Motorcycle enthusiasts usually prefer working on their own bikes as opposed to sending them over to a repair or workshop. They like their ride fully functional at all times. This means that they must either learn or get someone to teach them how to do it on their own. One of the things that bike riders like is jacking up a motorcycle.
Jacking up a motorbike is not hard and it can be done in less than 15 minutes with the help of some tools and safety precautions. Having said that, oiling, washing, and repairing a motorcycle all by yourself can be a very taxing job, worse if you are jacking it up without the right tools.
However, if you insist, we can give you a tip or two on how to jack up a motorcycle, but not before we tell you about the jack.
What are Motorcycle Jacks?
They’re specially designed for this particular purpose. These stands help you lift up your ride with minimum effort and maximum safety. To help you out, here are some tips on how to jack up a motorcycle by yourself using this apparatus.
First things first, it’s best to practice lifting the bike first without the stand underneath it before even putting it into action. Motorcycle jacks are very useful but they aren’t perfect so there’s still an element of risk involved when doing this type of work. What makes them dangerous is the fact that these stands can easily slip if not used or positioned properly.
How Should You Jack Your Motorcycle Safely?
Prep the Surface
The first step is to find a good, solid, flat surface where you can leave your bike for several hours while you’re doing your repairs. If you’re going to lift a motorcycle by yourself, make sure that this surface is high enough so that when the motorcycle’s front wheel is in contact with it, its front end is slightly higher than its back end so you can balance it properly.
Remember a car jack is different from a floor jack for a motorcycle. The lifting process may be similar to slowly raise the motorcycle to an upright position but the equipment is not. If you don’t have an appropriate tool, the best way is to use wood blocks with ratchet straps.
If you’re using jack stands, simply make sure that the ground’s surface is even and stable enough so that the jack stand won’t budge.
Identify the Bike’s Center of Gravity
Now, this is one of the trickiest parts. The centre of gravity is the point where all weight of the bike or vehicle can be supported without tilting or falling over.
This is usually found by raising the motorcycle’s front wheel slightly and then moving it back and forth to get an idea of where its exact centre is. Mark this spot using a rag, string, chalk, etc. to avoid forgetting.
Remember, a sport bike does not have a centre stand and needs to be put up on frame rails as a safety measure to protect the exhaust system and change tires without any damage.
Assess the Underside of Your Bike
Once you have located the centre of gravity, it is time to examine your bike’s underside. The contact surface must be flat. You need to find the jacking points, which are the contact points between the bike and the jack stands.
These are usually found near the suspension system or engine. If you’re using a jack stand, make sure that these points will fit snugly on the metal surface and won’t move.
A flat surface helps distribute the weight of the bike evenly, ensuring that the motorcycle jack won’t slip.
Adjust The Position of Your Bike
Make some adjustments to keep your bike standing upright. If the bike is leaning towards one side, use a wooden block or something similar to balance the rear end of the motorcycle. The side stand will be non-functional during the process.
You can ask a friend to help you place the wooden blocks in the right position if you’re having trouble doing it yourself or use ratcheting tie down straps to hold the motorcycle in position.
Position the Floor Jack Correctly
Once your bike is stable and upright, you can now start positioning the motorcycle jack. Make sure that it is placed directly under the centre of gravity of your bike and that it is pointing towards the right jacking point.
In most cases, this will be near the front tire area. Then, simply secure the jack stand in place using a strap or chain to avoid slipping out from underneath your bike when you’re lifting it up off the ground.
Lift Your Motorcycle Slowly and Safely
With everything already set in its position, slowly lift your bike until it balances properly on top of your floor jack stand or motorcycle jack stand. Ensure that there’s no slack in between and tighten any loose bolts and screws first before completely securing your ride. To protect the front brake lever and other valuable parts, put the motorcycle up on frame sliders if possible.
Take your time to do this especially if you’re lifting your bike for the first time. Make sure that everything is stable before walking away.
So, that was all about jacking up a motorcycle safely all by yourself. Motorcycle jacks are very useful tools when it comes to lifting and repairing your bike. However, they can be dangerous if not used or positioned properly.
These tips can be really helpful in ensuring that your bike is safe and stable while it’s being lifted. Always remember to assess the surface where you’ll be placing your bike, identify the centre of gravity, and use a wooden block or another object to keep it upright if necessary. Lastly, make sure that the motorcycle jack is positioned correctly before slowly lifting your bike off the ground, and you are all set.