Friday, March 28, 2014

Bike Stands - Last One

So after doing a little research and discussing my particular stand I've come a conclusion. If I were to recommend a stand design to a friend I'd go with some 4 x 4's and plywood.
Photo by Jeff Wright click for link to Church of Choppers
These appear to be 4 x 6's which are even better, but you get the idea. Google motorcycle stand and you find a million different answers. Red left a comment about building a stand that lifts with a jack. I've seen plans around for those as well. When it comes to design I find the most simple solution to usually be the best. That said, most times there is a trade-off. Submarines do pretty well under water but they are tough to park at Wal-Mart. Uh, yeah...where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. If you build the simple platform like above you'll need a ramp and a friend. Like I said before, if you own a bike - you have a ramp. But if you have some behemoth bike like an Ultra Classic or even my VFR it might be safer to have a lift. If you live in the middle of nowhere and don't have anyone to help you push the bike up, a lift might be your option. Or maybe you are 6' 3" and 160#'s. In that case you'd want the scoot way up high and that would be difficult to balance even with your buddy on the other side. There are plenty of companies selling lifts of all different styles. Of course, Harbor Freight sells a cheap steel lift if you want to support the Chinese prisoners making twelve cents a day building them.
Oh, I found a wheel stop at my local dealer on the shelf and it was eighty fucking dollars! A wheel stop is a good idea. Eighty bucks for a piece of bent tubing is highway robbery. Go to the local weld shop and have them make you one for half that.

This is the original drawing I based mine on. Taken from Eurospares

Here's another one from Uncle Sam. The Armored Force School Fort Knox,Kentucky - Lubrication and Inspection Guide-Motorcycle Department,1943. Just in case you want to lube your WLA. I can find pictures of this but not all in one place. I don't know how well it works but I think it would work better than the one I built as far as the tilting feature. Mine doesn't have enough support when unloading. 

So here's my bottom line on bike stands: 
1) Use the info here at your own risk. I'm just a dullard on the internet with a free blog. I've only built one and if you build it just like mine, it's dangerous when using the tilt feature. So don't bother with the tilt feature. 
2) Simple is better.
3) The height of the stand should suit you and the bike(s) you will be working on. 
4) Forget the paint. It just makes it slippery. 
5) If you build something out of wood - use wood glue, in addition to, your fasteners.
5) Be careful. Use a helper. Tie the bike down once it's up there. 
6) Wheel stop - you don't want to roll off the end, and make it wide enough for whatever tire you may have in there in the future. Mine's fine for vintage bikes with a 3.50 - 19 but I'm not sure the front on the Viffer will fit. 
O.K. I'm done on stands unless I build another one. That may happen but not until many other projects are finished. 
Rock on. 

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