Motorcycle lift...Handy vs. Atlas

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bobframe, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. bobframe

    bobframe Been here awhile

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    I am seriously considering buying a motorcycle lift table and want to buy a good quality table. I have narrowed it down to an Atlas table (Greg Smith Equipment...http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Atlas-Cycle-Lift or a Handy Standard table (Model 10740...http://www.handyindustries.com/products/standard-1000-air-lift) from a local retail outlet that sells and services heavy duty landscaping equipment.

    Both tables are rated at 1000 pounds and both are air operated.

    The Atlas table (made in China) sells for $749 and includes the front wheel vise.

    The Handy table (made in US) sells for ($950 plus $150 for the front wheel vise. (So, about +$350 for the Handy)

    Other considerations: Handy table has an optional dolly for moving the table around my somewhat crowded shop (Atlas does not offer this). Handy table is shorter drive to pick up (60 miles vs. 140 miles). I'd expect the resale value on the Handy to be higher. Warranty on Atlas is One year-Parts only...Handy is "limited lifetime". If I needed service, the retailer selling Handy would be my choice.

    Any one have any experience with either of these tables? Is the Handy table worth the premium?
    #1
  2. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    A few years ago I picked up a used standard Handy lift. The BEST money I have ever spent on a tool for working on the bikes. It even makes for an adjustable height work bench. It's probably just me but I'd buy American if I can.

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. bobframe

    bobframe Been here awhile

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    I'd absolutely pounce on a used lift...my impatience is my worst enemy.
    #3
  4. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    I have used both side by side. Although the Handy was much older than the atlas. They both worked fine. I like the the textured surface on the atlas. The handy is smooth and can be a little slick, although easier to clean.

    I think you be happy either way.



    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    #4
  5. bobframe

    bobframe Been here awhile

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    A number of folks have mentioned the "need" for the 8"-12" side extensions. While I understand why these are necessary for a lawnmower/four wheeler...their use on a motorcycle escapes me. Probably because I've never used a lift table before.

    So, please help me understand why I need them on a table to be used only for a bike.

    Thanks.
    #5
  6. hogasm

    hogasm Adventurer

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    Because there will be a day when you will need the extensions. I purchased a new Handy lift without the extensions and kick myself in the ass everytime I need to work on the lawnmower or the golf cart
    #6
  7. Sevv

    Sevv Been here awhile

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    Sometimes, they're nice to put a small lift under the bike to take the engine out, lay out parts on, place tools on... sometimes a piece is too awkward to install alone and you can balance it. Sometimes the lift is 2 feet off the ground, and you just need to get above it for 10 seconds, stand on extension, or drop the lift then raise it again?

    No matter which one you look for I'd check to see if they have the removable section at the back under the rear wheel. Makes it stupid easy to pull a tire for a tire change.
    #7
  8. pecos

    pecos BAM!!

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    I have a direct lift. Looks the same as the atlas. http://www.directlift.com/MotorcycleATV-Lifts-C15.aspx

    I also have a handy lift. 1500 I think the model is. I think its the higher end model of their line.

    Here is my take...

    I love the direct lift. I like the diamond plate or what ever its called. I think it helps with bolts/hardware from rolling off. The foot piece that raises it is extremely quiet. That is a huge plus. I have been beating this thing up and no issues. Paint is in great shape. No dents. I think I am on 6 years or so.

    The handy...well I would not buy one again. This one was basically new when I got. Now...after a year of use its worn. Metal is thinner. Dents are in it. Paint stratches off easily. The foot piece is extremely loud. 15 years ago when my old man bought his handy brand new...his foot piece was extremely loud too. Its a poor design. When I let the air out of mine, I plug my ears with my fingers. Its dangerous to your ears. Anyone want to buy it?

    Something else to note...handy's foot piece is either 100% on or 100% off to allow air in. Direct is more like a gas pedal. A spring rocker. You can throttle up or down what want to do. I may not be describing it correctly but for me I just don't like how handy's foot piece operates.

    I have been thinking about buying a direct lift foot piece and installing it on the handy.

    The handy does raise higher and is broader...I like that. Handy does have the rear wheel cut out. I like that too for the old bikes. Also, handy has a better stance than direct/atlas. Meaning...Look at the legs of the atlas....you will trip...nail your toes on that round bar 100 times before you figure how to walk around it. That's just a learning curve. Handy has no legs spanning the floor.

    Both lifts have option for the wing extension. Those are used for ATVs and such. You don't need them unless you have an application like that.

    Just because Handy is made in america, does not mean its quality.

    I use the handy for my long term restorations b/c I do not like operating the table. Its stays static in workbench fashion. And my direct for daily/quick servicing of bikes.

    I just looked closer at the atlas and I love the way the back end comes off. Wish my direct has that. Handy has the drop panel but I like the idea of the whole backend being able to be removed.
    #8
  9. DrDaytona

    DrDaytona Been here awhile

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    I just purchased the Atlas lift from Greg Smith Equipment. I looked HARD at the Handy lift and as much as I wanted to buy American and highest quality, the price difference was too much for me to justify in a home shop.

    I was looking at shipping costs plus the price of the lift itself and the extra $700+ just didn't make sense. I could pickup the Atlas from Greg Smith in Delaware, about an hour from home and no sales tax.

    I had issues with my first lift, the locking bar didn't engage properly and the lift action was really choppy. I emailed them and received a phone call from an actual human. They gave me no hassle whatsoever and simply replaced the lift. I'd give Greg Smith an A on the customer service front.

    As to the lift itself, my second unit works flawlessly. I really love it. The rear section does drop out for easy tire changes and the included vise works as well as a vise can. I'm probably going to use my Baxley chock in place of it just for one person convenience. I likely won't add the side extensions but they are an option down the road if my mind changes.
    #9
  10. DrDaytona

    DrDaytona Been here awhile

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    Also, if you buy the Atlas XLT, it comes with the wheeled dolly, though I cannot find a link to buy it separately, I have to imagine it's available.

    I can manage mine well enough without it though it might be a nice add on.
    #10
  11. divotdm

    divotdm Been here awhile

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    Heres an old thread with lots of info

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532103

    I have the bendpak RML-1500XL. Have had it a few years with lots of weekend use. Comes with side extensions, goes up higher than most, and rolls easily.

    http://www.bendpak.com/shop-equipment/motorcycle-lifts/rml-1500xl.aspx

    <a href="<a href=" http:="" s34.photobucket.com="" user="" divo2500="" media="" img_2641.jpg.html"="" target="_blank">[​IMG]">


    <a href="<a href=" http:="" s34.photobucket.com="" user="" divo2500="" media="" img_20120617_145542-1.jpg.html"="" target="_blank">[​IMG]" <a href="<a href=" http:="" s34.photobucket.com="" user="" divo2500="" media="" img_20120617_145542-1.jpg.html"="" target="_blank">
    #11
  12. Falconfixer

    Falconfixer It is what it is....

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    I scored a used Handy lift 3 years ago for $420 (guy's a pothead, go figure) from a guy on Craigslist, some of the best money I ever spent. It came with the side extensions, which are cool for big projects, as you have a bigger flat surface to lay parts and tools on, which eventually turns into a big mess and causes frustration for us aircraft mechanics with OCD! :-) They are nice to have, but you Can add them later. They usually get in the way when you're removing or installing an engine anyway. Whichever one you pick though, you will be spoiled for life from here on out, as far as bike Maintenance goes. I do wish mine had the dropout tail section for quick rear tire changes, but I can live with what I got. But I'll agree with what's been posted already, the foot pedal air control valve is loud as hell.
    #12
  13. Falconfixer

    Falconfixer It is what it is....

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    Don't forget to get the small bike jack for $99 in the related products column. It's way more beneficial than the side extensions.
    #13
  14. DrDaytona

    DrDaytona Been here awhile

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    +100 on that

    Crap cell phone pic but my lift and jack in action, well worth the 99 bucks.

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I know no one asked, but after looking at the Handy and Atlas, I still prefer my HF. It has lips on each side to keep stuff on the table, diamond plate, and I added a HF chock that works great, you can get side extensions for it, and it has pretty solid metal and powder coat.

    I got mine when air power was available, but I never use it. I have used it extensively for 7 years now, and never had a single issue with it.

    Just some thoughts.

    Jim :brow
    #15
  16. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I

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    I got my handy lift several years ago, before the HF stuff was around. A couple 2x8's and some chain link top rail are what I use on the rare occasion I need extensions.
    A small auto scissor jack works fairly well, added a piece of 2" alum sq tube to extend it's range to xrl territory. :1drink
    #16
  17. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

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    I have had a handy lift for 10-12 years air model.
    I use it to store my K1200RS. I have the side wings to provide a larger foot print to deal with the 650 lbs of motorcycle.
    #17
  18. ERD

    ERD Custom Rider

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    We use Handy and Derek Weaver lifts. Similar quality. Buy what ever suits you at the best prices. The extensions are worhtwhile if you need to ride the bike on the lift. It give the kickstand and your feet as place to land on the lift.

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. Tech23

    Tech23 Been here awhile

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    Here's another option. Prokar used to have prices on the site, now it looks like you have to inquire to get a quote. I think you might find you get more of the options for the cost of a base handy lift. The handy lift is a nice commercial grade lift and may be overkill (cost wise) for home use, especially when you add in all the extras like side extensions, wheel vise, and the jack. The Prokar is also made in China. Mine has some of the common "made in china" blemishes, it has been very reliable though. I believe I got the PKMC1000 table lift with side extensions, wheel vise, rear drop out and the jack for just a little more than a base Handy lift. A friend of mine back east had the same lift, after I moved west I bought one too. Like ERD said, the side extensions are nice to have, it can be tricky even dangerous to ride a bike onto the base (width) lift. There just isn't enough width to put your feet down on the lift table while straddling a bike. In the second picture you can see the kick stand is on the seam of the lift table/extension. It's nice to have plenty of room for tools, drain pans, etc.

    http://www.prokarlift.com/shop-equipment/motorcycle-lifts/ML1000-SIDE-EXTENSION.php

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tech23
    #19
  20. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

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    Here is my air powered Handy lift bought for San Jose BMW sometime in the mid 70's. Chris gave it to me 5 or 6 years ago when he started the major remodeling at SJBMW. This lift has been used many thousands of times, still works perfectly, lifts my new Road King with out even trying hard. I still have the original Dolly that is used to move it around.

    [​IMG]
    #20