Review by James Parchman
[This JC Whitney Garage Pro Motorcycle Jack Review was originally published in the April 2007 issue of Rider magazine]
A leftover 2006 resolution concerning greater self-reliance in motorcycling maintenance matters gnawed at me each time another $70-per-hour shop bill appeared on the credit card. The arrival of 2007 meant no more delay…get the proper equipment, and start getting up close and personal with my machines. One essential item, especially for motorcycles not equipped with a centerstand, is a lifting device. An air-operated platform would be great, but it’s not an option due to space and budgetary constraints. A motorcycle-specific hydraulic floor jack seemed to better fit my needs, so I checked the web to research the options. A popular model sold by the company that was formerly the world’s largest retailer seemed to always be on sale, but many buyers complained that it often suffered leaking seals.
Other options had much more lifting capacity or higher price tags than I felt necessary. Finally, after checking the website of JC Whitney, I found the Garage Pro motorcycle jack that offered enough capacity (1,500 pounds) to lift any bike I was likely to own. The $49.99 price also fit my budget nicely. An order was placed, and the (heavy) box arrived the following week.
The Chinese-made product is a collapsible steel platform mounted on casters, making it easy to hide under a workbench when not in use. The heart of the unit is a foot-operated hydraulic jack with a 4-ton capacity that is easily removed for service or external use. Lift range is 51?2 to 161?2 inches, so ensure your machine has the necessary underside clearance. It took 20 minutes to assemble it, and that brought out the only warts I found on the product. The holes for the Allen head bolts securing the jack to the lift platform were slightly off-center, and some tweaking was required to cinch them correctly.
We tested the lift on several vintage and modern motorcycles. Bikes with traditional frames were quickly secured to the four tie-down points, and lifted easily. The jack can be stopped at any place within its lifting range, including four points where folding security cleats safely block an inadvertent lowering. Motorcycles with low-hanging pipes or fairings took slightly longer to secure. Given practice, one person can operate this jack and lift a wide range of two-wheelers and ATVs. This value-priced product offers the capability to fit the typical maintenance requirements of most users. For those with special needs or a larger budget, JC Whitney offers several other models of Garage Pro and national brand motorcycle jacks.
JC Whitney is a name synonymous with the automotive parts industry. In business since 1915, the company has developed a major presence in the moto world and now offers many brand-name parts and accessories as well as value-priced products under the Garage Pro and other house brands. JCW mails over 100 million catalogs, including 150-page motorcycle-specific versions, throughout the year. Check out JCW’s website too, as this jack was offered there for $7 less than in a catalog I received a few days later.