Classic Motorcycle Build

DIY Harley Engine Stand

Article by Mark Trotta

If you'll be working on a motorcycle engine for a while, an engine stand is invaluable.

DIY motorcycle engine stand

I built this stand for a Harley 45 Flathead, but it will also accept Harley Big-Twins 1936 to 1999 (Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead, and aftermarket engines). Sportster engines are different and won't fit.

motorcycle engine stand project

The engine stand was made from old scrap metal I had around the garage.

motorcycle engine stand welding project

The angle iron is actually from an old bed-frame.

Harley V-twin motorcycle engine stand

Measure twice, cut once!

Harley engine stand

A 3/16" thick metal plate provides sufficient strength for the sides.

Plan Before Cutting Metal

This project began after I sketched out a few different designs on paper. Drawing it out gives you a good visual of what the finished stand should look like.

motorcycle engine stand welding project

For the engine stand feet, I cut the length of angle iron with a die grinder. The sides were made from a piece of 3/16" x 5" metal.

Harley engine stand

Fitting The Metal Together

After cutting the parts to exact size, I used a T-square to square up the pieces. Notice the 90-degree magnet to hold the metal in place while tack welding.

DIY motorcycle engine stand project

Tack-Weld Pieces Together

Clamp and make a good ground with the brass ground clamp.

motorcycle engine stand welding project

After the bolt holes were drilled the stand was checked for fit.

Harley engine stand

The stand was then sprayed with a few coats of primer and paint.

motorcycle engine stand welding project

No it's not Harley Orange, it's Allis Chalmers Orange!

Harley V-twin motorcycle engine stand

Chevy Orange engine paint would also work.

DIY motorcycle engine stand

An unintended benefit of using the angle iron was the pre-drilled holes. If the need arose, the engine stand can be solid-mounted to a work bench with two or more holes, or loosely mounted with just the one hole, which would allow the stand to be rotated around.

Equipment Used For This Project: