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Thread: Kendon Cruiser Lift Review

  1. #1

    Kendon Cruiser Lift Review

    I thought I would post my first thoughts on using a Kendon Cruiser Lift. After researching options I ordered one of these mainly due to its smaller size and the ability to stand it up and move it out of the way when not in use. I got the best deal on this from

    I had my 2009 R1200RT up on it tonight replacing the front and rear brake pads. I went through a trial run with the lift on my KTM enduro before loading the bigger street bike to get used to the controls and operation.

    1) Kendon takes shipping this thing seriously, it comes in a special metal reenforced crate by semi truck and is moved with a pallet jack. It was a superior packaging and shipping job. They take every precaution to wrap it and protect it for truck shipping, this was one of the best protected packaging jobs I have ever seen for something like this.

    2) As I have read, loading and unloading a big bike on this lift is not recommended as a one person job. You need someone just to give a light hand holding the bike while you attach the rear tie downs after you roll it into the front wheel holder. The wife felt comfortable steadying the bike, and it did not take much effort on her part to hold it while I attached the rear tie downs. You do have to give it a little bit of a run up to get it up the ramp. I pushed it up and into the front wheel holder myself with about a 4 foot lead before I hit the ramp. You are not going to ride it up the ramp.

    3) As stated in the manual you first attach rear tie downs, lift the bike, and then attach the front tie downs for additional safety. I found the front tie downs were really not needed. With the rear tie down straps attached to the RT's rear grab handles it was rock solid on the lift, I had some very loose front tie downs attached using a canyon dancer bar attachment, but I will probably not worry about it in the future.

    4) You do need to play with the air lift a little to get used to it, and play with the release knob, it will drop really fast when you get it down to the last bit, so just take it slow at first to get a feel for things.

    5) The bike up on the lift is very solid and I had no worries about having the RT up on this lift.

    6) The biggest pain is rolling the bike out out the front wheel holder, this is where you really need some help. I had the front wheel holder in the front most attaching position, it was pretty tight, I may move the holder back one position next time. It took a pretty good tug to get it out, the wife was helping on the front to push it out of the wheel holder.

    I am happy with my first use of the lift, it performs as advertized, and stores nicely out of the way against a wall with a security strap on it just to make sure no one can knock it over.

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  2. #2
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I picked one up last year too. My reasons for choosing this lift were much the same as yours. I got mine through a local shop. I would have really liked to have a full lift table, but I just don't have anywhere to put it. I'd recess one ito the floor if not for the fact that its radiant heated and would have had to been done when the floor was originally poured. The Kendon is able to be tucked into the corner of the bike parking area when not in use. When I'm working on the bikes, it'll be set up in my trucks usual parking space.

    I've not really used it yet as it didn't arrive until after I'd finished my spring maintenance and I just didn't get enough riding in last year to require any mid season work. I'll be putting it to use soon though; I've got a new Ohlins coming for the F800GS and will be getting all three bikes ready for the season.
    A lot of the metal from that shipping crate has been repurposed for other projects all ready. Always great getting free metal (though I'm sure it's worked into the price of the lift).
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  3. #3
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Portsmouth, NH
    I have been looking at Kendon lifts because, like yourselves, I don't have a place to store a Harbor Freight lift. The biggest question I have about the Kendon is if you have figured out how to lift the wheel while the bike is on the lift. Kendon sells a small scissors jack but neither my airhead or camhead seems to have any obvious lift points under the bike. Any insights from a Kendon owner?
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  4. #4
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central WA
    We've had our Kendon for about five years. Pretty happy with it. I seldom use rear tie downs for it, it seems to hold even my big Guzzi EV rock solid with just the front tie downs.

    Swapping out rear tires is fairly simple. I find it works best if I remove the entire ramp portion after I have the bike secured. The scissors jack fits under all of the bikes and with some strategically placed pieces of wood, the lack of lift points is not an issue. Engine block works really well for that. You won't want to use rear tie downs if you're doing that, as it will not allow the back of the bike to come up.

    When I did the fork rebuild on my F650, I rolled it in backwards. That worked perfectly. (remove ramp at the pins under the front tire)

    I had my little Honda Rebel up on the Kendon this past summer when I replaced both the tires. I removed the pivoting wheel chock before I put the bike up. After doing the rear tire, I put on some rear tie downs, undid the front ones and took off the stationary front wheel stabilizer. used the wood blocks and the scissor life to jack up the front end, and piece of cake to take the tire off. Not sure if I would do that with one of the bigger bikes, but it works great for the little 250's.

    My only beef with it is the round handle that you use to open the valve broke off. It always seemed like a flimsy design to me, perhaps the newer models are different. Until I get around to contacting them to get a replacement for it, I use an old vice grips.

    I do sometimes wish that the ramp were a bit wider and without the rolled edge, but when its time to put the thing away, I'm happy that it is as compact as it is.

    I didn't have any good pics of using the wood block under the engine block, so this was the best i could do..... With the Breva, i wanted to get the back up as high as I could, as removing the rear wheel with the f/d unit on it is a PITA. I moved the lift to just under the center stand, and stuck some flat piece of wood to add some height and give it better purchase.

    Too damn many bikes to list

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