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Side-stand vs. Center-stand


marcls

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What considerations favor using the side-stand or the center-stand? I've noticed that riders who have more experience choose the center-stand, for bikes so equipped, but I'm wondering if there's a reason, other than personal preference.

 

Note that this is a serious question, but humorous, well-thought out replies will not be rejected. wink.gif

 

Regards,

Marc

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This is the first center stand equipped bike I've had in well over 10 years so I'm still getting used to it. One big advantage of the CS as opposed to the SS is in the garage the bike has a much smaller footprint. In my little one car garage that's a plus.

 

Also, with BMW you must check the oil on the center stand, so without it you would need 2 people to check the oil (OK that's my lame attempt at the humor option mentioned above).

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Like Albert Said, the center stand gives you some flexability in tight spaces. In the garage I use the CS. most everywhere else it's on the sidestand.

 

The center stand is also great for service.

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Jim VonBaden
This is the first center stand equipped bike I've had in well over 10 years so I'm still getting used to it. One big advantage of the CS as opposed to the SS is in the garage the bike has a much smaller footprint. In my little one car garage that's a plus.

 

Also, with BMW you must check the oil on the center stand, so without it you would need 2 people to check the oil (OK that's my lame attempt at the humor option mentioned above).

 

I guess I am an exception. I only use the CS when I am working on the bike. Otherwise I always use the SS.

 

I also check my oil on the SS. If I see the oil window full I ride. If it is low I add 8 oz. This has worked for 70K miles on 3 bikes so far.

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS Really want to stir it up, ask which is more stable, CS or SS? dopeslap.gif

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It's a little easier to load and unload sidecases with the bike on the centerstand. More often than not, I use the centerstand, but I think that a bike parked on its sidestand, in gear, is somewhat more stable and less likely to be tipped over by high winds.

 

Mostly, though, you have to experiment with your own bike and ascertain what looks cooler.

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One other point in favor of the center stand. You can rotate the bike on the stand if that needs to be adjusted for whatever reason. I do it in my garage (on cement) sometimes to line the bike up with to door better. I have even used it to rotate the bike 180 degrees on occasion although that worked better on my 96 RT. The 05 RT has a little metal extension on the part you put your foot on that digs into the pavement a bit. grin.gif

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I only use the center stand for service and storage in the garage (due to space limitations). Side stand tends (seems?) more stable, but takes up more space.

 

Mike

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The side stand is quick and easy! The center stand is great for a number of reasons. My favorite is on longer trips you can put a little more fuel in on the center stand than when it is on its side stand. I also liked getting on a little rock back with the feet on the pegs and riding it off the center stand! That is something that also sets these bikes apart from others. Why not show it to others!

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If I know the bike's going to parked for more than a day or so, CS. My Service Manager here (long-time BMW rider) mentioned the fact that it prevents oil from pooling in the left jug.

I like the CS when I'm sitting on it, pretending to ride. MUCH cooler looking! wave.gif When I'm making the motor sound, the spit is much more evenly distributed on the windscreen. grin.gif

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I like the CS when I'm sitting on it, pretending to ride. MUCH cooler looking! wave.gif When I'm making the motor sound, the spit is much more evenly distributed on the windscreen. grin.gif

That is by far teh best reason for the center stand. thumbsup.gif

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I'm a centerstand junkie - much cooler to the kids when you start 'er up, put the feet on the pegs and ride off the thing.

 

About the only time I use the side stand is high winds and hot asphalt.

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I guess I am an exception.
No your not. I rarely ever use mine. And I happen to believe the bike is more stable parked in a 3-point stance than a balanced 2-point one.
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Ok, I need to throw a flag on this post. The spring season has been in full swing for several weeks now in the US--this is obviously a desperate, looking for something else to discuss, winter only topic. Moderators please move this to winter of '06-'07. tongue.gif

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I never use the center stand.....after watching everyone at DV wrestle with their center stand and then talk with all of them about how many times they've dropped their bike...while dealing with the center stand ...I figure your odds are better if you never use it....

 

Whip

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Agree with GelStra; my dealership recommends CS for longer periods, SS for shorter time frames. Overnight: center stand; trip to dinner with my bride: SS. It makes sense; if you park your bike on the SS with the oil hot and it gathers and cools in the left cylinder there is potential for ??? vs. CS, not likely.

 

Mike05

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and then talk with all of them about how many times they've dropped their bike
Uhhh... that's not the centerstand's fault... smirk.gif
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About the only time I use the side stand is high winds and hot asphalt.

 

With summer coming I was wondering how the SS holds up the bike on hot asphalt. I was thinking the CS would be a better choice, but now I'm not sure. I know a guy at work with an old Honda carries a metal plate with him or else his SS drives into the asphalt pretty bad. Anyone had experience with this?

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With summer coming I was wondering how the SS holds up the bike on hot asphalt. I was thinking the CS would be a better choice, but now I'm not sure. I know a guy at work with an old Honda carries a metal plate with him or else his SS drives into the asphalt pretty bad. Anyone had experience with this?

 

I use them also. As an Electrician, I have plenty of access to 4" square blank cover plates... I always keep one in the glove box for dirt parking/hot asphalt.

 

WyreNut

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I notice the manual says not to sit on the bike when it is on either stand. The SS I can understand, but as for the CS - it seems a bit silly to me - does anybody think this restriction is justified?

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I hardly us the centerstand, but when I do, I always leave the sidestand out. I do this for no particular reason other then I just forget to put it up. I can't believe no one else does this. Also I think it helps balance it and make it more stable..........just kidding.

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Firefight911
I hardly us the centerstand, but when I do, I always leave the sidestand out. I do this for no particular reason other then I just forget to put it up. I can't believe no one else does this. Also I think it helps balance it and make it more stable..........just kidding.

 

Get that sidestand up! I can't tell you the stories I have heard, as well as witnessed, where someone took their bike off the centerstand, the sidestand hit the ground, and the bike levered over onto the ground as a result.

 

Call it a pole vaulting exercise, if you will.

 

As for me, the bike goes on the centerstand as much as possible. Sidestand when parking on street but centerstand everywhere else.

 

And as for the balance point with the sidestand out; that only works south of the equator due to the coreolis effect. This is the effect that causes the toilet to swirl the opposite direction of being north of the equator. If you're going to give out info, let's make sure we get it all out people! grin.gifgrin.gifdopeslap.gifdopeslap.giftongue.giftongue.gif

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So why put a center stand on a bike, if ya can't sit on when deployed? How do they want ya to get the bike OFF the stand?

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ShovelStrokeEd

The approved BMW approved method for removing the bike from the main stand is to stand alongside the bike, grasp the lifting handle and one handlebar and roll the bike forward off the stand. They even used to show a movie of this in the dealers. I have seen more bikes get away from their owners doing this than any other method.

 

My Blackbird perches on its centerstand with the rear wheel off the ground so it is not so easy to ride off, but it is simple to straddle the seat and push off with the feet. My 1100S has no center stand so that is never an issue. I check oil by leaning it against a tree or SUV, whichever is closer. eek.gif

 

BTW, you can spin your bike around in the garage just as easily on the side stand. It makes a great poser trick at the local bike night. Do not attempt this on a HD sportster though. When the side stand snaps on one of them, it pokes a hole in the primary case. DAMHIK.

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On the R1200RT there is no neat little handle (as on the R1150RT) to lift the bike onto the CS. Only way is to heave on the luggage rack.

 

But I found it quite impossible to get the bike onto the CS when the panniers and topcase are installed. Can anyone say what is the technique, cos I can't work it out?

 

Also, looking at Marcis original question with the line "Note that this is a serious question, but humorous, well-thought out replies will not be rejected." Marcis, are you by any chance in education? This sounds like an exam question!!!

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The basic technique for every BMW I have ever owned is to roll it back onto the stand, rather than pull it up onto it. Ech model has its own variation on the theme but basically, more back than up is the name of the game.

 

Andy thumbsup.gif

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After reading the replies by others, I think most missed the point of using the Centre stand. To me the most important reason for using the centre stand is so that the weight of the bike is substantially off the wheels. If you are parking for long periods it is good practice to use the centre stand as puts little load on the front suspension and no load on the rear suspension. This should extend the life of the shocks.

 

In fact, I hardly use the side stand as I have seen incorrectly extended side stands resulting in bike tipping over when the rider gets off....

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The basic technique for every BMW I have ever owned is to roll it back onto the stand, rather than pull it up onto it. Ech model has its own variation on the theme but basically, more back than up is the name of the game.

 

Sure Andy, what other way? But my point remains: with the panniers and top box in place, you're likely to be pushing back against tupperware, which doesn't seem like a great idea. You need to drag/pull back against something! Altogether I am kept away from the bike to one side, which means that force that I can apply is too offset. Maybe it's just me…

 

It was never a problem with the 1150, but in addition to the lack of handle and things to grab, the weight on the 1200 on its CS is much further forward. It's near-impossible without help to rotate the front wheel when cleaning the bike, whereas the 1150 was much more balanced. Maybe the weight-forward thing is an additional factor.

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On the R1200RT there is no neat little handle (as on the R1150RT) to lift the bike onto the CS. Only way is to heave on the luggage rack.

 

But I found it quite impossible to get the bike onto the CS when the panniers and topcase are installed. Can anyone say what is the technique, cos I can't work it out?

**Disclaimer** This is the way it was explained/demo'd to me by the dealer, but it also happens to work

 

The handle is built into the luggage rack (area beside the pillion). Grasping the left handgrip and the handle, guide the bike backward while standing upon the CS footlever.

Works everytime for me with minimal effort, YMMV.

 

Mike

 

**Edit: Just saw your other post...

If the panniers are in your way, it sounds like you're standing too far back. I generally wind up midway between the grips and the handles.

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Don_Hudspeth

Like my dealer explained to me. Standing next to the bike, push the CS down until it touches the ground, while holding the handle luggage rack. You should feel the bike settle. Then, pretend your stretching a big rubberband between your foot and the handle. Goes right up!

 

Oh the original question - I most always use the CS, especially when parking on hot asphalt.

 

Don

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I agree. I was a little nervous about using the center stand at first but with a little practice I got the hang of it. I can now get the bike onto the center stand with minimal effort. If the panniers are in your way you're standing too far back. I use the center stand when In my garage for the night.

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On the previous generation oilheads - using the sidestand used to accentuate oil seepage when the bike was parked/stores into the cylinders (the vacuum in the cylinders woudl actually pull it up into the head) ... which was a cause of "start-up white smoke" even as late as the '80's, especially with K75's (those great whiner's) this was a emabarrassment to any owner on startup.

 

Use of the centerstand would minimize the start-up smoke..and always was the preferred method of parking.

 

Actually, my R1200RT is the EASIEST bike I have ever owned to go up on the center stand - a earlier post describes the process, actually BMW really designed the centerstand on this model very-very well - it exemplifies the original purpose of a fulcrum/lever - even fully loaded (like 20lbs ea bag) still works amazingly well.

 

One outfit does have a aftermarket add-on handle (sortof like the RT1150) which I might end up getting if for no other reason I like to add sensible accessories, and if you get caught in the rain, and want to put your bike up on center, sometimes a handle like the 1150's might come in handy if loaded for a better balance in adverse conditions.

 

I have had no problems with the sidestand, except on this model it is damn long, I have added a Big Foot, once you have a Big Foot (there are several different versions/maker's out there) you will never go back to the dismally small factory plate alone.

 

Yes, the brain power of a BMW rider seems to run to extreme rationalization... the USD$30 Big Foot has saved several of my BMW's more than once, factory foot plates are dismal in comparison.... on my R1200RT, the convenience of the well-balanced centerstand, and the height/weight of the bike, make it senselles NOT to use the center stand...the sidestand becomes a initial catch-all safety measure to get off the bike, and to have down when taking the bike off the centerstand - this 1-2 combination of sidestand-to-centerstand-to sidestand down when coming off the centerstand (in case of mishap) I feel is the GENUINE proper use of the bike's design.

 

My extremely rationalized opinion/practive/experience R1200RT..

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My personal routine is-ss down in gear to dismount,if on level I use the cs while parked,if not level then I put it in gear and leave it on the ss with the front wheel up the grade. To mount I want it on the ss. Since using this method I have yet to drop the 12RT. I use down pressure on the rear rack pull on the left grip and around she goes. I love this thing. Leon 05RT

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Others have provided good instructions and observations. I would add that the R12RT is much easier to place on as well as remove from the center stand than the R11RT that I previously had. I think it has to do with the slightly lighter weight as well as placement of the center stand mounting.

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I always park the bike on the center stand. Keeps the tires round and gives me an accurate oil level reading.

I always! put the side stand up before coming off the center stand. I forgot once in a gas station. Rolled the heavily loaded bike off the center stand while stradling the bike, the side stand hit the pavement and pitched me into the gas pump and cracked a couple of ribs. Never come off the center stand with the side stand down especially if you are on the bike at the time! dopeslap.gif

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I forgot I had the side stand down when rocking the bike off the center stand in my garage. I was standing next to the bike. I do this all the time as I have to back the bike out of the garage. This time, as the bike was coming down, the side stand came down on my foot and it startled me so that I let go of the bike as it fell away from me. I was really lucky that the right handlebar landed up against the garage wall and was held up by that. No damage to me or the bike and a little cosmetic mark from the wall on the bar end. I now try to remember to have the side stand up whenever I take the bike down from the center stand. BTW, it's always on the center stand in the garage.

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Actually, my R1200RT is the EASIEST bike I have ever owned to go up on the center stand...

 

Anyone who thinks the R1200RT is tough to get up on the centerstand obviously never tried it with a Kawasaki Concours!

eek.gif

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Bill Murray

When I owned a K12GT (and prior to that, a K12RS), I almost always parked the bike on it's center-stand. Once, on a hot day, I parked the bike using the side-stand and came back about an hour later to find the side-stand buried several inches into the hot asphalt. A near miss.

 

After that experience, I installed a "fat foot" on my side-stand base. The fat foot worked well both on hot asphalt and when parking on dirt road sides. It was one of the first things I added to my new R12ST.

 

I agree with the other posters. In the garage, the center-stand makes for a much smaller footprint for storing the bike, as well as servicing.

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Also, looking at Marcis original question with the line "Note that this is a serious question, but humorous, well-thought out replies will not be rejected." Marcis, are you by any chance in education? This sounds like an exam question!!!

 

Nope. But, I can grade your response, if you'd like.

 

Marc

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