Date reviewed: January 2023 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £44.99 | www.sportsbikeshop.co.uk
Without a paddock stand, or if your motorcycle doesn’t have a centre-stand fitted, lubing the chain can be quite a chore; rolling your bike forward a little, over and over again in order to lube a small section each time is a real waste of time. And cleaning the front wheel without a front paddock stand is an awkward job of tugging the wheel round without upsetting the bike’s balance.
I’ve been using the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner, available exclusively from Sportsbikeshop, for several months on a variety of bikes to find out how well built it is, and if it’s worth buying…
The Bad Dog Wheel Spinner has a solidly-constructed, powder-coated steel frame with two rollers, each equipped with a pair of sealed bearings.
I deliberately left the unit outside throughout winter, and sprayed the hose at every angle I could during use, yet it’s weathered extremely well, with just some light staining on the surface of the rollers.
A large plastic puck is included, which you can tuck under the bike’s side-stand to reduce the amount it leans when on the wheel spinner. It’s also possible to adjust the spacing of the rollers 25mm forwards or back by removing two bolts, though I haven’t needed to when using it with my R1250GS, ZX-6R or VFR800 on the front and rear wheels.
The supplied side-stand puck counteracts the additional lean when the bike’s on the rollers
If you’re not confident in using a paddock stand, the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner can be a real help – just roll the front or rear wheel onto it, tuck the side-stand puck under if needs be, then spin the wheel.
Of course, it’s no good if you need to remove a wheel, but for cleaning it’s handy that it doesn’t get in the way like a paddock stand can. You also need two paddock stands for front wheel cleaning – one to hold the back, then one on the front – unless your bike has a centre-stand fitted.
If you do have a centre stand, then that’s the most obvious way to lube a chain, but for most sportsbike riders in particular (yes, you can sit there smugly if you have an older CBR600), this will be a cheaper and easier alternative to a pair of stands for many jobs.
The rubber feet reduce slipping, but I’d like to see them covering more of the base
My garage floor is painted, and while the Wheel Spinner has four rubber feet glued to the bottom, it can still slip a little. A foot in front of it typically cures that if you’re struggling.
Those rubber feet are also needed on the concrete in the back garden, but I have had one of them tear a little. This was as I tried to push it under the front wheel of my GS while it was on the centre stand; the rear wheel bottomed out making it hard to shove this in. I’ve since found that the best bet is to put the spinner BEHIND the front wheel, with the built-in ramp pressed against the tyre, then pull the bike onto its centre stand.
Lubing the ZX-6R’s chain is much easier with the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner
When using the Wheel Spinner on the ZX-6R, which of course just has a side-stand, it’s pretty easy to roll the bike on. As the bike’s leaning though, when rotating the front wheel the bars can turn, though it’s still fine for cleaning and easy to correct.
When lubing the chain, where you’ll need to be able to rotate the wheel a lot more, the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner works great, making it much less of a chore than without it. You do need to have it in line with the bike, and the wheel will still drift to one side, but it’s a lot easier.
Hopefully it goes without saying that you must not run the bike while it’s on the rollers.
On the ZX-6R, I have the puck under the side-stand when working on the rear, but I don’t bother when on the front as the bike seems to stand up a bit too vertical, making me nervous. See how you get on with your bike, but there’s no denying it’s less nerve-wracking than lugging a motorcycle onto a rear paddock stand.
When using the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner with a centre-stand, it helps to pull the bike onto it
While putting the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner behind the front wheel of the GS, then pulling it onto its centre stand did make life easier, this still saw the rear wheel touch the ground (and that’s with a worn, squared-off tyre), so on this bike in this orientation, it doesn’t allow for both wheels to be spun at the same time. Not a problem really, but when cleaning I like to get it set up and then not have to move it on and off its stand until I’ve finished.
The Bad Dog Wheel Spinner of course isn’t the only way to lube your motorcycle’s chain or clean the wheels. Here are some other options to consider:
These are just four of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle maintenance kit we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.
Wheel cleaning can be a lot easier with the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner
The Bad Dog Wheel Spinner doesn’t replace a set of paddock stands, and to be honest, when working on my R1250GS, I tend to use the centre stand, then tuck a paddock stand under the front wheel, which allows both wheels to be spun. Having the paddock stand also means I can leave the bike supported while I remove the wheels altogether.
I’m fortunate enough to have front and rear paddock stands, as well as stand bobbins fitted to my ZX-6R’s swingarm, but it’s still more of a faff to get the rear stand out, then nervously hold the back of the bike while hooking the paddock stand under than it is to simply roll the rear wheel onto the Wheel Spinner, spray on some lube, then roll it off again.
Chain maintenance is vitally important, so the Bad Dog Wheel Spinner could be the ideal solution and well worth buying.