GSA high lift jack for the sleeping bike

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by SocalRob, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. SocalRob

    SocalRob Long timer

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    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.
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    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.




    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.

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    Here is the jack, actually a snowmobile jack modified with a different foot assy by Don Holms (great welder) at Starsovertexas in Alpine Texas.

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    The best results were hooking its attaching loop to the cylinder crash bars, which Dean figured out.

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    After figuring out the best way to place the jack I was able to ratchet the bike up without too much effort.

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    Sucess.

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    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.

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    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.
    #1
  2. bonox

    bonox Tryin Hard

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    cool - great effort and notes. Thanks for taking the time to show us.
    #2
  3. little foot

    little foot Scratch and Sniff

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    My wife can pick up the GSA I guess she is a jack :rofl

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    #3
  4. GSNoël

    GSNoël Been here awhile

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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 ;-))))
    #4
  5. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Dropped mine twice on Saturday.. Just grabbed the downside handlebar and lifted.
    #5
  6. SteveRed

    SteveRed Adventure Mojo

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    My suggestion is to get rid of all that top heavy luggage and travel light!
    #6
  7. tomballos

    tomballos Been here awhile

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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.
    #7
  8. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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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.
    #8
  9. High Hope

    High Hope World's Best Dog

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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 :drums .

    It sucked. Wish 'd I'd had a snowmobile jack!
    #9
  10. Pir8te

    Pir8te over forty victim of fate

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    ignore the nay say ayers nice find
    #10
  11. Asphalt

    Asphalt Plan Well...Leave Late :(

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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.
    #11
  12. SocalRob

    SocalRob Long timer

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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.
    #12
  13. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Ingenious!! :thumb Thanks for showing us you do it! I figure the day I can't lift mine off the ground, is the day I downsize. :(:
    #13
  14. GSNoël

    GSNoël Been here awhile

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    After all, is it a good thing to have a bike you can not right alone ?

    :lol3
    #14
  15. PukaWai

    PukaWai Been here awhile

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    Excellent tinkering! I have been thinking about some sort of aide like this ever since I got my 1150GSA. I have dropped it numerous times, and it was never easy to pick it up. Always needed to unload the panniers and take off what was strapped on top. I never could get the butt to saddle method to work - I'd just end up sliding the bike sideways, so I'd wind up sort of crouching down and lifting with the upper part of the thigh under the seat. This is always a scary thing to do because I have lower back issues, and always pictured myself lying in the road in agony after trying to lift that pig. Being scared of having to lift it also makes one a poor dirt rider, hence more likely to drop it, a vicious circle.

    My first experience trying to lift a BMW was a K1200LT that I had rented for 3 days just to see if that was a bike for me. As I hate sleazy noisy motels next to highways, and am too cheap for expensive noisy hotels next to highways, I usually find some old dirt road going nowhere to follow for a while and then pitch a tent. I successfully navigated that aircraft carrier of a bike down a dirt/sandy road/riverbottom, and then dropped when I stopped! Sat there thinking OMG, what have I done?:confused . after an hour of trying to pick up close to 900 lbs in the sand, I finally hit on the idea of digging a hole in the sand and pushing the front tire into the hole which righted the bike enough to be able to lift it the rest of the way. Then used the bike's reverse gear (?) to back out of the hole.
    Decided right there that any motorcycle that needs a reverse gear is not a motorcycle for me!
    #15
  16. srace7

    srace7 Aspiring Adventurer

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    Rob

    Thanks for highlighting this...

    While we can all right the bike in many situations there will always be circumstances where the usual techniques might not work as you say.

    On snow where footing isn't great or, as you say, in circumstances where perhaps one has taken a knock and might not be as strong as some of the hefty types posting here !!

    This is where this would be an additional and valuable weapon in the arsenal...

    Thanks for suggesting it - I've spoken to Frank and got one of the few remaining on it's way to me.
    #16
  17. SocalRob

    SocalRob Long timer

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    Thanks. Frank (he's the designer/owner of Snowbuddy) called me up today to thank me for posting this up on Advrider. He said that a RTW rider from England had called him today. Like you say, I think it is a great tool. BTW, it only weighs about 6 lbs or so. Good luck on your upcomming trip.

    Frank also says that if there really were to be some interest from the MC world, he could change some things around to lower the cost.

    BTW, if you notice the steel bar (its the one with the holes drilled in it) that I added to the kit would also serve a dual purpose (along with some duct tape) of being able to repair/strengthen a bent/broken jack pole in the same way that a tent pole repair sleeve works.

    Frank also has instructions on how to use the jack as a come-a-long wench if you have some rope & other parts. For a serious RTW trip that might be a good idea also to be able to extract the bike.
    #17
  18. High Hope

    High Hope World's Best Dog

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    Out here, freezing our arses off, we all thought (imagined, I guess) that everyone in Cali had one of those...:rolleyes
    #18
  19. HORSEMOTO

    HORSEMOTO Adventurer

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    thank You Rob For Posting This Potentially Useful Tool. I Ordered One Today And Will Make My Own Evaluation Of The Tool. Ride-on
    #19
  20. Tasy's BIGJIM

    Tasy's BIGJIM CornerGrinner

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    That's it!!
    B.m Riders are Tossers! I'm selling mine. I don't want nothing to do with them? Your Like my Aunty's Frilly Nickers!
    What is any Bike doing in SNOW with Road Tyres?
    IF YU CAN'T PICK IT UP ..... leave all the Crap at Home!
    Also I'm sure a 230kilo Beemer is a lot heavier than a 230kilo K.T.M. (loaded)...Nah...oh..? Are these ar the same people who tell Goldwing Jokes ?:rofl ??
    I mean Fair Crack of the Sav? You Buy these Bloody Bikes Load them up like a Truck then go off road? Oh the Frame Broke...Oh Its fallen over.... Yeah! A Jack for a Bike it would have to be a "B.M Tosser".
    Gees Guys we are spose to be Legends not a GIRLS Blouse...
    SHAME ON YOU. Not a Bikers Biscuit! I Hang my Head. Tsk tsk.
    I never want to be seen on my Beemer again. :wink: ? BIGJim.
    #20