Motorcycling is more than just a means of travel – it’s a passion, a lifestyle. While the allure of the open road can be intoxicating, motorcycle upkeep is crucial for any avid biker.
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One tool that’s often overlooked yet indispensable is the humble motorcycle stand. Whether you’re performing routine maintenance, storing your bike or even just cleaning it, the right stand makes all the difference.
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Types of stand
Motorcycle stands can be broadly categorised into two types—front and rear stands.
Front stands are designed to lift the motorcycle by the front forks or by the triple tree, while rear stands lift the bike by the swingarm, allowing both the rear and front tyres to be off the ground.
A paddock stand should always be chosen based on your bike’s weight and the type of work you plan to do. These are perfect for chain adjustments, tyre changes, and more intensive maintenance work.
These are another type, more commonly used for quick fixes such as oil changes. They’re generally less sturdy but more portable, offering a jack-up feature that makes them versatile for various motorcycle models.
How to choose the right stand
Selecting the correct stand for you depends on various factors, including the type of bike you have and what you need it for.
If you’re dealing with a heavier bike, a robust paddock stand would be a good choice. Conversely, if you have a lighter bike and you’re often on the move, a portable scissor jack might suffice.
- Compatibility: Ensure that the stand is compatible with your bike model. It should fit snugly and securely lift the bike without wobbling.
- Material: Consider the material of the stand. High-grade steel stands are usually more durable but are also heavier.
- Ease of Use: Paddock stands are relatively easy to use even for beginners, provided they are set up correctly.
- Budget: Finally, your budget will play a significant role. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that a stand is a long-term investment in your bike’s upkeep.
Caring for your motorcycle stand
You’ve invested in a quality stand and naturally you want it to last. Here are some tips for prolonging its lifespan…
- Regular Inspection: Check for any signs of wear and tear, especially in the joints and the lifting mechanism. Rust can also be a concern, so be on the lookout for any corroded spots.
- Lubrication: Keep all moving parts well-lubricated to ensure smooth operation. This minimises friction, which could otherwise lead to quicker degradation of the stand.
- Proper Storage: When not in use, store the stand in a dry place, away from the elements. Exposure to moisture can speed up the corrosion process, leading to a compromised structure over time.
- User Manual: Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This is crucial, as improper use can not only damage the stand but also pose a safety risk.
Choosing the right stand involves a bit of research and understanding of your needs. From robust paddock stands to versatile scissor jacks, there’s something for every rider.
Once you’ve made your choice, ensure you follow best practice in caring for your stand to guarantee its longevity. Selecting and maintaining a stand is a small but significant part of your journey as a motorcyclist. After all, a well-maintained bike ensures not just the machine’s longevity but also your safety and enjoyment on the road. So, make an informed decision and ride on, worry-free.