Motorcycle Stands – Choosing a Rear Stand

I know…I know – A rear stand is a rear stand, right?  Not so.  There’s more beneath the surface than just getting the same stand your buddy has.  Make sure you have the right rear stand for your motorcycle.

  1. Do you have a dual-sided swingarm or a single-sided swingarm?
    1. If it’s dual-sided swingarms, do you have spools(or the threaded holes where spools could be mounted?
      1. If it has either spools OR the ability to mount spools, buy spools.  It doesn’t matter if you think spools are ugly or don’t want to spend the $20, spools are considerably more secure than lifting a non-spooled bike AND some bikes are completely unsafe to lift without spools(hence why they have spool mounts).
      2. If it’s a non-spooled swingarm, find out if you need a traditional non-spooled stand or if your bike requires some sort of “specialty” rear stand.  Traditional “box tube” swingarms from the 1990’s(and some newer budget-conscious bikes) generally work fine with a traditional style stand, but it’s always best to check with your dealer or the manufacturer and be certain.
    2. If it’s a single-sided swingarm, does it have a hollow hub?
      1. If it has a hollow hub, most manufacturers seem to use the same hub size across several models(like Ducati over the last 15 years) so you just need to find out which model you need.  Ducati uses a smaller hub on bikes from the 916 to some current models, but they also started using a larger hub on the 1098 and have continued to use that hub on some of their larger models ever since.
      2. One important thing to note, if you install hub sliders on your bike that does not mean you should lift your bike from those sliders using a dual-sided swingarm stand.  Here’s why:
        1. You won’t be able to remove the wheel of your motorcycle.
        2. The oversized sliders often interfere with proper engagement of the stand and/or stand supports, which can lead to catastrophic failure(your bike on the ground).
          1. If you insist on installing hub sliders and have either a Ducati “large hub” or BMW model, check out Rizoma.  Some of their sliders are designed to still allow access to the hub.  The large hub Ducati sliders sleeve down so that you can use the small hub Ducati pin(drive side) on their sliders.  You still won’t be able to remove the wheel, but at least you’re lifting safely.
  2. Do you want to use this stand for long-term storage?
    1. If no, just make sure that you buy a stand that is stable enough for your purposes and needs.
    2. If yes, that opens up a few more things to be aware of.
      1. If the bike features non-spooled swingarms, be aware that you need to degrease the underside of the swingarms before lifting the motorcycle.  Slippage can and will happen if you lift greasy swingarms and let it sit for months.  Some people even take a small strip of grip tape(like you’d put on stairs) and put it on the underside of their swingarms to prevent slippage.
      2. If you’re going to be storing the bike in a high traffic area, I strongly recommend either a stand with a removable handle or one of the forward handle rear stand designs.  I’ve worked countless trade shows demonstrating stands, and I can’t tell you how many times someone has tripped over the handle of one of our stands as they walked by our booth.  That handle is like a ninja waiting to attack!

That’s it for today.  Next time, we’ll talk about front stands and how to decide which one is right for you.  Take care!

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