Thursday, March 13, 2014

The bike stand Redux

Since Lucky asked, I figured it's time to do a Cycle World style long term test update. O.K., not really like that but for anyone wanting info I do have some suggestions. First, don't build this stand.

More on that later.
I built the stand back in 2006 according to the blog archives. I found the plans, such as they are, on the Eurospares website. It's a decent design, but unnecessarily complicated. I built mine pretty much to the letter with one exception. I cut the top too short. It's been just fine without the extra length but measure three or four times and cut once. You can search my blog for "stand" and get the few posts on mine. Here is the one that matters, I suppose: Stand. I used the stand at the old house and for the 550 Honda it was great. The idea with this particular stand is the stand pivots to allow you forgo using a ramp. That idea is a bit flawed. Most importantly, when you flip the rear panel that supports the bike out, the bulk of the bike's weight is resting on a single piece of plywood. I did that once. You own a motorcycle so chances are good you also own a ramp. Forget the pivot, there is really no benefit. That also makes it more simple to build. Simple is better. Trust me on that one. Also, when you push the bike up at some point that you probably can't anticipate, the bike kind of slams down. You don't want that while you are standing on the floor, arms extended, and supporting the weight of your scooter. Have someone help you get the bike up and down. Seriously. I have a treated 2 X 8 with an aluminum lip thru bolted on the end that used to live in the back of my truck. If you don't have a ramp but are building a stand, budget the extra ten bucks for the ramp parts and just store it under the stand. That brings me to the next point; it's too short. I didn't actually realize this at first. I sent the stand away for a while.y garage was getting very full and it was in the way so I gave it to one of my friends to use. He put it up on a riser he made from 4 X4's. When I brought the stand home he insisted I take the riser. As usual, he was right. The extra 3 1/2 inches brings the bike up to a better height for working. I'm 5'11" and he's maybe an inch shorter. Your mileage may vary. So, I like having the stand. I recommend building one if you're handy. Here's what you do. Build it out of 3/4 plywood like this one. But don't worry about the pivot, that's like tits on a boar. 
Another thing that might be helpful is some clearance for your toes. It's not a deal breaker but if you are building one from scratch you might as we'll make it right. As you can see in the first picture, I added wheels. They are just slightly above the floor and there is a handle on the opposite end. The handle bent the first time I picked up the stand to roll it. The updated design should just have a cut out at the bottom to allow your hands to get under for lifting. Simple is better. If you need to move the stand around the shop once in a while, add the wheels. Of course mine is up a few inches so you'll want them about a half inch off the floor. That way when you lift the other end they pivot down and roll but not support any weight or move around when sitting flat. If you will never move the stand don't bother with the wheels, but still add the cut-outs for lifting. You need some eyes for tie downs, and a wheel stop. I made mine but I had the resources at the time. It's 4 inch channel iron with a v notch, bent, and welded. I should have gone wider. Most sport bike tires are not going to fit in there real well. I don't think my stand has ever had a modern bike on it. If you don't have a local weld shop to make you one, you can buy them for trailers through your favorite bike dealer, Dennis Kirk, etc...
The bike can sit-up there on its own with a center stand but use tie downs. 

The Sporty's frame is propped on some screwed together dimensional lumber but I put the tie downs on just in case. The little storage nook is handy for my oil drain pan. Otherwise it's just another complication in the construction. I suppose the "floor" of the nook adds some structural integrity so I shouldn't discount the idea.  The whole thing is painted with oil based machine paint. I'm glad I painted it but the top gets slippery if you have to stand up there for some reason. Especially with the inevitable oil drips from working on it. Now that I've explained this in detail I suppose I should draw up a fresh plan. I think I'll do that as I know some one who could use a stand so I'll have the plan when the time comes. I'll post that when I get it drawn up. Oh and commented on the post from 06', your memory must be as good as mine. 


Lucky said...

Great write-up! It's good to hear what actually works and what doesn't.

I had to go find my original comment. I don't know that I'd still add skulls to mine, but I do think having a stand for working on the bike would be nice. Way better than trying to work while sitting on the floor.

Surly said...

You've got that right. Working on the floor gets worse and worse as I get older.

red said...

We've been throwing around the idea of building a bike lift w/an electric winch. Lift it up, roll the stand under it and lower the bike.