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Reality of Center Stand


HoboHighlander
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I've been slowly accumulating the farkles that I've deemed a priority - Barkbusters, AS crash bars, SC low seat, USB port - and one item that I've gone back and forth quite a bit on is the center stand. I've got the Hepco & Becker on backorder but I'm starting to wonder if I really need it.

 

A bit of context is necessary. I'm in North Carolina, USA and had gotten my first motorbike (since childhood; had some trail bikes) last fall to do some riding and camping around the mountains. It is a '99 BMW F650 and was fun to (re)learn on but time and time again had proven itself too unreliable to go off the beaten path (poor fuel range, electrical problems). Fast forward and last month I made the ($$$) leap to the T7. The T7 is a vast improvement in every category.

 

As a relative newcomer to ADV, do I really need the center stand? I assumed I would because:

  • The BMW had one
  • People say "oh, you're gonna want it to oil the chain or change a flat on tour"
  • Seems like it would be helpful for storing/working on the bike in the workshop
  • good idea on uneven terrain/just more stable than side stand

 

But in reality:

  • I've read these modern chains don't really need oiling (unless its post-wash or super wet ride)
  • I don't know how to change a motorcycle flat so I'm probably screwed if that happens (although as a bicycle mechanic for the last 10 years I have changed a million bicycle flats. I suppose the prudent thing to do is take a wheel off and just spend an afternoon cursing in my workshop.)
  • I could just get a motorcycle lift from Harbor Freight for $100. That extra $150 I save could go towards buying something more applicable (heated grips? skid/bash plate? engine protection?)
  • The center stand will add a not-inconsequential amount of weight

 

I realize that I'm asking a question that is likely a 2-camps, personal choice sort of thing but thought I'd seek your counsel on my particular circumstances nonetheless.

 

Thanks for reading and any thoughts!

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The points you made of the reality are fairly true. I got the center stand as a day 1 item, mainly for convenience when storing the bike, parking it, or even things like loading luggage on a level platform, washing it, cleaning the wheels etc... It is a bit obtrusive, clanks about on really bumpy terrain, the foot tab can get caught on things, and when I low-sided the bike, the stand bent a bit and bike did a 360 across the road due to pivoting on the foot tab. 

 

I still consider it an essential, and wouldn't go without it as the pro's outweigh the con's for me. The weight is very down low, and I changed the pipe to a lighter one, so it about evens out. 

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Don’t get a center stand.

Don’t ride a bike with cruise control.

Don’t get tubless tires.

Don’t get a Gps.

Don’t  get heated grips.

Don’t get luggage racks.

Don’t ....

  If you do ; You will always want for them.

    Fair warning done!

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It is not really a need item. I’ve made it fine without one to date. I do pack the Endurostar prop stand on my bike for the rare roadside flat repair. In my shop at home I use a rear lift pad stand to lift rear wheel to lube the chain when I rarely even do that. 
 

To me the extra added weight of a centerstand was not even a consideration. 10-12 lbs added no way I was doing that on this type bike. Everyone looks at their own personal situations differently but for me not adding one was my decision due to the weight added. 

Edited by roy826
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I didn't want one on my bike but the bike came with one installed.  So I dont know what the bike would ride like without the extra weight. I use a spool type swing arm lift on my road bikes and have a lift stand for my dual sport bike.  Theirs no doubt I've found the center stand to just  plain be convenient. I can't bring myself to take it off. It's like buying a new tool you dont think you really needed and think you only have 2 uses for. Then when you get it you find your using it all the time. That's how I feel about my center stand. It's not necessary to use it to wash the bike. But damn I like using it for that. It's not necessary to use it to work on the bike, but damn it just holds it so steady. Their are other ways to lift the bike to change the tire. But damn its already their and just so easy to use. Etc. Etc. 

 

That's my feeling of it anyways.  I was in the "dont want a center stand camp" but now that I have one it stays. 

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I find the stand also acts as a nice theft deterrent, if you lock the front wheel when turned, its near impossible to get the bike of the center stand as there is no forward momentum allowed. 

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I've got 4 bikes in a very small garage. Two of the bikes have centerstands and two do not. Even though it's my two biggest bikes with centerstands it takes about half the space to roll them in and out and park them. It's roll in and out standing straight up for the centerstand bikes, knowing exactly how they sit parked. For the bikes without centerstands, it's roll in upright, lean the bike over on the kickstand, readjust because the bike is leaning against another bike or something else in my garage and then figure out how I'm going to climb out and over the bike . . . repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

I'm also in the camp of preferring centerstands for long tours. I've appreciated the centerstands for lubing chains, changing tires and fixing flats front and back, and other repairs as well as parking in lobbies in motels and on sidewalks at stores when I'm concerned about someone messing with my bike.

 

I can feel my Hepco stand when I'm standing on the pegs and it bugs me a little. I've got big feet and my heel hits the stand spring. I find the little peg on the kickstand similarly annoying. I've ridden my Tenere with and without the centerstand, and I prefer riding without it. When I think about the other reasons I've got a centerstand, I'll put up with the minor annoyance for a lot of benefit.

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every single comment in this thread so far is valid

they are awesome, they are bulky, they are easy, they are hard

and you won't know what's right for you for a while.

Ride it.  Live with it.  Ride the dang bike for a month or two,  then decide what you need for center stand. - its not an IMMEDIATE NEED -   Like the Camel ADV anti-bobblehead --  that is an immediate need

some dumbass made a spreadsheet of things to buy - if you need more stuff to consider - with links, prices, and tryin to get folks to add comments as it builds


if you get nothing else from this reply  - CAMEL ADV ANTI BOBBLE HEAD

 

eRNnL3eoAaaSuiGzcidI8pmonn4Nm3jM2788xSfZ

Sheet1 Item,Vendor,Model/part#,URL,Price,Comment/Notes USD$ ABS Sensor Guard,Xitomer,<a...

with 

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I don’t have my T7 yet so I guess my opinion might change, but I got rid of a DR650 to get the T7.  I’m more in the “don’t need it” camp. I’ve had a center stand on bikes before, and while it can be useful, I can save the money and weight with a little adjustment on my part. I know they don’t want the T7 to sit on the frame under the engine, but...

 

-ParkingMx/Washing at home can be done on a stand/jack (Either spools at the axle or under the engine if you choose)

 

-Tire changes/chain lubricant/etc on the road can be done with a trail stand of some sort.

 

They add weight, can clank around, stick out, add one more point for a problem to arise. It certainly can be convenient, but for me I can’t imagine many situations that I would rather have one than not.  Sounds like I’m the outlier on this one though. 🤷🏻‍♂️

 

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1 hour ago, MotoTraveler said:

I don’t have my T7 yet so I guess my opinion might change, but I got rid of a DR650 to get the T7.  I’m more in the “don’t need it” camp. I’ve had a center stand on bikes before, and while it can be useful, I can save the money and weight with a little adjustment on my part. I know they don’t want the T7 to sit on the frame under the engine, but...

 

-ParkingMx/Washing at home can be done on a stand/jack (Either spools at the axle or under the engine if you choose)

 

-Tire changes/chain lubricant/etc on the road can be done with a trail stand of some sort.

 

They add weight, can clank around, stick out, add one more point for a problem to arise. It certainly can be convenient, but for me I can’t imagine many situations that I would rather have one than not.  Sounds like I’m the outlier on this one though. 🤷🏻‍♂️

 

This is the camp I'm in. Coming from a Dr650, a DRZ, and a ST I find they are unnecessary. I had one the ST and it sure was nice but I did not use that thing much in the dirt. I found it very helpful for cleaning, storage, etc. But since I use the T7 largely on dirt, like the DRZ, I see no need for a center stand. If oiling the chain or washing I use a Tusk stand at home. If in the field and I need to change a tire I would use a trail stand. For me I really do not want the extra weight or things sticking out or reduced clearance or any type of clanking, but again my T7 is like a 80 dirt/20 road moto. 

Edited by nelsonccc
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ISDE guys had to change tires with no stand at all  (in the 80s)  


skip to about 13:08 where they are doing the work on bikes layin on the ground.

I've patched tubes same way - on side, on ground -  in the middle of the desert
it sucks, but if ya have to, ya can

also?  rest of video has some awesome 80's spectator babes!  🙂

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Its a tough decision for me to. I have a center stand on my DR650 and it certainly has been a benefit at times. 

The Tenere has one of the best side stands standard that I've seen and I think I'll ride it as is and wait until something happens that I really think...damn I wish I had a center stand for this situation. 

I'm trying like hell not to farkle the bike with stuff I may or may not need.

My new T7 doesn't even have 600 miles on it yet so I'm going slow.

Crash bars and luggage rack are ordered and I just got new Koso heated handgrips in yesterday. 

Those were my needs for now.

Keep us updated. 

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This bike is a Heavy dirt bike or a light ADV bike, You wont notice any difference in weight, if it handles different or changes the center of gravity etc etc. Ive heard it twice bang up and down on gnarly dirt roads, I just tightened the pivot bolts up so its stiffer to use the stand. This is the first bike ive owned with a center stand and its great. Ease of stowing the bike. working on the left hand side, cleaning, packing bags etc. Come join the darkside and put the stand on 😎

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Pain Heals, Chicks dig scars, Glory lasts forever 

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This has been a good thread.  I haven't received my T7 yet but I'm researching upgrade options - one being center stands.

 

I'm inclined to go with one of the various trail stand options as I plan to ride the TAT in 2021.  For me, with a dirt bike background, the trail stand will be sufficient to change a tire/tube/lube chain I believe.

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There are 2 things I love about my centre stand I haven't seen mentioned yet. When on the stand you can sit on the bike and have it level. No leaning over or sitting weird dealing with the angle on the sidestand. Second one ties to the same thing but with the rack on the back or any sort of rear luggage. Having it flat while mounting or packing or using luggage or even just using the rack as flat table or small work bench is nice.

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I would rather add 3 kg extra weight in a centre stand than 7-10kg extra from crash bars (which is basically protection for plastics). My 2 c 🙂

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To me going without a centerstand would force finding an alternative for tire changing. I've seen collapsible or breakdown struts or something like that to triangulate front wheel, sidestand and swingarm strut in order to keep the rear wheel off the ground.

I presume the same thing is possible for the front wheel.

 

Doesn't the T7 require the bike be upright to check the oil level? Centerstand makes this easy.

I recall it being a kind of tricky contortion/balancing act on my XT350. I never dropped it while checking level but it seemed like a possible outcome.

I've gotten too old to wait. T7 is off the list.

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My last bike had a centre stand, and while I used it all the time (when refueling and loading the bike) I simply do not miss it at all on the T7.

 

Why don't you just use the bike without the centre stand and work out yourself if you need it?

 

Also a centre stand isn't very useful for changing the front tyre, and they are actually much less stable then the kick stand on rough or soft surfaces.

 

 

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Great stuff all around! Thanks for the multitude of positive and (mostly) informative input! A few thoughts:

 

  • @MotoTraveler I certainly don't think you're the outlier...It seems there are just as many "no-standers" as "standers". And each camp has its valid points.
  • As @Hogan says I just need to see which camp checks more boxes for me personally. The big reason I had ordered the stand wasn't because I ran into a situation where I NEEDED it but there have been many situations where it sure would be nice to have (storage issues that @Desert Mariner raises, @Bush_Wacker makes good points about loading luggage up and @Unimogbertmade the observations about a center stand helping with maintenance). Also what Desert Mariner and @ScorpionT16mention about the bike being more stable/secure from people fiddling with it are considerations I hadn't even made.
  • At this stage I'm too inexperienced to be doing any serious singletrack so I'm much more likely to be the inverse ratio of @nelsonccc. Probably like 50% pavement, 40% gravel and 10% singletrack (if any). If I were mostly on singletrack like some of you I would certainly be trying to shave every extra ounce.
  • If I did forgo the center stand I would certainly be buying a lift for in the workshop and the trail stand (or a homebrew solution) that @SantacruzT100 and others had mentioned.
  • Hogan also raises two interesting points: on the BMW the center stand lifts the front tire clear of the ground. Is that not the case with most of the T7 stands? And in my experience with the BMW center stand it always seemed much more stable on loose/squishy ground than the side stand.
  • I agree @JayD. That's why I went with the AS crash bars...they are very lightweight but still feel stout enough to stop anything from cracking 🤞. I had considered "how much do replacement plastics cost?" but am hoping the crash bars provide a little more protection to elements other than just the plastics (i.e. keeping some of the  bike off the ground).
  • Lastly, it would seem the moto gods have a sense of humor (or a certain vendor is watching my posts) for as soon as I wrote this post yesterday, I got shipping confirmation that my center stand is on the way 🤣 Once I have it on hand and feel the heft of it I'll make the decision, although honestly the hassle of finding a buyer and shipping it without losing money might be enough to make it go on the bike.

I think the summary here is that if you have one, you'll use it frequently and enjoy it. However  if you're more into singletrack pursuits its best to figure out other solutions, prepare yourself for some cursing and grunt work and then keep your fingers crossed!

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2 hours ago, 29er said:

all you need is....

 

 

 

 

Precisely, these are #1 .

  Friends don't let friends center stand.

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Does anyone know where you can get a Enduro Star TS3 Trail Stand from in the uk? This seems like an excellent alternative from a centre stand, failing that there’s always the awesome crutch Jack. 

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The tenere is not a dirt bike number 1 although some do treat it as such. For me it was a day 1 addition as I use the bike for adventure touring. Way too handy in so many respects and riding a Harley for many years without being able to use a cs for maintenance was a real pain. If I'll be doing lots of off-road I zip tie it to keep it from clanging around although it's really not bad. As others have said the weight is so low you won't notice it while riding either.

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I think one of the beautiful things about the T7, and one of the reasons this topic strikes such a nerve, is the fact that the bike can really be many different things to many different people.

 

If you want to treat it like a giant dirt bike then go right ahead. You'll probably be inclined to run it bare-bones and not bother with such frivolities as a center stand.

 

If you want to deck it out with all the farkles and make it a mileage-crushing adventure tourer then load it on up with every possible accessory and head out into the wide world.

 

Neither is wrong with this bike!

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