Ever since I bought the Yamaha WR450 I've been having to pick up the front end, swing it over and set it down on a stepstool that I've been using to hold the bike up to get the wheels off the ground to work on it.
But changing the tires like I just did and having to completely readjust the chain taught me that, for the sake of my poor abused back I needed to find an easier way to get the motorcycle up on a stand.
There were several criteria that had to be met before a stand would work for me. It had to be lightweight, it needed to be compact and easy to store, I wanted it to be relatively easy to use, and last but never the least, it had to be affordable.
A quick visit to Amazon offered numerous solutions to my problem but it appeared only one came the closest to meeting all of my needs,and the Motorsport Products Pro Lift Stand looked just like what I had in mind.
There are several manufacturers that make this stand and some are considerably cheaper than this. But it just so happened that this brand of stand was for sale at Performance Cycle where I recently bought my motorcycle tires and they wanted $130 for it.
I didn't buy it there but I got a chance to pick it up and look it over enough to see that it looked like a quality product. The welds were clean and professionally done, the powder coating was spotless, and it was made out of aluminum so it was lightweight.
It arrived two days later and I put the Yamaha up on it just to try it and it was so easy I couldn't believe it. I could kick myself for not buying this thing a year ago because getting the Yamaha WR450, which by the way weighs 270 pounds, up on a stool by myself was not only difficult but an accident waiting to happen.
But happy days are here again and I no longer have to worry about minor maintenance jobs where getting the bike up on a stand was more difficult than the job I needed to do.
Today I got out and did something I had been planning to do for a long time, I raised the front forks in the triple trees on the Yamaha WR450. I moved them up about half an inch which will put me just a little bit closer to the ground. When you put a Yamalink on the bike you're supposed to raise the forks about a 3rd of an inch to level it out but I raised them just a little bit more to get the Yamaha just a little bit lower.
I dropped the Yamaha while riding in the woods a couple days ago and it happened in a way that I knew was going to happen as soon as I sat on the bike for the first time. The problem with a bike when you can barely touch the ground is that if the ground is uneven one foot might not reach the ground that's what happened to me. It was completely predictable, I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when.
I was turning around on a slope, not a steep slope, I'm talking about a slope that looked flat but was one inch lower on one side of the motorcycle than the other. So when the Yamaha leaned a little I put my foot down and there was no ground there and by the time my foot found some ground the bike was leaning too far for me to hold it up. Now I've done this before on dirt bikes but never on a slope that looked so flat I couldn't even tell it was a slope until I got up and tryed to figure out what had happened.
There was no harm done, it was a slow-motion fall and neither I or the Yamaha received a scratch. In fact on the way down to the ground I can remember telling myself "I knew that was going to happen I just knew it ". Two good things did come of it. One is that I had always wondered if I was going to be able to pick up the bike when it fell over and the answer to that is yes. The other thing I learned is I don't think I will ever be comfortable on the Yamaha until I can get it another inch or so lower to the ground. So it looks like I may have to talk to a suspension expert and see what can be done to save me from a lifetime of embarrassing slow-motion tip overs.