Abba Superbike stand review

If your bike doesn’t have a centrestand, then this will make all sorts of maintenance easy

Abba Superbike stand

by Jim Blackstock |

It’s a fact of life that if your bike has – or can have an optional – centrestand, then life looking after it is so much easier. You can easily spin the rear wheel to clean and lubricate the chain, as well as check and adjust chain tension, for example or remove one of the wheels. It is also more convenient – and safer – for storing the bike if you don’t use it over winter, for example.

However, many bikes can’t accommodate a centrestand. Sportsbikes, for example, tend to have bodywork in the way and a low centre of gravity and hence, low ground clearance may not leave enough room for one. In this case, the usual method of lifting the bike off the ground – either the front or rear wheel or both – is with a paddock stand(s). These will allow one or both wheels to be raised off the ground so they or the suspension can be removed for work.

However, there are many people that don’t like paddock stands – there is a certain knack to using them and there is an inherent risk – however small, depending on how experienced you are – that the bike can fall over during the lift or drop process. In this case, the Abba Superbike stand has the answer.

Abba Superbike Stand

I was faced with exactly this choice when I inherited a 1997 Suzuki RF600R, a sports tourer with sportsbike-like faired bodywork and a low-slung four-pot motor. The bike came with a cheap, generic paddock stand but I had no confidence in its ability to either lift the bike or keep it in the air safely while I carried out the work I knew I needed to, including removing the front suspension for a rebuild.

As a result, I decided to invest in an Abba stand. This fundamentally operates a bit like a bolt-on centrestand for a huge variety of bikes. It comprises the same stand and then, a set of adapters for your specific bike that allows the stand to fit the swing-arm mounts and lift from there.

Fitting is easy – the stand comes in several parts and you slide the two main sections under the bike, offer the mounts up to the swingarm pivot points, fit them to the points, tighten the two halves of the stand together then you’re ready to lift.

Like a centrestand, you raise the bike to an upright position using the handlebars and seat or frame and then, use the sliding handle in the stand to lift the bike forward; as you do so, it lifts the back wheel off the ground with the bike upright. There are legs on the stand to prevent it from going too far forward and as that position is past the balance point, the bike’s own weight keeps the front planted and the whole thing very stable – far more so than a paddock stand.

In this position, the rear wheel is lifted so you can remove it or the rear suspension. If you need to remove the swingarm itself, you can buy adapters so that the stand acts on these fitted to the footpeg hangers instead of the swingarm mounts but for normal use, the usual adapters are perfect.

As I knew I was going to need to get the front wheel off the ground as well, I also went for the front-wheel lift kit. You could always pop a stand under part of the bodywork or headstock to keep it off the ground but I preferred the engineered approach.

This kit adds another arm that protrudes rearward from the main section of the Superbike stand and includes a strap; you fit the strap either over the swingarm or round a pin in a bobbin mount for example – as I did – and push the rear down to lift the front wheel and tighten the strap to keep the bike in that position. Once again, rock-solid and eminently safe and secure.

Another benefit of this system is that if you change bikes – or indeed, have more than one – then all you need to do to use the stand on all of them is buy a set of adapters for each bike – they cost around £20 each, so not expensive. You can also get the Superbike stand and front-arm lift kit together as a package from Abba and save around £10.

Verdict

While the Superbike stand and front-lift arm kit are not cheap, compared with some paddock stands, they are significantly cheaper than a pair of front and rear paddock stands from a decent manufacturer.

The cheaper paddock stands are not particularly good quality and the Abba stand scores because it is easy to lift the bike and when it is in the air, it is rock solid, giving you the confidence to tackle any job on it.

You can also use adapters to remove the swingarm – not something you can do with a paddock stand – if you need to and £20 makes it useable on another bike. It’s a great addition to the workshop and made the jobs I had to do not only possible but so much safer and easier.

Pros:

• Fits a huge variety of bikes
• Easy to use and safe and stable
• British made

Cons:

• None we can think of

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