Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

Home Repair And Restoration

Easy Side/Centre Stand Spring Refitting

Bodge Date - 09 January 2016

By Ren Withnell

There's the hard way of refitting side stand springs. You can do battle with bits of wire and a lot of swearing as you try to stretch the spring yourself. You can, if you are lucky, get the angles and leverage right and maybe after a week of trial and error it may go back together. 

A side stand spring on the motorcycle
Evil little buggers these.

Then there's this way in the video.

It doesn't matter what you use between the coils of the spring. In the video I used a zip tie cut into pieces. I must say this worked rather well as the bits of plastic were easy to pull out with a pair of pliers once the spring was back in place. In the past I've used small nails, a coat hanger cut into pieces and I once tried with thick cardboard, but that didn't work quite as well. Still did the job though. 

I guess the key is finding something you can use. As you can see I have a bench vice which makes bending the spring a lot lot easier. In the past I've ended up pushing the spring into the floor to get it to bend or even hammering the nails directly between the coils. I'm sure once you get the notion that the spring can be stretched in the manner I've demonstrated you can use your intellect and ingenuity to figure out your own solution. 

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you can add anything to this.

Reader's Comments

Ian Soady said :-
I've never been successful using this method which usually suggests putting washers between the spring coils. Some other ways I've used, in no particular order:

- Take the pivot bolt out (only for side / prop stands), fit the spring(s), use the stand as a lever against the pivot abutment then slip the pivot bolt in. Can work occasionally - last time on a Triumph unit 500 twin.

- Use a Philips screwdriver, put the cross end on the spring retaining pin and the shaft of the screwdriver through the spring's end loop then use the screwdriver to lever the spring so it slides down the shaft and pops onto the pin. Has worked occasionally.

- get a spring puller which is a hooked bit of thick wire fitted with a T handle. This allows you to pull the spring fairly easily. You can make one out of a coat hanger and a bit of dowel rod. My shirts are all in a crumpled pile at the bottom of the wardrobe as coat hangers are far too useful to waste on hanging clothes.....

- Tie a strong cord onto the spring loop and the other end to one of the lower spokes of the back wheel. Use the wheel to pull the cord and stretch the string. Can work if everything lines up properly. Successful on the SLR650.

But TBH it's one thing I hate doing as the chances of getting a sharp bit of spring stuck in my finger are very high.
10/1/2016 5:12:17 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
ps what's a randon link? Anything like a random one?
10/1/2016 5:12:54 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Damn you! That "Randon" had been there for ages and ages and no-one pointed it out and I certainly never noticed! I have corrected the error and offer my humblest apologies.

All these methods of stretching the spring scare me daft. I have successfully used the first method of fitting the spring then manipulating and using the stand as a lever before but lining up the bolt against the spring pressure can be a fight.

As for pulling the spring using wires, string, screwdrivers and levers this typically ends up with me bleeding then swearing a lot. Ever since discovering the method shown in the video I find the whole experience a lot safer and somewhat more satisfying. Washers should work if you can find enough but using the zip tie in bits is very effective.

I wonder...are you missing any fingers?
10/1/2016 6:48:59 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
No - but only through good luck......
11/1/2016 10:41:31 AM UTC
Pete johnson said :-
Another cool and simply farkle and fix. If it reduces blood and split nails ickle do.
25/2/2016 7:20:22 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Pete, I hope you a suitably well informed now.
26/2/2016 9:19:24 AM UTC
tahrey said :-
Huh. I found the washers method to work just fine. Didn't even realise you were supposed to do it by bending the spring until just now (didn't play the video before as I saw it mentioned in a comment, and videos are a bit pointless on a laptop with blown speakers unless you plug headphones in), but that was not an option at the point I needed to do it because the springs were still half-tensioned in the bike anyway. Using a screwdriver to force the coils apart did the job instead.

As it happens, that was a hybrid job - I'd bought a puller but even that didn't give enough leverage. My muscles aren't the best but even I was tugging hard enough to start pulling the bike over and deforming the hooked end of the puller...

Side stand however, done relatively easily in the past - trick for it seems to be getting the spring in place on both hooks *first*, then levering the top end of the stand into place with it in a mostly-retracted position, and shoving the bolt through as the two holes briefly line up. Compared to most of the other springs on the bike, it's relatively low tension, as it doesn't have a great deal of weight to hold and the stand is free to move through a wider range of positions than e.g. the centre stand. It's still a bit of a pain, but I've managed it alright. Alternatively the spring can be generally hooked and unhooked with a simple screwdriver - again, not super easy, but doable.

All that said, springs are officially my newest Least Favourite Thing, zooming back up the list after a long time languishing mostly forgotten ever since the memory of The Great VW Drum Brake Fiasco Of 2003 was cremated and its ashes scattered on unconsecrated ground at midnight by a lone defrocked priest...
7/11/2018 11:59:53 PM UTC

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