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Old 10-28-2008, 11:31 PM   #1
SocalRob OP
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GSA high lift jack for the sleeping bike

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfhepner
http://www.snowbuddy.com/ 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.







Sucess.



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.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:55 PM   #2
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cool - great effort and notes. Thanks for taking the time to show us.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:14 AM   #3
little foot
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My wife can pick up the GSA I guess she is a jack

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Old 10-29-2008, 02:29 AM   #4
GSNoŽl
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works well on parking lot... maybe harder in the mud/snow/rocks...

I picked up quite easily my Goldwing fulled up luggages this summer... it does not lean strictly horizontally but it does fall easily ;-))))
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:25 AM   #5
MizzouRider
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Dropped mine twice on Saturday.. Just grabbed the downside handlebar and lifted.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:28 AM   #6
SteveRed
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My suggestion is to get rid of all that top heavy luggage and travel light!
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:51 AM   #7
tomballos
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Great idea. I remember once I was unable to pick up my bike and I was all alone on a muddy trail. A Park Ranger ended up coming by and giving me a hand. But the jack would have been handy.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:25 AM   #8
TomW
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Good idea. The 'low-bar' and 'butt-to-saddle' methods work well for picking the bike up in many cases; however, I've had trouble righting the beast using the approved methods when there's not much traction to be had -- in mud, for example.

Cheers.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:50 AM   #9
High Hope
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Interesting idea, thanks for the post.

I dropped mine downhill on a rainswept night, alone, and really had a tough time righting it. I wound up levering the bike up using an old CCC (Civil Conservation Corps, c. 1930) shovel and stacking firewood under the beast 'til it was at an angle where I could lift it .

It sucked. Wish 'd I'd had a snowmobile jack!
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:22 AM   #10
Pir8te
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ignore the nay say ayers nice find
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:16 AM   #11
Asphalt
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Some people travel heavy, they live for it and that is what having the beast can be for...hauling for the long trip. Not everyone is built for lifting that much bike when it's down. And sure, you may lift the bike, but what happens when you hurt yourself doing it? I've seen it and it doesn't exactly make for a comfortable rest of your trip.
Thanks for the post, Rob. Great piece of gear.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:34 AM   #12
SocalRob OP
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More power to all the folks who can single handedly right a GSA. When I bought my GSA I traded in an R1150R. One reason I thought the GSA would be manageble was that it actually has a dry weight less than my old R1150R, and I very easily picked that bike up off my driveway one day. I was surprised on the snow day when I could not get the beast up, and yes, it may have been due to bad footing. Soft sand was not easy either, especially on the second drop.

For myself, I now know that if conditions are not right, not good footing, maybe a post crash injury, it will be a struggle to get the bike upright. Thats what the jack is for.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:55 AM   #13
MeanMoe
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Great find! I am not able to right my GS by myself because of my knees (osteo sucks big time). In the past, I've used ratcheting tie downs as come-a-longs to raise the bike high enough that I could squat the weight and lift the beast. A properly designed jack, like this, would have helped a lot.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:20 AM   #14
GB
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Ingenious!! Thanks for showing us you do it! I figure the day I can't lift mine off the ground, is the day I downsize.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:43 AM   #15
GSNoŽl
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After all, is it a good thing to have a bike you can not right alone ?

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