Made my own lift

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by RllwJoe, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    After seeing OOTV's new abba sky lift, I thought that I could build my own copycat sky lift.

    I started by first intently studying many many photos, and carefully measuring my VFR, comparing what I thought the stand dimensions were to the photos. Then began to build the base. It didn't take long to weld the base together, however, when I placed it under the bike, I realized that both right side legs were shorter than they needed to be. So, back to the shop to cut and add some length.

    Satisfied with the result, The next part that I built was the clamp / cradle that attaches to the bike frame. The cradle, I felt, was the most critical of the three sections of the lift to be built. The pins that insert into the frame are smaller than I would have liked to use, but they must fit into the swing arm pivot bolt. the left side hole is 1/2 inch, and the right one is about 11/32 of an inch. After fabricating the cradle and attaching it to the VFR, the clearance between the bottom of the bike and the cradle was a bit tighter than I wanted, however, it seemed to be adequate enough.

    The last part to build up was the roller trolley that attaches to the cradle and to the threaded rod. This part again was easy to design and build. The most difficult item was welding two nuts back to back in line and with the threads spaced correctly. It took three attempts to get it right. Even though I had a bolt threaded into the nuts, as soon as I tack welded them, the space between them would change. I could unthread the bolt (with a good amount of effort), but I was unable to retread the bolt into the second nut. I had been trying to fabricate it with about 5 inches of space between them, and ended up with them welded together. Even then I had to run a tap through them in order to re-thread the bolt without using a wrench.

    The main parts are finally assembled, and I was able to lift my VFR in both the wheelie, and stoppie positions just like the abba version.
    I have yet to add the castors and paint, and need to add the bar that allows you to lift both wheels at the same rate, but I am very happy with the results so far.
     
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  2. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Active Member

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    Very impressive.
    Great job.
     
  3. marriedman

    marriedman Member

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    That is badass!
     
  4. OOTV

    OOTV Well-Known Member

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    Definitely impressive! Glad my purchase gave you inspiration. Although a bit pricey for most, it has been a great purchase and I would not hesitate to do it again if I had to. Wish I had your build skills and welding talent as that could have saved me some money!
     
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  5. thtanner

    thtanner Active Member

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    That skylift will be numero uno bike purchase after we move to a bigger spot.
     
  6. Samuel

    Samuel Active Member

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    Wicked Cool Joe!!!

     
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  7. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    Great job, I have the smaller Abba lift which is a great help working on the bike. Not as easy to use as yours.
     
  8. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    Any reason you didn't just buy the adaptors & the holders & use those to base the build around...

    This way your lift (with the suitable adaptor) could be used on multiple bikes.

    You would only have to modify the 2 sides to make this adaptation & it would make your lift much more versatile.
     
  9. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    basically, I've just checked again... I was correct.
    If you buy this & any adaptor you require then you truly have made a copy... lol

    https://abbastands.co.uk/product-detail.asp?item=standard-kit&pid=29

    I now have a few of their items as they are very well made, got the abba stand in '97', however upgraded to the sky-lift last year & haven't looked back since. The wheel balancer has proved to be useful too...
     
  10. Lint

    Lint Well-Known Member

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    Want!
     
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  11. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    Thanks OZ, you are kind (or easily impressed).
     
  12. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    I hope that is a good thing.
     
  13. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    I thought it could be done, AND I couldn't swing the purchase price. In this case the saying, "nesessity is the mother of invention" was half of the reason why. The other was envy! I'm glad you made me aware of the Abba sky lift. I'm sure that it is lighter, easier to use, and much more refined than my copy.
     
  14. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    The Abba stand looks like it can be disassembled and stored in a smaller space. Maybe OOTV can address how much space it occupies, he seems to be very efficient with the amount of space he has. Whereas my copy is a space hog when not attached to the bike.
     
  15. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    LOL I burst out laughing before playing the clip!
     
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  16. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    Thanks, mine is harder to operate as it uses a threaded rod instead of the hydraulic jack, and my rollers are not as efficient as the Abba version appears to be. However, once the bike is lifted, it is easy to access areas that are normally very hard to see.
     
  17. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    My reason is that I am cheap. I did think about purchasing those replacement parts from ABBA, but I think I can adapt my lift fairly easy. The pins are made of 1/2 inch bolts, the left side pin is a bolt with the head removed, then welded into a heavy tube. the OD of the tube is 1 inch, and the ID is 1/2 inch. 20171111_222411.jpg
    The right side pin is a 1/2 inch bolt that is threaded into a 1/2 inch nut which is welded to a 3/4 inch nut, which in turn is threaded on the tensioner. This bolts head was also removed and I used a lathe to turn it down to the required 11/32 of an inch. 20171111_222126.jpg
    I believe that they could both be replaced with something different. The right side would be the simplest, by turning it out of the nut, and threading in a different pin with a 1/2 inch threaded end. The left would need the weld removed to pull out the pin, then insert a replacement pin.
    Yes, it would be more work and time consuming, but in my case, I have only one bike to work on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  18. mhzpower

    mhzpower New Member

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    I was waiting to share this. I also looked at making my own. Very similar story.

    I used many photos and known component lengths to scale the parts.

    I even put together some strength calculations based on a comment that the skylift was good to 450kg. I looked at stability, beam strength, casters, the lift dolly, etc.

    The only thing I'm not super excited about is the hydraulic jack. I was thinking of possibly using a screw jack to raise the bike. But you can't get anything as cheap as the hydraulic jack. [​IMG]

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    You may want to look at an 'eazy rizer lift. These use a screw with a large nut on the top to allow you to use a drill to adjust the height. I did like it (had one for a couple of years) but it doesn't dismantle well, doesn't move, and your bike is stuck in a fixed position. this would be my 2nd choice of lift - but would be prime for a few adjustments lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017 at 12:01 AM
  20. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Active Member

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    I looked at the Easy Rizer demonstrations on you tube also. That's when I figured that a threaded rod could do the job. The rod size that I used is 1/2 inch with a fine thread. The advantage of a threaded rod over the hydraulic ram is that with the rod You will not need a pin to hold the height. It will stay at any point in the lift range.
     
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