'71 Commando Sidestand

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Dec 25, 2004
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Does anyone have an original '71 sidestand (the dangerous one) they'd be willing to sell? Alternatively, I have a '72 sidestand (powdercoated black) I'd be happy to trade for a '71.

Thanks in advance!

Bill Walker
Perhaps stupid question...what is different about the 71 stand....I have a 72 and mine used to not return/flip up by itself...had to add an extra spring to get through the vehicle inspection...is this what you mean?
Yes I have one I would willing ly trade for the lateter model it needs powter coating but is other wise a nice stock piece. PM me and we will work out something . I am in Michigan. norbsa He who the 71 swings on a round piviot pin and the lare model swings on a piece of flat stock.
Thanks for the info...but can't quite picture what you mean...insert a picture? I know mine had a much too small bolt, which broke, I think 3 times during kickstarts...kind of a hard landing when this happens :wink:

I bored my holes out and put in a much bigger shoulder bolt with a Nyloc nut and it hasn't given me any trips to the emergency room for thirty years. Ended up under the bike, 2 times...rather embarassing and it's not a recommended experience. Be though, interested to see what you are talking about...Thanks!
The 71 sidestand lug is welded to the frame and protrudes downward. A circlip on the bottom of the lug holds the sidestand on the lug. If the circlip fails the sidestand falls, still attached to the frame via the spring, with sometimes disasterous consequences. The 72 sidestand is bolted on to a bracket on the frame. It's also longer and has a rubber stop piece. Undoubtebly an inherently safer design.

Bill Walker[/img]
Got a picture in my head...but is it correct? Lord knows. Sounds like that year though was a bit different. Pictures anyone?

Having always had only one model/year has made me a bit uneducated as to the quirks of other years...but I will pick it up...eventually. Hope you find the one you are wishing for...but is it really better to go to something even more dangerous than what I have? Must be a reason why you want one though...

I was given three choices at the last vehicle inspection...either put a second spring on it, that will make it slam up and let you fall over if it flips up during kickstarting; put a switch on the stand that will not allow the bike to be started with the stand down (Kill switch for the stand) great when you have no electric start...or...best of all...remove it and try to kick start it without a side stand and put it always up on the center stand...great for a 110 pound weakling. Smart stuff....EU Laws. Went the way of a second spring...got tired of going to inspections and removing the stand around the corner, and remounting it after getting the sticker on the plate. Now it will slam up if you aren't careful...but I have learned to deal with it carefulls kick it stared, and hold the stand with the boot, till she is up.

. There is though...a positive side to all this. The extra spring, held on to the frame by a hose clamp, sticks down a bit when the stand is up for riding....and it scrapes on the road when I really lean it over in a curve. It makes a nice scrapeing sound that gets your attention...my "early warning system".... :wink:
side stand and lean indicator


I bought a new '83 BMW R100RS that had the self retracting side stand. The day I brought it home it was parked at the curb. A young boy, fascinated with the shiny new beemer, pulled on the high side bag handle. The side stand retracted and the bike dropped over. Love that feature!

Regarding lead angle indicators, the Commando came from the factory with those...left exhaust pipe and the foot pegs.
My first Norton was a brand new 73 850. When I picked it up from my first and only service, I proceeded to kick it with the side stand down. The mechanic went nuts and proceeded to chew on me on the proper way to start a Norton. He went on to explain that the side stand is for holding up the bike, not me and the bike. If I continued to do this the stand would break and both and me and bike would be on the ground. The very least that would happen is the lower frame rail would bend.
"So how do I start it," I asked.
Like this, he retracted the stand, balanced the bike with the left leg and kicked. I soon mastered this with success.
I must admit, I usually use the center stand nowadays. (Weak left knee, over aged, over weight, pick one)

He also gave me a tip on the center stand. Standing on the side, left hand on handlebar, right at fender rail right behind shock, step down on the stand and gently lift on the fender rail, the bike will lift and rock right up.
We live....we learn.

When I got my bike, I weighed 130...I weigh 170 now. I couldn't start it back then without a good, throughly "dedicated" kick and I can't do it now either. Mine did indeed go over a couple of times last year when I installed that stupid second spring, but I have it now under control :D
....fact is...I can start it without the stand if the motor is warm, but it takes more concentration than I have to spare and once it leans past that certain point...she's down for the count. Got to be QUICK. As for the center stand circus...I know how, and I can still get it up (on the stand...(Wink)...but my slipped disk is not my best feature...added to this...a LONG time ago, I added "C" shaped pieces of a sawn pipe, to the bottom of my center stand, to get the rear wheel up higher when on the center stand, so I could easily get the rear wheel out for tire changes. And...I have no grab rail either. I can...but my big strapping 19 year old can't get it on the stand...That modified center stand, means it's a beast of leverage to get it up on the stand......just picture the problem with a full set of panniers and a full Interstate tank.....

Soooooo......I know how.....but I just don't see the sense in making life any more difficult than it is :D

Besides...something tells me the logic of the fellow that works for the vehicle inspection place is sort of "misguided"......he told me it should be no problem, to start it without a side stand. Until he showed me how.....and dropped it.
Those fragile '68-'70 side stands can barely hold the bike, much less withstand the added weight and force of being kickstarted. The later sidestands are better (except the '71), but will still bend from this abuse. If you must have the side stand down, don't kick it from astride the bike. Stand next to it and support it with the handlebar. Find TDC and kick smoothly. You don't have to jump into the air and come down with all your weight. Alternatively, straddle the bike and with the left foot down on the ground kick. If you have short legs, this may be a problem. Again the trick is to position the engine at TDC when you start the stroke. A well tuned bike will start within 1-2 kicks, even cold, even with a modified or high compression engine.

As for centerstands, if you stand on the pegs to kick start, you will break the '71-'73 750 stands. You will probably break the '68-70 stands. If you have the later 850 stand, you may only destroy the pivot spacers. DAMHIK! Often when you find the bike rocks when on the centerstand or doesn't seem to lift the back wheel as it used to, the spacers or their bores are damaged.

Unfortunately......"Been there...done that".

I need to sit astride, and use all my strength and weight to get it to kick through. Short legs...tip toe at the red light thing. Not as bad now as it used to be, as there must indeed be less compression now...never did a rebore/piston new thing...but... I need the full program anyway. Not bad.....been doing this for 30 years, after the side stand bolt got replaced...all is hunky dory. No more falling down in front of 20 other "bikers". But the "stand next to it thing and kick it" thing, is a bummer. I can do it, but if you don't get it just right and the bike moves a bit towards balance point in the process of kicking...., the bike might start, but the stand has in the meantime slammed up and you are now standing off balance, with 400 hundred pounds of leaning machine held only by your left hand, and.....Oh no! Ladies and gentlemen...this doesn't look good! And away she goes!

My center stand...
The point that they break...yup....been there too. The bolt holes wear out...yup. They do. But mine won't break any more. When I stood at the welders', with one leg of the stand in one hand and the rest of the stand in the other.....I noticed the stand is made of hollow stock. Not any more. A Hack saw parted the other leg from the stand, and magically, good old solid bar stock fit perfectly inside the hollow sections of stand...couple quick welds and my stand now weighs more than anybody elses in the forum...but it ain't gonna break no more... :wink:
Safety wired, Hex head Shoulder screws with bronze bushings and welding nuts on the inside of the tranny cradle took care of the wearing out of the bolts, and the baby is now built to last.

Main point is...I can get it started...just find having the return spring setup is not only damned inconvenient, but literally more dangerous than the way it used to be. One time forgetting the stand down....was enough to make me remember...but the EU has another mentality. They think we are all too stupid to remember to flip the stand up....Hummmm....might be right! :wink:
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