Before diving into the wheel swap on our Wide Glide I decided it would probably be a good idea to get a proper motorcycle lift for the somewhat unusual subframe on our Harley Dyna Glide.
While I already had a “pretty good” lift that I’ve used for the past few years on my Honda and BMWs, using it with the Harley required some farm-boy engineering, i.e., 2×4’s, using the BMW’s front wheel chock and even then the lift while rated for 1,500 lbs, the 700 lb Harley just didn’t seem all that stable sitting there 18″ off the ground on it.
Having done some research over the past year I came to find that the two most popular lifts for Harley’s are made by Pitbull and J&S. Both are made in the USA, so no issue there and both have very good reputations for both product quality and customer support. After comparing the pros & cons of the slight differences between the J&S and the Pitbull, I was more inclined to pursue the slightly more compact and less expensive J&S lift.
I explored buying one second hand and found a fairly new J&S for sale in North Carolina. The asking price was very reasonable, but once I factored in packing & shipping I was 3/4s of the way to the cost of a new lift, or at least what I thought was the cost of a J&S.
When I went back to the J&S website to make my purchase I discovered the price I’d seen was apparently a short-term sale price that had expired. So, I sent off an Email to J&S asking if they’d be able to extend the sale price to me. About a week or so went by before I heard back via an Email from Cheryl while we were in Florida at Bike Week. She said they’d extend the sale price, which was great: I just needed to follow up promptly, which I did while we were stopped for lunch at Toucan’s in Mexico Beach on Friday afternoon. Although I’d missed their FedEx Friday pick-up when I forgot I was on Central time instead of an hour ahead on Eastern time when I called J&S, it still showed up from Wisconsin a mere five days later.
The jack frame is a sturdy piece of kit with very simple design features built around a platform that supports generic hydraulic jacks. The bottle jack handle was a POS, but other than that jack is first class. Worked like a charm, although fewer strokes would be nice. I think it takes about 80 compressions to get the jack to full height, whereas my lightweight jack gets the bike all the way up in about 15-20. But, once the bike is on the J&S it’s really quite solid and easy to move the bike around. The compact design of the J&S is also a nice feature as it doesn’t take up big storage space and also doesn’t get in the way when working around the elevated bike.
Here’s a quick & dirty little video that shows how well it lifts and sets-down the Harley: