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What's the problem with not using the center stand? I was told it's ok to use the side stand for up to a few hours, but for more it was really better to use the center stand. Something about oil building up in the left cylinder. But, I had a r1200r cruiser, and it only had a side stand; no center stand.

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I know that was a common theory with the Airheads, but at the rally's I attended, there was hardly ever paved parking, so we had to leave it on the side stand overnight. I never saw any problems, or even smoke from the left cylinder.

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FWIW, my buddies R1100S has no center stand. It's been fine. I use the center stands on my bikes to check the oil, and if it's getting crowded in the garage. Otherwise they stay on the side stand.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I was told it's ok to use the side stand for up to a few hours, but for more it was really better to use the center stand.


Who told you that? Ask 'em why some beemers don't have centerstands.

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It was common with the Airheads and very common with the early K-bikes. Legend has it BMW would have a guy at the press events running around putting test bikes up on their centerstands so they wouldn't smoke for the journalists.


So now "don't leave it on the sidestand" has become part of BMW lore, even though the original rationale has become moot. The Oilheads don't smoke when left on the sidestand, and don't weep oil into the left cylinder (unless the bike is f---ed up). But the possibility that the bikes might change, and for the better, tends to be as alien to BMW riders as paying full price for OEM oil filters and throwing away used crush washers.

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Indeed, I did have a slight bit of smoke on engine start after spending the day on the side stand. Nothing too bad but it did smoke. So I put it up on the center stand virtually all the time and only leave it on the side stand if I am coming back in less than an hour. No more smoke.


Most of the time, the ride is not over for me until it is safely up on the center stand. Makes it easier to check the oil anyway.



04 Suzuki GS 500F (60 miles to the gallon!!)

04 BMW R1150RT (45 miles to the gallon ain't bad)

Honda XR70 for the kids

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