How to Build a Motorcycle Jack

Written by kyle mcbride
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Motorcycle jacks (a bike lift) are required for many motorcycle repair procedures. Built from steel tubing, the lift provides a sturdy platform for bike repairs by lifting one end of the bike and supporting that weight while giving lateral support to prevent the bike from falling over. Lifts are fairly light in weight and are easy for one person to handle and safely lift a bike. Ratchet straps from the top of the frame to the outboard ends of the lift provide extra insurance by locking the bike to the lift and giving the bike more lateral stability.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cutting torch
  • Welding machine
  • Welding rods
  • Welding tools
  • 8 feet of 1-inch round tubing
  • 4 feet of 1 1/2-inch square tubing
  • 5 feet of 1-inch square tubing

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  1. 1

    Cut two 4-foot sections of round tubing (crosspieces). Cut three 1-foot sections of 1 1/2-inch square tubing (end pieces).

  2. 2

    Lay out the crosspieces parallel to each other and 10 inches apart. Lay the end pieces perpendicular at the ends of the crosspieces, forming a rectangle. Butt the crosspieces into the side of the end pieces as close to the end of the end pieces as possible. Weld all four butt joints. Flip the assembly over and finish the welds on the backside.

  3. 3

    Stand the lift on its end. Lay the last endpiece across the centre of the welded endpiece. Rotate the loose endpiece (now called a socket) about 120 degrees from parallel with the welded endpiece and weld it into place. Cut a tab into one end of the socket and bend it into the tube to act as a stop for your jack bar.

  4. 4

    Install the 5-foot length of 1-inch square tubing into the socket. This is now the jack lever. Burn a small hole near the ends of the endpieces to accept the hook-ends on the optional ratchet straps.

  5. 5

    Position the jack underneath the bike frame. Place it either forward or behind the centre of gravity with the lift 90 degrees to the bike's frame. Push the lever down to the floor, allowing the lift to rotate past vertical and lift the bike up slightly.

Tips and warnings

  • Use caution and always wear safety gear when using welding equipment. There is a high potential for injury when welding.

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