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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Look what Santa brought ........

Since buying the Suzuki in October, using the paddock stand which was purchased for the Street Triple has been a perilous activity.  The swingarm lifting bobbins on the Suzuki are significantly lower than on the Triple.  What this means in practical terms is that you need muscles like the Incredible Hulk to rotate the paddock stand over centre and get the rear wheel off the deck.  Because the bike only has a side stand, it means that you have to hold the bike vertically with one hand to engage the bobbins whilst pushing down on the stand with the other.  A recipe for disaster if ever there was one and the one heart-stopping moment was one too many!

A casual conversation with fellow IAM member Rob Van Proemeren (cheers mate!) revealed that he had bought a UK-made ABBA Superbike stand for his Hayabusa and was well-satisfied with how easy it was to use, plus the excellent stability it gave the bike.  What's more, there was an ABBA agent based in Nelson, NZ - Christmas present from Jennie solved!

Today was the first opportunity I've had to try it out and what a dream it is to use!  The system doesn't use swingarm bobbins but instead, locates on the swingarm pivot shaft to lift from - a totally secure method. Referring to the photo below, the stand consists of two main parts which clamp together.  When ordering, you state the make and model of the bike and they send the correct attachments to lock onto the swingarm pivot.

ABBA Superbike stand components

Assembling it is a piece of cake.  The left hand part of the stand is engaged onto the pivot whilst the bike is on its side stand and the handle extended for good leverage.

Left hand component put into place

Same procedure for the right hand component, sliding it over the left hand one and tightening the thumbscrew.  Any slack is taken out by turning the large screw until it's a snug fit.

Right hand component locked in place

The next step is to hold the bike vertically with one hand on the handlebars.  It can't fall as it's supported by the stand.  Simply pull forward on the extended lever and up it pops with minimal effort!

Raised rear and rock solid!

Rear view

Forward view

The stand provides a perfectly stable platform for cleaning, chain lubing and adjustment or whatever.  I'm anal about wheel alignment so it also provides support for my home-built laser alignment rig ( SEE HERE ). There is an additional attachment which allows both wheels to be lifted clear of the ground at the same time and that is shown in the photos below.  As well as being able to remove the front wheel without a front paddock stand or some other form of jury-rigging, it will be perfect for taking accurate suspension extension measurements.  At present, the standard suspension settings are far too harsh for my weight and general NZ road conditions.  Taking front and rear suspension extension measurements is the first step in properly setting up the suspension for my specific needs.  As well as better handling and a more comfortable ride, correctly set up suspension can also significantly increase tyre life.  All these benefits from buying a decent stand - who'd have thought it!!!

Finally, a plug for the NZ agent  who was a pleasure to deal with.  Rapid service and a great product - this is their website: ABBA Stands NZ

Both wheels clear of the deck with easy to use attachment

Front view with both wheels clear

16 comments:

  1. Thats an interesting bit of kit you got yourself there young Geoffery.
    It looks like it will give better access around the rear tyre for changing tyres, brake pads, chains etc.

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    1. It's good all right Steve! You won't dislodge the bike heaving on a big spanner and there are some good demos on YouTube. It's being able to lift both wheels at once with the attachment which really interests me.

      Hope your Yamaha fix goes smoothly!

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  2. Looks like an ideal Xmas prezzie Geoff...

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    1. Couldn't be better Rob - just wish I'd bought the other component straight away. Will fix that in the next few days. Thanks again for the heads-up!

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  3. Such an amazing bike! Love the color and frame work. Wish I owned a bike as beautiful as this one.

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    1. Thank you Tommy! A bit of an impulse purchase but it worked out well. Didn't think I'd like a matte finish paint but it's really easy to keep clean too. Best wishes for 2016.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Nikos and happy 2016! Hope that you escaped the worst of the weather in the north west.

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    2. I'm hiding in Germany where the weather has been impeccable. Happy 2016 to you and yours too!

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    3. Sounds an excellent plan, especially all that wonderful German Christmas food and drink! Mind those brain cells ;-)

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  5. Looks like a far safer process than the conventional paddock stand. I really like the look of that front lift arm. Currently I don't have any safe method to lift the front of the ZX14 to take the front wheel out. I was left unimpressed by the tyre fitter who jacked my bike up from under the exhaust headers last time I had a new front fitted! I've been looking for a safe method of front lift and the front paddock stands are not ideal for a 260kg best like mine.

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    1. Hi Jules,
      Yep, that's what I like too. I'll see if I can find a photo of Rob Van Proemeren's Hayabusa with the front lift arm in place.

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  6. That looks like a nice sturdy stand. Now you have no excuse not to clean the chain. Happy New Year to you and Jennie.

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    1. Hahaha! Maxima Chain Wax lube is almost self-cleaning but I've never needed an excuse to clean bikes - very therapeutic.

      And all the best to you and Brad for 2016.

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  7. Come on Geoff, how's the big Suzi gelling with you now you've had it a little while? I've still got my eye on one though I'm liking the red and black colour scheme myself.

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  8. Hi Lee!
    Nothing has really changed since my 2000 km review post on Nov 20th. Blindingly fast, overkill for what I want/need for a bike. The Street Triple was pretty much the perfect bike for me but don't get me wrong, this bike is serious fun.

    As it's a naked sport bike, you can forget about passenger comfort - it will wreck relationships :-). OEM D214 back tyre has lasted for a touch over 3500 km - eek! Grips well in hot dry conditions, crap in the wet. PR4's getting fitted this Weds and all will be well. Engine is quite lumpy at small throttle openings - not brilliant for commuting but it's fine for my location.

    I'd have thought that adding one to your magnificent stable would be a bit pointless. Your Sprint GT might not handle quite so quickly and be a touch short on top end power but in the "real world", there isn't much difference. Still, when did rational argument count for anything when we fancy a new bike? ;-)

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