  • Only works on flat bottomed bikes
  • Not as stable as the (much more expensive) OTC
  • Not for dirt bikes

This small manual motorcycle lift stores neatly thanks to its low folded height of just 3 3/4 inches and a footprint of 9 4/5 by 15 3/4 inches. It raises up to a maximum height of 13 2/5 inches. With a flat, rubber covered deck, it provides stable lifting for bikes with flat undercarriages. Just make sure the bike is balanced.

Despite its bargain price, this scissor lift is easy to use and assemble, with an included hex bolt handle. It’s not as convenient as a hydraulic motorcycle lift, but anyone familiar with a using a standard OEM tire-changing jack should have no trouble using it. We aren’t sure if it can handle 4 wheelers for kids, but it does a great job on standard bikes.

 #4  Black Widow MC Jack Motorcycle Lift

Award: Best for Sport Bikes

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 1100-lb Black Widow motorcycle lift has a solid reputation for quality and durability, plus some neat extras like extender adapters.

Pros
  • Most reliable
  • 1100-lb capacity
  • Up to 19.5-inch total lift
Cons
  • Takes longer than using a floor jack or hydraulic motorcycle lift
  • The included jack handle is rather small
  • Not the best lift for heavy bikes

One of the best performing manual scissor jack-style motorcycle lifts on the market, this Black Widow motorcycle lift is made of black powder coated steel for long wearing durability and it has a generous lift range of 3.75 to 19.5 inches, including 3.25 inches of height available via removable frame rail adapters.

While the adapters won’t necessarily work on every bike, they do make it much easier to lift bikes that don’t have a broad enough flat undercarriage for a motorcycle lift table to work. This also features rubber padding on the lift surface to prevent any slips or scratches. While this lift does include a handle to turn the jack, you may find it far more convenient to use a longer handled socket, as the included handle is small and doesn’t give much leverage.

 #5  ZENY 1100B Motorcycle Lift

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: A budget friendly motorcycle lift for most bikes, it’s small and light enough to take with you to the track or to easily store in your garage.

Pros
  • Best portable
  • Rubber grip surface for stability
  • 1100 lb weight limit
Cons
  • Included handle somewhat of a chore to use
  • More stable when used in conjunction with a wheel clamp
  • Less lifting range than you get with the Black Widow motorcycle lift

Our budget pick among motorcycle lifts, this small portable scissor jack has an 1100 lb. capacity, a grippy rubber surface so the bike won’t slip, and a compact, portable form. It only weighs about 30 pounds so you can take it with you to the track or your local motorcycle meet.

While it’s not as smooth or easy to use as the OTC hydraulic motorcycle lift, it also costs a lot less and takes up less space. If you’re looking to change a tire, adjust a chain or even swap out front shocks/ forks, this may be all the lift you need. Caveats include the fact that it does work best on flat bottomed bikes and you should only use it on a perfectly level surface.

How We Decided

In order to narrow it down to the best motorcycle lifts for the money, we focused on safety, portability, weight capacity and ease of use. We only included jacks and hydraulic motorcycle lifts that featured non-slip lifting surfaces. We also only included those with at least 9” of width for greater stability. A locking nut or lifting rod was a bonus.

We limited our search to motorcycle lifts with at least 900 lbs capacity. This way, you can use it to lift up many different kinds of bikes. The OTC, our # 2 pick, is rated for up to 1500 lbs, which makes it a great motorcycle lift for Harleys. Or just about any other bike, with the exception maybe of Jay Leno’s Merlin tank engine-powered behemoth.

We also looked for vehicle lifts that were easy to assemble and set up, requiring minimal tools. All the motorcycle lifts on our list can be operated with a socket wrench or else include all necessary tools.

Motorcycle Lift Buying Guide

Features to Consider

  1. Hydraulic vs Scissor-Type
    Hydraulic motorcycle lifts are quicker and easier to use, but also take up more floor space and tend to be far more expensive than the simpler scissor jack type lifts. With scissor-type lifts, however, you have to turn the jack handle by hand to raise and lower the bike.
  2. Weight capacity
    Ideally, go for a lift that has a rated weight limit well above the weight of your bike with full fluids. Don’t use the “dry weight” sometimes found in manufacturer specs.
  3. Lift Range
    Depending on what kind of work you intend it for, check to make sure the motorcycle lift’s range suits your needs. For changing a tire, only eight to twelve inches is needed for most bikes. For other tasks you may want closer to 15 inches, depending on the configuration of your bike.
  4. Lift Surface
    A non slip surface is essential for flat and motorcycle lifts. Rubber or well textured plastic works well. For lifts with frame rail holders, you’ll want a similarly grippy, but more compliant, material. The Black Widow MC Jack (our #4 pick) with its molded rubber grips, does a good job of this.
  5. Portability
    Some of the motorcycle scissor lifts on our list are small and light enough that you can take them with you. The ZENY 1100B for example is only about 30 pounds. Even the OTC hydraulic motorcycle lift (our #2 pick) provides caster wheels so you can more easily maneuver it around the garage.

Motorcycle Lift FAQs

Do these work for large cruiser bikes?

Our recommended motorcycle lifts for Harley Davidson bikes include the OTC hydraulic, our #2 pick. With a capacity of 1500 lbs, and stable, 17-inch skids, it’s a good sized floor lift for Harleys and most “cruiser” or custom bikes.

Do they get both wheels off the ground?

If your bike has a flat bottom, most scissor lifts will adequately raise both wheels, just be careful you center the bike’s weight, which may be different from centering it by appearance.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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