How to put motorcycle on center stand

Most modern street motorcycles have a center stand as well as the side or “kick” stand. The center stand is handy in particular for a chain driven bike.

how-to-get-motorcycle-on-centerstandAfter getting the bike ‘up’ on the center stand, lubricating the chain becomes a snap: just start the bike, pull the clutch in, put the bike in first gear, and release the clutch. Presto, the chain is whizzing past the business end of your chain lube can, and you can easily spray between the rollers and the links on each side.

Careful where you put hands and fingers around the spinning rear sprocket!

To get the motorcycle on the center stand

  1. With it on the side stand, walk around to the left side of the bike.
  2. CAREFULLY bring the bike to as close to vertical as you can, making sure to not get it past vertical – motorcycles are easily dropped in the direction away from you
    Note: Your left hand will be on the left handlebar at this point, your right hand on the handle near the seat.
  3. While keeping the bike vertical, take the ball of your right foot and ease the stand down till it touches pavement or concrete, preferably. This can be done on firm grass or dirt, but is trickier. 
    Note: You will be able to rock the bike back and forth (just a little) with your foot on the tang of the center stand and feel when both sides of the stand are down.
  4. With your left hand on the left handlebar grip, grab the handle for doing this task and stand forcefully with your right foot onto the tang while pulling up forcefully with your right hand. Keep pulling and pushing in opposite directions till you feel the back end start to rise, and don’t stop with the force till it plops back onto the stand. You’re done.

This procedure will work for medium to heavy bikes. For lighter bikes, 500cc and down, the procedure is the same, but the force required is much less; it’s not necessary to use ‘standing’ force with your foot. 

Get some help the first couple of times

If you are a new rider with a fairly heavy bike, ask for assistance on your first few tries (could even be a non-motorcyclist neighbor). Leave the side-stand down, and have the assistant stand opposite you as you try this maneuver; he will have his right hand on the handlebar and left hand in some convenient location in case you lose balance with the bike.

If the bike gets away from you toward the helper, he can catch it. If it gets away from you on your side,  just let it ease over onto the side-stand. After a few tries, you’ll have it.

Here’s a video I made showing you how

Fred Applegate

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