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Hey folks,
Very new strom owner here. My '12 is bone stock with about 4k miles on it and I'm thinking I'd like to swap the tires out.

Now for the stupid question- how do I get this bike off the ground? I have a motorcycle jack that I use for my sportster, but it doesn't look like I can use that without maybe hurting some things and I dont have a center stand.
 

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Center stand is what I use for the rear. Center stand and a floor jack for the front.
Spools and a lift stand is probably best without a center stand. Some are known to lift it from the ceiling with ropes and pulleys.
 

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The stand used on the Sportster might be used if you took a piece of plywood w/ shims under the motor.
 

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I invested in the pit bull. It is rock solid for a rear lift especially when paired with a wheel chock up front. Easy to use and can be adapted to other bikes.
 

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I have had a number of bikes that did not have a center stand. what I have done involves either 2 automotive jackstands or 2 sturdy milkcrates. with the bike on the side stand put a jackstand or milk crate under the opposite side of the bike. under the frame or non folding part of the foot peg. with the other jackstand or milk crate near the side stand lift the side stand side of the bike up with the handlebars. with your foot slide the jackstand or milkcrate under the frame or the nonfolding part of the foot peg. you may need to use a couple pieces of wood to get enough height. loosen the axle nut before raising the bike so that you don't shake things while it is off the ground. after you have got the rear tire off and back on then use an automotive jack and a piece if wood under the engine or skid plate to raise the front wheel off the ground. Again loosen the axle before raising the bike.

You may be a red neck if one of your most prized possessions is a matched set of milk crates.
 

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A main stand just makes everything so much easier and stable - especially when removing wheels, and it goes with you wherever you go. Its weight is low down, so why not?
 

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Just ahead of the rear axle are two threaded bosses that will take stand spools. They are cheap on Amazon or Ebay. Then get a race stand. I have a 50 dollar Princess Auto(Harbor Freight) one that works very well. I put an ATV lift under my bash plate to work on the front end. Leave some load on the race stand and it is very stable. With out a bash plate you could use some wood blocks to shim under the engine but should strap the bike to the lift.
 

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I would try to sort out using the lift. So nice to get the both ends up in the air. Fork work etc. On my '13 650 I have a weld86 skid plate and let that take some of the front end weight. I also have the OEM CC but you should be able to come up with some sturdy support in that area. You do have to make sure you are nicely balanced and that is does not tip when the front or the back is off. I have always used the lift on the left side so I use the CC for sprocket/chain work. YMMV
 

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I bought a front stand off craigslist for $25 and spools for the back.

For lifting the front I followed a forum members suggestion.

1) Get an 8' 2x10 and put two eye bolts in each end
2) Place on the ground perpendicular to the bike
2) place back tire on 2x10: in the middle with equal amount of board on right and left hand side of bike
3) use two straps to hold bike upright...from eye bolt to rear passenger grab bar
4) take your time and cinch them up until bike is upright and stable
5) lift front end with jack

Sounds a bit sketchy but after setting this up and doing it? Made a lot of sense and was very secure.
 

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As others said, a centerstand is very handy. Once you have that, a jack under the engine will lift the front, or a heavy weight on the rear.
If you go with stands, Pitbull brand is very good for quality of build and materials. Others will work, but as with any tool, a high quality one will last decades while a cheap one will not stand up to constant use. According to a customer service rep, the front stand was redesigned in 2012 to accomodate the larger 19" wheel found on most adventure bikes, so be sure you get the right one.
Whatever you decide, be aware those original tires are at least 8 yrs old, and not trustworty for long trips or wet roads.
 

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So even if the bike has lived in a garage for those years the tires still degrade? Just asking as I just got my hands on a 2013 with 2.8k miles on it that was garaged its whole life.
 

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Lift Stand

Center stand is what I use for the rear. Center stand and a floor jack for the front.
Spools and a lift stand is probably best without a center stand. Some are known to lift it from the ceiling with ropes and pulleys.
As nvr2old points out, if you don't have a center stand, a lift stand and spools for the rear work great. Harbor Freight sells a very serviceable lift stand for only $41.99. Some people can lift a bike onto a lift stand all by themselves, but I prefer having a helper for safety.
 

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I got the Pitbull rear stand and spools. Expensive, but what a nice piece of hardware. Centerstand would be nice but I also need to service my wife's bike (Ninja 400) so got spools for each. I just stick a 2X4 under the kickstand to get the bike near vertical, then it is easy to get it on the lift. When lowering, the stand handle gives total control so you can let it down easy and don't even need the 2X4. 1 person job no problem.
 

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Harbor Freight has a mini floor jack (just like its automotive full size cousins) for $30. It's a joy to use because its so small and light. I use it on all of my bikes to lift the front wheel up (if the center stand does not). You will need a block of wood so you don't scratch/damage the oil sump. I think its rated for 2 tons, so you could likely toss it in the trunk of your car if you habitually get flats.
 

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So even if the bike has lived in a garage for those years the tires still degrade? Just asking as I just got my hands on a 2013 with 2.8k miles on it that was garaged its whole life.
You need to be careful. Years of hot and cold and the exposure to light will have caused those tires to go hard.
Inspect them very carefully after going on a short ride. If there are any cracks or other signs of deterioration they MUST be replaced. They may still be usable BUT they will not have the same level of grip and may be unsafe for high speed freeway riding. That is when they will fail. Abruptly. That is why they can be so dangerous.
 

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Both a factory center stand and a set of stands are good options, the front & rear stands will get the bike up higher and hold it completely stable for jobs like removing wheels and servicing brakes. The bike already has the threaded holes and attachment points for the center stand, just pick one up off Ebay or even new from Suzuki, they aren't terribly expensive. I've had my pit bull stands for about 12 years now and they're great, I have front pins for four different bikes at the moment and I still need to pick one up for the DL.

As for the tires question, for me it's a matter of cheap insurance. Sorta like your helmet. Plenty of people find many helmet brands to be horrendously expensive. For me it's not a question of the cost of the helmet, rather your skull. What's your head worth to you? My head isn't always as useful as I'd like it to be, but the warranty is expired so I can't replace it anymore, so I try to take care of it. Tires, for me, are of the same philosophy. They are the last word in your having a good day and a bad day when it comes to being on or in any kind of motor vehicle. I bought my 98 VFR five years ago with tires on it that looked great but were 8 years old. I insisted on replacements. It just isn't worth the risk, a tire is a dynamic machine, there are a lot of factors you can't see and you also can't test, especially with modern tires. For me coughing up the money for new tires is cheap insurance, Murphy is always watching.
 

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"You may be a red neck if one of your most prized possessions is a matched set of milk crates."

Guilty! but the sky hook or a convenient rafter to hang a hoist is worth a couple beers.
It helps if those milk crates are the metal frame kind. The plastic ones get brittle after a few years an a failure is upsetting when they collapse.
 
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