For the majority of people reading this, their bikes won’t be blessed with a centre stand. This is due to the fact that in the race for better and better performance, manufacturers are looking to save weight wherever they can.
It’s the same reason why you have a battery that whimpers at the thought of turning over the engine after it’s been left unused for just a small number of days.
Because of the lack of this handy feature, standing the bike upright to perform even the most basic of tasks, such as changing the oil, will be made considerably more difficult.
Add into that tasks like chain cleaning and adjustment, bike cleaning, removing the front or rear wheels, or to be more topical, putting on tyre warmers, you soon come to realise that you can’t really do without them.
But before I cover my top 4 paddock stands, here’s a quick note on what we don’t want…
What I haven’t listed below are the cheaper options that are available. Yes, cheaper paddock stands will serve their purpose, but in my experience they won’t do it for as long as a sturdier option.
Cheap stands tend to have points where they need to be fixed together (this allows them to be flat packed for shipping), and if they aren’t fixed together tightly and securely enough, over time as the weight moves them from side to side they become less tight, and as a result less stable.
Also the less expensive options have cheap plastic wheels that given enough use eventually buckle under the load and make them unusable (my old man had to knock me up some replacements because of this).
So, the below options are the ones that I feel will provide you with sturdy and fuss free use for years to come.
Here’s the first…
The first on my list comes from one of the most well-known names in the motorcycling world.
Previous iterations of their paddock stands were not really a massive hit, with many complaining of the fact they wouldn’t last very well and would lose their original robustness and rigidity.
With the latest offering from Oxford though they have attempted to alleviate those negative points. The wheels of old would struggle to stand the test of time, but with their new chunky, rubbery wheels they can better take the load at this critical point.
Their 40mm tubing also plays a part in keeping the construction rigid, while the sizeable bolts at the weaker joining sections should do a good job of keeping the whole thing together nice and tight.
As standard, the rear paddock stand comes with pads that sit under the swing arm. This is fine for many applications, but a switch to the fork supports are often a better option.
The one name that you hear coming up time and time again when the subject of motorbike paddock stands gets raised – and from people that use them an awful lot too – Harris really have put together a fantastic bit of kit.
Coming in at the higher end of the price scale (unless you own a Ducati), the main construction of the Harris stands are beautifully made out of stainless steel, providing absolute rigidity, while the triangle shaped wheel holders and the small sized rubbery wheels easily take the load.
Listening to what both the magazines say, and real people using them, there is little else that is made and performs as good as the Harris stands.
The front paddock stands can be had in the traditional universal two prong, under fork arm type, or alternatively the under fork spigot type. Though these have to be specially ordered to suit your make and model of bike.
Arguably the ‘blingiest’ paddock stand in this list, these very lightweight aluminium stands were originally featured only by top brand names like Harris and Motrax.
However, now the same design can be seen with many different names on, and because of that they can be had for good money. Their lightweight feel, rigid frame and blingy look make them a firm favourite around the track day and race paddock.
The rear forks are adjustable to suit many different bikes, and the large padded rests on the front stand make them usable for many different models of bike, though they are largely tailored to sports bikes.
Unfortunately for owners of single sided swing arm bikes, the cost of a decent paddock stand does creep up somewhat.
In my opinion the best option comes from R&G. The main construction is made out of tubular steel, welded together at the joins to make one single piece. This means the whole things stays rigid.
As with every other option here, rather than the cheap plastic wheels, it features rubberised castor wheels that fit very close to the main tubing so that they can effectively take the load.
It doesn’t come with the main lifting pin. You need to buy that separately because different bikes will have different rear hub diameters.
As said above, motorcycle paddock stands are something that we simply cannot do without if we own a bike without a centre stand. I am confident that any of the above will supply you with a long lasting, quality performing stand to replace the handy feature those crazy high-power-to-weight-ratio-chasers removed.