Modify, Don’t Replace Your Centerstand!
By Don Hamblin
Minding my own business, I rocked my ’85 K100RT up on it’s centerstand. And then noticed that it just kept on going! Powerless, I held the lift handle and grip as it collapsed over onto my wife’s minivan. Not a good position for either the auto or my marriage.
After calling for help, the tired K rested on its sidestand.
Calling the local dealer didn’t brighten the day. I learned two things:
- It isn’t unusual for the centerstand to either crack or break.
- It costs over $100 (which I really didn’t have to spare that day) to replace it.
So I removed the offending member, and took it over to a friend of mine’s to “see what he could do.” A couple of weeks later I picked it up. He’d welded the “break” and added a substantial brace to the “leg” that had broken. Fantastic! I rode for a couple more years without any problems.
Then, while removing a SuperTrapp exhaust system, I noticed that the weld had cracked. I also noticed after installing a stock ’85 exhaust system, that the brace kept the stand from retracting all the way. Back at the dealers again, I found that the price was well over the earlier $100. There had to be a better way.
This time I called a different “friend” to help (OK, I’d moved, and the “original friend” lived 450 miles away.) We removed the stand, and started looking at the clearances. That brace was clearly in the way, but I had even less confidence in just re-welding the stand. So we scouted the garage for something else to use as a brace.
Under a workbench we found a piece of “stock” about 1/8″ thick. With a little cutting and fitting, we welded a “new” brace right into the curve of the leg. This puts the “meat” of the brace right over the points where the weight of the bike rotates. That spreads the “force” over the entire leg and doesn’t concentrate it at the bend. Filling all the gaps with “welding rod” also removes those places where rust could hide. A very important step was to douse the hot stand in water. A little heat treating never hurt anyone!
The attached photo shows the stand before painting. That way you can see exactly how the brace should be welded into the curve of the leg.
A wire brush and some paint finished the mod. Proudly we admired our handiwork.
Then the next morning I looked at the Moto Guzzi parked next to me at work. Its stock stand was reinforced exactly the same way! I don’t mind following someone else’s proven track.
Four months later I’ve found no evidence of cracking on the stand. In fact, I feel more confident of this stand than any other BMW stand I’ve ever used.