Lift the Ninja 1000 with Vortex Paddock Stands

Rear Stand

ninja-vortex-stand-006After coming perilously close to ordering a generic rear stand on Amazon, my brother emailed to say he had come by a set of Vortex stands that he didn't need. Would I like them for dirt cheap? Does a bear sh.... Yes. Yes I'd love them.

Being completely new to owning a bike without a centerstand (at least since I started doing all my own maintenance), I had some learnin' to do about how these things work. Here's what I've learned, thanks in part to the great folks at riderforums.

I knew that the rear stand lifted on spools bolted to the inserts welded to the underside of the swingarms at the factory. That was pretty straight-forward. All I needed to do was expand the Vortex stand's adjusters to maximum width. To get the rear off the ground, carefully stand the bike vertical, engaging the spools with the lift's notched plates, and lever downward. Here's a good video of the process if you haven't seen it done before.

I'm using T-Rex Racing spools that came "free" with the frame and fork sliders I bought. They're known to have clearance issues with the Ninja's stock exhaust (as most standard swingarm spools do). It's important to always remove the swingarm spools before riding the bike, or you'll end up with dented exhaust at best or with your threaded inserts torn off the swingarms at worst. I leave a glove or something on the end of the lift's handle as a reminder. My stand came with some very small aluminum spools, but I could tell that using them would allow the stand's plates to scar up my swingarms.

Front Stand

ninja-vortex-stand-003My front stand came with a triple-clamp lift pin marked with a 6 or a 9. I'm not sure which it is, but neither seem to correspond with the pin's actual diameter. I did some Googling and found out that the Ninja takes a 27mm pin, which is on the larger side of the range.

As I'm far too impatient to wait around for Amazon with something simple like that, I decided to find something in my garage to get things happening sooner. I found that a 21mm or 3/4" socket fit nicely in the triple-clamp pin hole. Since my stand's only pin option was about 5/8" in diameter I decided to grind some flats on it to make it fit a 1/2"-drive socket (see photos below).

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Notice that the pin is mounted in the stand at an upward angle. It can be mounted either way, and this method prevents the stand bar from contacting and putting pressure on the underside of the headlight housing.

To lift the front, start by removing the rubber dirt plug from the opening in the bottom of the triple-clamp. Prevent fender damage by laying a thick towel or pad on the fender. I wasn't as concerned about scuffing the underside of the headlight as it has a matte finish and it's not really visible anyway. Now manipulate the stand's top arm and the pin into position between the front fender and the headlight housing. These photos show the pin hole and the position of the stand once the bike is lifted:

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Work the pin back and up into the triple-clamp's hole. It may be necessary to gently lift the nose of the bike to get the angles right. Having the pin oriented as I described earlier makes it a bit tricky to get in, but it lifts without risking damage to the bike. Make sure the entire socket slides into the hole before you apply any lifting pressure, then lever the stand's handle down to the floor.

There you have it. Lowering is the reverse of this procedure. Again, you may need to lift the nose gently to get the socket out of the hole. Be sure to put the sidestand down and have a firm grip on the bike, and a solid, wide foot stance, before lowering the rear.

Here are product links for reference only:

Vortex Front Race Stand - Street Bike - Motorcycle Superstore
Vortex Rear Stand - Street Bike - Motorcycle Superstore

Happy riding!