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Thread: Getting bike on centerstand with lowered shocks

  1. #1
    KevinRT
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    Getting bike on centerstand with lowered shocks

    My bike has been lowered 1" and I am now having difficulty getting the bike onto the centrestand. I only use the centrestand when I park it behind my car in its usual spot or when servicing it. I have read that placing a board under the front or back wheel will make this a lot easier. I am wondering how to do this. Is the front or back wheel or does it matter? Do you set the boards so that when the bike gets up onto the centrestand that the boards are no longer under the wheel?

    It's not about technique - I know how to get a bike on the centrestand but now I really struggle with the lowered bike. I want to make sure I get this right as I obviously do not wish to pitch the bike over on its side.

    Thanks!
    KevinRT
    Ottawa, Canada

  2. #2
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinRT View Post
    My bike has been lowered 1" and I am now having difficulty getting the bike onto the centrestand. I only use the centrestand when I park it behind my car in its usual spot or when servicing it. I have read that placing a board under the front or back wheel will make this a lot easier. I am wondering how to do this. Is the front or back wheel or does it matter? Do you set the boards so that when the bike gets up onto the centrestand that the boards are no longer under the wheel?

    It's not about technique - I know how to get a bike on the centrestand but now I really struggle with the lowered bike. I want to make sure I get this right as I obviously do not wish to pitch the bike over on its side.

    Thanks!
    Try it under the front wheel. It will be far more difficult if you try to do it under the rear wheel. A lowered bike will put you into this scenario.

  3. #3
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    On the factory lowered bikes, BMW provides a shorter centerstand. Your dealer could get you one.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  4. #4
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Usually a 7 to 10 inch wide board behind the front and rear wheel (two boards) will help. The extra width of the board gives you some leeway. After the boards are positioned, the bike is rolled up onto the boards and the space between the boards becomes the landing spot for the center stand itself. If I remember right, the boards length should be around 18", the thickness is whatever you need. Of course you can cut the size that fits you best. HTH OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  5. #5
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    On the factory lowered bikes, BMW provides a shorter centerstand. Your dealer could get you one.
    Good point Kent and one I failed to pick-up on. Contact your dealer to see if they offer your bike in a lowered version. If the centerstand has been designed to work with that lowered model you will end up with a noticeable difference in lifting. A thank you should be directed Kent's way as that is the real answer to your problem.

  6. #6
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    Year/Model of bike? http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?46055

    And the answer is - it depends. Mostly on the bike model (weight comes into this) and how much it has been lowered. I have a bit of experience in this since I've lowered the past 4 BMWs I've owned. My current R1200R is lowered about 3/4"..

    No/low cost solutions - people mentioned it - boards under the tires. Especially under the rear tire. If your bike was lowered 1" - you need - a 1" thick board under the rear tire. Strangely - in my experience - the front doesn't make a lot of difference, probably because you are mostly lifting UP the rear of the bike.

    If you pull into your garage and then stop, sidestand the bike, hop-off, kick the board ahead of the rear tire then hop-on and ride up on it.. You'll find you can lift it with just about the same effort as a normal height suspension bike. Once it's up, kick the board back into the corner of the garage. I did this with a K75S (and K100RT) that I'd lowered about 1.5" - and made a tiny ramp out of two different length (same width) pieces of 3/4" plywood. (Called 1" plywood, but really 3/4" thick).. screwed them together with the shorter one on top, with one end lined up and the other end stepped, effectively creating a little ramp making it really easy to ride up on the ramp. This worked for me for MANY years. The whole thing was perhaps 6"wide x 12"long x 1.5" thick

    Current bike with 3/4" lowered suspension - I haven't felt that I needed this, I can rock it up on the centerstand in my garage without much trouble at all. And when not in my garage - it lives on the sidestand.. which brings up another point:

    Don't overdo the centerstand. It's a BMW rider syndrome.. the compulsion to put the bike up on the centerstand. I don't understand it except that perhaps it looks neater (not neat - but neater) to the rider? The bike is more stable, especially on difficult surfaces if it's on the sidestand. Bigger footprint, better weight distribution, and a triangular pattern with long legs in the triangle. Except for my garage - or the rare occasions where the bike has been in the shop for warranty work, my bike lives on it's sidestand, and seems perfectly happy to do so.

    The shorter centerstand from BMW is available - if you look on a parts Fische (or website) you can usually locate it. BMW lower suspension is lower by just about the same as what I did to mine - roughly 3/4" (~20mm) from what I've seen (haven't looked at the spec's but I'm sure they're available.) If you've lowered it much more than that, the board under the rear wheel may still help you out, even with a shorter centerstand.

    Good luck - let us know what'cha do, and what year/model is your bike (I'm guessing an RT given your user name, but.. doesn't mean it for sure..)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    RT Lowered center stand.

    I had a set of special order lowered Ohlin shocks put on my 08 RT and the Asheville BMW shop put on the lowered version of the center also. It is so much easier getting it on the center stand now than with the original equipment it came with that it is amazing. Another bonus with my installation is how much quicker the head of the bike is in turns now and the mechanic said the same thing. Good luck.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  8. #8
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Or you could find a welder to cut and re-weld your existing center stand.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  9. #9
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    While a distance away from a current low model RT at my dealer I noted the "feelers" on the rider footpegs were a longer version. Perhaps those doing the lowering themselves should change these too.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  10. #10
    KevinRT
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    Don't overdo the centerstand. It's a BMW rider syndrome.. the compulsion to put the bike up on the centerstand. I don't understand it except that perhaps it looks neater (not neat - but neater) to the rider? The bike is more stable, especially on difficult surfaces if it's on the sidestand. Bigger footprint, better weight distribution, and a triangular pattern with long legs in the triangle. Except for my garage - or the rare occasions where the bike has been in the shop for warranty work, my bike lives on it's sidestand, and seems perfectly happy to do so.

    The shorter centerstand from BMW is available - if you look on a parts Fische (or website) you can usually locate it. BMW lower suspension is lower by just about the same as what I did to mine - roughly 3/4" (~20mm) from what I've seen (haven't looked at the spec's but I'm sure they're available.) If you've lowered it much more than that, the board under the rear wheel may still help you out, even with a shorter centerstand.

    Thanks, Don. That's useful information. I've quickly done up some 2 by 4s and will try it tomorrow when I return from a ride. I only put the bike up on the centrestand for service and in its usual spot behing my car. If I leave it on the sidestand there, it will lean too much into the car space, making the clearance tighter than I'd like. I *have* to leave it upright there. When travelling or fueling, I only use the sidestand for the same reasons you cite. I know there is a shorter stand available, but I would prefer to leave it as is and not spend the money. If the boards work at home, that's good enough for me.
    KevinRT
    Ottawa, Canada

  11. #11
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinRT View Post
    I've quickly done up some 2 by 4s and will try it tomorrow when I return from a ride. I only put the bike up on the centrestand for service and in its usual spot behing my car. If I leave it on the sidestand there, it will lean too much into the car space, making the clearance tighter than I'd like. I *have* to leave it upright there. When travelling or fueling, I only use the sidestand for the same reasons you cite. I know there is a shorter stand available, but I would prefer to leave it as is and not spend the money. If the boards work at home, that's good enough for me.
    Good Morning Kevin! Having a bike lowered by 1/2" and experiencing your centre stand dilemma, I would suggest that first you start with a little less board than a 2/x4; you might find this just a little too high. I'd start with maybe a one inch board. However, I do not believe anyone mentioned having a board in place for your side stand. Without this board, your bike will lean precariously to the left when you dismount. My trick has been to have the side stand and rear board in place in my garage and simply ride over it with the front tire and stop when the rear wheel rides onto to it. Something wider that a two by four makes for an easier target to stop on. When parking my K bike backwards in the garage (slight uphill in the garage), I'll use a tapered piece of 2x12x18. It is easy to get the bike onto the centre stand but more of pain getting it off as it still sits on the board.

    Best of luck.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  12. #12
    flylow1
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    I have the same issue with my 2007 lowered RT. Two problems I have noticed aside from being difficult to put on the center stand are:

    1) center stand has a tendency to scrape under certain cornering conditions.

    2) side stand is also too long and provides minimal lean on side stand. I need to choose slope for parking very carefully and parallel parking spots on a crowned road is next to impossible as the road slope won't allow the use of the side stand at all in some cases and dangerously unstable otherwise.

    Replacing the side stand and center stand with the lowered versions is a good solution but expensive. The welder solution will be cheaper if you can find someone to do this for you.

  13. #13
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    I think replacing your center stand with a shorter one or having the original shortened would be worth it. It's nice to have a centerstand that's easy to use on a trip if you want to check your oil or do a tire repair.

    Another option for your garage parking is a front wheel chock.

    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  14. #14
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    My RT is easier to put on the centrestand than my old Triumph. There is a better cam action in the design, so body weight does the raising function. Dealer showed me to pull back, not up, on the grab handles.

    Still, when using the Park n' Move dolly, it is harder. Then, a piece of 7 inch high baseboard is put in front of rear wheel and the bike rolled forward up the tapered edge. Then, it is easy to put up on the dolly. That half inch board makes a difference.

    Might just cut off a couple inch piece for traveling, but seldom Use the centrestand then.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  15. #15
    Registered User
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    Putting anything under the front wheel will be counterproductive... I have a 2x12 that I roll the rear tire up over when I am parking the bike. This provides a wide enough margin of error for braking in the right spot and is the perfect additional lift for the proper amount of leverage to easily pop the RT on to its center stand for me. I am also using the "park-n-move" to rotate my RT in place so that it is ready for the next ride.

    Let me know if you have anymore questions...
    -Steve
    2012 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metalic - 2009 Gillera Fucco

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