Build a your own motorcycle lift

Some time ago I came across a construction manual for a motorcycle lift. Of course I would not like to keep our readers from looking into this. But before you start to implement the instructions of the manual, I would like to ask for a few minutes of your time.

Building your own lift platform or lift table carries a certain risk, which you should at least be aware of. With the knowledge of the risks you can make an informed decision whether to build a scissor lift yourself or to purchase a finished one.

What do I need to build a lift platform?

Personal requirements

It goes without saying that you need to have good mechanical skills to build a motorcycle lift. In particular, you should be trained in the use of gas-shielded welding equipment to exclude weld seam fusion defects. You must also be able to read technical drawings and implement them conscientiously.

You should always be well aware of the consequences a faulty design can have on the structure. There is always at least one person in the danger zone when the lift platform is being used. Manufacturing errors or defective material can cause dangerous situations. For example, a possible scenario is that the support structure could break and the motorcycle could fall on somebody.

Tools required

To build the lift platform yourself, you will need the following tools (see second page of the construction manual): gas-shielded welding equipment including personal protective equipment, an angle grinder, a drill press, a hacksaw, trestle supports, screw clamps, twist drills (with the diameters: 6.5 mm, 6.8 mm, 8.5 mm, 10.5 mm and 12.5 mm), an M8 thread-cutting tap for internal threads, screwdrivers, ring spanners, a hammer, a centre punch, a folding rule, an angle gauge, a spirit level and clamps.

Material required

You’ll need the following material for the scissor lift table :
(refer to third page of the construction manual – specifications without waste)

Length Designation
17,150 mm Square tubing 50x50x3
200 mm Square tubing 100x50x3
1,000 mm Flat 100x15
200 mm Flat 100x35
210 mm Flat 50x25
50 mm Flat 60x20
120 mm Flat 50x20
90 mm Round 30
500 mm Round 10

The suggested platform plates are phenolic resin-coated plywood or corrugated aluminium plates. You need plates or boards with the following dimensions:

Length Width
1,200 mm 750 mm
1,000 mm 750 mm
500 mm 750 mm

Then also a trolley jack, wheels for moving, plugs for the square tubing and various screws, nuts and washers.

Safety instructions

Please adhere to the safety instructions in the construction manual. It is also important not to forget to insert the safety rails correctly and the lowering onto them. Otherwise there is a risk of crushing and shearing, as the lift platform could lower uncontrollably if the car jack is defective.
It goes without saying that the motorcycle must also be securely fastened on the lift platform. The design engineer recommends the use of tension straps for this purpose. Other safety instructions for handling the lift are on page 2 of the construction manual.

Never use the construction manual to build a lift table for another person. You would then be the person placing the machine on the market and would thereby incur an incalculable liability risk. Among other things, you would have to prove that the current state of the art was taken into account in the event of damage or loss.

Exclusion of Liability

Just like the supplier of the construction manual, I do not assume any liability or responsibility for damages caused by the use of the lift platform. Any and all risk lies solely with the builder of the lift platform. Please be aware of this, especially if there are other people who could be in the vicinity of the lift platform.

Furthermore, the supplier of the manual stated that the load capacity was approximately three hundred and fifty to four hundred kilograms. I have not verified this value. As there is no information or specifications in the instructions about the required strength of the material to be used, I would take this value with caution.

Build it yourself or buy it?

Building a lift platform yourself

I hope you have read the rest of the article and that you are now able to assess the risks of building your own lift platform. If you still want to tackle this exciting project, you can find the building instructions for the lift platform here.

I would be pleased if you would send me a few photos of the manufacturing process and final product. I could then upload some with this article. Of course we would also be pleased to receive further information that might be helpful for other readers. For example, if you have any comments on the manufacturing process, please let me know.

Buying a lift platform

I suspect that there are no longer any German manufacturers for this type of lift table. At these retail prices, production is probably only profitable in Asia or for very large quantities. Therefore I have no other choice than to refer you to a dealer (e.g. you can find a motorcycle lift on Amazon* that is very similar to the one in the construction manual).

If this platform is not to your liking or what you need, simply search for motorcycle lift on Amazon or Google. Here you will find many different designs.

* = Partner link