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Unconditional motorcycle, Thierry Fustinoni designed this equipment in order to maintain or repair his machine without breaking the loins. Clever, the set includes a removable hatch facilitating the removal of the rear wheel.

A motorcycle lift

Level: confirmed
Achievement: approx. 5 weekends
Cost: approx. $ 230
Mini equipment: chainsaw, grinder, drill, arc welding machine, lathe-milling machine.

See the plan of this realization (in pdf): A motorcycle lift: the plan

Robust, this realization is mainly formed of two rectangular frames: a low frame and a lifting table. Superimposed, these two elements are articulated in an arcuate elevation, generated by two intermediate arms driven by a hydraulic cylinder. With a capacity of two tons, it comes from a jack for cars, and four wheels (two fixed and two swivel) and their supports. Fixed under the chassis, they will facilitate the movements of the whole (without the bike, of course!). In the fixed position, the maintenance is ensured, at the level of the lower frame, by two stabilizers and provided with adjustable feet.

■ Two recovery pedals, mounted on one side of the chassis and associated with linkages and clevises, control the ascent or descent of the table. This, at a height of 190 to 785 mm from the ground. A retractable ramp allows to ride the bike on the table down to the maximum. The latter, 670 x 2210 mm, consists of a plywood board 12 mm screwed to the metal frame and protected by a rubber coating.

The chassis

It consists of two longitudinal members, drawn from an 80/40 x 4 mm U channel, joined by a cross member of the same section, a rear cross member also in U-profile but 60/30 x 3 mm. The whole is reinforced by a spacer formed of two angles of 40/40 x 4 mm, close together and connected at each end by two small flat irons of 40 x 25 x 4 mm. Through a yoke, it supports the cylinder and protects the control pins of the latter. Hence the importance of positioning it well!

■ The two longitudinal members are arranged, well parallel, on a flat surface. The spacer and sleepers are then put in place. Note: the rear crossmember protrudes from either side of the frame to widen the wheelbase of the fixed rollers and increase lift to the ground. All these elements are temporarily maintained by magnetic brackets or vise clamps. After checking the squareness of the chassis, arc welding of all the links is carried out.

■ Four plates, drawn from an 80/40 x 4 mm U-section, are fitted to the grinder and welded to the inside of the frame profiles: two at the ends of the rear crossmember, two at the front of the beams. On the first will be mounted the Ø 13 mm axes of the fixed wheels. On the seconds are welded the two outriggers (U-profile 60/30 x 3 mm), placed at 45°, and the supports of the swivel casters.

■ On the longitudinal members, four holes of Ø 28 mm are drilled to receive the rings supporting the axes of the arms. The latter are made on the lathe then the milling machine, before being welded inside the frame. Different holes are made at the spacer for the passage of the control linkages of the cylinder.

■ An M 12 nut is welded to the pre-drilled end of the outriggers to secure the adjustable foot. This is simply a wide washer welded to the head of a screw Ø M 12 x 70 mm. A lock nut ensures the blocking.

■ Forming the yoke of the cylinder, two flat bars 40 x 15 mm in section and spaced 72 mm are welded to the front wing of the spacer. To do this, they are each pierced with a hole 19 mm in diameter. A cut made on the spacer, between these two irons, facilitates the movement of the deflection of the linkage of purge linkage.

Table and hatch

The table is formed of two frames, intermediate and peripheral, made by welding different profiles. The assembly begins with the first one, consisting of two longitudinal members of 55/30 x 3 mm angles connected by six ties of the same section. They are spread over the length beginning at 245 mm from the front, then every 220 mm. What saves on the back a notch of 860 mm, necessary for the installation of the hatch. The internal spacing of the rails of this frame is identical to that of the frame, to allow the rotation of the arms in the same plane.

Intermediate and peripheral frames

Intermediate and peripheral frames

The width of the intermediate frame is identical to that of the frame. The interior sleepers provide an opening for the hatch. The whole is enlarged by a peripheral frame.

The trap

■ The length of the longitudinal members is calculated to obtain a perfect superposition of the rear crossmember of the frame and the rear edge of the table in the low position. This facilitates the rise of the motorcycle via the sheet metal ramp. Like the lower frame, the longitudinal members are pierced with four Ø 28 mm holes to weld the axle support rings. But the position of their milled countersinks is reversed compared to those of the rings fixed on the lower rails. To increase the wing area of ​​the side members and reinforce them at each drilling, a flat iron of 3 x 15 mm is welded to it. To reach the final surface of the table, the sides are widened by a peripheral frame. It is made of 50/20 x 3 mm U-sections, mitered and connected to the inner frame by eight 55/30 x 30 mm angles. One of their ends is "eaten away"To flush the upper flange of the side members, the front and rear ends of the table are closed with 50/20 x 3 mm U-shaped flanks.

■ Rectangular, the hatch is made from two longitudinal members and four slotted cross members, in angles of 30/30 x 3 mm. It has at one end a recess to allow its embedding on the axis of the rear arm. Nevertheless, the ends of the longitudinal members are closed by a small welded sheet of 27 x 27 x 3 mm. The hatch is supported in its housing by a series of pins (screws CHC Ø M 8 mm) aligned in holes located at the base of the wings of the side members.


There are two of them, each consisting of two flanks of 8 mm thick sheet metal. These are connected by two Ø 25/32 mm tube spacers, welded at the ends in Ø 32 mm holes. In order to secure the flanks two by two, a folded sheet metal housing 3 mm thick is welded to their outer contour. In the rear case, four Ø 8.5 mm holes are drilled in the fold axis in accordance with those, previously threaded to Ø M8 mm, of the Ø 19 mm axis that supports the cylinder nose. To allow the passage of this axis and the cylinder body in the low position, two oblong cuts are made in the housing.

Composing the arms

Composing the arms

Two sides, cut with a chainsaw in 8 mm thick sheet metal, two 25/32 mm Ø tube spacers and a 3 mm folded sheet metal casing make up the elements of each arm.

Increase the bearing surface

Increase the bearing surface

The rear cover is perforated to let the nose and the body of the cylinder in the down position. Two stabilizing arms increase the bearing surface on the ground and significantly improve the maintenance.

The access ramp

It is a triangular box consisting of three elements: two flanges and a folded sheet metal ramp 10/10 mm thick. The first are welded on both sides of the second with a 15 mm recess, to improve the rigidity and grip of the whole. The back of the ramp is folded to form a tongue. Two holes are drilled to position the ramp and maintain, without screwing, on two small pins attached to the rear cross member of the frame.

Bring the bike by the ramp

Bring the bike by the ramp

A sheet rail 10/10 thick, allows to bring the bike on the tray with a rubber band. For convenience, it fits on the rear crossbar of the table on pawns.

Cylinder assembly

Equipped with their polypropylene pads, the axes of the arms are inserted into their support rings. The cylinder is then put in place in the yoke, and the nose slipped in the axis located under the housing. The axes of the cylinder and arm are tapped into ends to be immobilized by means of screws Ø M12 x 30 mm and washers. That of the nose is fixed to the housing with screws Ø M8 x 20 mm.

■ The cylinder is actuated by a pedal (recovered) welded to the end of a tube (Ø 18 mm) passing through the frame and held at the other end by screw and washer. The pumping movement is transmitted to the operating rod by a connecting yoke (fixed on the tube) and an intermediate rod. This transmission is mounted blank to determine the exact position of the pin that secures the chappe on its axis. These two pieces are then drilled together to perfect the alignment of the holes. A torsion spring attached to the spacer and the chappe each time returns the pedal to the initial position. Except for the Ø 8 mm imposed by the original rod of the cylinder, all these links are articulated around Ø M10 mm screws. You can also turn hinge pins and block them with pins. All the parts composing the mechanism are in flat iron welded.

■ Another pedal, made of sheet metal 15/10, 20/10 mm and angle 20/20 x 2 mm, controls the descent of the table. It acts on a Ø 6 mm bent linkage and opens the bleed thanks to a deflection cam made of a small tube welded to a flat iron. It is pierced to hang the rod and the tension spring recalling the pedal. Keeping the bleed screw, the small tube maneuvers it in one direction or the other by a pin through.

Actuate the cylinder

Actuate the cylinder

Mounted on an axis or linkage, different parts actuate the cylinder up or down, by acting on the original controls. As soon as any effort on the pedals stops, springs bring them back to the initial position.


During machining, the parts have been carefully descaled, deburred, dusted and degreased to finally receive two coats of antirust paint. A recovery stand, attached to the corresponding spars, provides sufficient security in the high position. All joints are greased. The peripheral frame of the table and that of the hatch are drilled (Ø 4.5 mm) at regular intervals. BTF screws 4 x 20 mm, driven from below, fix 12 mm plywood boards, covered with a rubberized protective mat glued with Neoprene glue.

Video Instruction: Harbor Freight Motorcycle Lift Review - Is it JUNK?