How many times or for that matter, how many videos have we all seen depicting extraordinary usage of ratchet straps? We have witnessed these magnificent straps taking down trees, moving cars, holding up babies and yes supporting our beloved motorcycles!
But what do you do when you own a set of these incredible little straps and have documented their usage for everything under the sun except for the very specific need of somehow supporting your own little motorcycle? Well… You mess around with them until you come up with something!
At this particular time, yours truly, does not have the larger garage space to accommodate a motorcycle stand which would fit properly either in usage or for its storage within a small town home’s utility area. Like so many, living in a city, I can afford such equipment but I cannot afford the space. So recently, when I needed to remove both wheels from my little Ninja 250, I experimented like crazy crap!
Pulling the mechanical hand jack from the spare tire area of my car and adding a small thin layer of ¾ inch corrugated cardboard in between the worm gear hand jack and the bottom belly oil filter area of the engine, I was able to lift the front of the motorcycle up about 3 to 4 inches.
Raising and removing the front wheel first, I had a more industrial type of milk crate at the ready as well as a few super strong quick ties. After removing the front wheel I reinserted the font Axel and secured the front fork to the crate.
Once the front wheel was removed and the crate secure, it was very easy to access the rear wheel. It has to be said that this exercise still was a bit dangerous. There was the possibility that the motorcycle could’ve been hit or abruptly bumped from side to side and a tip over could have resulted. I was very careful! Also I’d like to note here that while using breaker bars etc the motorcycle did want to whinnie upwards or move a bit while wrenching.
All this is to say that the use of ratchet straps seems endless! But, in an overly safe society all forewarning
is included here. I am not a professional mechanic,
professional consultant, life consultant, coach, expert, master journeyman, psychologist, Dr., Technician or certified Kawasaki mechanic. You take your life into your own hands! I did, and now I have new tires installed with nice new clean wheels!
Incorporating two orange ratchet straps that are rated at about 400 to 500 pounds each, I carefully and evenly ratcheted the tops of the chromed upper portion of the front forks and securely attached the straps to the already lowered and secured center stand. I determined that the straps would not only keep the front fork even, but would also keep the center stand from collapse in case it were to be rocked or jarred accidentely etc. I should note here that I also raised the bike up by ¾ inches with a couple of spare ¾ inch plywood base pieces of wood. My idea here was that if all else fails I would still be able to rock or raise either end of the bike enough to remove the axles, even if it required an extra hand or two. But in this exercise I truly intended and succeeded in doing this without any help.
What I discovered essentially is that the Ninja 250 is light enough to be supported without the use of hydraulics or anything fancy. I realize that many home mechanics and professionals alike already know how lightweight these and other bikes of its class are, but I wish to stress here that I did not have the anchor spots or ability to permanently attach any equipment to the floor or upwards at the joists of my garage.