Motorcycle lift table buying guide

A rear view of the Roughneck motorcycle table lift, with a bike on it
Recommended: Roughneck Motorcycle Lift

Doing routine maintenance or repair work on a motorcycle usually means you have to get down on your knees to get to all the important stuff. This makes things difficult and uncomfortable, before long your back and knees are aching and you just want to quit.

But there’s a solution – you can use a motorcycle lift table to raise the bike up to a more comfortable level, providing you with much easier access to the engine and other components. Lift tables used to be expensive items, which meant they were mostly reserved for professional motorcycle workshops, but now they’re much more affordable.

What is a motorcycle lift table?

A motorcycle lift table is a large flat piece of steel plate which you can wheel the bike onto, with a wheel-chock (also called a wheel-vice) at one end that locks the front wheel into place, securing the bike in the upright position. Most models will also feature metal d-loops which allow the bike to be further secured with tie-downs.

Usually the steel plate that forms the table will have a textured surface which makes it easier for the motorcycle tires to grip, and less reduce the risk of slipping. Also, most lift tables will feature a ramp so that the bike can be wheeled on or off easily, and this can often be removed for convenience once the table is in use.

Once the bike is safely secured to the table, it can be raised up to a suitable level, using compressed air, hydraulics or some other system. Air operated tables will require a suitable compressed air source, so might not be ideal for everybody, whereas hydraulic systems are self-contained. Most hydraulic lift tables are foot operated, with pedals to raise and lower the the table.

Lift tables are rated for different weights, so owners of large touring or custom motorcycles will need to ensure they choose a table that can safely handle such a heavy bike.

Some high end motorcycle lift tables feature a built in jack or center-stand, which allows the user to raise one or both of the wheels so that they can be removed for tire servicing. Most tables also feature a ‘drop-out plate’ which, when removed, makes it easier to take off and replace the rear wheel.

Do not confuse lift tables with other equipment for lifting bikes, such as a motorcycle jack, which is a much smaller device that sits under the frame or engine block to raise it off the ground. Jacks are good for taking wheels off and servicing tyres, but don’t provide the stability that a lift table does. If you’re going to be doing a lot of work on the bike, a table is the best option because it won’t wobble or tip when you’re applying a lot of pressure to troublesome bolts and suchlike.

The best motorcycle lift tables

Budget option: Hydraulic: Roughneck Motorcycle Lift

A front view of the Roughneck motorcycle table lift.CHECK LATEST PRICE NOW

At the time of writing this table is listed at under $500. It uses a hydraulic lift, which requires no external air or power supply – you just use a foot pedal to raise or lower it. It can be raised to its full 30 inch height in under 20 seconds. Despite the low price, the table is fully featured. It has a diamond plate steel base, adjustable wheel vice, drop out plate, and d-loops for tie downs.

The table itself measures 86 and 1/2 inches by 26 and 3/4 inches, and it has a lifting capacity of 1000 pounds. Once raised to the desired height, the table can be mechanically locked into place for extra security.

Air Operated: Redline LD1K Light Duty Lift Table

CHECK LATEST PRICE NOWA side view of the redline motorcycle table lift

At the time of writing, this table is priced at under $600. it uses an ‘air over hydraulic’ system, so you will need a compressed air supply for it. This table has most of the features that you’d expect from a high end product: a sturdy tire-vice at the front to hold the bike upright, a ramp, a drop-out plate, d-loops to attach tie-downs.

Don’t be fooled by the “light duty” name either – this table has a 1000 pound lifting capacity, and an 86.5 inch table length, so it can handle most motorcycles. It can be raised to a maximum height of 30 inches.

Heavy Duty: Rage Powersports BW-PROLIFT-HD

A rear view of the rage powersports motorcycle lift table, in the lowered positionCHECK LATEST PRICE NOW

At the time of writing this table is priced at just under $1,100. If you want to work on really big bikes, you need extra lifting power, and this high end table can lift up to 1,500 pounds. It also has a large table area than the other tables too, 105 inches long and 24 inches wide.

The table features a ramp, adjustable wheel vice, and drop out plate. It also includes an integral center-lift to make it easy to lift the wheels off the able for easier tire servicing.  It’s air operated, so you’ll need a compressed air supply with a minimum of 90psi.

This is the pricier option, but if you have a larger bike it’s worth the investment.

Are gel motorcycle batteries the best choice?

Batteries are the unsung heroes of motorcycle components. They sit quietly tucked away, getting on with their job and never really get noticed until they go wrong, and then suddenly you realize just how important your motorcycle battery is.

For the most part, modern batteries are pretty reliable – they can sometimes degrade over time, or if you leave them drained for too long without keeping them charged up regularly, and occasionally they can be killed by very cold weather. But even though the traditional zero-maintenance lead-acid battery (used by most motorcycles) is fairly bulletproof, there have still been some improvements in the design.

Gel motorcycle batteries are one of the most popular upgrades. A conventional battery contains a liquid electrolyte (sulfuric acid) and even though the battery is sealed, it still needs to be positioned correctly to keep that liquid acid where it needs to be. A gel battery, as the name suggests, does not contain liquid but a gel electrolyte, which does not splosh around.

The key benefit of using gel in a motorcycle battery is that it allows the designers to fit the battery into different positions in the frame because it does not need to be upright like a traditional battery. A gel motorcycle battery can be on its side or upside down with no problems. This means there’s more flexibility in the way the bike can be designed, which is especially popular among sports bikes and custom café racer builders.

There are other benefits to gel batteries too. The electrolyte cannot evaporate or get spilled, and are better at coping with vibration and high impacts, making them safer. Gel motorcycle batteries have a shorter recharge time than ‘wet’ batteries, but they are more likely to fail if they are accidentally overcharged, so for this reason you should always ensure that you only use a battery charger that is designed to work with gel batteries.

Another plus point for gel batteries is that they cope well with deep-discharge, so they can recover from being completely drained better that wet batteries, although this will still degrade their life if you do it too much. Gel batteries can also hold their charge better, so do not lose power as quickly if they are left charged up but unused.

Typically, gel batteries are more expensive than conventional motorcycle batteries, although as they become more widely used prices are falling thanks to economies of scale. It’s also worth noting that they have a shorter life-span, so might not last as long as other batteries. Another drawback of gel batteries is that they do not perform as well as other batteries in cold conditions, and can lose power under freezing point more readily that different types.

Are there alternatives to gel batteries?

While gel batteries offer several useful benefits over conventional wet lead-acid batteries, they might not always be the best option. Another type to consider is an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery, which uses spongy glass matting to store the electrolyte, rather than suspending it in gel.

The end result is a type of battery which has many of the same benefits of gel, but without many of the drawbacks listed above. AGM batteries cope with extreme temperature ranges a lot better, so if you live somewhere cold they’re a better option.

AGM batteries perform better than gel in situations where a quick burst of energy is required, for example, cranking a starter motor.

So, with all the same benefits as a gel battery, but with fewer disadvantages, our advice is that AGM batteries are a better alternative. And that’s reflected by most motorcycle manufacturers, which typically favor AGM over gel batteries as OEM equipment in their bikes.


The best motorcycle games for Xbox One in 2017

The only thing more fun than riding motorcycles is playing video games. Add motorcycles to videogames and you’re onto a winner, so here are some of the best motorcycle games for the Xbox One console.

Ride 2Box art for the Ride 2 motorcycle racing game for Xbox one


Featuring 230 different motorcycles licensed from all the major manufacturers, including cafe racers, supermotards, superbikes and others, Ride 2 has something for every kind of biker. Billed as the Gran Tourismo of motorcycle games, it allows players to tune and modify their bikes with hundreds of tweaks and accessories.

Ride 2 features thirty different motorcycle tracks, including the Nurburgring, Monza, Donington, and city tracks  such as Miami and Milan. On top of all this, the game delivers the most accurate physics available in a motorcycle simulation, bringing you as close to the real thing as it’s possible to get.


MX vs. ATV: Supercross Encore – 2017 Official Track EditionBox art for the MX vs ATV motorcycle game for Xbox One


If you like to get muddy on a motorcycle, this is the game for you. Compete against computer controlled players, online multiplayer (with up to 12 riders) or one on one split-screen in off road super-cross races.

The game features over 35 tracks, including 16 official 2017 Super-cross Championship courses. With all of the official bikes, riders and sponsors licensed in the game, this is an authentic experience for fans of Super-cross. The franchise has been around for a few years now, and this version brings it up to date with current generation console graphics and gameplay.


MotoGP16: Valentino RossiBox art for the MotoGP 16 Valentino Rossi game for Xbox One


Ever wished you were a MotoGP champion? Well you’re not, but with this game you can pretend to be one. Follow in the footsteps of The Doctor, Valentino Rossi, one of the world’s most talented motorcycle racers.

The game leads players through Rossi’s career, starting in 1996, to complete various challenges and build up the skills that help him rise to the top of the pack and become world champion.


MotoGP 15MotoGP 15 motorcycle game for Xbox One.


This popular MotoGP simulation franchise hasn’t been updated since 2015, but that version is still pretty solid. It was never released in the American market, but it proved popular with European fans and you can get hold of a UK import from Amazon – the good news is that the Brits speak the same language as us, so there aren’t any translation problems.

If you love MotoGP, this game is the most accurate reproduction of the series. It includes a historic game mode, which lets you play with bikes from the nineties, including those monstrous 500cc two-stroke machines they used to race.

The best motorcycle games for PS4 in 2017

When you can’t be out riding your motorcycle, the next best thing is a good two wheeled racing game. Here are some of the best motorcycle games for the PlayStation 4.

Ride 2A picture of the Ride 2 motorcycle game for PS4


Ride 2 is the ultimate motorcycle game, with over 230 licensed bikes across a wide range of categories including superbikes, cafe racers, supermotard, and many more. Each bike can be modded and customized with parts and accessories, to improve performance and handling, leading some people to call this the Gran Tourismo of motorcycle games.

Players can ride on thirty of the world’s most famous motorcycle tracks, including the Nurburgring, Monza, Donington, and city tracks  such as Miami and Milan. As well as a ton of amazing content, Ride 2 offers players the most realistic simulation ever seen in a motorcycle game. A must-buy for all motorcycle loving gamers.

MX vs. ATV: Supercross Encore – 2017 Official Track EditionThe cover art for MX vs. ATV: Supercross Encore for PS4


Race dirt bikes and quads on over 35 different tracks, including all 16 official 2017 Super-cross Championship tracks.  The game features single player mode, split-screen two player, or up to 12 person online multiplayer races. The game features all of the official gear, logos, and manufacturers for the 2017 season, for a completely authentic experience.

This newest version brings the game right up to date for the current generation consoles, with cutting edge graphics and gameplay.


MotoGP16: Valentino RossiThe package art for the PS4 motorcycle game, MotoGP16: Valentino Rossi


This game lets you follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s greatest motorcycle racers, Valentino Rossi – The Doctor!

Starting in 1996 as Rossi launched his career, this game will lead you through a series of challenges as he increases his skills and rises through the ranks to become world champion. A great game for MotoGP fans.


MotoGP 15The MotoGP 15 PS4 game box art


This is the most recent version of the popular MotoGP simulation franchise, but for some reason it never got released in the US market, despite proving popular in Europe. But don’t worry, hardcore MotoGP fans can get their hands on it thanks to suppliers importing English language copies from the UK.

It’s a couple of years old now, but still stands up pretty well and if you love MotoGP, this is the most faithful simulation you’ll find. As well as all the tracks, riders and manufacturers present in the 2015 season, the game also features a historic class which lets players access bikes from as far back as 1992. And you know what that means – 500cc two-stroke madness!