Princess Auto is one of those great chains that carries a bit of everything shop related. Whether it’s tools, hydraulics, steel, welding supplies, trailer parts, small engines, surplus electronics or anything else in a long list of “guy stuff” they probably have it. So I can spend a lot of time (and money) in that store. The only saving grace as far as the spousal unit is concerned is that it’s an hour and a half away so it’s not very onvenient. However once a month or so I find an excuse to be at that end of town for something and, “since I’m there anyway…”.
Last week I had to return a defective utility trailer wheel (made in China, most probably from salt-infused rusted auto bodies) and spent a little time wandering the aisles. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but then I came across this wheel chock that was on sale. If you’ve ever done an oil change (or any maintenance really) on a motorcycle that has no centre stand you know what a pain in the ass that can be. The analogy that comes to mind is the one-armed paper hanger; it’s awkward, inconvenient and usually much messier than it needs to be. Even so I could never justify the $200 or so that seemed to be the going rate for a wheel chock to hold the bike vertical while I worked on it.
But $40? A no-brainer.
Today I got around to assembling and installing my new wheel chock, and it works like a charm. I have a motorcycle lift that I’ll still use for most things but for sheer convenience and the fact it leaves the undercarriage open this is a great solution. Ride on and step off the bike. There are loops for tie downs but the bike seems really stable even without using them. I probably will anyway because the thought of 700+ pounds of iron toppling over and damaging the paint could ruin anyone’s day. It’s bolted to the floor but the vertical support and the pivot are held in place by a single bolt and a couple of pregnant-R clips. Remove those in a few seconds and all that’s left on the floor is the low-profile base component.
Yep, I’m liking it and almost (almost!) looking forward to doing that oil change now.