Title:
Method and apparatus for supporting a motorcycle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Aspects of the invention are directed to methods and apparatus for supporting a motorcycle. In one aspect, a motorcycle stand for supporting a motorcycle in an upright position, the motorcycle stand includes a base to support a wheel of the motorcycle, a pivot member fixedly coupled to the base, and a stop coupled to the base. The pivot member may be constructed and arranged to enable the base to move from a first position in which the base is adapted to receive the wheel of the motorcycle and a second position in which the base is adapted to support the motorcycle in an upright position.



Inventors:
Caponette, Myles A. (Haverhill, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/235929
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/27/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LANDO & ANASTASI, LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A motorcycle stand for supporting a motorcycle in an upright position, the motorcycle stand comprising: a base to support a wheel of the motorcycle; a pivot member fixedly coupled to the base; and a stop coupled to the base.

2. The motorcycle stand of claim 1, wherein the pivot member is constructed and arranged to enable the base to move from a first position in which the base is adapted to receive the wheel of the motorcycle and a second position in which the base is adapted to support the motorcycle in an upright position.

3. The motorcycle stand of claim 2, wherein the stop is adapted to stop the base upon reaching the second position.

4. The motorcycle stand of claim 2, further comprising an arm adapted to assist a movement of the base from the second position to the first position.

5. The motorcycle stand of claim 4, wherein the arm comprises a rod fixedly attached to the support.

6. The motorcycle stand of claim 1, wherein the base comprises an arc-shaped support having a surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides.

7. The motorcycle stand of claim 6, wherein the base further comprises bracing members to provide lateral support to the wheel of the motorcycle.

8. The motorcycle stand of claim 6, wherein the pivot member extends in a direction generally transverse to a direction of the support of the base.

9. The motorcycle stand of claim 8, wherein the pivot member is fixedly attached to a surface of the support opposite the surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides toward one end of the support.

10. A motorcycle stand for supporting a motorcycle in an upright position, the motorcycle stand comprising: a base to support a wheel of the motorcycle; and a pivot member fixedly coupled to the base, wherein the pivot member is constructed and arranged to enable the base to move from a first position in which the base is adapted to receive the wheel of the motorcycle and a second position in which the base is adapted to support the motorcycle in an upright position.

11. The motorcycle stand of claim 10, further comprising a stop, wherein the stop is adapted to stop the base upon reaching the second position.

12. The motorcycle stand of claim 10, further comprising an arm adapted to assist a movement of the base from the second position to the first position.

13. The motorcycle stand of claim 12, wherein the arm comprises a rod fixedly attached to the support.

14. The motorcycle stand of claim 10, wherein the base comprises an arc-shaped support having a surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides.

15. The motorcycle stand of claim 14, wherein the base further comprises bracing members to provide lateral support to the wheel of the motorcycle.

16. The motorcycle stand of claim 14, wherein the pivot member extends in a direction generally transverse to a direction of the support of the base.

17. The motorcycle stand of claim 10, further comprising a plurality of bases and pivot members to support a plurality of motorcycles, wherein each of the bases are coupled together to allow independent rotation of each of the bases.

18. A method of supporting a motorcycle, the method comprising: pushing a wheel of a motorcycle onto a base of a stand; further pushing the wheel to cause the base to rotate from a first position to a second position, such that in the second position, the motorcycle is supported in the stand.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising: moving the stand from the second position to the first position to release the motorcycle from the stand.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein moving the stand from the second position to the first position includes pressing on an arm of the stand.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention relate generally to methods and devices used to park motorcycles, and more particularly to a motorcycle stand of unitary construction adapted to receive a front wheel of a motorcycle to maintain the motorcycle in an erect, upright position.

Reference may be made to U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,988,402 to Mayfield and 6,640,979 to Mayfield for examples of motorcycle stands. Both of these patents disclose a motorcycle stand having a rigid frame and a capture plate or shoe that is pivotable with respect to the frame. The arrangement is such that a front wheel of a motorcycle rolls over the capture plate, which pivots to capture the front wheel, thereby maintaining the motorcycle in an erect position.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

A first aspect of the invention is directed to a motorcycle stand for supporting a motorcycle in an upright position. The motorcycle stand includes a base to support a wheel of the motorcycle, a pivot member fixedly coupled to the base, and a stop coupled to the base.

In the motorcycle stand, the pivot member may be constructed and arranged to enable the base to move from a first position in which the base is adapted to receive the wheel of the motorcycle and a second position in which the base is adapted to support the motorcycle in an upright position. The stop may be adapted to stop the base upon reaching the second position. The motorcycle stand may further include an arm adapted to assist a movement of the base from the second position to the first position. The arm may include a rod fixedly attached to the support. The base may include an arc-shaped support having a surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides. The base may include bracing members to provide lateral support to the wheel of the motorcycle. The pivot member may extend in a direction generally transverse to a direction of the support of the base. The pivot member may be fixedly attached to a surface of the support opposite the surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides toward one end of the support.

A second aspect of the invention is directed to a motorcycle stand for supporting a motorcycle in an upright position. The motorcycle stand includes a base to support a wheel of the motorcycle, and a pivot member fixedly coupled to the base, wherein the pivot member is constructed and arranged to enable the base to move from a first position in which the base is adapted to receive the wheel of the motorcycle and a second position in which the base is adapted to support the motorcycle in an upright position.

The motorcycle stand may further include a stop, wherein the stop is adapted to stop the base upon reaching the second position. The stand may further include an arm adapted to assist a movement of the base from the second position to the first position. The arm may include a rod fixedly attached to the support. The base may include an arc-shaped support having a surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides. The base may further include bracing members to provide lateral support to the wheel of the motorcycle. The pivot member may extend in a direction generally transverse to a direction of the support of the base. The motorcycle stand may include a plurality of bases and pivot members to support a plurality of motorcycles, wherein each of the bases are coupled together to allow independent rotation of each of the bases.

Another aspect of the invention is directed to a method of supporting a motorcycle. The method includes pushing a wheel of a motorcycle onto a base of a stand, and further pushing the wheel to cause the base to rotate from a first position to a second position, such that in the second position, the motorcycle is supported in the stand. The method may further include moving the stand from the second position to the first position to release the motorcycle from the stand, and moving the stand from the second position to the first position may include pressing on an arm of the stand.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the drawings, each identical or nearly identical component that is illustrated in various figures is represented by a like numeral. For purposes of clarity, not every component may be labeled in every drawing. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a motorcycle stand of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional, side elevational view of the motorcycle stand;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the motorcycle stand prior to supporting a motorcycle in an erect position;

FIGS. 4-7 are sequential side elevational views illustrating the positioning of the motorcycle within the motorcycle stand;

FIGS. 8-10 are sequential side elevational views illustrating the removal of the motorcycle from the motorcycle stand; and

FIG. 11 is s a perspective view of a stand in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is generally indicated at 10 a motorcycle stand of an embodiment of the present invention. The motorcycle stand 10 is particularly adapted to secure a motorcycle, and specifically, a dirt bike, in an upright and erect position. Typical dirt bikes do not have kick stands for maintaining the dirt bikes upright. Thus, such bikes most often rely on separate apparatus for support. It should be understood that the motorcycle stand described herein may be used for two-wheeled vehicles other than dirt bikes, such as cruiser bikes, street bikes, mopeds, scooters and bicycles, for example.

In an embodiment of the invention, the motorcycle stand 10 includes a base, generally indicated at 12, a pivot member 14, and a stop, generally indicated at 16. The base 12, as will be described in greater detail below, is constructed and arranged to support a wheel (e.g., a front wheel of a motorcycle). The pivot member 14, which is attached to the base 12, is constructed and arranged to enable the base to move from a first position in which the base is adapted to receive the wheel of the motorcycle and a second position in which the base is adapted to support the motorcycle in an upright position. The stop 16 is provided to stop the base upon reaching the second position. The actual positioning of the wheel within the motorcycle stand and the removal of same will be described in greater detail below.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the specific construction of an embodiment of the motorcycle stand 10 will be described in greater detail. The base 12 includes an arc-shaped support 18 having an upper surface upon which the wheel of the motorcycle rides. A leading edge of the support 18 has a flange 20 that bends toward the surface upon which the motorcycle stand 10 rests when the motorcycle stand is in its first position. The base 12 further includes bracing members 22 that extend along opposite long edges of the support 18. The bracing members 22 are spaced far enough apart to enable the wheel of the motorcycle to be received therebetween, but are close enough to engage the wheel so as to provide lateral stability when supporting the motorcycle in an upright position upon achieving the second position.

As shown, the pivot member 14 is secured to a lower surface of the support 18 toward the end having the flange 20, spaced slightly away from the midpoint of the support. The pivot member 14 is secured to the support 18 of the base 12 (e.g., by welding) so that the pivot member extends in a direction transverse to the direction of the support 18. End caps, each indicated at 24, may be suitably secured to the ends of the pivot member 14 to prevent the pivot member from marring the surface upon which the motorcycle stand 10 rests. The end caps 24 may be fabricated from any suitable material including, for example, plastic or rubber. The function of the pivot member 14 will be described in greater detail below.

As shown, the stop 16 includes a plurality of rods (which may be fabricated from the same material as the bracing members 22) arranged to form a generally triangular-shaped frame. The stop 16 is secured (e.g., by welding) to the lower surface of the support 18 at an end opposite to the end having the flange 20. The function of the stop 16 will be described in greater detail below when describing the operation of the motorcycle stand 10.

The motorcycle stand 10 further includes an arm 26 in the form of a cylindrical rod attached to the lower surface of the support 18 of the base 12. As shown best in FIG. 1, the arm 26 is positioned proximate to the pivot member 14 and extends laterally from one side of the motorcycle stand 10. The purpose of the arm 26 is to assist the user of the motorcycle stand 10 in moving the stand from the second position back to its first position. Although the arm 26 is shown extending from only one side of the stand in FIG. 1, in other embodiments, the arm may extend from both sides and also may be centered about the support 18.

The motorcycle stand 10 of an embodiment of the invention may be fabricated from any suitable rigid material, such as steel, aluminum or plastic. As shown in FIG. 2, the pivot member 14, stop 16, bracing members 22 and arm 26 may be welded to the support 18. In the embodiment shown, the stop 16 has two legs that may extend into a dirt ground in the second position of the stand to provide additional support for the stand.

FIG. 3 illustrates a motorcycle 30 having a frame 32, front and back wheels 34, 36, rotatably coupled to the frame, an engine 38, handle bars 40, a gas tank 42, and a seat 44. The configuration of the motorcycle 30 is well-known in the art and requires no further explanation. The motorcycle stand 10 is shown in FIG. 3 in its second position from which it is pivoted to its first position to receive the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle 30.

FIG. 4 illustrates the motorcycle stand 10 in its first position in which it is ready to receive the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle 30. In at least one embodiment, the stand 10 is balanced such that it can stay in the first position to receive the front wheel. As shown, the flange 20 rotates towards the surface so that the front wheel 34 may easily roll onto the support 18 of the base 12. To move the motorcycle stand from the second position shown in FIG. 3 to the first position shown in FIG. 4, the base 12 is rotated or pivoted about the pivot member 14 in a counter-clockwise direction.

FIG. 5 illustrates the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle being received by the base 12. Specifically, the front wheel 34 rides along the upper surface of the support 18 and is held laterally in place by the bracing members 22. The support 18 is of sufficient length so as to capture a substantial portion of the circumference of the front wheel 34.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the motorcycle stand in its second position in which it secures the motorcycle in an upright position. To achieve the second position, the base 12 is rotated about the pivot member 14 in a clockwise direction (as shown in the drawings) by applying forward force on the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle 30. In this illustrated position, the motorcycle stand 10 is capable of supporting the motorcycle 30, in an upright position without the aid of any other devices (e.g., kick stands). The stop 16 prohibits the base 12 from further rotating beyond the second position as well as providing lateral stability to the motorcycle stand 10.

FIGS. 8-10 illustrate the removal of the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle 30 from the motorcycle stand 10. FIG. 8 illustrates a person applying a downward force (e.g., with foot 50) on the arm 26. This downward force causes the counter-clockwise rotation of the base 12 about the pivot member 14 as shown in FIG. 9. Once rotation of the base member 12 begins, the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle 30 rolls offofthe base member as shown in FIG. 1O. Thus, the motorcycle stand is back to its first position, ready to accept the front wheel 34 of the motorcycle.

FIG. 11 shows another embodiment of a motorcycle stand 100 that may be used to support a plurality of motorcycles. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the stand 100 is able to support up to three motorcycles, however, the stand 100 is expandable to support more than three. The stand 100 includes a plurality of the stands 10 coupled together using a coupling rod 50 that extends through the pivot member 14 of each of the stands. Each of the stands 10 is able to rotate independently about the coupling rod 50 for loading and unloading of a motorcycle. The coupling rod 50 supports a plurality of stands together along a line. In the embodiment of the stand shown in FIG. 11, each of the stands 10 is oriented so that motorcycles are loaded into the stand 100 from the same direction. In another embodiment, the stands may be arranged with, for example, every other stand 10 oriented in the opposite direction to provide greater spacing between each of the motorcycles in the stand 100.

It should be observed that in at least one embodiment the motorcycle stand 10 of the invention has no moving parts and therefore is sturdier in construction and simpler in manufacture and use than prior art motorcycle stands.

In embodiments described above, the motorcycle stand 10 is described as being used with the front wheel of a motorcycle. As readily understood by those skilled in the art given this disclosure, the stand 10 may also be used with the rear wheel of a motorcycle to support the motorcycle. Further, when used to support the rear wheel, the stand provides additional advantages by providing easy access to parts of the motorcycle for service, such as for changing the oil, and for cleaning the motorcycle.

Having thus described several aspects of at least one embodiment of this invention, it is to be appreciated various alterations, modifications, and improvements will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Such alterations, modifications, and improvements are intended to be part of this disclosure, and are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description and drawings are by way of example only.

For example, although the pivot member 14 is illustrated as being cylindrical in cross section, the pivot member may be hexagonal or octagonal in shape. In addition, solid walls may be provided in place of the bracing members 22 to more securely capture the motorcycle wheel within the motorcycle stand. Furthermore, the cylindrical rod forming the movement arm 26 may be made from stock material having a different cross section, e.g., square.