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Old 06-22-2014, 10:56 PM   #1
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Hydralift on Class A Coaches

I carry a HD Ultra Classic on my coach, installed Jan 2014. I have noticed several things and I am curious of others experiences with the lift.

1) On rough roads, particularly with dips (like you see a lot of on CA roads like US 101 and I5; mini-fault lines I suppose, but a real roller coaster effect), I see a lot of movement in my rear camera. I have the bike strapped down with ratchet straps prior to start sufficiently that the front tire is obviously compressing. I use two in the front on each side and one in the rear. Do others experience the same?

2) After a days drive, particularly on rougher roads, the ratchet tie down straps can loosen significantly. I would expect a little of this, but sometimes it seems almost abnormal in light of 1) above. Again, others experiences?

Love the lift. Want to make sure it has been installed properly (and it was done by a Hrdralift recommended stocking dealership). Thanks in advance for any insights.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:03 PM   #2
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I do not experience same thing with mine. rides very steady. Thinking air pressure in front forks needs boosting. You definitely don't want that bike coming loose. Makes for a very bad day
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:05 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'll have that checked.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:07 PM   #4
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One more thing. I always strap the front wheel tight to the chock. So no rolling allowed.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:58 PM   #5
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Bouncing hydralift

I own a 2006 hydralift bolted to a 40' Freightliner chassis. I haul a 03 Goldwing and depending on fuel and stuff I can weigh close to 875 lbs +\- , I had my lift rams and pump checked for defects and all was good. Talking with other hydralift owners it was a 50/50 split on the ones the get excessive bounce. Hydralift tech help and customer service sucks. I too experienced the bouncing and flopping back and forth in the back up camera. First of all my camera does exaggerate movement due to the curve in the lens. I upgraded my tie downs to 2" wide with heavy duty ratchets to limit stretch rebound. I removed the short end of the strap and connected the ratchet directly to the eye hook on the lift using a heavy duty buckle. I replaced the factory eye hooks with casted closed trucker eyelets, mine started to open after a few months. I then added a 3" wide heavy heavy duty strap with a big ratchet hooking one end to the ramp edge lining it up in the middle and the other hook to the hitch, I use a ball mount extension to tow my jeep so I attach it to the safety chain loop. I ratchet it down tight to help damper the bounce. All this helped dramatically but it is extra work. The bike barley moves now and my wife followed me down the road and noted really no bouncing or flopping. I did notice that when my jeep pulls on the tow bar and ball mount in the whoops the lift does seem to move more. All in all from what I have seen in lifts out there hydralift is still the best for my application. It's been two years now and I haven't launched my bike onto the hood of my jeep. Hope this helps and good luck. Andy
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:31 AM   #6
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Although we just got our hydralift and I haven't had a chance to install it, I can give a few thoughts on towing Harleys in general. I've probably put 150,000 miles towing bikes to motorcycle drag races and always have a street bike in the trailer.
First of all, it makes a difference what you hook to on the bike. Although its against conventional wisdom, I've always had better luck hooking to the handle bars down as close to the forks as I can get. Generally the front crash bar would be better since its not soft mounted, but I've found that when the straps start out that low, it lets the bike rock side to side more and that will loosen the straps. I just have to replace my handle bar bushings every couple years.
One key is that you have to stop frequently after the start of the trip and hit the ratchets again. I can usually take a click or two on each for at least the first couple stops. If I had to guess, it would be that there is enough stretch in the tie down material that it takes a bit of time and pressure to get them fully stretched out. Then they are fine, even if they're in the back of the trailer, which is the worst place for them. Mine moves up and down enough so that after a 1,000 mile trip it will actally bleed down the lifters in the engine.'
Good luck
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:29 AM   #7
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When I tie down my VTX, I place a block of wood under the front of the frame. Pulls against the wood before compressing the forks. Results in less movement.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:59 AM   #8
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Just another note, I used to use a handlebar strap but it was always needing to be re- tightened now I remove a bracket on the top of the triple tree covering the front brake lines & using 2 soft straps anchor to the wheel chock & tighten down enough to compress the shocks about 1/2 way & this really holds well.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:46 AM   #9
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I have the same lift on the back of my 07 Discovery. Welded to the frame. I do have a recall on a valve for the pump. Not sure if I'll be using the lift or not.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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I have a Hydralift also for my `09 Road King. I use 6 tie down points. Two over the triple tree, two on the front crash bar, and two on the rear crash bar. When going over a radical whoop-dee-doo, there is some movement that looks like the lift is raising up. I've come to the conclusion that this is a normal occurrence and that this effect was taken into account during the engineering of the lift. I've never heard of a lift coming unlocked and sitting just on the hydraulics. Have heard of them falling off of the lift, but that's a case of operator error and not being properly secured to the lift. Use superior tie down straps, and replace them at the first sign of wear.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:23 PM   #11
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I have one, came with the coach but have'nt used it yet.
Does anyone lower the hydraulics till it's resting on the stops, rather than the hydraulics holding up the weight?
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockbit View Post
I have a Hydralift also for my `09 Road King. I use 6 tie down points. Two over the triple tree, two on the front crash bar, and two on the rear crash bar. When going over a radical whoop-dee-doo, there is some movement that looks like the lift is raising up. I've come to the conclusion that this is a normal occurrence and that this effect was taken into account during the engineering of the lift. I've never heard of a lift coming unlocked and sitting just on the hydraulics. Have heard of them falling off of the lift, but that's a case of operator error and not being properly secured to the lift. Use superior tie down straps, and replace them at the first sign of wear.
Appreciate this input...I have been strapping to the rear foot strut as it appeared more solid than the rear bag guards (which is what I'm assuming you mean on the rear). If you're referring to the bag guards, you don't see any deformation in this tubular chrome, or are you attaching to something else in the rear and I'm missing something?

Thanks
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:55 PM   #13
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Dave, you're not missing anything. I tie down from the rear bag guards for the rear. Right in the low spot in front of the rear bags, and put tension pulling to the rear . Traveled throughout the western states with no problems to the guards. Actually the rear is the easiest to tie down cause you just need to hold that end down, to keep it from bouncing. the main tie down is on the front. that's the reason I have 4 tie down points on the front. The two over the triple tree will hold it just fine, but the extra two on the front crash guard are for redundancy. And my peace of mind. I use the Harley straps that come with every new HD from the factory. Most dealers will give them to you if you ask.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
I have one, came with the coach but have'nt used it yet.
Does anyone lower the hydraulics till it's resting on the stops, rather than the hydraulics holding up the weight?
I was going thru the manual and noticed that they want you to rest it on the hooks with the pressure released. They now have a new valve retrofit/recall. I found it in an envelope from prior owner. I would think you would get some bounce if the weight was on the rams.

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