How to put a dirt bike on a stand might seem like an easy question to some people. In most cases, it is. But, I still think it’s a good one.
I raced ATVs for years growing up. Because ATVs have four wheels, I rarely had a need for a stand.
They required us to remove our kickstands for safety reasons once I started racing pit bikes, so I had to learn how to do it.
I took 10 years off from anything motorized after I stopped racing ATVs. When I got back into racing, I decided to change from ATVs to dirt bikes.
I started by just riding a KLX110 in my cousin’s backyard, then I started racing stock pit bikes, then mod pit bikes, and before I knew it I was “big bikes” (i.e. full-size dirt bikes).
Note: when I say “full-size dirt bikes” or “big bikes” throughout the article, I’m generally referring to bikes with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch or bigger rear wheel (i.e. 125s, 250s, 450s, etc.).
When I was riding in my cousin’s backyard, we had kickstands on our pit bikes or we’d just lean the bikes on a shed or tree. I still didn’t need a stand.
At first, it was ugly. Real ugly.
For my brother, it’s still ugly.
As I progressed to full-size dirt bikes, I started to understand this simple concept better and now I can do it much easier. For those struggling with putting their bikes on a stand or are just getting into dirt bikes, I’ll save you the trouble I went through. I’ll teach you how to put a dirt bike on a stand easily, and the right way.
Choosing the Right Dirt Bike Stand
Before you start actually putting your dirt bike on a stand, you need to make sure that you have a stand that is the appropriate size for your dirt bike.
This is the first mistake I made. When I bought my first stand, I didn’t pay attention to the size. I simply ordered one that “looked cool” and went with it.
Come to find out, it was made for full-size dirt bikes, not pit bikes.
You can definitely use a full-size dirt bike stand with a pit bike, it’ll work, but it’s just more difficult.
It’s more difficult because the stand is taller, requiring you to lift the dirt bike higher off the ground to get it on the stand. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that the pivot point (we’ll touch on this in detail later) on a pit bike is lower than a big bike, which makes it difficult to get up on that higher stand.
In normal conditions, this isn’t too big of a deal, but if you just finished riding for a while, or even racing, and you’re tired or have arm pump, every little bit matters.
A typical dirt bike stand is about 16-17 inches tall. Some are slightly shorter or slightly taller, but in general, they’re around 16-17 inches tall.
Pit bike stands are usually 14.5-15.5 inches tall. I realize this isn’t a huge difference, but it can make a difference.
How to Put a Dirt Bike on a Stand
The number one thing I can tell you to help you put a dirt bike on a stand is to use leverage and a pivot point, not your strength.
What do I mean by that?
It’s much easier to put a dirt bike on a stand using leverage and a pivot point than it is to just use pure strength.
To do this, use the front wheel of your dirt bike as your pivot point and your hip as your leverage, following these steps:
- Ride or push your bike next to your dirt bike stand, stopping with the bottom of the motor or middle of your dirt bike even with the stand.
- Stand next to your bike, bench down slightly at the knees, and grab the rear fender on the other side of the bike to where you’re standing, just behind the seat.
- Slightly lift just the back of the dirt bike and lean it on your hip.
- Keeping the front wheel on the ground and using that to pivot, you can now move the bike over using your hip and place it on the stand.
By leveraging the front wheel and your hip, you’re not actually carrying the weight of the dirt bike with your hip.
Here is a video demonstrating what I just explained:
How NOT to Put a Dirt Bike on a Stand
I’m not sure why he does it, but on pit bikes, my brother just grabs the bar pad with one hand and the rear fender with his other hand and lifts the dirt bike up on a stand. Don’t do it that way.
A few other things you should not do to put a dirt bike on a stand is to use the exhaust or chain to lift the bike.
If the dirt bike hasn’t been run, it can be okay to use the exhaust to lift the dirt bike rather than the rear fender. But, if the dirt bike was just ridden, you do not want to be touching the exhaust — it’ll be very hot, even with your gloves on.
For the chain, you don’t really have to worry about it being hot or cold or even it breaking. Instead, you have to worry about your bike rolling on you while you’re putting it on the stand. This could cause your hands to get jammed in the sprockets or chain guide. This can do serious damage to your fingers and hands depending just how fast the chain moves.