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Canuck
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I've never used a motorcycle lift. Don't know the first thing about them. However, a friend of mine who no longer rides just gave me his lift. I'll figure out how to use it, but my question is maintenance.

The lift is probably 10 years old, and has been in storage for the last 6 years. My friend used it on his Valkyrie, and then on his 1800 Gold Wing.

Is the cylinder (red arrow) filled with oil? Should it ever be changed? What kind of oil? How do check to see if there's enough? (Attached pics are (1) close-up of the lift with red arrow, (2) shot of the lift, (3) my buddy's bike on the lift.)

As always, thanks in advance.
 

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Chard Member
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Lubricate all pivot points on the lift. Check YouTube for bottle jack maintenance. You’ll find dozens of them.
 

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It's just a basic hydraulic bottle jack. I've never "changed" fluid in them, but a few I've added some to if the seal leaked a bit and they started to not "get it up". I've seen jack fluid in stores. I've used tractor universal hydraulic fluid to top off a few.
 

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I've never used a motorcycle lift. Don't know the first thing about them. However, a friend of mine who no longer rides just gave me his lift. I'll figure out how to use it, but my question is maintenance.

The lift is probably 10 years old, and has been in storage for the last 6 years. My friend used it on his Valkyrie, and then on his 1800 Gold Wing.

Is the cylinder (red arrow) filled with oil? Should it ever be changed? What kind of oil? How do check to see if there's enough? (Attached pics are (1) close-up of the lift with red arrow, (2) shot of the lift, (3) my buddy's bike on the lift.)

As always, thanks in advance.
Paul,
I have an almost exact same lift. They are actually a pretty good lift for doing a lot of maintenance on the Wing. If it were me, the first thing I'd do is, just examine that lift thoroughly. Check every inch of it, welds, pivot points, attachment points etc. and make sure it's all in good working order. Then, tighten the valve on the Jack and, do a free run or two all the way up, and back down. You want to make sure the entire range of motion is un-inhibited and there's no binding or any odd noises etc.

Now, as far as placement under the Wing, what I do is this. I put the business end of that jack, the side with the valve, the pump and all that, on the kick stand side of the bike. One of the lifting bars is placed directly under the pivot of the center stand. The other is placed where ever it goes. But, the problem with that one is, while it's the same height as the other lifting bar, the other one, the one under the pivot for the center stand, contacts the pivot BEFORE the other one contacts the bottom of the motor. What that does is causes a torsional twist on that jack, due to it's lifting with one arm, more than the other.

So, what I do for that is, place a spacer on the lifting bar that equal in height that, it comes in contact with the bottom of the motor, at the same time the other lifting bar comes in contact with the pivot. By doing it this way, the jack starts lifting equally on both lifting arms. This will allow the Wing to start to rise safely and with somewhat equal weight on each side (front tire and rear tire) of the jack. Do it slowly and, keep your hand on the left side handle bar just to stabilze the bike in the transition phase from on it's tires, to suspended.

Now, this is all how I do it, with a very similar jack. There are others that most likely will have different operations and opinions. So, this is just some suggestion.
Scott
 

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Self described # 2 mechanic here ( based on a scale of 1 - 10 ) How does one know EXACTLY where to station the jack under the bike. Seems obvious to me that if one is off by more than 1 % of the balanced weight of the bike, the bike will fall off the jack/stand. Is that correct ?? To ME..... the most obvious example would be having the bike up on the jack ( balanced ) and then taking off the front tire. The bike is clearly going over/falling to the rear, correct ??

Can you give this # 2 mechanic an answer on how to put a Goldwing ( or ANY bike ) up on a jack ?? I much prefer the KISS method. .....'cause I'm stupid.

Thanks.
 

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The front/rear position of the jack can be determined by looking at the placement of the feet on the center stand.
When the center stand is down, the feet are about 3 inches behind the balance point. The lifting points on the jack should evenly straddle this point front to rear. The tiedowns are a good idea.
As far as filling the jack, there should be a screw about where that red arrow is pointed, in your picture. Add fluid with jack fully collapsed until it runs out the hole. You will have to use a squeeze bottle with a dropper cap on it. You can use ATF or power steering fluid. Make sure jack cylinder is vertical. Screw should be about 1/2 way down the barrel.
 

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Self described # 2 mechanic here ( based on a scale of 1 - 10 ) How does one know EXACTLY where to station the jack under the bike. Seems obvious to me that if one is off by more than 1 % of the balanced weight of the bike, the bike will fall off the jack/stand. Is that correct ?? To ME..... the most obvious example would be having the bike up on the jack ( balanced ) and then taking off the front tire. The bike is clearly going over/falling to the rear, correct ??

Can you give this # 2 mechanic an answer on how to put a Goldwing ( or ANY bike ) up on a jack ?? I much prefer the KISS method. .....'cause I'm stupid.

Thanks.
Hoopdc,
Well, one can get as complicated as they want in trying to decide where is the perfect balance point in lifting a motorcycle or, you can do what works. I chose/choose the second option. The way I described how I lift my Wing with the jack the OP is talking about, is for me, the only way. Now, yes, the bike pretty much goes up fairly well balanced in weight between the front and rear wheel. OF COURSE it's gonna change that weight balance once you START to remove either the rear wheel or the front one. That's pretty much a given.

This situation is not like lifting a car or pickup with a four point car lift. With those, you can take pretty much as much weight off either end and, the car/pickup is not going to flip over due to weight being extracted from either end. But, I take all that into consideration. It's simple. If the bike is up in the air, balanced on the jack and, I've got the tie-downs you see in the picture in place, AND, those jacks have height locks on them, and those are locked in place, and I'm gonna remove the front tire, all I do to prepare to counterbalance the loss of weight is, place some blocks etc. under the rear tire, SIMPLE!

When the front tire's weight is actually released from the forks, the rear tire is ALREADY on a support so, the bike ain't going anywhere. Nothing changes. I do my work on the front wheel, whatever it is, then, re-install it and, all is good. IF the work is to be done on the rear wheel, which may involve removing it, then the blocks are placed under the front wheel, SIMPLE. I'm not an expert on the Wing but, based on lifting it and its reactions to weight removal etc. while on my jack, the majority of the Wings weight is in the engine/trans/gas tank etc. which, is right above the jack.

Those height locks I was speaking of, are points at which the jack can lock its height at which, prevents auto lowering by a hydraulic cylinder that's loosing pressure. I jack up to any one of those lock points and, lock it in place. Then that jack can loose all its pressure and the bike ain't moving.
Scott
 

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Self described # 2 mechanic here ( based on a scale of 1 - 10 ) How does one know EXACTLY where to station the jack under the bike. Seems obvious to me that if one is off by more than 1 % of the balanced weight of the bike, the bike will fall off the jack/stand. Is that correct ?? To ME..... the most obvious example would be having the bike up on the jack ( balanced ) and then taking off the front tire. The bike is clearly going over/falling to the rear, correct ??

Can you give this # 2 mechanic an answer on how to put a Goldwing ( or ANY bike ) up on a jack ?? I much prefer the KISS method. .....'cause I'm stupid.

Thanks.
The bike on this type of jack is not subject to balance as much as the folks here are making it sound. Go to the J&S Jack site and have a look at their videos. The bike is quite stable on this type of jack.
 

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Hoopdc,
Well, one can get as complicated as they want in trying to decide where is the perfect balance point in lifting a motorcycle or, you can do what works. I chose/choose the second option. The way I described how I lift my Wing with the jack the OP is talking about, is for me, the only way. Now, yes, the bike pretty much goes up fairly well balanced in weight between the front and rear wheel. OF COURSE it's gonna change that weight balance once you START to remove either the rear wheel or the front one. That's pretty much a given.

This situation is not like lifting a car or pickup with a four point car lift. With those, you can take pretty much as much weight off either end and, the car/pickup is not going to flip over due to weight being extracted from either end. But, I take all that into consideration. It's simple. If the bike is up in the air, balanced on the jack and, I've got the tie-downs you see in the picture in place, AND, those jacks have height locks on them, and those are locked in place, and I'm gonna remove the front tire, all I do to prepare to counterbalance the loss of weight is, place some blocks etc. under the rear tire, SIMPLE!

When the front tire's weight is actually released from the forks, the rear tire is ALREADY on a support so, the bike ain't going anywhere. Nothing changes. I do my work on the front wheel, whatever it is, then, re-install it and, all is good. IF the work is to be done on the rear wheel, which may involve removing it, then the blocks are placed under the front wheel, SIMPLE. I'm not an expert on the Wing but, based on lifting it and its reactions to weight removal etc. while on my jack, the majority of the Wings weight is in the engine/trans/gas tank etc. which, is right above the jack.

Those height locks I was speaking of, are points at which the jack can lock its height at which, prevents auto lowering by a hydraulic cylinder that's loosing pressure. I jack up to any one of those lock points and, lock it in place. Then that jack can loose all its pressure and the bike ain't moving.
Scott
Thanks !!! Explained in a way that even I ( # 2 mechanic ) can understand. :eek:) :eek:)
 

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I've never used a motorcycle lift. Don't know the first thing about them. However, a friend of mine who no longer rides just gave me his lift. I'll figure out how to use it, but my question is maintenance.

The lift is probably 10 years old, and has been in storage for the last 6 years. My friend used it on his Valkyrie, and then on his 1800 Gold Wing.

Is the cylinder (red arrow) filled with oil? Should it ever be changed? What kind of oil? How do check to see if there's enough? (Attached pics are (1) close-up of the lift with red arrow, (2) shot of the lift, (3) my buddy's bike on the lift.)

As always, thanks in advance.
I know those as m/c jacks. Like a floor but made for a m/c. Jacks usually require manual pumping. To me lifts are more of something that a vehicle drives onto, and the lifting is usually done via air or electric over hydraulics.
 

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The picture shows lifting an older wing not a GL1800. That white adapter thing shown in a couple of your pictures will not be needed to lift your GL1800 so you will have to remove that Or I don’t think it will work.
 

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What's important is getting the centre of gravity of the bike between the 2 lift points created by the lift.

When the bike is supported on the centre stand, the lift point is the centre stand pivot, and the centre of gravity is ahead of that point, since the front wheel remains on the ground and the rear wheel goes into the air.

As advised by others, place the rear-most lift bar under the pivot of the centre stand. The location is strong enough to hold the bike (since that's what it's used for) and it has been shown that the other lift point will be far enough ahead that the centre of gravity of the bike will be between the 2 points. (If it's not, the front wheel will never come off the ground).

The tricky thing, on some bikes, will be ensuring that the lift is applied to areas strong enough, and not to the exhaust system. Use spacers (wooden works) as required. Might even consider tying the spacers to the lift arms using plastic ties...
 
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