Motorcycles use stands to support themselves and to remain upright whilst parked by using either a side or centre stand. Some models of motorcycles have both types available.
Motorcycle Side Stand
Motorcycle side stands are used most frequently due to being quicker and easier to use than the centre stand. Side stands rely on the motorcycle leaning to the side and using its own weight to form a stable and reliable stand.
So that your motorcycle doesn’t fall over, it’s important to ensure the ground surface is firm enough to support the bikes weight and free from loose debris.
Using the side stand on slopes
Most roads use slopes or ‘cambers’ that descend from the centre of the road (crown) towards the kerb to prevent standing water when it rains. Ensure when using the side stand that the motorcycle isn’t leaning too far over or that the bike isn’t too upright due to the camber.
Using the motorcycle side stand
This method explains how to use the motorcycle side stand after dismounting.
- Apply the front brake and dismount from the motorcycle on the left-side at the kerbside.
- Keeping the motorcycle in an upright position, fully push down the side stand with your foot.
- Gently allow the motorcycle to lean towards you so that you can support its weight until the weight is taken by the side stand.
- Now turn the front wheel to the left towards the kerb and release the front brake.
Disengaging the side stand before mounting the motorcycle.
- Keep to the left side of the motorcycle and apply the front brake.
- Begin to turn the handlebars to a straight position as you push the motorcycle upright off of the stand.
- Using your foot, push the side stand into its up position and ensure that it locks.
- From the left side, mount the motorcycle.
Operating the side stand whilst straddling the motorcycle.
- Apply the front brake and support the motorcycle in an upright position keeping both feet down.
- Using your left foot, push the side stand fully down.
- Slowly and carefully allow the motorcycle to lean to the left until the weight has been fully supported by the side stand.
- Dismount the motorcycle to the left and as doing so, turn the front wheel to face the left kerb and release the front brake.
Using the motorcycle centre stand
Putting the motorcycle onto the centre stand
- Stand on the left-side of the motorcycle and firmly hold the left handlebar using your left hand.
- Using either foot, push the centre stand down and using your right hand, hold the frame of the motorcycle close to the saddle area. Your motorcycle may have a handle specifically for this purpose.
- Firmly stand down onto the stand whilst pulling the motorcycle in a backwards and upwards motion.
Removing the motorcycle from the centre stand
- Keeping to the left side of the motorcycle, firmly hold the left handlebar using your left hand.
- Using your right hand, hold the motorcycle frame near the saddle area (use the grip if one is supplied).
- Hold the stand firmly in place using either the right or left foot.
- If necessary, straighten the handlebars and keep them straight and use a rocking motion to push the motorcycle forward.
- Allow the centre stand to retract and apply the front brake.
Centre Stand or Side Stand?
Some motorcycles may only come equipped with a centre stand or a side stand, whilst others may come equipped with both. Many riders prefer to use the side stand due to their ease and speed of operation and tend only to use the centre stand for maintenance. Ultimately however, if your motorcycle comes equipped with both, it’s entirely your preferential choice.
[highlight]Always ensure stands are fully up and locked before moving off. Cornering on a motorcycle whilst the stand is not fully retracted can see the stand dig into the road, resulting in the motorcycle becoming extremely unstable and likely cause an accident.[/highlight]
Certain motorcycle manufactures utilize a safety features to prevent these hazardous situations from occurring. Examples may include the engine not starting when the stand is down, or the bike being immobilized until the stand has been retracted.