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Old 08-23-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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Motorcycle Lift

My first post here.
Does anyone have experience with the Hydra-lift motorcycle lift? I'm considering this lift as I can still use my existing hitch to tow car without adding to my total length and the height of the bike will avoid scrapping in mountainous areas.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2...

I had one, lift my wing without problem. Had to have it wielded on instead of bolting, so it went with old RV, otherwise I loved it.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:22 PM   #3
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Got mine as part of the purchase of the RV. The RV dealer installed it, works great. I can load my FLHX by myself with ease.

Do you have any specific questions about it?
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:11 PM   #4
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Not to steal the thread. But does anyone know if they make a lift for a HD Trike?
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:22 PM   #5
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Thanks and we think we will go with the lift.
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #6
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Motercycle Lift

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Not to steal the thread. But does anyone know if they make a lift for a HD Trike?

Yes they do. It's shown on their website. Google Hydralift.


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Old 08-23-2015, 08:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenny-shawna View Post
My first post here.
Does anyone have experience with the Hydra-lift motorcycle lift? I'm considering this lift as I can still use my existing hitch to tow car without adding to my total length and the height of the bike will avoid scrapping in mountainous areas.
lenny-shawna,
Well, Yep, I used a Hydralift for over 8,000 miles and, it was great. I did the install and, while it was tedious and technical, it was fun too. Now, one thing, I'm not sure if Hydralift has made changes in its design but, you will NOT USE YOUR EXISTING HITCH after the Hydralift is installed. The primary reason is, Hydralift comes with it's own hitch/receiver.

That receiver is rated at, I think, 5,000 lbs. but, I'd have to check on that before I put my foot in my mouth. I did some mods to the mounting system and, the hydraulic and electrical line. I did that so I could remove that entire lift in a matter of 6-8 minutes. The primary reason is, if any work has to be done on the rear of that coach, that lift seriously inhibits that work. The secondary reason I did it that way is because if, we were heading out on a trip that the bike was not going to be used, I removed that lift completely and, installed an adapter/receiver that I made.

You see, in order for me to install that lift, I removed the factory hitch/receiver and, utilized the mounting holes for attaching the steel that I used for adapting to the Hydralift cradles. I've been a welder for 40+ years and, could have easily welded that lift to the coach. But, when you do it that way, you're committed.

But, in bolting it on the way I did, I can, at any time, remove it and, have the factory hitch/receiver back on in no time. And, there's no damage to anything. I had a Quick-release hydraulic fitting installed in the hydraulic line. It looks identical to the ones you use for air fittings only, it's designed for high pressure hydraulics. I then installed a Weather Pak triple sealed connector for the electrical side.

So, when it comes time to drop that lift off the back of the coach, I lower it to a poly-urethane furniture dolly that I purchased from Harbor Freight and, then disconnect the hydraulic line and the electrical line. Then, I have an air gun and, remove all eight bolts in a matter of about 1-2 minutes. I then lift the end of the lift (it's not all that heavy on just that end) and, place it on a stand, that's riding on another Harbor Freight dolly.

At that point, I can roll that lift anywhere I want and out of the way. I then install my adapter/hitch/receiver. All in all, it takes me right at 8 minutes for that operation. Just to remove the lift, about 6 minutes.

Anyway, we carried our 2008 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing that way and, towed our '04 Jeep Rubicon all over the western U.S. It was great. If you'd like any pointers on any part of this, feel free to ask or, PM me and, I'd be glad to help.
Scott

P.S. Below are a couple of pictures of our setup and, the adapter/hitch/receiver I made for when the lift was removed. If you look closely, you'll see that the original hitch/receiver not only is not there but, it would be tucked WAY under the lift, even if it was still there. You'd have to build a seriously long extension in order to use that hitch/receiver. If you click on the first picture, it will take you to my photo cache and, it will be a video of the lift in action, right after I finished my install of it.






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Old 08-24-2015, 10:16 PM   #8
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Fire,
Thanks for the excellent reply. I was going with the wield method as I feel that is the stronger attachment for my 950lb Ultra Classic but am now reconsidering as your bike probable weighs in around 1500lbs.
I do most fabrication and maintenance myself but felt this job was better left to someone with considerable more wielding experience and a stronger wielder as well.
I ordered the lift through a dealer and they will do the install for reasons previously discussed. Besides I didn't read your post until now and didn't consider bolts as a quality attachment and questioned there strength years later. I also like that I can remove it as I have a rear radiator which means access is tight enough.
Thanks again,
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2014 Harley Ultra Limited with Hydra-lift Carrier. 3 Beagle Hounds
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:36 PM   #9
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I cant use my factory reciever with the Hydralift. The reciever that came with my Hydralift is rated at 8000lbs, and probably sets my tow bar back about 2 1/2 feet from stock.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenny-shawna View Post
Fire,
Thanks for the excellent reply. I was going with the wield method as I feel that is the stronger attachment for my 950lb Ultra Classic but am now reconsidering as your bike probable weighs in around 1500lbs.
I do most fabrication and maintenance myself but felt this job was better left to someone with considerable more wielding experience and a stronger wielder as well.
I ordered the lift through a dealer and they will do the install for reasons previously discussed. Besides I didn't read your post until now and didn't consider bolts as a quality attachment and questioned there strength years later. I also like that I can remove it as I have a rear radiator which means access is tight enough.
Thanks again,
Lenney-shawna,
Just for your info, it's "weld" not wield. No biggie. And, laughing considerably at your estimate of how much my Goldwing weighs. I have not weighed it but, it's listed on the brochures and specs for that model year to be right close to 900 lbs. It depends on what level of Wing you ordered. But, the lightest model is under 900 and the most expensive with ABS and AIR BAGS hovers at just over 900.

Now, your thoughts are good as to the strength of a WELD vs the strength of a Bolt. But, If you understand the quality and strength of Grade 8 bolts, you'll know that they are SERIOUSLY strong fasteners. I used four, 5/8" diameter Grade 8 bolts, nuts and washers, spread apart in approximately 48" , on each side. So, there was a total of 8 sets those fasteners. You couldn't have broke those if you put a car on that lift.

The steel I used to mount it was 4" x 6" x 1/2" thick x 48" long, on each side. Mounting it the way I did decreased my "angle of departure" (I'd drag just a tad more when leaving gas station/angled entries and exits) just a tiny bit. I don't even think I actually hit anything when I was entering and exiting various fuel stations/parking lots/camp sites and more.

And, those bolts don't normally loose any strength over any given period of time. But, if you mounted them with bolts, the size and quality I did, at a few years later, you could easily replace them, one at a time, if it would make you feel better.

But, those that I used to mount the 4x6 angle to the bottom of the frame are not the ones I removed to remove the lift. Those are the "cradle" cap bolts you see in the pictures. I put a wrench on the nut, put the air gun on the top and, zip those things right off. Then, depending on what that lift was removed for, either to do maintenance or, to add the special adapter for towing our Jeep or, CRV.

But, if you're going to pay to have it installed, I'd seriously re-consider and, use bolts. That way, the entire mounting system can be removed, with ease and, you'll still get the strength you desire. Welding is good, no doubt about that. I've been doing it for over 50 years and, it definitely has its place. It's especially good for attaching components that in other ways, CANNOT use bolts. Good luck on your setup.

I also created a sub frame for the bottom of the Hydralift because, the actual tie-down points they provide, are in sync with the angle and, attachment positions that are specific to a GL 1800 Goldwing. Those bikes, just like yours, are top heavy. They need the highest attachment positions possible and, the widest (within reason) spread of attachment points at the bottom or, on the lift to get the best captive support so the bikes don't "sway" longitudinally (forward and back, parallel with the length of the coach, when stopping.

Another and more simpler words, you don't want your Harley LEANING enough to hit the coach, if you were to apply the brakes in panic stop.
Scott
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:34 PM   #11
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Fire. Thank you for sharing your set up.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:41 PM   #12
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Fire,
I am bringing the coach in tomorrow for the install on Thursday and will request the bolts as oppose to the "weld". I usually proof read albeit not very successfully.
I did not discuss or request the LED lights and hope they instill it.
Pictures to follow after install.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Fire. Thank you for sharing your set up.
FlaRider,
You are most certainly welcome Sir. If I can answer any questions, please feel free to PM me or, just ask on here.
Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by lenny-shawna View Post
Fire,
I am bringing the coach in tomorrow for the install on Thursday and will request the bolts as oppose to the "weld". I usually proof read albeit not very successfully.
I did not discuss or request the LED lights and hope they instill it.
Pictures to follow after install.
Lenny-Shawna,
A couple more things here. One, with that lift, the bike, ANY large cruiser, as in Harley, Honda Wing, Yamaha Venture, Victory, etc. will BLOCK the view of the tail lights on most coaches, to a closely following driver. Especially if you're just carrying the bike and not towing a toad. So, as you may see in the picture(s) I have an alternate set of LED tail lights, mounted on the "floor" of that lift. Those lights are seriously bright and you almost need sunglasses at night if you're following that thing.

And two, as mentioned, there is a "floor" on that lift. That floor does NOT come with the lift. When I first mounted that lift, I knew from experience that, that bike was going to get real dirty traveling that close to the back of that coach, even as high as it rides.

So, I elected to order what's called the "No touch, Garage/travel cover" that Hydralift markets and sells. Based on their (Hydralifts) promise, the cover is designed to be attached to the lift and, NOT TOUCH ANY PART OF THE BIKE, ANY BIKE, while you're traveling down the road. And, it's supposed to do a pretty bang-up job of sealing it to protect it from dirt, dust, debris and more.

Well, I received the cover and, all related components. The first thing you install from that cover system is, THE FLOOR. It's a two-piece thing. Then you install the rest of it. It's basically an accordion type of cover. It has a series of tubes that encompass the bike and, the cover material is attached to them at various points.

But, when it's all said and done, that cover is NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH ANY PLACE on the bike. Well, not only did it touch, it touched in multiple places. I wasn't born yesterday, I could figure out that, it has some adjustment and, what certain adjustments would do, to alleviate potential touching and, there for etching of the paint. But, when I called Hydralift and told them of my situation. They tried and tried to tell me I had it adjusted wrong.

I would go out and re-adjust and re-adjust but, to no avail. It simply was not designed for a Goldwing. I finally got seriously "P.O'd" at them and told them I was not going to use it and, it's on it's way BACK to them. Well, since the floor part had holes drilled in it for mounting, they really didn't want it back and were going to charge me for it. I argued and, got it for a reduced price.

As it turned out, it was a good thing to have at least the floor on there. It gives you the ability to put your feet down while loading and un-loading the bike, based on your inseam length. And, as an added benefit, it provides a vertical surface to mount those really nice auxiliary LED tail lights.

So, that's why you see what you see. Any Questions?
Scott
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:46 PM   #14
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wow

Its a great lift, well engineered, robust and stable. However, considering the price in Canada, I could buy a 6x12 aluminum trailer and a new motorcycle to fit inside....

I'm just saying
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