Intelligent design at prehistoric prices
T-Rex Racing front and rear motorcycle stands are quite inexpensive. If you opt for their most basic set in either red or black powder coat, you’ll only pay $109.90 for the pair. Currently, the company is even including a set of swingarm spools with this deal. This package price is less than some companies ask for just one stand! In fact, we’ve become so conditioned to the idea that stands should cost $150 each that we wondered if the T-Rex product would be of sufficient quality to get the job done in a racetrack environment. Time for a test!
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Over the past few years, the “Alpha Dog” of motorcycle stand companies has been engaging in rightfully aggressive litigation to defend its signature design.
It’s clear that if you want to get into the motorcycle stand business these days, you’d better avoid stealing someone else’s design. Still, a motorcycle stand is a pretty basic device. You need a handle, wheels to provide a pivot point and some sort of device for grabbing the bike’s forks or swingarm. Coming up with a new motorcycle stand design is a bit like trying to invent a new hammer. You don’t want to copy the competition but at the same time, how much different can one hammer be from the next?
In their effort to create a unique product, T-Rex Racing has come up with some outstanding design features. For starters, their stands bolt together; no doubt to make them less expensive to ship. Why would this be helpful to you as the end user? The most basic pair of stands that we tested, which would be suitable for the majority of Japanese sportbikes with spooled swingarms and radial brakes, arrived in a box two feet square by six inches tall. We’ve seen riders towing their bikes to the track on tiny, single rail trailers behind compact cars. If cargo space is at a premium in your tow rig, these stands can be unbolted and stuffed behind a seat for your trip to the track. (Editor's Note: If you'd rather have solid stands that do not have the bolt-together feature ,those are available for the same price. Because they are more bulky, you'll be required to pay an extra $5.00 for shipping. Isn't choice a great thing?)
The jaws on a T-Rex Racing rear stand look like… well, they look like T-Rex claws! Their extended hooks make it easier to grab the swingarm spools when preparing to lift your machine. Once engaged, you push on the handle and the spools slide down the hooks, depositing them neatly into the notches and holding your bike securely. These jaws are adjusted with knobs, rather than bolts. If you use your stands with more than one machine, you’ll be thankful that you don’t need to head back to the toolbox for a wrench every time you decide to use them for a different bike.
Our T-Rex front stand came with just a single lifting post on each side. At first, we thought that there had been some kind of mistake in the shipping department, since we'd always seen a pair of posts on each side of other brands. When we read the instructions, (You never do that first, right?) we discovered that this design is considered by T-Rex to be superior for lifting bikes equipped with radial brakes. We tried it and wow! They’re absolutely right. No futzing around trying to get the stand into proper alignment; just place a lug beneath each caliper mount and lift away. Very nice indeed.
The base of a T-Rex rear stand is wider than that of the competition, giving it a more stable footprint. Both stands feature dual wheels on each side and rubber feet at the rear of the hoop where it contacts the ground. Once lifted, your bike isn’t going anywhere.
The handles on T-Rex Racing front and rear stands unbolt, which is very convenient if you use them on a work table. It also eliminates a potential trip hazard if you have to stuff your bike back into a corner for winter storage.
We had exactly one problem with our T-Rex Racing stands. When we got them, the wheels didn’t want to roll. It should be pointed out that we assembled and tested them in a garage that was at 25 degrees Fahrenheit; an environment so cold that the bike was even hard to push! We popped off the wheels and added a bit of grease, solving the problem. This likely wouldn’t have been an issue in warmer weather.
T-Rex Racing stands are quite sturdy and showcase design elements that we haven’t seen before. Rather than just making the product different from the competition, these features are actually improvements. Options are available for adapting these stands to hold bikes that don’t have spools and there is another stand available to lift the bike from its steering head for fork work. The T-Rex Racing website, at http://www.t-rex-racing.com/ also offers stands to fit machines with unusual requirements, such as Ducatis and even the Yamaha V-Max. If powder coat isn’t your thing, you can opt for a gold galvanized finish for an extra five bucks. The company also offers frame slider kits and swingarm spools. At their price point, we had expected these T-Rex Racing stands to be cheaply made but were very pleasantly surprised. Though they are inexpensive, they are not cut rate. We’ve decided to make them the dedicated stands for our heavy metal Literbike Lust GSXR 1000 project bike and will thrash them mercilessly for the 2011 track season. What do we think of the T-Rex Racing stands after our initial review? We’ve decided to buy a spare set to keep around the workshop. You never know when you’ll need an extra set of stands and at $109.90 for a pair, we can finally afford this convenience!