If you own a motorcycle, chances are you will need a way to get the rear wheel off the ground at some point in your riding career. Chain maintenance, sprocket replacement, and wheel removal are just a few of the common procedures that the average motorcycle rider will need to be able to accomplish. Since most modern bikes rely on kick-stands as opposed to center-stands, you’re going to need a dedicated tool (or some redneck creativity with wood blocks) to get the rear end of the bike off the ground. In addition, once you get it there, it needs to remain stable and balanced.
Every motorcyclist should have a stand made just for this purpose. Enter Pit Bull Motorcycle Stands.
Not much to it, really. A rear stand is made for a simple purpose, which in turn makes it a simple tool. Despite its simplicity, rear stands are not created equal. The market is saturated with low-price options, forging low-grade materials into overcomplicated and poor designs. However, these low-priced options will still work to get your bike’s rear tire off the ground. Then there are more expensive options, like Pit Bull. These more expensive options will also work just as well. So, why spend the extra money on a stand? Well, the answer can vary a bit, but for me, it’s not because I like spending money. It’s the same reason I buy domestic products: They cost more, they do the same thing as imported, but I just trust it more. It’s just one of those areas where I believe higher quality is important, and I’m willing to pay for that extra quality.
When I’m lifting an expensive and complex machine up into the air, I’m not going to trust the cheaper, thinner, less ergonomic, value product from the value bin. Certain things don’t apply to this mentality, but motorcycle stands are one of the things (for me) that do. Beyond the craftsmanship, Pit Bull has always resounded “professional” to me within my local motorcycle community. When I see a biker who has a Pit Bull stand, he is typically a cool-headed, aware, and experienced motorcyclist who knows his bike, abilities, and limits. Obviously owning a Pit Bull doesn’t make you one of those riders, but I have noticed a correlation of professionalism and high product expectations that exist amongst the owners who do own them. It’s an impression similar to the Red Bull crowd vs the Monster Energy crowd. One seems to be marketed for professional stuntmen and world record holders, while the other seems to be marketed to amateur hooligans. Of course, this is all subjective.
Pit Bull isn’t necessarily a huge-brand in the motorcycle stand community, but their cult following is very loyal and passionate about the company. For those customers, after they’ve bought one Pit Bull, they won’t buy any other brand. For me, it was a trustworthy and experienced fellow rider who convinced me to buy a Pit Bull. His 17 years of riding experience were enough for me to take his word for it, so I threw down.
I admit these things aren’t cheap. You’re looking at $140 for the rear stand, no matter where you go. Unless you wait for a store-wide coupon at your local bike shop, you’re going to have to deal with it.
Having used the lift 1-2 times every month for a few years now has made me nothing short of enthusiastic. Beyond serving its purpose, it is built like a tank and definitely emits that feeling of quality and trust that I was looking for in a motorcycle stand.
Using the Pit Bull is simple, but takes some getting used to if you have never used a motorcycle stand before. For me, I hook in the left arm of the stand first, slowly push the bike up with my weight on the rear cowl until it is balanced, and then hook in the right arm of the stand. Once the arms are making contact, it’s an effortless motion of pushing down the Pit Bull handle. The leverage is great, requiring very little force from the operator.
The Pit Bull I purchased came with reversible supports, allowing you to lift swingarm spools with the hooks, or directly on the swingarm with rubberized sleeves. The only problem I have ever had with this stand is that the rubberized sleeve supports are quite brutish and minimal. The underside of swingarms can often get slippery from chain lube or grease during maintenance, and I found the rubberized supports on the Pit Bull to be insufficient at holding the bike in place. During a sprocket conversion, the bike actually slipped down the stand while it was in the air, approaching the narrower part of the swingarm and threatening a drop. I found it so menacing that I purchased some simple aluminum swingarm spools before I completed the conversion.
Even if you keep the bottom of your swingarm clean from lube, the rubber sleeve will eventually rip from the repeated action of lifting the bike while the sleeve is twisting. Then, you will have nothing but metal-to-metal contact during a lift, which won’t provide good grip or stability. You can avoid all of this by simply employing swingarm spools.
After installing spools, and flipping the supports on the Pit Bull to the hooks, the stand has been a dream. Getting my bike up is not only simple, but I easily have confidence in performing the action by myself. Now, the Pit Bull is a tool I never think about, which is a very good thing. It does its job, and it doesn’t give you any surprises. Several other riders have also used my Pit Bull, and have found it just as useful.
Beyond serving its purpose, the Pit Bull is a beautiful piece of art. The zinc plating is unique and easily identifiable as a Pit Bull stand. The fit and finish is very well done, and the welding is a machined masterpiece. The wheels work as well as expected, although for the price I really wish they were rubberized. In addition, it would have been nice if Pit Bull would put a rubber or plastic pad on the stand where the handle meets the arc, to prevent scratches and damage to the tool.
If you do decide to look at Pit Bulls stands, be sure to look up “Pit Bull Motorcycle Stands” exactly because there is an unrelated company called “Pit Bull Motorcycle Lifts” that makes a completely different product.
The Pit Bull stand is an essential part of the motorcyclist’s garage that doubles as a piece of rugged art. Consider me an addition to the choir, because I’ll be preaching about Pit Bull stands to all riders from here on out. If you are thinking about getting your first bike, or a new stand, definitely check out Pit Bull.