Larin. Samne as Jcolodny. When I got mine home, it didn't have the advertised tie down straps in the box. No prob, just took the reciept in and they found a set. Don't see where the tie down straps would be used with the stand, but it can't hurt to have an extra set around.
It fits under the V-ROD without having to holding the bike up (slides right under the bike while resting on the jiffy stand, can't do this with the craftsman). The (padded) forks are wider and spaced further apart so bike is very stable (does not put pressure on the oil plug). Comes with tie-down cables. It also comes with an adjustable seat on wheels (nice on your back while working on the bike), and it costs less than the craftsman. It's really worth looking at before making your mind up.
One other note, if your thinking the craftsman has a lifetime warranty, think again, it DOES NOT!
I owned a company that designed and built industrial material handling equipment, and I'd like to pass on a couple of comments about the various types of motorcycle lifts:
1) You need to be somewhat cautious when it comes to very low lifts. Without getting into too much technical discussion, the only way it is possible to attain a very small "lowered" height on a lift is by using either much smaller section lifting arms, or by increasing the mechanical disadvantage that the actuator sees when it starts raising the lift. Different companies have different standards as to what is an appropriate safety factor when engineering a lift - but all things being equal, I would say that the Larin and Costco lifts would have a smaller safety factor than the (somewhat) higher Sears lift.
2) In general, hydraulic is safer and more reliable than any other lifting mechanism. Screw-actuated lift mechanisms, when they fail, fail catastrophically - i.e. the screw snaps, and the lift platform drops like a rock. Hydraulic systems fail in a more progressive manner - i.e. they leak or weep fluid, lowering the lift platform relatively slowly.
3) All of the lifts I have seen require a few things from the operator: The operator should thoroughly read and understand the instructions that come with it, and they should follow all cautions and safety precautions. If there is a mechanical stop provided with the lift - use it. If you think you need tie downs - put them on. You also should keep the lift clean, lubricate the moving parts, and keep an eye out for leaks, cracks, loose fasteners, etc.
4) Unlike professional motorcycle service lifts (where the entire motorcycle is within the confines of the platform), most consumer-grade lifts have the bike chassis overhanging the ends and sides. For this reason you need to be aware of the bike's center of gravity, and how this may change when you add or remove heavy components (i.e. - wheels, exhaust systems, etc.)
I agree with just about all of what you said, the only part I question is the assumption about the Costco unit. It just fits under a stock V-ROD. It's much safer than trying to hold the bike up while trying to move the lift under it. It has the mechanical stop you mentioned and the tie downs. It has a wider stance than the Sears, has about the same wheels, with a very similar design. I've removed the rear wheel without a balance issue but have not pushed my luck. I can't say enough about the Costco lift. It's a nice balance between the expensive Harley Davidson lift and the cheep units. Its design is very much the same as the Sears unit but like most other things at Costco, a “good value." I purchased it in April and have not had a single problem, no drips, no nothing. It just lifts...
Oh, one last thing. If you're not happy the Costco unit, they have the best return policy...
PS; I don't own stock in Costco; just want to pass on a really great value. See below