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Side Stand vs Center Stand for Motorcycles: Advantages and Uses

Side Stand vs Center Stand for Motorcycles: Advantages and Uses

1. Side Stand

The side stand, or kickstand, is meant to help make it easier to park your motorcycle. It helps prevent the motorcycle from tumbling by making a tripod with both wheels of the bike.

The side stand is placed on the left side below the back wheel. This allows riders to park the bikes while seated with the help of the left leg to open the side stand.

The side stand needs to be pushed down by the rider until it touches the floor. The motorbike won't tip over when the side stand is touching the ground.

Although side stands can be deployed quickly and are lighter and simpler to use when parking a bike, there are better options for parking while doing maintenance or repairs.

While servicing, repairing, or maintaining a motorbike, the rear tire should be elevated above the floor so it can spin freely. When using a side stand, the motorbike is slightly tilted towards the side when parked. If the floor is not level and flat, the motorbike can fall on its side.

1.1 How to Use a Side Stand

Using the Side Stand When Off the Bike:

  • A rider can raise or lower the kickstand by standing on the bike's left side.
  • Whether the kickstand is up or in the transition position, the rider should hold onto the motorcycle with both hands to stabilize.
  • When picking up a bike that has fallen on its right side, extend the kickstand with one hand.

Putting the Side Stand Down When Seated on the Bike:

  • Bring the motorcycle to a stop and place both feet on the ground.
  • Put the motorcycle in neutral or pull the clutch lever.
  • Hold onto the handlebars firmly with both hands.
  • Locate the kickstand knob by looking down along the left side of the motorcycle.
  • Examine the ground to ensure that it is a stable surface capable of supporting the side stand and the motorcycle’s weight.
  • Place your left heel on the kickstand's knob and push to extend it.
  • You'll hear the kickstand pop into position as the spring releases.
  • To make sure the kickstand is engaged, lean the bike to the left side and gently pull back on the handlebars.
  • To get off the bike, swing your right leg out.

Putting the Side Stand Up When Seated on the Bike:

  • Shift the motorcycle's left lean into a vertical position that remains balanced.
  • To support the bike, place your right foot on the ground.
  • Use your left heel to push up and in as you look down at the kickstand.
  • After the side stand is securely in place, listen for the click and inspect to ensure it is stable.

1.2 Pros and Cons of a Side Stand

Pros of Side Stand

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Can park motorcycle while seated
  • Easy to park motorcycle

Cons of Side Stand

  • Unsuitable for maintenance or servicing
  • Motorcycle is not upright when parked
  • Motorcycle may fall down on an uneven surface

2. Center Stand

The center stand is best for parking on uneven or soft terrain and  maintaining or repairing the motorbike. It acts as a pair of supports that flip open downward, lifting the rear wheel from the ground.

Usually, it is located close to the rear wheel along the lower section of the motorbike. To park your motorcycle while using the center stand, the motorcyclist needs to get off the motorbike first.

Parking a motorcycle with a center stand is far more challenging than with a side stand. The motorcyclist has to exert far more effort and energy to park.

Moreover, the motorbike exerts almost all of its weight on the center stand while parked. The center stand is responsible for supporting the full weight. Contrary to the side stand, where the two wheels carry the bike’s weight, the center stand lifts the rear tire off the ground. The raised rear wheel allows it to rotate freely, making it easier to conduct bike maintenance, servicing, and repair.

Additionally, the center stand is more reliable and stable, and the risk of falling down a motorcycle is very less. With the center stand, the bike is parked straighter than with the side stand.

2.1 How to Use a Center Stand

How to Get Motorbike On the Center Stand

  • Stand on the left side of your motorcycle and make sure the bike is in first gear before turning off the ignition.
  • Hold the handlebars with your left hand and pull the clutch in while grabbing the pillion grab bar with your right hand.
  • Put the bike in a vertical position by lifting the side stand.
  • Place the right foot on the lever of the center stand of the motorcycle and push it towards the ground.
  • When both supports are on the ground, step on the lever of the stand to put all your weight onto it. At the same time, keep the front wheel straight with your left hand.
  • Lift the motorcycle slightly up and back with your right hand.
  • Keep exerting your weight on the stand lever until the center stands clicks into place.

Things to Avoid When Putting the Bike On the Center Stand

  • Avoid lifting the motorcycle with your arms.
  • Do not try to lift the bike with only your legs.
  • Do not allow the motorcycle to lean right or left; the motorcycle should be perpendicular to the ground.

How to Get the Motorbike Off the Center Stand

  • Make sure that the motorcycle is in first gear before turning off the ignition.
  • Hold the handlebars and pull in the clutch with your left hand, while grabbing the pillion grab bar with your right hand.
  • Turn your body in the same direction the motorcycle will travel and place your right foot near the rear wheel.
  • Lift your left leg as you take a big step forward.
  • Drag the bike forward while keeping the front wheel straight with the right hand.
  • Once the motorcycle’s wheels are fully in contact with the ground, free the clutch to prevent it from moving forward.

Things to Avoid When Getting the Bike Off the Center Stand

  • Avoid pushing the motorcycle forward with your arms.
  • Keep the motorcycle from leaning to the right or left.

2.2 Pros and Cons of a Center Stand

Pros of Center Stand

  • Suitable for bike maintenance, repairs, and servicing
  • Motorcycle is upright when parked
  • Motorcycle will not fall even on uneven terrain

Cons of Center Stand

  • Hard to deploy, needs more effort and time
  • Unsuitable for easy and quick parking
  • Motorcyclist has to get off the bike

3. Last Words

Side and center stands have their advantages. A side stand is preferred for quick and easy parking since it is easy to use and can be deployed while sitting on the motorcycle. Meanwhile, the center stand is preferable when parking on unpaved or soft terrain and makes it easier to conduct maintenance and servicing. You can buy aftermarket parts from Viking Bags including fairings, crash bars, sissy bars, seats, luggage racks, and luggage bag options containing saddlebags, sissy bar bags, tank bags, swing arm bags, and backpacks.

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