Milk Crate Work Stands
These work stand designs both are based on one I once saw being used to hold up a neat cutaway 650 Yamaha at a swap meet in Germany a few years ago. (It was Saturday, Oct. 11, 2009, and these are some trip notes about the event: By about 3:30 pm we’d found our planned destination, the worlds largest motorcycle swap meet. Veterama Ludwigshafen. It was huge…bigger than anything I’ve ever seen. Supposedly 100,000 persons over a five day period. Felt like a thousand vendors or more. Massive beyond massive with a range of goods from the latest carbon fiber trinketed crotch rockets to brass fittings for 1899 bicycles. Piles of treasures, as far as one could walk. The amount of exotic and junk items was simply unbelievable. We walked around this event until dark.)
That’s where the idea came from. And these work stands became a wonderful way to get most motorcycles up off the ground a little, for easier maintenance and at a far lower cost, and with several hundred pounds less mass and bulk, than the commercial-style electric/hydraulic work stands.
You would not believe how elevating the motorcycle only this much (about a foot) makes working on it so much easier. Doesn’t matter what you need to do, everything is way easier. And when the work is done these are lightweight enough to be simply picked up and stored out of the way until they are needed again.
The ‘two crate’ version is the lightest and simplest: It’s just a loading ramp section plus two crates that fit beneath platforms which are attached to a reinforced aluminum rail, plus a few other parts.
The ‘three crate’ model is a full crate-width service platform made with strong aluminum, and it’s a bit easier to use for a variety of different kinds of maintenance jobs, but it’s also slightly bulkier and heavier to move around and store away. Still easy enough for one person to pick up, though.
Along with a simple scissor jack, either stand makes doing fine tire and fluid changes a hell of a lot easier (and a lot more comfortable) compared to doing these types of jobs squatting on the floor of your garage.
Besides their storing away in almost no space, if you’ve got the inclination to keep your bike inside of your home somewhere to view off-season, elevating it for display using one of these stands (especially the two crate model) improves the ‘art of the machine’ effect by at least 1000%. It’s very satisfying, even if your front hall, dining room or living room isn’t large.”