Harbor Freight Motorcycle Lift
(clicking on each image will bring up a full size picture)
Working on a motorcycle can be a lot easier if you have a way of hoisting it off the ground and raising it to a more convenient level. After fighting with cage oriented lifts and blocks of wood, I decided to break down and get a "real" motorcycle lift. While many vendors sell them, I decided on the lift from Harbor Freight (part # 41644-0VGA). This lift is currently priced at $139.99 and when I bought, they were having a promotion of no shipping charges. Since the delivered box weight about 100 pounds, this was a nice benefit.
The lift is delivered partially disassembled, but goes together easily. The lift platform (or saddle, as they call it) is covered in heavy, non-skid rubber. In a fully down position, the the top of the saddle is only about 5" off the floor and so it should fit under most bikes. In a fully raised position, it goes up to about 17.5". The picture below shows a top view with dimensions of the saddle. A second bike holder attachment comes with the lift that is inserted on the saddle and provides a variety of other lifting options. This holder and it's dimensions are shown in the next picture.
The lift appears to be well built and does a good job lifting the bike and holding it securely. A stop bar locks the lift and prevents it from lowering. The one complaint I have is that the casters are made out of plastic and seem a little "cheap". Also, the rear casters pivot, but the front don't. Having all four caster pivot would allow the bike to be moved around a bit easier (not that you want to be moving the bike too far while on a lift).
For those interested, an exploded image of the lift parts is available in TIFF and PDF format here Parts.tif and Parts.pdf.