SPIN ON A DIME AND GIVE YA CHANGE.
My first motorcycle lift was actually an over-center type of jack fabricated from one inch square tubing and using technology originally developed to erect the pyramids. For a few bucks a friend had built it for me and then I found out two months later that he had obtained his raw material from the railing of a nearby apartment complex—without their permission. I still have the jack but have always placed such devices in the category of a "necessary evil" same as a bike trailer or pickup truck bed. And in the case of lifts, something inherently dangerous. If not located in a precise manner, this jack had the tendency to un-over-center- itself, acting like a dull guillotine to anyone standing too near. I‘ve been both beaned by the jack and imprisoned under a toppled chunk of Milwaukee iron because of this unit. The cheap Chinese hydraulic product I purchased later at the local Wally World gave me no more assurance and little more stability (a steady breeze seemed enough to shove the bike right off this lift‘. So when I met company owner, Tony Watson at a recent rally, I viewed his Pitbull Lift with wary speculation. It seemed stout and of a solid design, built of quality material with good welds. But all my previous experiences kept whispering in my ear, "It‘s a lift… yer gonna get hurt." That is until he jacked an Electra Glide up on it to the lift‘s full height (25") with me sitting on it. And the bike wasn’t tied down. I was impressed. And then, Tony engaged the brakes, pulled a retaining pin and spun the bagger 360 degrees on his new Turn Table attachment, with me still on it. I was sold.
The Pitbull Lift is what we called in Texas “horse-heavy”. Coming in at a whopping 117 pounds, the product literature states that it is the heaviest and strongest motorcycle lift on the market. It’s a claim I think he will never have to retract. It comes 95% assembled, with only one set of casters, the hydraulic jack and locking screws needing to be installed. Entire assembly time is less than 20 minutes with the most difficult part being the attachment of the jack handle spring (my hint is to remove the eyebolt the spring clips to, hook it in and then bolt the eye back in place). But beware, if you assemble this unit on a workbench, an awkward steel frame weighing 117 pounds that has four wheels can be a disaster if it gets away from ya and has the capability of chasing your ass right out of the shop and down the driveway once it gets rolling (my hint is to do the assembly with the lift supported free of the ground with 4”x4” wood blocks instead of trying to hoist it down from a 3-foot table by yourself).
The Pitbull Motorcycle Lift comes with 4” diameter casters (two straight and two swivel), each featuring roller bearings. It has grease fittings at each wheel and a grease fitting at each pivot point for a total of 14. It comes with either a six-ton hydraulic foot jack or a 12-ton air jack (the air unit can also be operated manually). The Pitbull Motorcycle Lift also features two simply designed safety locks. The new optional Pitbull Turn Table is an attachment that allows you to spin your bike 360 degrees once it is elevated. The Turn Table can be ordered as a separate item and will replace the existing table top on any Pitbull Standard lift (excluding the Dyna series). The Turn Table top plate measures 15” x 17” and has a ⅛” thick neoprene cushion-pad attached. There is a single locking pin that, when removed, allows for a full 360 degree rotation of the bike while the lift remains stationary. The Pitbull is powder coated in a combination of red and black.
Use of the Pitbull Lift is a one-man operation and as easy to handle as the directions state. Roll it under your bike on the side opposite your kickstand (I had to stand my Road King partly upright to raise the left side bottom frame rail and allow clearance for the Pitbull to fit all the way across), center it under the bike fore and aft and left to right and then take a couple of pumps on the jack to raise the Turn Table. Both tires should come off the ground basically at the same time. Continue to jack it up until you reach the height you need and then engage the safety locks. And even though the roller bearing wheels allow moving the Pitbull with ease by using the removable T-handle, the oversized top plate and sheer massiveness of the lift itself provides a tremendous amount of stability at all times. (For those still in doubt, four tie-down loops are provided for peace of mind.) Once you get the bike and lift in place, two large wingnuts act as a brake against the floor and prevent accidental movement. At its full height, the Road King was at a level where I could easily reach areas that had been almost inaccessible before. The Turn Table allows easy access from all angles and makes my cleaning chores simple. And while in times past I hurried to get my work done and get the bike back on terra firma due to the rickety design of previous lifts, the confidence this product provides had me calling riding buddies over to check out my new toy (big mistake – now they ALL want to borrow it).
Watson Manufacturing is a family owned and operated business with their line of Pitbull Lifts being manufactured completely in the US. The company has opted to have no dealers or distributors and instead work directly with the public. They issue a lifetime warranty on workmanship for their lifts. The cost of the Standard Pitbull Lift as tested is $664 including the Turn Table and manual jack. FOB is factory direct from Paris, TN so there will be some shipping charges incurred also. The Turn Table attachment (Patent Pending) is available separately for $195 and will fit all previous standard Pitbull Lifts. There is also a line of Dyna series lifts.