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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been debating on the type of front stand I want to buy. I used to have a headlift stand for my old bike but when I sold that bike I gave stands away (a mistake in retrospect). I went through a few other forums and tried to understand the pros and cons between the types of front stands but still I don't have a definitive answer.

Headlift stand (attaches and lifts from the triple tree) takes weight off the front forks, allows for removal and maintenance of front forks, can steer freely, and is more stable. However, putting on this type of stand takes more time, and has potential to scratch front wheel fairing. The forklift stand (lifts from underneath the fork ends at the front wheel) has essentially the opposite pros and cons.

Am I missing any other pros and cons?

I don't think I will ever do fork maintenance on my own. Personally, the deciding factor is whether or not I need to take weight off the front forks. Being in a region with winters, the bike can be in storage for months at a time. Do forks benefit from having weight taken off them? Can I do harm to the forks by always keeping them compressed or having them uncompressed for long periods of time?
 

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I think you already answered your own question. You don't need a headlift stand if you don't intend on doing fork work or adjusting them up or down withing the triple clamps. What you may want to consider is a hybrid front stand where you could purchase the headlift option at a later date. I have one of those from Pit-Bull. Suspension is a non-issue for winter storage. Keeping the tire off the floor to avoid a flat-spot damage is all you need to do.

Hybrid Forklift Stand
https://www.pit-bull.com/ducati-mot...rid-forklift-motorcycle-front-stand-f0100-100

Fork lift Converter
https://www.pit-bull.com/ducati-mot...s/ducati-899-959/forklift-converter-f0015-002
 

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Just a heads up, you can't lift the 959 with the Hybrid stand like in the picture if you are going to take off the front wheel. You will need to lift it by the brake sanctions, because the pinch bolts face down not forward. I'm not sure if you loosen them first before lifting will do the trick, I didn't because I thought the axle might spin. But it is a safe method to lift, just kinda looks sketchy.
 

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Just a heads up, you can't lift the 959 with the Hybrid stand like in the picture if you are going to take off the front wheel. You will need to lift it by the brake sanctions, because the pinch bolts face down not forward.
Very true, here's the location (pink circles where the stand lifts) @Forewarned is referring to:


Irrelevant, but still related, you can't remove the front wheel with the headlift unless you rotate the handlebars because the axle doesn't clear the stand - now that is sketchy.



Headlift stand ... is more stable.
I would say this isn't true, but marginally so. I've sat on my bike while on headlift and it feels significantly more sketchy than when it is on the forklift.

However, putting on [the headlift] type of stand takes more time, and has potential to scratch front wheel fairing.
This is true, kind of a pain in the *** to line up. I haven't looked at fender, but I'm sure if I did, I'd see some scratches. The headlift arm is wrapped in a thin rubber material, similar to what's on the handle which helps, but its still a tight fit when putting the stand into place.

The forklift stand (lifts from underneath the fork ends at the front wheel) has essentially the opposite pros and cons.
I wouldn't say they have opposite pros and cons, its just that one does one thing better than the other, but at the end of the day, they both do great at their jobs.


I don't think I will ever do fork maintenance on my own. Personally, the deciding factor is whether or not I need to take weight off the front forks. Being in a region with winters, the bike can be in storage for months at a time. Do forks benefit from having weight taken off them? Can I do harm to the forks by always keeping them compressed or having them uncompressed for long periods of time?
Fork maintenance (in particular any service that requires removal of a fork tube) is the only reason why you will use headlift stand. There is absolutely no benefit to unloading any suspension component for storage. Damping systems only experience stress under dynamic movement and aren't effected in static scenarios, so the only stressed component are the springs. Springs won't be damaged (ie. plastically deform) unless they get catastrophically bottomed out, at which point other stuff has broken.


You gain some benefit from unloading the tires during storage, but that's also null because flat spots don't develop unless its stationary for years on very old tires. Even so, you can move your bike a couple of inches once per 3-5 months and the tire will elastically rebound and be good.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks DJ Shrug. Your thorough answers were exactly what I was looking for. I feel much more comfortable using forklift stand and not bothering with the headlift stand now.

There is a very small chance I'll work on forks in the future, so I'll get a front stand that can be adapted to the headlift per DarR's suggestion.

Pitbulls are a pricey option. My past stands were the GPI Industries ones and they did their job well. They are made from a single tube of steel, I never trusted those stands that are pieces bolted together.

In case anyone is interested, these are the ones I'm going for
https://www.gpiindustries.com/product-page/front-and-rear-stand-set
 

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Thanks DJ Shrug. Your thorough answers were exactly what I was looking for. I feel much more comfortable using forklift stand and not bothering with the headlift stand now.

There is a very small chance I'll work on forks in the future, so I'll get a front stand that can be adapted to the headlift per DarR's suggestion.

Pitbulls are a pricey option. My past stands were the GPI Industries ones and they did their job well. They are made from a single tube of steel, I never trusted those stands that are pieces bolted together.

In case anyone is interested, these are the ones I'm going for
https://www.gpiindustries.com/product-page/front-and-rear-stand-set
Your reasoning makes sense. I'm only planning to use the headlift option on my wife's 300 where the forks have been raised withing the triple clamps.
In hindsight, it was an unnecessary additional expense for now but I have that option.
BTW, the Pit-Bull may be more expensive than what you're contemplating but is in high demand in the secondary market with very little depreciation should you want to sell it later. m2c.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW, the Pit-Bull may be more expensive than what you're contemplating but is in high demand in the secondary market with very little depreciation should you want to sell it later. m2c.
Good point, DarR. I checked my local craigslist for stands and there's actually a set of pitbull stands. Fingers crossed.
 

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For me the head-lift stand makes anything to do with servicing the bike easier. The front wheel, pinch bolts, brake pads, forks, etc.. all easier to access / change. As mentioned above, you do need to turn the bars to allow the axle to slide out, but it's not an issue whatsoever.

As far as ease of use, the standard stands are much quicker, but you do get used to placing the head-left the more you use it. lol! I use a single peg (rear stand) to raise the front in between sessions while at the track. (see pic) I always bring the head-lift though in case I need to work on anything.

Also, I have heard that a big reason to lift your wheels during cold storage is having your tires resting on the cold pavement will remove some of their elasticity. Not sure how true that is...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought I'd just throw the question out there since it's related to this topic: are there potential issues with using the forklift for winter storage? We are putting weight on the fork ends and perhaps the forkends aren't designed to hold the weight of the bike for a long period of time.

I have the same question for using headlifts and having the triple three hold the weight of the bike for a long period of time.

I've read that people have used both for winter storage without issues, but maybe some of you may have thoughts.
 

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There is another thread on here specifically regarding that if you want to search for it. No, no potential issues, forks loaded from the side stand, from rear stand, or from the forklift stand are almost identical from a force standpoint.

Headlift is different in that you unload the forks, but really doesn't affect any parts, aside from changing where the fork seals rest. You could argue that it will help with fork oil seals with the reduced air gap pressure, but that is such a minuscule improvement at best. If you have leaking forks, it might help, but at that point, you should really fix the problem at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is another thread on here specifically regarding that if you want to search for it. No, no potential issues, forks loaded from the side stand, from rear stand, or from the forklift stand are almost identical from a force standpoint.

Headlift is different in that you unload the forks, but really doesn't affect any parts, aside from changing where the fork seals rest. You could argue that it will help with fork oil seals with the reduced air gap pressure, but that is such a minuscule improvement at best. If you have leaking forks, it might help, but at that point, you should really fix the problem at hand.
What you are saying makes sense. Whether we load/unload weight within the forks during storage has a negligible difference.

My previous question was trying to get at the actual fork ends. Without a forklift, the weight of the bike rests on the tire. With a forklift, the weight of the bike instead rests on the point where the forklift touches the fork ends. I was curious if that weight on the fork ends could in any way be harmful. I'm guessing no, since many people have done it.
 

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No difference there either. When comparing forklift vs tire on ground, the only difference is that the tire-rim-wheel bearings-axle is unloaded. The consequence there is that now the force is loaded onto that contact point you're referring to, which is pretty beefy to begin with to withstand typical riding forces.
 
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No difference there either. When comparing forklift vs tire on ground, the only difference is that the tire-rim-wheel bearings-axle is unloaded. The consequence there is that now the force is loaded onto that contact point you're referring to, which is pretty beefy to begin with to withstand typical riding forces.
Thanks for clarifying.
I assumed that the was the case, but the confirmation is very appreciated.
 
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