Classic Motorcycle Build

Motorcycle Work Stand

Article by Mark Trotta

If buying a motorcycle lift stand is not in the budget, consider making a motorcycle work stand. They can be built from wood or from metal.

DIY motorcycle work stand

The stand in my garage was designed and built by a local fabricator. It was built before lift stands were commonly available.

Work Stand Dimensions

Work Stand Construction

The six-inch metal channels that make up the stand frame were from warehouse pallet shelves. After measuring and cutting, the pieces were MIG welded together with an old Miller 250 (from before they started making welders with a lot of electronics in them).

The metal was cleaned with acetone, sprayed with oxide primer, then blue enamel, then clear-coated.

motorcycle work stand

The stand rolls on casters and has a shelf underneath to store parts.

Average table height for a motorcycle work stand seems to be around 24" to 26". This stand sits at 36", which is good for me, because I'm six-feet tall and like to work standing up.

DIY motorcycle work stand

Take a close look at the wheel pockets - both front and rear pockets were fabricated from the front bumper of a 1997 Chevy Blazer. The rear pocket is removable with a wing-nut bolt.

motorcycle work stand rear wheel pocket

Motorcycle Scissor Jacks

A scissor frame jack is needed to lift the bike up off the work table for tasks like tire removal, oil changes, and chain lubing. A standard automotive scissor jack may work, but a proper scissor jack is fairly inexpensive.

The Extreme Max Scissor Jack extends up to 14" height and is easily operated with a socket or a wrench. It has a lift capacity of 1,100 pounds, which is good for most sport bikes, but not really enough for a cruiser.

motorcycle scissor jack

Shop: Extreme Max Scissor Jack

The Black Widow BW-1604A is a compact and simple center lift scissor jack made for motorcycles. The jack has a lift capacity of 1,100 pounds and operated with a socket or a wrench.

motorcycle scissor lift jack

Shop: Black Widow Scissor Jack

Having a motorcycle scissor jack can also be an inexpensive way to store your bike long-term without flat-spotting the tires.


Lift Stand vs Work Table

The down-side to this work stand is, to get the bike on and off, I have to clear about 20 feet of room, attach the C-channel ramp to the back, and find someone to help me guide the bike up or down.

DIY motorcycle work stand

Another negative is that I can't change the height of the bike. A motorcycle lift stand would make all that much easier.

motorcycle lift stand review

Read: Motorcycle Lift Table Review

Garage Footprint

Consider where you will keep it or store a work stand--it'll take up quite a bit of floor space.

Another advantage of a lift stand is that you can park a motorcycle on it when it's down.


set up garage workshop

On the sides of my work stand I keep a set of wood ramps.

inexpensive pickup truck ramps