Handy Motorcycle Lift For Your Garage

Learn about Handy's S.A.M. 1000

1. We chose to go with the red S.A.M. 1000 ($993), but like a bag of M&Ms;, Handy also offers blue, orange, and even green and yellow for you John Deere fanatics. No matter what lift you order, Handy has an assortment of accessories to go with it, and most important is the (A) Cylce Vise ($114). However, even though the S.A.M. should provide plenty of length for most bikes we work on, we picked up the (B) 13-inch front extension just in case ($95). The (C) ramp and (D) drop tail were included.

2. The front of the lift is equipped with two hardened steel wheels to make it easier to move around your shop or garage

3. We started the assembly process by pulling the foot pedal out from under the lift. The foot pedal was connected to about 5 feet of air hose, plenty to move around so it would be out of the way when necessary. Using some Teflon tape to ensure a tight seal, we screwed a quick-release air hose fitting we had lying around into the footpedal and connected the air hose. Then we were able to fire up the air compressor and raise the lift to mount the Cycle Vise.

4. Once raised the lift has seven heights from which it can be locked into place.

5. Included with the Vice were the nuts, bolts, and lock washers to mount it to the lift. To allow for more versatility there are extra mounting holes (arrow) for securing the Vice to the lift table.

6. Once we had the wheel chock tightened down, we installed the two eyebolts that were provided as tie-down mounting points to secure the bike. In this photo you can also see a hole on the side of the lift table (arrow)-this is to mount the optional side extensions to load something wider, like a quad. But with the standard table measuring 24 inches across, we had plenty of room for motorcycles.

7. Once the lift was assembled, we fired up our Craftsman air compressor and used our BMC Hooligan test bike (road test coming soon) as a guinea pig. As expected, the lift raised the bike with ease.

8. Here you can see how the drop out tail section would be very useful for swapping wheels, tires, replacing rotors, and so on. Sure, you could invite a bunch of your neighbors over to help you lift the back of your bike while you shove a stack of 2x4s under the frame so you can pull the wheel, but it's not exactly the safest thing to do for you or your bike. So be smart and invest in a good quality lift.

9. At the front of the lift, the Cycle Vise has a removable wheel stop to make removal of the front wheel easier.

Anyone who considers themselves a motorcycle enthusiast will most likely want to perform their own basic maintenance and/or modify their bike at some point or another, and a Handy motorcycle lift is one of the best tools you can have in your garage. Even when it comes to something as basic as an oil change, using a lift rather than working off the floor is the safest and easiest way to go, and can save your knees and back from a lot of pain.

When we decided to look for a new lift, we started paying attention to what our local shops were using, and it seemed like most of them were using lifts from Handy Industries. So we looked them up on the Internet and noticed that there were several Handy motorcycle lifts to choose from. They offer both air and electric lifts-we opted for an air-operated lift. Handy offers their Standard lift (1,000lb capacity, 7-inch to 30-inch working height, and 80-inch long x 24-inch wide deck), S.A.M. 1000 (same as the Standard, except it has a drop-out tail and is 4 inches longer for stretched-out chops), and lastly is the B.O.B. (1,500lb capacity, 40-inch max working height, drop-out tail, and 84 inches long x 28-inches wide). One thing all Handy motorcycle lifts have in common is that they are all made of sturdy 11-gauge steel.