Brown, Surefoot, Flying Tpot: Sidestands.
Reynolds RideOff Center-stand.
Differences between these side-stands and mountings;
some of the possible problems if any
of these are not installed/used correctly,
For BMW Airhead Motorcycles
© Copyright, 2013, R. Fleischer
PREFACE (on SIDE-stands):
BMW SIDE-stands are not all the same,
don't have the same lengths, angles, fitments, etc.
For some folks, they work fine. Most of the time it is
the riders with higher inseam measurements that have the
least trouble. For some with short inseams there are
problems of various sorts. Some people dislike not being able to see the deployed or deploying side-stand.
Sometimes there is a worn side-stand, or a bent one. If worn, they can be bushed and BMW has bushings for those that have replaceable ones, ....ETC.
For some, just modifying the existing side-stand with a small tang, so your boot tip can grab it, is all that is needed. Some do not like the small footprint on their side-stands, and that is not difficult to fix, although some just carry a little plate.
Quite a few riders are afraid their bikes will fall if they dismount without already having the side-stand in the fully-out position. Most try to do this from the seated position. Some will actually drop the bike....perhaps they can't 'see' the side-stand, and maybe can't tell whether or not it is fully deployed. I am not much or always in favor of the method of extending the side-stand from the seated position, but I certainly understand it is necessary at times...such as with a big load on the passenger seat, hard to move one's legs, especially short legs, over a large package on the rear seat. I particularly do not like to see it done when the rider THEN dismounts, after having put not only the bike, but his WEIGHT on the side-stand by having his foot and weight on the footrest. Sitting on your bike at any time with the side-stand deployed is not a great idea. Whatever method you use, and whether or not it is a stock stand, just be careful and develop your own method/routine.
Before getting into the photos and comments, note that none of the aftermarket stands, nor the stock stands are perfect. The best side-stand Snowbum ever used on an Airhead was one he modified for an RT. It was a Brown that was modified so the horizontal metal piece bolted to BOTH the front and rear motor mounts (studs changed to longer ones, see hardware article and below in this article). No clamp was over the exhaust header pipe. For safety purposes, there was a pair of added pegs that allowed an additional spring to be used (not that I ever heard of a Brown spring failing). The stand was heated red-hot and reshaped slightly and a plate for a foot added. Unfortunately I never took a photo. It is possible that the Flying Tpot stand will do quite well, but are not available for all models, see later in this article.
While the original mounting can work OK, see below photos, be sure the engine stud is torqued to 55 ftlbs, and that the clamp is not actually pressuring the pipe when the stand is deployed...and I HIGHLY suggest you do NOT sit on the bike with the side-stand in use.
Here is a photo of George Turski's Brown Side-stand as on his 1982 R100RT; George has a heat shield on his muffler.
Below are FIVE photos of Snowbum's 1984 R100RT, which has BOTH a Reynolds center-stand and the Brown side-stand installed.
Don't use the side-stand as shown above!
If the Reynolds center-stand is up first, the Brown will be held outward, as shown, and the Brown can contact the ground on very sharp turns. Avoid doing this!
It is possible to modify the Reynolds tang. See much later photos further down this page, for a Farley side-stand with a modified Reynolds center-stand.
The best way to modify the setup, if one has both the Brown and the Reynolds, is to use an oxy-acetylene torch and heat the left foot-tip area, so it will fit UNDER the Brown. The result will be that the Brown will not stick downwards, when UP. The ABOVE photo shows the NON-modified setup for the Reynolds.
In the above photo, the small red caption says that the Brown is NOT touching the muffler anyplace. A close-up is further down this page.
A close-up view of the Brown side-stand folded up to but NOT TOUCHING the muffler.
In some installations the end may be sticking out too far, if so, you can modify the
mechanical limit area where the hinged stand fits. Note what I said about modifying
the Reynolds LEFT TIP, well above...that will allow the Brown to fit just like if the Reynolds
was not even there. You still have to remember which to put up first, of course!
Below is a different type of installation. In this installation, no exhaust pipe clamp is used, and using a few standard BMW parts, a very secure mounting can be made. This can be a decent modification; for twin
low pipes, and some other piped models, etc., where no exhaust pipe clamping is possible for the Brown side-stand.......and, of course, where you do not like the original exhaust clamp mounting. Note that the clamp may have to be reworked some; and on some bikes will not fit.
While the original mounting can work OK, see well-above photos...be sure the engine stud is torqued to 55 ftlbs, and that the clamp is not actually pressuring the pipe when the stand is deployed...and I HIGHLY suggest you do NOT sit on the bike with the side-stand in use.
This photo, which I have enhanced as best I can, shows the
Farley side-stand mounted on a 1983 R100RS. In order for the
Farley to fit better when folded up (the bike has a Reynolds Ride-Off center-stand),
3/4" was sawn off the foot tang of the Reynolds. NOTE:
Very difficult to see, but in this particular installation, Farley supplied a
black crash-bar clamp, etc., which supports the front bolt area of the Farley
side-stand, at the BMW frame point for the center-stand. This was done
to avoid the problem of the Brown side-stand, and potentially the Farley
side-stand, from putting pressure on the exhaust header, if a clamp was used
around the exhaust header, and fastened to the forward side-stand bolt.
These are normally quite well welded to the footpeg, which either is supplied or exchanged.
The below photos are not all the same stand and installation.
The following was reported in
early 2012, and I have not personally inspected the side-stand nor installation.
If true, and the Surefoot design has been modified, since my above information was
then be advised!
I have edited this slightly for clarity.
"The Surefoot side-stand for my 81R100RT is creating a few problems. The upper arm of the U-shaped bracket that grips the frame was bearing against the gearbox casing and preventing complete fastening of the engine mounting nut. I trimmed the bracket to fix that. The hole for the engine mounting bolt was so close to the welding on the angled flange, that I cannot fit a standard flat washer under the nut. I replaced it with a thick spring washer. I now find that the upper pin for the coil spring is bearing against the exhaust pipe. A trip of less than a mile heated the pin to the extent that the hook on the coil spring softened and straightened, causing the spring to fall away. Fortunately this happened in my driveway so I have the coil spring and can clearly see what happened.
The Surefoot appears to have been modified a few
times over time and one change is that coil springs used to be on top of the
leg (as seen
in the pictures on Snowbum's article 79) and those have now been replaced
with a single coil spring under the leg. And that is where the
problem arises. I am not sure if the problem is the Surefoot or my exhaust
headers, the origin of which is unknown to me."
Snowbum says: I have NO further information....yet.....but if you are considering purchasing a Surefoot, ask questions!
FlyingTpot sidestands are not available
for all BMW Airhead models. On 04/07/2013 when I edited this section, they
were available for the GS models and the ST.
I have not had a chance to play with one of these stands, but I think they might be able to be reworked to fit some other models.
Be sure to scan all the way down that linked page, as some models are NOT listed at the top!
This side-stand fastens using the rear engine bolt. The rear of the mount fastens to the foot-peg bracket.
The longer bolt for the foot-peg comes with the side-stand. Your heel will operate it; and the lean angle for the bike is good and you can SEE the stand! Like many aftermarket side-stands, it interferes with use of the center-stand, but I do not see this as a problem...just use it properly.
Seems to be well-designed and constructed....if massive.
While not available for all BMW Airhead models, the idea is sound, and you might be able to use this
on other models than the one's the manufacturer says it fits.
Here are a few photos grabbed from their site:
1. Custom side stands: Robert Van Farowe; 2792 24th Avenue; Hudsonville, Michigan, 49426; (616) 896-8469
2. Engine studs come in more than one length, see my hardware article on these, as you might need a longer stud if installing an aftermarket stand.
Stock BMW Sidestand and its pin:
The /5 side-stand fits on a pin
that is pressed into the frame. BMW supplies the
replacement as oversize, and you must ream the existing hole for
a good interference fit. The oversize part number is
BMW has had at least two bulletins on the side-stands of the later airheads. The first was 46-006-83 (2076) and said that during the 1983 production year, the bell/barrel bushing was eliminated and the frame stop was modified. The result was more lean angle, and also the automatic folding-up of the side-stand as the weight of the motorcycle was lifted off it. That modification fit the 1981 and later, but not the G/S and ST.
Kits were available,
46-53-2-302-026 (maybe was actually -062, which became 46-53-2-302-003, which
For the R65 and R65LS the kit was 46-53-2-302-061 which later became 46-53-2-302-001, and that became 46-53-1-454-751.
Some of this confusion came about because a later bulletin, 46-029-90 (2419) applied to the 1981-1984 model year. Again, kits were offered. These included a mess of parts including two shouldered bushings that had to be installed squarely (a bolt and washers will do it just fine), and the thicker shoulder bushing goes AT THE BOTTOM. The kit was 46-53-1-454-750; and 46-53-1-454-751 for the R65.
NOTE: The 83+ models used a bushing 46-53-2-302-000
Install the side-stand before the left front spacer. If you want to work on the side-stand, off the bike, remove the left side front motor mount stud, and knock it through to at least flush with the engine.
BMW center-stands vary by year and model.
If you have trouble getting your
early 1980's bike on the center-stand, you may want to upgrade
with the BMW replacement upgraded center-stand parts.
46-52-9-056-256 was the KIT and is no longer available.
46-52-2-301-593 was the center-stand.
Some books say that these are for upgrading 1979 through 1984.
I don't have further information at this time.
that MANY center-stand problems are wear in the
bolt/bushing/stops areas....and can be repaired with new parts or
a bit of welding and grinding, etc. However, the early eighties center-stands are notorious for being difficult to use.
A nice fix for a worn pivot area is to
drill the hole out and install a custom-made (or; commercially
made....seen these available in Stainless Steel...) shoulder
spacer. I've made my own on my lathe. Make these things of some sort
***NOTE: BMW did NOT mount the center-stands in the same way for all models and years. Some have a shoulder bolt, threading into a welded-on frame lug; some use a tapered allen headed bolt and a Nylon insert type of nut; with a shoulder top hat type spacer, etc. Before doing taking any of my suggestions, be sure what type you are dealing with.
There are numerous ways to repair badly worn center-stand lug threads. One can make an insert on a lathe, for instance. I believe you can now purchase SS inserts, can't remember who is selling them. I can not recommend the weld, drill, and tap method, but it has worked for some.
Here is one way to go about it that works well:
Get a 10 mm x 1.5 mm Helicoil repair kit. It will require a 13/32" drill to be used to drill out (do it very squarely, if you have a drill bushing guide, that is best) the threads, and then using the Helicoil tap, to tap the threads for the Helicoil. You will have to shorten the Helicoil to about 6 turns, snipping off the rest, do not bend the Helicoil. Clean-up the cut area so is smooth.
the Helicoil, then reach into the recess and remove the insertion
tang with a needle-nosed pliers. Be SURE that the Helicoil
does not stick out of the lug from either side!
Install new stock bushings and bolts and note that BMW probably will have already put red Loctite on the bolts, if not, YOU do that. The Helicoil threads you installed MUST be clean and dry before installing the centerstand and Loctited bolts. Use a moly grease on the bushings and the holes in the stand during assembly.
22 footpounds, and check these at your normal nuts and bolts inspection time.
The center-stand lugs threads
Wear includes the stops for the center-stand. The
springs also wear, and get weak, and can break, and I HIGHLY
recommend new side-stand and center-stand springs.
NOTE! There is a LOT to know about the center-stand and side-stand changes over the years. It can be complicated. You may have to refer to on-line fiche for your particular bike. I have thought about doing photos of the various types of hardware, springs, etc....used on these, and decided to hold off for awhile on doing it.
If your center-stand has problems with wear, at the lugs, at the mating parts, etc., often these can be repair by welding or making bushings, or both, all sorts of various things are easily possible.
One thing that may confuse you is that there were several lengths of springs
used (vastly different, so see the fiche) and that BUSHES were available in
stock and oversize.
The stock bushes used from the /7 were used with a 10 x 1.5 flat head bolt, and this was up to September of 1980. The bush is 46-52-1-236-528.
The oversize bush is 13.5 mm and is 46-52-2-301-704. Some books erroneously change what is in red to -1-. The bolt used is M12 x 30.
There is only one type of aftermarket CENTER-stand,
as far as I know, and that
was made by Reynolds a long time ago. They came in quite a few types,
at least 7 up through 1984, to fit most all of the bikes. These stands from Reynolds were called
Reynolds RIDE-OFF stands. I HIGHLY recommend you do NOT use them for
actual riding-off. These stands generally are not as stable as the
stock stand, and will interfere with such as the BROWN side-stand. See the
above photos, ETC. That does not mean they cannot be used
successfully. One problem not often mentioned is that these stands usually put both the front AND rear tire on the ground when in use. That complicates removing the wheels for such as tire changes. You may want to carry a piece of 3/4 inch thick plywood; does not have to be large, just a few inches wider than the center-stand is, and maybe 6 inches fore-aft.
Some carry two small pieces. You rock the bike onto it or them. Then you can remove the front wheel easily
and let the front end rest on the fork ends for rear tire work.
04/01/2008: Add photo of the Farley as installed, with notes on the forward clamp, etc.
04/19/2009: rename, and add the Surefoot stand
07/23/2009: Add photo of George Turski's Brown installation
07/26/2009: Add 5 photos of my 84RT, add captions, etc.
04/21/2010: Add another view of the Surefoot (the tall photo), as it is not mounted normally.
03/29/2011: Add information on sidestands and centerstands and repairs to threads, bushings, etc.
02/14/2012: Add note on possible problems with later Surefoot stands.
05/17/2012: clarify center-stand bush and bolts numbers and usage.
06/22/2012: Add Preface section (edited from something I put this date on the Airheads LIST.
Clean up article a bit in so much as presentation is concerned, add note.
08/08/2012: Add Flying Tpot items
08/31/2012: Update article so it has its sections of various models and items differentiated.
Add more information on Tpot, and minor on other stands. Add LANGUAGE
button and change google code.
01/31/2013: Add more information on eliminating exhaust pipe clamp on the Brown.
04/07/2013: Clarify some details
© Copyright, 2013, R. Fleischer
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