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Norri Robertson
Norri Robertson
Glendale AZ USA
Posts: 70
Joined: August 2008
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Thread Like Summary
Allan G, Hugh Jörgen, Magnetoman, NYBSAGUY, Shane in Oz
Total Likes: 11
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#812523 06/14/2020 7:20 PM
by Magnetoman
I have a 13 ft. ceiling in my garage so nearly half the volume of the garage is wasted (shelves at one end are higher than 6 ft. so only ~40% is wasted. Has anyone installed a 4-post car lift to use with motorcycles instead of cars, i.e. to free up space on the floor? If so, what tips do you have (e.g. a 6 ft. clearance results in fewer concussions than 5 ft.).

The overall width of the narrowest lift that a quick search turned up is ~106" whereas the total length of a bike is only ~90" and the wheelbase even less at ~56", so some of the width would be "wasted." A measurement shows that six bikes parked horizontally across the lift would take up ~114" in length so the shortest lift I found of 175" would hold nine bikes. Or, it would hold fewer bikes plus other storage. However, shorter lengths seem to be combined with shorter lift heights, which is an issue. I definitely would want one that that I could walk under without knocking myself out, which means 6 ft. to be on the safe side, but I also would want one that is as short as possible, ideally less than 175" long.

This would be for "cold storage" of infrequently/never used bikes, so having to move things parked under it in order to lower the lift wouldn't be a major disadvantage. However, if there is an alternative, practical solution for suspending a half-dozen bikes 6+ feet off the floor, please let me know. Also, any other thoughts you have on this matter. Thanks.
Liked Replies
#812831 Jun 16th a 09:31 PM
by Hugh Jörgen
Hugh Jörgen
Originally Posted by Magnetoman
NYBSAGUY visited for a few days this past fall and he needed an escort to help him find his way to his room each evening.
Wisely he declined a visit to the cellar to sample the Amontillado.
3 members like this
#812604 Jun 15th a 03:50 AM
by Shane in Oz
Shane in Oz
Originally Posted by Magnetoman
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
May I suggest a mezzanine floor using pallet racking as the framework, 1" MDF flooring and an electric forklift to lift bikes on and off?
The pallet racking can double up as very heavy duty shelving.
Despite the feeling of deja vu, I can't find a suitable electric forklift. "Suitable" = significantly less than $5k, 72" lift, and small footprint. Can you point to a link to one?
It appears they are actually called pallet stackers rather than forklifts:
How about something like this?
Or a bit closer to home
1 member likes this
#812614 Jun 15th a 05:19 AM
by Shane in Oz
Shane in Oz
Originally Posted by Magnetoman
No matter what, the jack/shelf solution would require me to balance on a ladder 6-7 ft. off the floor while moving bikes from jack to shelf and then balance them as well as myself while I attached tie-downs. That sounds like a 400 lb. accident waiting to happen.
At that price for a 4-post car lift, it's probably the best approach in your situation. I continually underestimate how cheap machine shop and garage toys are over there.
Make sure you have a solid, well supported floor on the lift, with sufficient tie-down points.

On the mezzanine front, that's why you need enough floor width to provide a landing stage on the mezzanine floor, and a securely attached lift platform on the pallet lifter.
  • strap the bike down onto the lift platform
  • raise the platform to just above mezzanine floor height
  • push the lifter to position the lift platform above the mezzanine landing stage
  • lower the lift platform to sit on the landing stage
  • climb up steps to mezzanine level (ladders are so passe)
  • release tie-down straps
  • push motorcycle carcass into position

Having the full lift platform on the landing stage (pallet lifter perpendicular to the landing stage) is safest, but requires more fiddly manouvring. Having about 1/4 of the lift platform on the landing stage (pallet lifter parallel to the landing stage) allows a straight push into position and a narrower landing stage.
1 member likes this
#812622 Jun 15th a 07:44 AM
by gunner
This might not be exactly what you are looking for but you can get dedicated bike lifts which can hold two bikes, see Brock Lifts. Looks like their lift has 3 legs which are adjustable for height up to 12ft. The platform on the larger model is 6ft x 9ft and I suspect you could probably fit 3 classic bikes if stored sideways rather than lengthways.

Additionally, there is another type which consists of a frame bolted to the garage wall and a 4ft x 8ft platform which can be raised and lowered as required with 6ft of headroom underneath, see Garage Evolution

Then there is a single post lift made for Bikes, ATVs, golf buggies etc, it has ramps and is suitable for 2 bikes, see This link This lift seems very sturdy and needs anchoring in 4ft of concrete, maybe a larger platform could be added.
1 member likes this
#812703 Jun 15th a 09:29 PM
by gavin eisler
gavin eisler
Surely Magneto Man must have a secret underground lair? In the loft is not comic book style. i dunno about lifting bikes up, but a turntable that could spin them round could remove a lot of shuffling.
1 member likes this
#812737 Jun 16th a 12:24 AM
by Magnetoman
Originally Posted by Jerry Roy
To complement the 4 post car lift;
This is the model lift I've selected, but I'm still waiting to hear back with the cost of the escalator upgrade to the basic package shown below so I can arrange the wire transfer.

[Linked Image]
Attached Images
1 member likes this
#812809 Jun 16th a 05:15 PM
by George Kaplan
George Kaplan
Hello MM, I am on the Garage Journal site and this sort of question has been asked a zillion times on there. The site has quite a lot of traffic so is worth looking at for ideas. I had a 10 minute search and came up with a few pages that might be worth looking at. There are loads more but I will leave it to you to do a thorough search. Here are the first few I found.

1 member likes this
#812816 Jun 16th a 06:49 PM
by rocketscientist
I have a Bendpak 4 post lift. It was ~ $3K. I bridged the two treads with steel beams dropped into the trolley track (on the side of each tread). I covered the beams with 3/4 " plywood. Each plywood section is removable. There are multiple tie downs on each board for straps. I usually have 6 bikes on it for the winter, and crap underneath. I summer, I flip Crap up top and motorcycles underneath.
1 member likes this
#812841 Jun 16th a 11:49 PM
Now, I must respond to some of the calumny afoot here, and I have no apologies for this brief, but necessary, hijacking of MM's thread.

It is true that an Escort was made available to me to get to my bedroom every night, such is the vastness of MM's manse. Au contraire, the Escort, a charming you lady (they are all charming, and young, when you get to my age), steered me directly to the Amontillado at the end of the evening, knowing full well that it would cut short my night by a significant amount.

You may resume..
1 member likes this
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