The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Home Repair And Restoration

Seized Centre Stand Solution

Solution Date 10th May 2016

By Ren Withnell

Centre stands are notoriously difficult to remove. They ought not to be but the large pin that the stand pivots around nearly always rusts solid to the centre stand making removal a nightmare. 

In an ideal world the pin should stay stationary in the frame and the main stand should rotate around the pin. This would mean each time the stand is used any fresh rust is broken and the continued action of use should prevent seizure. There is a risk the pin will seize into the frame but as the contact patch is considerably smaller overcoming this will be less of an issue.

a simple diagram of the frame, the stand and the pin and how they sit together
Ideally the pin stays still in the frame, normally the pin corrodes onto the stand.

Because the contact surface area between the pin and the stand is large, and the contact area between the frame and the pin are small, friction dictates the pin will always choose to stay still in the stand and rotate in the frame. Corrosion between the pin and the stand is never broken leading to the utter and total stuckness of the pin in the stand.

The Solution?

Once the old stand had been cut...ground...chiselled...battered out of the bike ensure the new pin remains still in the frame, forcing the stand to rotate around the pin not the other way around. In the case of the CBF 125 this was simple. Using a thick length of wire instead of the split pin I twisted the excess wire around the handy drain pipe guide. Now the pin can no longer turn in the frame, so the stand must now move around the pin.

the pin that holds the centre stand is stopped from rotating by some wire attached to a point on the frameThe pin can not rotate, The stand will have to rotate on the pin instead.

The story.

The stand on the 125 has slowly but surely been bending. It's rather like tectonic movement or ageing, you don't notice it day by day then you think to yourself "why does the rear wheel still touch the floor when it's on the main stand?" The solution was to place a small piece of ply under the stand but I knew it's days were numbered. Then one good heave while the bike was overloaded with camping gear saw an end to the foot lever bar. Dammit.

The cracked foot lever weld on the 125's main standGosh darn it! The weld has given up on the old stand.

No problem, fleabay will have one for £20 and it'll be here by the weekend.

Considering the CBF 125 has been the UK's top selling motorcycle up until it's replacement you'd think there'd be a lot out there. There were 3. Each wanted £50. Considering a brand new one from Honda is only £59 and a new pin is only £9 I considered getting a new one. Google finally lead me to a stand and a pin all the way from Spain for £28 including delivery. Why is this? Probably...because all second hand UK CBF 125 centre stands are totally and utterly seized in to their frames where as Spanish CBF 125s live in a drier climate and have not yet rusted in situ. My local breaker said "Yeah...yeah mate we got'll have to buy the whole frame though..."

How was I to remove my stand? This is how. 1 - Using a Dremel grind off as much off as I can on both sides, until flush with the frame. 2 - Scratch head and swear a lot. 3 - Drill out the pin on one side being careful not to touch the frame. 4 - Scratch head and swear some more. 5 - Realise the drill access is too poor to cleanly drill out the pin. 6 - Have a brew and curse. 7 - Using a hammer and chisel start to batter the hell out of the pin. 8 - Go to bed grumpily. 9 - Return with hammer, drill and chisel. 10 - Finally get the stand out. 11 - Run up and down the back street covered in oil and sweat, cheering while holding the old stand aloft like a vanquished enemy's head.

The remnants of the pin in the old standAfter much drilling, hammering and cursing the stand is out.

Fitting the replacement stand was a doddle. I spent more time cleaning the springs up than I did putting it on. Coming up with the solution above was easy too. Now...the CB 500 X has a centre stand...I wonder if I should do the same to that while it's still new and still likely to come apart... 

the replacement stand is clean and looks quite newOooooh shiny. Not bad for second hand.

Reader's Comments

Doug said :-
Aye, that's a common fix for Royal Enfield Bullets, swap the split pin for a long thin bolt and wire the end to the frame. Shame manufacturers don't design them that way in the first place.
10/5/2016 9:40:55 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Doug. Perhaps it's a secret ploy by the manufacturers! I guess it takes just over 2 years to seize in there and most warranties are 2 years. It's a conspiracy, they're out to get us, they're watching us you know.

Taking into account how easy it is to fashion a solution I can only suppose the makers don't see it as a problem. Old bikes are not their business or concern.
11/5/2016 6:15:05 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I feel your pain.... Centre stands have always been afterthoughts on the bikes I've had - probably designed by the new trainee fresh from technical college. Like exhausts they sit there unloved and unlubricated until you absolutely have to do something about them at which point you encounter all the woes you mention.

I like your solution although it does look a little Heath Robinson. You might consider investing in an angle grinder to supplement the Dremel - for £15 or so you'll have something that will make short work of similar problems. But then your other vehicle isn't a Land Rover.......

And of course you're perfectly right in that manufacturers want us to buy new bikes every year and care rather less than nothing about keeping the older ones on the road.
11/5/2016 11:59:59 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I do actually own an angle grinder Ian. I started out with a plan to rescue the old stand with a bit of welding and judicious use of a large hammer. The other problem is the angle grinder scares me to hell and I'd have to be cutting laid on the floor under the bike at all angles. If I'd used the grinder I suspect I'd be missing the bottom half of my frame and a few fingers. The Dremel is much more my kind of tool...delicate, light and a lot less terrifying - hehe!

I agree my solution lacks that "factory fitted" look but it is effective. On a CBF 125 with 52,500 miles I'm way way waaaay beyond worrying about how things may look on it.

Stainless steel everything, that's the future I tell ya. Stainless exhaust with stainless studs, stainless stands with stainless pins on stainless frames. It's gonna cast a bit this stainless bike ain't it.
11/5/2016 12:51:26 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I too have a healthy respect for angle grinders especially as the one I have makes such a horrendous racket even before contacting any steel. However, for a job like that it's what I'd use. One of the problems with centre stands is holding the bike up while you work on it of course - plus if like me you're getting less flexible, possibly having to grovel around on the deck to do the job.

You will know that stainless isn't a panacea and it does in fact seize to itself (known as galling). It's always best to use an anti-seize compound - an aluminium based one is better than copaslip in this case.

WRT to cost, of course once you get the lathe you can make all the bits yourself......
12/5/2016 6:43:36 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ian. You sure know how to ruin my day don't you. No - I did not know that stainless steel can seize to itself. So if stainless is not the future I'll have to think of something else. Wood?

My angle grinder is noisy, they all are. It's the noise that scares me. And the super high velocity of the wheel that can shatter at any moment. And the ability to cut through metal and clothing and flesh rapidly. You should try a Dremel...they are quite effective and as long as I'm wearing my bike gear and my full face helmet I almost feel safe.

A lathe? Where would I put this lathe Ian?
12/5/2016 5:12:42 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I do have a dremel as well (plus a no-name copy) but keep them for delicate jobs like making control cables.

And surely there is room in your shed (or even kitchen) for a teeny weeny lathe? -
12/5/2016 6:23:46 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Now don't you be tempting me with dinky little lathes Ian. I've already spent enough on motorcycles recently without you making suggestions. You'll be having me backrupt at this rate.

14/5/2016 5:54:34 PM UTC
Ben said :-
What about copper grease on the centre stand pin?
6/6/2016 9:18:06 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ben

Copper slip would most certainly help - but - with most centre stands lasting a long time even copper slip doesn't hang around forever. Most pivot points endure quite a dousing of water splash and dirt from the front and perhaps the rear tyres and sooner or later this will wash the copper slip away.

To be honest Ben it would be a most interesting experiment to see what would happen. However if the experiment fails then I'd just end up with another seized in pin!
6/6/2016 8:30:04 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Copaslip is not really designed for parts that have relative movement. A "proper" fix would be to drill & tap the main tube and fit a grease nipple - then pump grease in till you can see it oozing out either end. Repeat ad infinitum (or perhaps ad disposium).......
7/6/2016 9:47:44 AM UTC
Alan said :-
You could do the same to the pin, drill in along the center line from the the non-nutted end and then from outside to middle in a couple of places and fit a nipple at the end of the pin. In case drilling the actual frame tube might decrease the metal strength too much.

4/11/2016 11:36:46 PM UTC
tahrey said :-
I wonder if that mini lathe could be any good for boring out 125 cylinders... got some surplus parts I've always wanted to play with to see how possible it would be (there's allegedly a risk of hitting an oilway, but to my eye there's a fairly sizeable insert that could be thinned out or even completely removed with a suitably short skirted piston), but the whole "getting a local engineering firm to do it for you" bit kind of got in the way (who has one of those any more, especially one that would consider such a random walk-up job without charging a king's ransom?)... then again $500 isn't pocket change...

Anyway, trying to follow the writeup here, did you actually get the pin out of the stand in the end? Does it just need a lot of brute force and ignorance with mallet and chisel, if there's not too much rust? Mine's the third the bike's had (two professional replacements so far) and had quite a bit of oily gunk on it until a couple days ago when I blasted the undercarriage back to bare metal, so hopefully isn't *too* corroded together...
29/10/2018 6:21:24 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
The present stand in the CBF125 is now permanent. The only way it is coming out this time despite my best efforts is with a grinder...
29/10/2018 6:53:05 PM UTC
tahrey said :-
Dammit. OK. So, I got the pivot pin out just fine in the end ... along with the brake pedal, which it's seized on to. The fairly regular movement of said pedal meaning it had no chance to seize to the stand. But, I still can't actually replace the thing without also replacing the pedal, or at least mutilating it badly enough that it would likely need replaced anyway. Grah.

Thankfully, it doesn't appear to be bent in any way. So I've ended up putting that back in, along with the old springs and hook because they didn't seem distorted vs the new ones, just a little rusty, and by the time I'd eked them out (using washers as a variation on the mentioned "pennies between the coils" trick - very useful!) it was far easier to just struggle them back on than try to do the same with the new ones... anyone want some brand new springs and hook (and rubber... read on) for 10% off the dealer price? Some of the bags have been opened but the bits are unused.

The stand, however, IS twisted, quite plainly so when you move it around in 3D. Any replacement will be used extremely sparingly, in preference to sidestand, given that the latter can be replaced much more easily and cheaply. I thought maybe the rubber was stopping it going up all the way, seeing as it looked to be butting against a horizontal crossmember in the frame that looks like it's become slightly bent upwards towards where said stopper rests, but after ripping it off and reinstalling the stand sans rubber (old or new) it doesn't seem to have made much difference...

Issue I'm now running across is that I can't seem to find any stand that's compatible with Electric Start CGs other than the main dealer one, which now costs more than £70 including VAT.

What were the special magic words you used to find the Spanish one? And would a CBF stand also fit, dya think? I'm not sure if there's much change in the actual frame, though my own does seem to be a bit of an oddity amongst most UK ones, really think it's a grey import now. The only other option that seems open to me, other than simply sitting and waiting, is to chance importing a lookalike from India, as the potential shipping cost is hugely offset by how cheap the parts are - like, less than a tenth of the price, for brand new replacements for Hero Hondas that look very much like my own.


At least the forks finally went together, with a bit of brute force encouragement, together with gaiters at long last. And I managed to get my footpegs bolted on fully securely for the first time in years, with new allen head bolts from B&Q and a surprisingly long time cleaning out mystery gunk from the threads of a couple of the bolt holes... but, to add insult to injury, my battery positive cable has snapped at the terminal, and those look to be somewhat like hen's teeth also. Less of a problem because if it comes to it I can just DIY a dodgy replacement, but still a pain in the arse... And I found on taking off the pillion peg supports that the swingarm and brake torque arm are rusted to hell, so it's a good thing I picked up some Hammerite straight-to-rust to cover up all the corrosion on the forks... plenty left over to cover those with, although the paint is bright metallic silver so will stick out some...
7/11/2018 4:25:33 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Would I be correct in thinking your CG125 is something of a rough old dog? It sounds like it's due a full rebuild to me. but of time and finances are against you then you must muddle through as best you can with what you have.

The magic words for the centre stand? "Wowsers! They're expensive!" You have little option but to either wait for the right one or buy new. I have only sympathy to offer i'm afraid.
7/11/2018 9:40:28 PM UTC
tahrey said :-
Heh, that's fine... and, I dunno, maybe a bit ruff, but like the old hound you've had since they were a puppy I'm not yet prepared to call the vet for a mercy kill. Though their bills do seem to be mounting up ever more as the years wear on.

It's not so much a full rebuild, there's just some bits which have needed attention for a while, and particularly - like the stand - seem to be particular trouble spots on the machine (and sound like they haven't been fixed in the CBF ... after 35+ years of not being fixed in the old model).

It kind of started off with a persistent oil leak from the engine - eventually traced to the actual cylinder barrel gasket (not head) having perished after not very long at all - which it now seems weird to class as being the matter of least concern, and blossomed through needing to replace the terminally chewed up bolts, and deal with dodgy stands, terminally rusty exhausts... etc... to the current state of affairs where I'm trying to attack a few too many things at once.

But it's been off the road for about a year now, and I'm starting to get flak from the flat-neighbours for not putting my car away in the garage... which is an impossibility until I can get the bike parked neatly behind it in a suitably vertical position to allow the door to close...
7/11/2018 11:48:43 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh heck, you don't want to be upsetting the neighbours tahrey. Are you using the bike at present? I'm guessing not. I don't know your circumstances but is it possible to clean everything up and bring it inside to do a thorough job?
9/11/2018 6:50:14 AM UTC

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