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Let’s get this straight.
You want to do some repair and maintenance work on your bike without using a jack to lift it off the ground.
Frankly, that’s NOT the safest way to do it.
Ok, I get it. Lifting it up isn’t a problem for you. (Those numerous hours at the gym do pay off, eh).
But what if you need to hold the bike up steadily for a few hours? You’ll need stable support!
So, what are the methods you can use for lifting if you don’t want to use a jack?
Let’s find out.
Can I Lift My Motorcycle by Myself?
To be honest, I always prefer using a jack. Be it a motorcycle jack, floor jack, or car jack, using it makes the task easier and safer.
Motorcycles are heavy vehicles. For example, take the Yamaha Tenere 700. That has a wet weight of 452 pounds.
The KTM 890 Adventure has a dry weight of around 430 pounds.
Unless you are a veteran deadlifter with pillars instead of legs, handling heavy weights in the wrong way can cause serious injuries.
And without a jack to stabilize the bike, makeshift arrangements can be risky. A slight mistake can result in an out-of-balance motorcycle.
And trust me, you don’t want a heavy cruiser to topple over you.
Also, most modern bikes don’t come with a center stand. That makes the task even more difficult.
Fair enough. But suppose you are stuck in a tough situation with no jack or stand with you?
Ok. You got me.
Admittedly, you can lift the bike without a jack. There are simpler ways of doing it by making a DIY jack.
Quite simply, the motorcycle needs a flat and stable surface in the center that can balance it. Placing it on an uneven surface can cause it to fall.
Yes, using a motorcycle lift table is a great idea. But you need to have the budget and space in your garage for it.
In most cases, the main reason for lifting the bike is to change tires. You may need to replace the bearings and seals or change the sprockets. You will also need to lift the bike to clean and lubricate the chain.
And to be honest, a repair shop will charge you less if you just bring them the tires, instead of the entire bike.
One thing is, I always prefer to loosen the axle nut when the bike is on the ground. That allows you to apply a lot more force than when the bike has been lifted up.
In case your bike is set on a dolly, it’s best to bring it to the ground before lifting.
How to Jack up a Motorcycle Without a Jack
(Does that sound like an oxymoron? Never mind.)
Here are some of the best ways to lift up a bike without a jack.
A great way to lift up a dirt bike or an enduro bike is by using a static-style stand. These are cheap and stable stands that have rubber padding on the top. The four-legged structure is simple with no moving parts.
All you need to do is lift the bike and place the center of the frame on the stand. While lifting, make sure to support the weight of the bike on your thigh. This will reduce the stress on your lower back.
For heavier models, you can use a lift-type stand. These stands come with a pedal connected to a linkage. By pressing on the pedal, you can easily lift the bike. It goes without saying, this method is easier on your back and arm muscles.
If you own a sportbike, it will probably have swing-arm spools in the rear. These can be connected with a swing-arm spool stand for lifting the back of the bike off the ground.
Make sure you choose the right spool based on the make and model of your bike. Since they are cheap, the spool stands are a good investment if you’re a DIYer.
Now, many owners leave issues related to the front wheel, front brakes, and forks to the mechanics. So, a front-wheel stand may not be necessary for all riders.
To lift the front of the bike you can use a forklift stand. These stands are placed under the fork legs.
Otherwise, you can also use a head lift stand. This stand uses a pin that fits under the steering stem. So, make sure you pick a stand of the right pin size.
Lifting a Motorcycle Without Stands
What if you need to do some urgent repairs and do not have a stand?
Not to worry.
One of the easiest ways to lift a motorcycle without a jack or a stand is to use a set of stacked boards. Ideally, you will need another pair of hands to assist you with this.
While one person lifts the rear of the bike, the other can slide the boards below the engine block until the rear wheel is above the ground. To make it safer, you can use additional tie-down straps to support the front end of the bike.
If you want to warm your hands with a bit more action, you can make a makeshift jack with some wooden blocks and a few hours of spare time. While this isn’t the best arrangement in terms of finesse, it’s a simple and practical method to get the job done.
If you don’t have any boards or wooden pieces around you, it’s time to get innovative.
Note, these aren’t the safest ways to lift up a bike but can work during emergencies.
Remember: it’s always necessary to prioritize safety while using these methods.
Make sure you use a hard even surface like a concrete floor. If the bike has a center stand use it for extra support. At any point during lifting, if you feel the bike getting unsteady, lower it down.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you lift a motorcycle with a regular jack?
For lifting the motorcycle with a jack, you can use motorcycle stands. Or else, you can think of placing wooden blocks under the engine to lift the rear wheel.
Can I lift a motorcycle with a car jack?
It’s possible to lift a motorcycle by using a car jack. While the lifting mechanisms are different, using a car jack is similar to using a floor jack.
How can I lift my motorcycle by myself?
Lifting a motorcycle on your own should be done safely to avoid accidents. The best way to do that is by using a jack. Otherwise, you can use a motorcycle stand or make a DIY stand by using some wooden blocks.