Side stand problems

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Aug 5, 2006
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The last time I took my '71 commando for a spin I stopped it at a gas station and left it on the side stand. When I came back out of the gas station my bike had fallen over, luckily it didn't seem to have damaged the bike. When I got home I tightened the nuts on the side stand and it seemed to work fine, but after a few times of leaving my bike on the side stand it stopped working, the side stand will move all the way to the front fender without stopping. Has anyone else had this problem? what did you do to fix it?
 
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Mine is a 72...can't say if it is the same but I replaced my bolt with a bigger diameter bolt (Bored out holes), and a nyloc nut, nice wide flat washers too. And the side stand itself...when it is extended...look at the contact point where the stand and the frame/nub come into contact. The stand should come against a nice flat...flat to flat...resting place and the bolt should be tight enough to hold it straight and tight there...it the bolt is loose, or the flats are worn...the stand will hop over where it should stop...over towards the front wheel and the bike will fall.

I took my stand off...welded a bead on the flat and one on the nub too I think...filed/dressed it till it all fit. Now the stand has a nice flat place to rest against when extended, and the thing can't fall. Main point...
Something is worn, loose or really not in order...take a gander at it and you will see the reason, and the solution....peace!
 

Ron L

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NateC,
You stated you have a '71 Commando? This year Commando had a side stand that was retained by a pin and a clip, so I don't know what bolts you could be tightening. Perhaps the stand has been replaced with one of the universal bolt on stands?

Old Britts and others sell a conversion weld-on kit for this frame as the original stand was notorious for losing the clip and having the stand drop off while riding. (I bet that is exciting!) They also tend to break the pin.

Maybe we need to start by confirming which frame you have. If the centerstand mounts to the engine cradle and the side stand has a split cast mount with one half welded to the frame tube and the other bolted through, then you have the early 1968-1970 style frame. If the side stand is attached to a pin welded to the inside of the frame at the cross tube, it is a 1971 frame. 1972-1975 frames have a single bolt holding the side stand to a tab welded to the outside of the frame tube.

The problem you describe I have seen on many '72-'75 frames as a result of letting the bolt work loose and wear away the stand and its mounting tab. A little work with a welder and grinder can restore this back to original operation.
 
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Feb 25, 2007
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I had a 1971 roadster and as I remember the side stand is different from the 1972 model I have now. It is shorter with out the long thin end and the bike sits differently on the side stand.

My 1971 fell to the ground on the side stand and the split pin had broken through the lug so the stand fell off. When I rebuild the bike in 1976, i welded onto the frame a new lug with a thread so that a heavy duty washer could be placed in front of the nut to prevent the stand coming off.

I have had no problem with my 1972 bike's side stand.
 
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The centre stand is bolted onto the engine cradle. I am guessing this is an early style frame. This commando was built in January of 1971 so they probably could of used a 1970 frame. Here are some pictures:

Side stand problems

Side stand problems
 
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That looks like the 72 onwards has been added which is good, whats bad is that the stand arm is going too far forward, to fix do as already described, build up the worn areas on frame lug and stand arm followed by dressing. Then fit a new bolt, washers with a new nyloc nut.
 
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Kommando has the right idea. when you get a new bolt, get a grade 8. Make sure the nut and washer bottom out on the bushing that goes through the eye of the side stand and not on the side stand surface. Then you can graunch the nut down good and tight.

I used to start my commando on the side stand until I had an incident where the bolt snapped while trying to start it. Bike was fully loaded for a long trip. Fell off the bike and tumbled down a small hill that I had parked next to. :shock: :oops: :lol:

I now use a stronger bolt and don't start bike on side stand
 
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Looks like all he has to do is weld, dress and a bigger bolt.. :D

I had my original bolt snap a couple of times too...that's why I have a much bigger bolt in there now...but that wasn't as bad as having the center stand collapse...it just broke into three pieces when I kick started it...that was really embarassing...what with ten people looking on and such.... :wink:
 
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During one of my Boeing careers, I was a fastener specialist, so I got to know quite a lot about bolts, all on-the-job. Didn't know diddly when I started!

Properly assembled, there should be none of the thread in the holes in the parts you're joining.

The holes should all be reamed to the outside diameter of the bolt's shank, and the grip length of the shank should be the same as the sum of the thicknesses of the parts. A washer is used under the nut to give enough thread for it to grip and tighten down.

Boeing QC would reject assemblies if there was any thread in the hole. I don't think Norton were that picky!
 
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I have a 1971 Roadster and on this bike since new the propstand axel has been welded non-perpendicular to the cam shaped support plate.
With this arrangement the propstand rides out from the support plate and pops off the circlip and eventually the propstand falls off!
I have since welded a Norvil replacement kit (I managed it without taking out the engine) and enjoy the extra confort a propstand brings (after about 20years without one!
 
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i have a 71 as well. got the kit from old brit's. now from reading this post it appears i have the earlier frame. there is a piece welded into the frame tube and not the flat plate and pin you see in the old britt's photos. will the new stand i got go into this earlier frame or do i need to call old brit's and get a correct replacement?
glad i read this.
thanks
doctorb
 

gortnipper

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My propstand has had its hole worn oval by the spacer. Is there an oversize spacer so I can bore out the hole round, or does that not leave enough wall, and it needs to be filled/rebored?
 
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The original spacers are very much hardened. If you get one made oversize, you should harden it. One made of mild steel will barely last a season if...lubricated.
 
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i am talking with old britt's. while i wait to hear from them can the replacement stand for 71 be used with the lug in the frame? if not is there anywhere is can get a sidestand for this pre 71 frame?
thanks
drb.
 
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doctorbrown said:
i am talking with old britt's. while i wait to hear from them can the replacement stand for 71 be used with the lug in the frame? if not is there anywhere is can get a sidestand for this pre 71 frame?
thanks
drb.

It can but a new replacement stand for a '71 is actually a replacement '72-on stand. If you are using an original '71 stand then the bushing won't fit. I was able to use my '71 stand and the Old Britts bracket but I had to insert a custom (smaller diameter) bushing.
 
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NateC said:
The last time I took my '71 commando for a spin I stopped it at a gas station and left it on the side stand. When I came back out of the gas station my bike had fallen over, luckily it didn't seem to have damaged the bike. When I got home I tightened the nuts on the side stand and it seemed to work fine, but after a few times of leaving my bike on the side stand it stopped working, the side stand will move all the way to the front fender without stopping. Has anyone else had this problem? what did you do to fix it?

I threw mine away within 3 months of owning my 71 750. A proper f..k up of a design. Best mod I did in those days [ 1973 ] BTW it saves weight too.
 

DogT

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This is all very interesting. I've got the early prop stand with the cheapo short bracket off the frame that's by the connecting tube that the early bikes have. I've been starting this bike on the prop stand since I got it and it's working fine still. I've never been able to start it without a prop stand or center stand (I fall over) and I didn't have a center stand until a few years ago. I wonder if it's a matter of methodology? I try to balance as good as I can and don't put a lot of weight on the prop stand, I get up both feet on the pegs balanced and give it all I've got, plus the bike has always been an easy starter, that is it starts in one or two kicks, not that it's easy to push over.

I did replace the pin with a grade 8 bolt and nyloc nut. However, I couldn't find one that has threads only past the clearance holes.

Dave
69S
 
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I think the sidestands on these Nortons are weak and insecure in any configuration. The more they angle forward the more the bracket stop is wore out. Although I have employed the Oldbritts bracket and have tried to beef ot up with hard bushes and bolts, I extend it and retract it with care so it will work good for as long as possible.

I also think there is an esthetic look to them. They just look good in use. That is another reason to treat them with some respect.
 
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NEVER start your bike on the side stand - one sure way to shorten the life of an already dodgey bit.
 

elefantrider

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BillT said:
NEVER start your bike on the side stand - one sure way to shorten the life of an already dodgey bit.

Same goes for the center stand, people should not start their bike on it.......really wears the cradle over time.
 
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