There are lots of reasons why a paddock stand should be in your workshop, even if you’re not a home mechanic.
First and foremost, bikes like being stored upright. There are several models that specifically don’t like being stored for any length of time on just the side stand – the oil drains to one side and exposes the engine’s internals to air and moisture, with potential corrosion issues.
They can also be very useful for general maintenance; if your bike doesn’t have a centre stand but does use a chain, then cleaning and lubricating the chain is far easier if the rear wheel is off the ground, as is adjusting the chain tension. And if you need to remove the rear wheel for any reason – for example if you’re replacing the chain and sprockets – then you’ll need to get it off the ground.
At the front, it’s a similar situation; you may need to remove the front wheel to replace bearings or get tyres changed for example, or just to get weight of the wheels and tyres during storage, to prevent the tyres becoming mis-shaped.
Types of paddock stand
There are two main types of paddock stand; ones that are universal and ones that use bobbins. The universal variety will lift the rear of the bike on the swingarm and will fit wherever possible while front stands also tend to be universal, lifting on the bottom of the fork legs. The other variety use a pair of conical bobbins that are fitted to the bike (and stay fitted) and then, hooked brackets lift on the bobbins for a more-secure mounting.
There are also stands that will lift on the front headstock allowing the front wheel and the suspension to be removed while the bike is up, and another option is for a lift to use a rod that passes straight through the wheel spindle from one side to the other. Some stands replicate a centrestand with added functionality, while others lift the whole bike off the ground - but by that point, we’re starting to move away from paddock stands and into proper workshop stands.
Top motorcycle paddock stands
1. MPW Race Dept Front
Just about the cheapest paddock stand on Amazon, this one for the front end also gets really good reviews. It uses two rubber cones to locate in the bottom of the front fork tubes and lifts from there. It's made of hardened steel tube that has been powder coated and has twin nylon wheels either side of the front wheel. It can lift up to 200kg and with a fork width of 175-250mm.
2. Oxford Premium
Seal of Approval: We've tested this product and have found it performs wellAvailable for both front and rear wheels, the Oxford Premium stands are made from 38mm tubular steel and feature a main loop with a separate extended handle to make raising the bike as easy as possible. Front stands come with plasticised pins and rears come with both L-shaped cups for swingarms and hooks for bobbins, though the bobbins are bought separately (from £15.99). Both are good for a maximum wheel size of 17in and were awarded a Best Buy triangle by sister title RiDE.
3. Renntec Moovamoto
Seal of Approval: We've tested this product and have found it performs wellAvailable with either cups for swingarms and hooks for bobbins, the Renntec Moovamoto also has four swivelling wheels that it rests on once the bike is lifted off the ground. This means that the bike can be moved around while the rear wheel is removed, for example, for convenience. The rear wheels are braked to prevent the bike moving when stored and the stand was given a recommended triangle be sister title RiDE in its 2017 product test.
4. BikeTek Rear
Only a takeaway coffee more expensive than the MPW version, this rear stand from BikeTek uses universal cups to locate under the swingarm to lift the bike. Rear stands use longer handles to allow the cups to fit further into the bike at an appropriate spot on the swingarm and this one has a lifting capacity of 200kg with a minimum distance between the lifting cups of 190mm and a maximum of 335mm.
5. Black All-In-One
This handy stand from Black can lift both the front or the back of a bike and comes with three mounting options; a universal swingarm square-section pad, a hooked bracket for bikes with bobbins and a pin for the front to locate in the bottom of the fork legs. It has long and short handles to allow it to work on both the front and the rear, with the latter's additional length to sit the stand on the swingarm and it has an adjustable width up to 450mm for the rear and 310mm for the front.
6. R&G Single-Sided Stand
This stand from R&G is designed for bikes with a single-sided swingarm, such as models from BMW, Ducati and more. It works the same way as other stands but the pin locates in the wheel spindle from one side (there are left-handed and right-handed version available) to allow the wheel to be removed. Once you've bought the stand, you buy the relevant pin for your bike - £22.99 for each bike.
7. BikeTek Static Rear
This interesting-looking item from BikeTek is designed more for storage and display than outright maintenance work but could be useful to keep your bike off the ground over winter, for example. The steel tube runs through the rear-wheel spindle and the stand pulls the bike up off the ground. It's particularly useful as the stand doesn't protrude past the back of the bike, making it compact and convenient.
8. Ryde Aluminium
This chunky stand from Ryde is formed in box-section aluminium for low weight with high strength and gets great reviews. It comes with hooks for bobbins and will lift a huge 317kg, more than most bikes in total. The width of the bobbin hooks is adjustable, up to a maximum of 375mm and it comes with an extended handle to keep the hands safe and help lift the bike off the ground.
9. MotoGP Front Head Stand
Produced under licence from the MotoGP race series, this stand lifts the bike on the bottom of the headstock to allow the front wheel or forks to be removed. It comes with five different lift pins to suit a variety of bikes and is made in 32mm tubular steel. It uses smooth-glide wheels and there are also pads under the handle to prevent trapping fingers when lifting the bike, for example and making it easy to set the bike down again.
10. Abba Superbike Stand
The Abba Superbike stand is a bit like a centrestand for bikes that can't use them. It fits, via a bike-specific mounting kit, to the bike's swingarm mount on each side and the extending handle is used to tip the bike forward, lifting it off the ground. It's a stable and useful way to lift the bike but it will naturally rest on the front wheel. However, an adapter is available to help lift the front wheel off the ground or the frame could be chocked if you need both wheels off the ground.
11. Warrior Spider Stand
The Warrior kit is a little different; it lifts the bike from the swingarm mount and the frame mount using a bike-specific kit to keep it level as it raises it from the ground. A long handle makes this easy and it is damped when letting the bike down again, to prevent it getting out of control. Once up, the bike can be worked on front and back and moved around. If you have more than one bike, buy another adapter (£39) and use the same stand. Demon Tweeks is currently out of stock but are expecting more at the end of February.