This thing grows! Always click this HOME button to ensure you see the most recent SC posts!

To see older posts, you can either use the date selector in the Blog Archive (RH side), or just click through using the Older Posts link at the bottom of each page.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When in Doubt, Ask - Pitbull Turntable Epilogue

Guess this is a retraction of sorts, since the struggles I originally had with the turntable attachment for my Pitbull Lift were sorta self-induced.

It seemed pretty simple...Just bolt it on and use it....but I had issues with kickstand interference and placement of the lifting pad. After giving the turntable a less-than-stellar review in Southern Comfort, I sent an inquiry off to Pitbull asking if the turntable was really compatible with a Softail.

Mark from Pitbull's Customer Service called me the very next day, knew immediately what I was talking about, and began talking me off the ledge. He offered some simple, but critical, tips to proper placement and usage of the lift/turntable. We also chatted about the very slight difference in the shock height vs the frame height, and that whole subject is covered in the previous SC post. Read up Softail owners!

Some initial assembly pix.....

This morning I gave the lift/turntable a rematch, this time putting a couple 1x6 blocks under the kickstand to straighten the bike up a little. This is necessary since my Softail Custom is lowered, and with the bike more upright, there's a lot more ground clearance. After shimming frame rails* using the Harley frame protectors (see previous post) to clear the shocks, I rolled the lift under, with the rear red rail of the lift about even with the rear transmission cover bolt. I pushed the lift under so the turntable lifting pad was roughly centered, left and right, on the frame rails.

Up it went, this time leaving the kickstand down. And unlike the last time, I raised the lift to full height per Mark's suggestion. Of note, with the lift moved back, the rear wheel comes up a bit before the front raises.

When I pulled out the locking pin, the bike rotated freely through 360 degrees of motion. No interference at all and no issues with stability. Works like a charm, and just like the video on Pitbull's website.

In the "How can you be that stupid, Cowboy, not able to figure out a lift?" department: That's a fair question, especially for an engineer. I've certainly asked myself that a few times since. One, on the first attempt, I thought I should avoid that shock area for lifting, and that was the core of the problem. Two, that kickstand interference really worried me, and I didn't want to do any damage. Three, I hadn't raised the bike all the way up, because I was more than a little uncertain about not being in the lifting pad "sweet spot". I think that sums it up...It wasn't "as seen on TV" and I assumed the worst.

The pix below were taken without using the frame protectors, just to see if it worked OK, but that seems risky and I won't lift without them again.


So that's it. Now I can now be totally fucking lazy, polishing a little on one side, and just spinning the bike instead of moving the entire lift, or without dragging all the stuff to the other side. And if you want to get up close to the bike without banging your shins on the lift, just turn it 90 degrees and walk right up to that baby. You can also scoot the bike and lift closer to the wall when it's turned 90, saving storage space. Just drop the manual locks into place and leave it there.

Now it's up to you to decide if the additional convenience is worth $150.00 + shipping, but it damn sure works nice when used correctly, LOL. And when I build my Bobber over the summer, I'll bet that turntable feature for the Pitbull lift really comes in handy.

Again, Two Gold Stars for Pitbull Lifts/Watson Manufacturing. And if you happened to read that previous rant I wrote about the turntable, just ignore it. (I pulled it down from the Blog). I just hadn't asked the right person the right questions.


POST SCRIPT, 4/4/2012
Since I bought the lift, I've also bought a Nightster and a Road King. The Nightster and the Pitbull Turntable are not compatible. The Road King is, but not without using the orange frame protectors.