For bikes lacking a centerstand, simple maintenance like tire inspection and cleaning and lubing the drive chain can be a real chore. What to do? In the March/April issue, we tried out the SnapJack V2 from Tirox Products. A simple device, it lifts the rear wheel while your bike's on the sidestand, letting it spin free for servicing. We liked it, and looking for other options we landed on the Wheel Jockey.
Designed by veteran motorcycle tour operator Bill Kniegge, the Wheel Jockey was Bill's response to the hassles of prepping and maintaining bikes in his tour fleet, especially out on the road. Simple in design and operation, the Wheel Jockey is really nothing more than a miniature set of rollers. Center the wheel jockey in front (or behind) your bike's rear wheel, then simply push your bike to get the wheel up and centered on the Wheel Jockey.
I was a little skeptical at first, expecting it to be hard to roll my bike's rear wheel up and over the rollers, but it was surprisingly easy, the process aided by a small pre-roller that steps the wheel up to the main rollers. Your bike only lifts 1-1/2 inches off the ground, so stability during use is very good, and no-slip strips on the bottom plate keep the Wheel Jockey from moving while loading your bike. Quality of construction is excellent, with a stout steel body supporting aluminum rollers riding on sealed ball bearings. Further, its small size makes it easy to throw into a luggage bag so you can take it with you when you tour.
Appreciating that not all bikes are equal, Kniegge offers three versions of the Wheel Jockey: the Big Joc for bikes up to 950 pounds; the Sport for bikes up to 650 pounds; and the Joc Jr. for bikes up to 450 pounds. We tested the Sport model, which was perfect for the bikes we ride, most of them trending toward the mid-size point on the spectrum. Suggested retail: Joc Jr., $39; Sport, $59; Big Joc, $89.