May 3, 2013
Stand Up: Dirt Bike Stand Buyer's Guide
Doing your own service, maintenance, and performance upgrades on your dirt bike can be a great form of relaxation. Not only will it take your mind off of things that might be bothering you, but it also helps you become more knowledgeable about what’s going on with your ride and aware of other issues that may need to be addressed. Whether you’re prepping for that next track day, swapping handlebars, or replacing a bad gasket, setting your motorcycle up on a stand will make the task(s) at hand much safer as you push, pull, twist, and torque on various components. A stand can also make changing your oil, lubing your chain, or swapping out a rear tire much easier as you’ll have better access to tight spaces, or will be able to remove parts like axels, brake calipers, and wheels with ease.
Many, many years ago in a garage far, far away (or maybe it was your next door neighbor, we’re not sure) some crusty dirt bike rider figured out that an old milk crate with a couple blocks of wood stacked on top of it was the perfect solution to shove under the center of his bike to get it stable and the wheels off the ground for some routine maintenance. Since that time, the fixed center stand has become the tool of choice for many a dirt bike mechanic. While it’s still pretty simplistic in overall design (four sturdy legs and a solid platform) the fixed stand has evolved over the years. These days many stands are made of steel or heavy duty aluminum like the stand shown above from Motorsports Products. Some manufacturers have even gotten pretty technical with their materials, for example Matrix Concepts M2 Worx Stand features an I-beam construction out of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) glass filled plastic, making it very strong and light—it only weighs 6 pounds.
For those that have limited storage space or want quick and easy portability a folding stand can come in pretty handy. MSR’s Racing Folding Stand II is about as compact as it gets when it comes to folding stands. Made of aircraft grade aluminum, when in use the stand has a height of 17 inches, then when it’s time to go or store in the corner of the garage, the stand slims down like a supermodel folding flat to a mere 4 inches thick. Another nice thing about this stand is that it has surface plates on the legs which help give it a more stable foot print in soft surfaces.
When is a dirt bike stand more than a dirt bike stand? When it also presents itself as a tool tray. Take the Cycra Moto Stand shown above for example. Made of injection molded components the Moto Stand has several tool/parts trays incorporated into it so you can keep track of the essentials when working on your bike. Two smaller trays at the sides of the platform are perfect for nuts and bolts; whereas the larger tray mounted between the legs helps you monitor hand tools so they don’t disappear into oblivion.
For those that are tired of lifting their bike onto a fixed height center stand, lift stands are becoming all the rage. Simply place a lift stand like the Ocelot Pro Lift II under your engine case, push down on the pedal with your foot and voila, the stand does all the heavy lifting for you. This makes getting your bike up in the air a quick and easy task without throwing your back out.
If a lift stand sparks your interest you’ll definitely want to check out Ogio’s 180 Moto Lift. Like the name insinuates, the 180 does a 180 when you use it. How you ask? Well you turn it upside down and then roll the bike through the middle of the lift. As the front wheel passes through, it strikes the crossbar on the far side forcing the stand to roll forward as you push the bike through. As the stand rolls 180 forward the platform slides under the center of the bike and lifts it up as the stand completes it revolution. You could say it’s revolutionary.
Coming full circle we end back up in the old timer’s garage with the milk crate. This time however, instead of adding blocks of wood to get the bike up in the air, the Bike Crate (shown at the top of the article) from MSRHP is quite a bit taller than a milk crate so all you do is lift the bike onto the crate and you’re good to go. The great thing about this stand, and something that old timer probably figured out as well is when you aren’t using it as a stand you can use it to carry things like your tools, gear, or oil.