Pit Bull, based in Huntsville, Alabama, is one of those companies seemingly incapable of producing anything but eye-popping quality. Ever since I bought my first Pit Bull stand 22 years ago, I’ve marveled at their consistently exemplary craftsmanship and functionality; I can’t imagine buying anyone else’s stands. I now own so many Pit Bull products I have to hang them on my garage walls to reclaim large swaths of floor space. Fortunately, Pit Bull makes bespoke hangers ($23.95-44.95) for their stands, and even offers two trim levels: simple racks for shop use, and kits with additional anchors and bungees to keep everything securely hung inside your trailer.
Despite my F 800 GT’s possession of a center stand, I felt uneasy with no other way to lift the rear wheel off the ground. Yes, the center stand is wonderfully convenient and suffices for most needs, but it creates an inherently unstable teeter-totter fulcrum and does not allow the removal of both wheels at once (e.g., to carry them into a shop for tire changes and avoid R&R fees). It also doesn’t permit the use of a front stand, which requires a raised and immobilized rear end to operate safely. If you feel similarly, or your single-sided swingarm bike doesn’t have a center stand, I highly recommend Pit Bull’s One-Arm Rear Stand (OAR).
This device comes in three pieces: a base structure with heavy-duty four-inch wheels, a long handle which can be attached to point forward or backward, and a thick pin designed to mate perfectly with your motorcycle’s hollow rear axle. It’s worth noting this pin rotates within a set of ball-bearings pressed into the base structure, allowing smooth, easy wheel rotation in the raised position. All the different model-specific pins can be swapped out, so changing from one bike to another is relatively inexpensive and virtually effortless (a single screw holds the pin’s retaining collar in place). When buying the stand, one pin is included in the purchase price, which ranges from $199.95 (F models) to $229.95 (most other single-sided swingarm BMW models 2005 and later, except the K 1600 bikes, which don’t feature straightforward hub access). Alternative pins are sold separately for $31.95-54.95. Of course, Pit Bull makes OARs for other makes and models, too.
Although some motorcycles allow use of the OAR on either the driven or un-driven side of the wheel, BMWs can only be raised from the driven side. After deciding which direction you want the handle to face, simply seat it on the base structure’s splined post and torque its 5mm hex key mounting screw to 30-40 ft-lbs. After decades of using rear stands with rearward-facing handles, operating this one with its handle facing forward was a revelation. It was much more confidence inspiring to have my body beside the bike during the lifting process, rather than behind it. Not that there’s anything precarious about using this stand – its pin fits quite snugly in the hub cavity and I can’t imagine any way for things to slip mechanically. My relief is instead a function of many years spent hoisting machines up with less secure stand/bike interfaces, knowing I’d be in no position to catch a heavy collection of expensive parts on its way to the floor if anything went wrong. In either orientation, the handle provided plenty of leverage to easily lift my F 800 GT, but Pit Bull offers a handle extension ($44.95) if desired for heavier machines.
As with all Pit Bull hardware, the OAR is a thing of beauty. Not only does it exhibit elegant engineering, but the build quality is impeccable. It even has a lug for storing an additional pin. Its gorgeous welds and stout 1-1/2” tubing are finished in an extremely durable gold-hued zinc plating (my oldest stands show only the faintest hints of corrosion for all their abuse). As an amusing example of Pit Bull’s intense attention to detail, the OAR hanger came with a small adhesive-backed rubber pad to place on the wall where the tip of the handle makes contact. My glorified shed of a garage, with its 101-year-old wood slat interior, did not require this level of pampering, but it was a thoughtful touch.
It’s no surprise Pit Bull includes 100% satisfaction guarantees for the life of their products. Pit Bull has recently discontinued distribution through most online warehouse retailers to ensure customers receive accurate fitment advice by a knowledgeable representative; buy from Pit Bull HQ or one of their authorized dealers to get what you need on the first try. ($20 flat-rate shipping is available from the Huntsville shop on orders over $150.) Also, note some applications may not yet be listed on their website, even though there are working fitments. This was true for my bike, as only the F 800 S and ST had been included in Pit Bull’s listings. After a little correspondence, they confirmed the measurements on my GT matched those of the other models and were able to assure me the OAR would work.
Of course, Pit Bull also makes conventional rear stands for bikes with two-sided swingarms. These can be set up with interchangeable parts for use with or without spools, and adjusted for a wide range of swingarm dimensions, all using the same base structure. Peruse these at their website.
Read Mark’s review of Pit Bull’s Hybrid Dual-Lift Front Stand.