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who uses the center stand

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Re: who uses the center stand

Postby acadian » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:12 am

No sidestand when I first got my 71 many years ago, did with only the mainstand until last year... when it fractured along the oblong wear hole made by the spring. I've since fitted an 850 style (longer gusset) mainstand with the shouldered bushings (have to open the holes in the 71 cradle a bit).

Side stand was repaired last year (welded on late style lug), and I love it. I welded the bracket slightly more downward than was indicated by the old britts template, as I wanted to eliminate the excessive lean that commando's seem prone to. Also wleded in a 1/8" tapered plate to the face of the lug to limit how far out the stand swings at full extension. I have no issues accessing the sidestand while sitting on the bike. And the new mainstand is easy to employ in the garage.

All that said, and based on the first piece of advice the old man gave me when I got my T120 back in the day.... I don't make a habit of kicking the bike over while on either stand... I just dont believe they're intended for that purpose, and have had to deal with busted main/side stands as a result of years of "stand starting" by PO's. The mainstand will hold up a bit longer, and I admit to starting it on the mainstand after a rebuild, or first time of the season to check things over, but after that I always kick my bikes over from the seated position, with both stands retracted
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby o0norton0o » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:21 am

I have a '70 commando. Both stands are a little short by design. I normally use the side stand when I am parking at a destination point. I turn the front wheel to the right while parking in a position so the left side of the bike faces towards the uphill direction of the ground I'm parking on to help the bike be a bit more verticle when the side stand is deployed. It works well enough

If I deploy the centerstand at home, I usually throw a piece of 1/4" plywood under the bike because the center stand on early bikes is short. It unloads the weight on the suspension, but doesn't lift one wheel off the ground like it should. The 70's stand is also not attached to the cradle. it's attached to plates off the frame's cross member which only early model bikes have.

*That same cross member is the one that interferes with the mounting of Jim Comstock's sump plug breather... As much as I like my 70 commando because it's "different" in many subtle ways, I'd like to hear that it's better than late models in at least one way, because the list of crap that was changed to make commando's better in later years adds up to a lot. If I was in the market to buy a commando, I wouldn't be looking for a '70 model year because there's a lot more to do to them to bring them up to the later year's standards.. Most of which, I have done, but it's been a long freekin' road...

I never kick the bike over on either stand. That's a recipe for a broken stand. Also, I'm a large human and it takes all my weight to kick my bike over. I've seen guys put their foot on their kicker and push it down with their leg to start their bike... No way, on my bike. You jump up in the air, straighten your leg on the kicker and rock backward to drive the kicker down to give it enough of a blast to start it. No way could you stand on the right side of the bike and pop it over with your left foot... no effin' way...
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby illf8ed » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:05 pm

pantah_good wrote:Aesthetically, bikes just look their best on the center stand, and you can't not look at your bike after parking it.


Aesthetically Commandos look their best at speed in twisties :D
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby Craig » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:26 pm

I agree with David's position above on where a Commando looks best ..... as far as starting on center stand , after having both legs surgically repaired a few times each , my right leg remains the worse , for the last 16 years I have always kicked bike to life with left leg while bike stood on center stand ..... I have observed no ill effects yet to stand , occasionally I have started bike while off stand with straddle method and almost always bang my bad right knee .... might be interesting poll to see how many start with aid of center stand and those who don't , also how many stands have actually given up the ghost while being used to hold bike during the kick start process .... both sides have seemed very adamant in their views on which method is correct .... while I love my Commando dearly , I also enjoy going out to shed and starting one of the Italians on the button , no leg bashing at all ....
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby jimbo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:37 pm

start my things on their center stands, I will repair the stands once in a great while if I have to.
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby cNwRestomod » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:40 pm

As Jimbo correctly pointed out earlier on this forum topic, leaving your bike on the centre stand for any length of time is NOT a good idea as all the weight is transferred to the rear isolastics and the result is deformed rubbers which ultimately affect handling, etc. For long term storage, it's always best to use neither the side or centre stand; tie the bike down from the forks to the ground with straps. Personally, I just roll my bike up onto my Handy Lift and tie it down to save space in my workshop.

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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby gortnipper » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:06 pm

cNwRestomod wrote:As Jimbo correctly pointed out earlier on this forum topic, leaving your bike on the centre stand for any length of time is NOT a good idea as all the weight is transferred to the rear isolastics and the result is deformed rubbers which ultimately affect handling, etc. For long term storage, it's always best to use neither the side or centre stand; tie the bike down from the forks to the ground with straps. Personally, I just roll my bike up onto my Handy Lift and tie it down to save space in my workshop.


When tied down as you describe, think about how the weight is distributed to the wheels - for the sake of argument lets say it is 50/50.

Some of the rear wheel weight also impact the ISOs as leverage through the swing-arm to the cradle. How much? I dont know. For the sake of argument, lets say 10%.

When on the side stand, less weight would be on the rear ISOs than when on both wheels, as the side stand would be taking part of that weight and transferring it to the frame and thus both the wheels. So, you would see a reduction in the 10%. However, the load would be more on the primary side of the iSOs.

For long term storage I think the best solution has to be on an under-frame type lift with the wheels off the ground. This also protects the tires from the same deformities. And, isnt this how they do cars as well?
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby xbacksideslider » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:36 pm

That's a good one, long term compression pressure on the top of the rear isolastics by way of the center stand being roughly beneath the rear isolastics, and less compression pressure on those isolastics when the bike is on its wheels, on the side stand, because most of the weight is then carried by the rear shock springs and front fork springs.

Seems logical, has anyone observed witness marks on the rubbers, or misshapen rubbers, or something else that confirms this?
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby gortnipper » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:57 pm

Actually, thinking about it more - when in a tied down state (as opposed to in a wheel chock) the distribution would likely be much more front loaded. Rear ISOs would benefit, but the fork springs would not at all.

Again, frame bearing the weight for long term storage is likely the best? In constant use? Sidestand?
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby Fullauto » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:43 pm

I've currently had the centre stand off the bike for a few weeks because it broke. Just waiting for the repaired stand to be powder coated. I cannot wait for it to be back on the bike. I always start the bike on the centre stand. The easiest method of starting. Maintenance is extremely annoying without it. Imagine a flat tyre out on the road without a centrestand. Easy to fix WITH but a pain in the arse without.
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby robs ss » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:06 am

And... from one of the non-Commando brigade...
650SS with monoblocs (pre '65 ??) didn't come with side stands anyway. The chopped RH carb needs the bike to be level to get the correct fuel flow from the LH fuel bowl.
So these bikes are "centre-stand-central"
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby Nortoniggy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:28 am

It never ceases to amaze me how fervently people here tell others what they must & must not do. It's mostly just an opinion. Offer advice yes, but tell people what they "must" do? No.

You can park your bike on any stand you like, nothing bad will happen whatever you choose. However you park it the isolastics are going to be in tension of some sort but nothing like the tensions they are subjected to while riding. Do the people who park their bikes with the full weight on the tyres realise they are putting flats on their tyres by doing so. Therefore, you "MUST" hang your bike up from the ceiling to avoid this, having of course first fitted the parking bolts you've made that hold the engine/gearbox unit to the frame so that the isolastics are fully centralised and unloaded. :roll:

You can start it on the centre stand or not. The stand won't break if you do. I've been starting mine from cold on the stand for 44 years and it hasn't broken yet!
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby gortnipper » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:05 pm

Like I said, for 20 years I had no side stand and would always start it on the center stand.
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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby gripper » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:58 pm

Nortoniggy +1 or lean it up against a tree

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Re: who uses the center stand

Postby ashman » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:08 pm

When I first convered my Commando to the Featherbed frame in 1980 I had no stand at all and it stayed that way for over 30 years, you always find somewhere to lean the bike on, fence, post even used my helmet as a make shift stand, my motor is a HC engine and I have never had any problems starting it without any stand at all, I now have a bolt on side stand that has been on for a few years but its hard to get out of bad habits as I sometimes still lean it on a fence when parking at mates places, we still have a laugh about it, "wheres Pricey's bike, o its leaning over there on the fench"' in my shed when its parked I put a car stand under the foot peg to hold it up.

When I first brought my 850 Commando new I was only 17 years old, a skinny runt with very skinny legs and weighted 9 stone nothing, at first I used the stands to start whether side stand or centre stand, but after getting use to starting it I had no problems after that without using them, so really its up to each one to do what they want with their bike, myself I have no troubles starting without using a stand and with the JH maggie it starts on half a swing on the kicker every time even while sitting on the seat.

I still use the side stand when needed but I don't relie on it as being only a bolt on one that clamps to the frame it some times moves from its right position and if it ever scraped while in tight corners then it will be removed.

So do what ever suites you and if the mounting wears out jut fix it so easy.

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