Mods - I'd like to see this in GSpot at least for a while as I think the GS/GSA's are about the only dual sports heavy enough to need one of these.
I was at DeansBMW's place in Show Low Arizona last Monday and decided to try out the new jack I recently picked up for my GSA. I have dropped the bike a couple of times and not been able to pick it up by myself, which really has me concerned about taking dirt roads when riding solo.
This was my last solo ride up Lynx Road in Angeles Crest. I was having a hell of a time trying to get the bike up when a 4x4 truck driver came by to help.
So I started thinking that I would like a light weight motorcycle equivalent to a high lift jack I've used for off road driving. I finally found this site which I thought would fit the bill:
http://snowbuddy.com/whysnowbuddy.html Edit May 2010- looks like this web site has been hacked. See post 67 of this thread for a recent phone number that I hope still works.
Originally Posted by dfhepner
You will need to call 1-888-766-9116 and tell them that you want the unit to pick up your bike. They will sell you the lighter unit which is less.
I bought one a few weeks ago so I think that they are still around.
The owner of the site has designed these jacks for snow mobiles (snow machines for the Alaska crew). He sent me a lightweight model that he first made for snowmobiles that he decided was just a bit too lightweight for dead lifting and pushing over a snow mobile. He sent me the light weight model with a cordura bag that is great for storage, and also is great to use as a barrier between the bike and the lift cable. For a reduced price (I think about $130) I was sent the full snowmobile jack minus the foot plate and first half a bar, the foot plate being designed for snow.
As the jack is made out of 1/2 inch square bar stock (aluminum), I had Dean's welder buddy in Alpine TX (we were in Alpine over the weekend) make up a base foot and about a 10" long 3/4" steel bar with holes drilled. I figure if I need a bit more height on the jack I can get a pin to go through the holes on the 3/4" bar so the 1/2" jack bar slips in and sits a bit off the ground.
I gently let my GSA down. The bike is a R1200GS ADV with about 6 or 7 gallons of gas and the cases and top box stuffed full for a week trip, I'm guessing mybe as much as 650 lbs.
Here is the jack, actually a snowmobile jack modified with a different foot assy by Don Holms (great welder) at Starsovertexas in Alpine Texas.
The best results were hooking its attaching loop to the cylinder crash bars, which Dean figured out.
After figuring out the best way to place the jack I was able to ratchet the bike up without too much effort.
A happy man, able to pick up my loaded ADV by himself. When the bike was laying down in the dirt, I could not even budge it the slightest with any convential method.
The jack worked great using the Adventure tank/engine bar as a lift point. Dean helped me figure out that the best lift point for a GSA is towards the front, and by using the tank bar you get a moment arm off the centerline of the bike.
Use the right lift point, use the jack carefully and correctly, and it was pretty easy to get the bike up to a point where I could push the bike the rest of the way up using the butt to seat, hand on bar end and passenger handle (the way the woman rider has people pick up bikes in the video floating around the web).
I think even with some injury it would be possible to get the GSA up with this jack. I have not tried it, but the hand grip (handle bar) might also be a good lift point. Also, I did not have to take the cases off the bike to lighten it up. I'm sure I had 100 lbs in cases and contents, and about a half tank of gas. You have to be a stronger than average guy to pick up a GSA single handedly even when pretty empty, much less with a load.
The jack inside its cordura case will fit in a GSA top box, although it has to be diagonal in the box. I believe the jack bars are 15 inches.
The guy making the jacks is sort of out of the business and is selling off his stock. If this is of an interest I would check it out sooner than later. BTW, I turned down the jack seller's offer for any deals on my jack if others buy, I just wanted to figure something out. The one thing I do not like about the GSA is that I no longer felt comfortable travelling on dirt in back country by myself. This jack cures this problem. For that, its a cheap $150 or so.