Farley, Brown, Surefoot, Migsel, Flying Tpot: Side-stands (stock & aftermarket).
Stock Center-stands. Interchangeability.
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, and more....
For BMW Airhead Motorcycles...but good information for many others
© Copyright, 2013, R. Fleischer
WARNING: If you leave your side-stand down when you take off from a stop; or, very rarely
you have a single side-stand spring model with a failed spring so the stand is down; or, for
whatever reason it is down; you can get into an accident, especially when turning left.
BMW, as well as other makes, have made changes, probably after being sued.
One maker of aftermarket items was forced out of business:
I am ONLY reporting in this article (on various side-stands & center stands that are available
or that I know about), on installation & usage problems, as best I know about such. You are
on your own for ANY modifications. It is usually SAFER to use the factory setup. I make no
specific recommendations for or against. YOU must use YOUR best judgment about such.
Some Airheads have side-stands that come up automatically when there is no weight on them.
Some bikes have switches on the side-stands or a cable mechanism & you cannot even
start the engine, or put it into gear, with the side-stand down. These are SAFETY items.
Defeating such features can be hazardous to your health, & that of anyone around you if you
have an accident.
Some Airheads have a mount for the side-stand spring that can be rotated, & thus
the side-stand can be an automatic retracting type, or one you must manually raise.
Be aware of what you have; be careful & cautious, stock or otherwise.
BMW SIDE-stands are not all the same, don't have the same lengths, angles, fitments, etc. For some,
they work fine. Much of the time it is the riders with higher inseam measurements that have the LEAST
trouble. For some with long or short inseams there are problems OR PERCEIVED 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 & BMW has bushings
for those that have replaceable ones; plus, some early models had pins that had an oversize available.
Otherwise, you can also have a bushing machined, 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 & that is not difficult to fix, although
some just carry a little plate of some sort.
The anchor plate behind the stand on some Airheads can be rotated, & the auto-retract is defeated...
....not a good idea, as someday you will forget it is down.
Quite a few riders are afraid their bikes will fall if they dismount without already having the side-stand in
the fully-out position. Many try to deploy the side-stand from the seated position. Some will actually drop
the bike....perhaps they can't 'see' the side-stand & 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 could be necessary at times. An example might be such as with a 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 & weight on the left footrest. Sitting on your bike at any time with the
side-stand deployed is not a great idea. Whatever method you use, & whether or not it is a stock stand,
be careful, develop your own method/routine.
Before getting into the photos & 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
type that was modified so the horizontal metal piece bolted to BOTH the front and rear motor mounts ...the
studs were changed to longer ones. STILL, you had to REMEMBER and properly use, that side-stand.
No clamp was over the exhaust header pipe as the Brown was designed-for. 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; reshaped slightly; 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.
Engine studs come in more than one length, see http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/hardware.htm
as you might need a longer stud if installing an aftermarket stand. Abbreviated information:
46-71-1-230-762, engine mount stud, 306 mm long
46-71-2-311-725, engine mount stud, 315 mm long
46-71-1-230-475, engine mount stud, 327 mm long
There is an article on this website that covers a bit more on side-stands, & whose primary
purpose is to tell you easy & safe ways to get your motorcycle up, if it falls over:
Migsel, for GS bikes:
I have not yet had any experience with this item, so research carefully if you think
you want one!
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 a 1984 R100RT which Snowbum used
to own/ride, which has BOTH a Reynolds center-stand & the Brown
side-stand installed. See caution note under the photo!
DO NOT use the side-stand as shown above!
If the Reynolds center-stand is put-up first, the Brown will be held
outward, as shown; 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.
One way to modify the setup, if one has both the Brown
& the Reynolds, is to use an oxy-acetylene torch & 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,
& 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; & 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; 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. 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 &
potentially the Farley side-stand, from putting pressure
on the exhaust header (if a clamp was used around the
exhaust header, & 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 & installation.
The following was reported in early 2012, & I have not personally inspected
the side-stand nor installation. If true, & the Surefoot design has been modified
since my above information was prepared; 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 & 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 & straightened, causing
the spring to fall away. Fortunately this happened in my driveway so I have the coil spring &
can clearly see what happened.
The Surefoot appears to have been modified a few times over time & one change is that coil
springs used to be on top of the leg (as seen in the pictures on Snowbum's article 79) & 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!
On 04/07/2013 when I first edited this section, they made side-stands for the GS models & the ST.
On 09/04/2013, I received a message from Carl Santora of this company, who informed me that they
not only make side-stands for the Monolever G/S, GS, ST, and Paralever GS; but, that they make
them for other BMW twins, for years of 1955-1995, although they are not listed on the website.
Carl also said that, in his words, "Only the paralever GS sidestand is required to be deployed/retracted
in sequence with the use of the centerstand."
Well, I may have to take issue with that sentence of Carl's...so, read on....
The website page is: http://www.flyingtpot.com/sidestands.htm
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. See Carl's quote, above, however.
Seems to be well-designed & constructed....if massive. While not available for all BMW Airhead models,
the idea is sound; you might be able to use this on other models than the one's the manufacturer says it fits.
It has been reported more than once that, at least on the R100GS, that you have to have the stand
EXTENDED, to be able to fully RETRACT the CENTER-STAND.
One person reported that one should be a bit cautious, as you could bump the stand into your leg,
when placing the R100GS on its center-stand.
Here are a few photos grabbed from their site:
Note: FlyingTpot does a lot more than side-stands. The URL to their main website is:
Click in the middle (on the eye). They have saddlebags (Panniers) & mounts, do exhaust port repairs, ETC.
Robert Van Farowe makes custom side-stands. 2792 24th Avenue; Hudsonville, Michigan, 49426; (616) 896-8469
Engine studs come in more than one length, see
as you might need a longer stud if installing an aftermarket stand.
Here is abbreviated information:
46-71-1-230-762, engine mount stud, 306 mm long
46-71-2-311-725, engine mount stud, 315 mm long
46-71-1-230-475, engine mount stud, 327 mm long
Stock BMW Sidestand (/5) 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 46-51-1-231-233.
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 became 46-53-1-454-750).
For the R65 and R65LS the kit was 46-53-2-302-061 which later became 46-53-2-302-001, and that
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 has available replacement bushings, etc., for the sidestands. Sidestand angle will become more and
more to the left if the sidestand parts bend or are worn.
Some bikes have retracting mechanisms, which may or may not be mechanically connected to the clutch lever.
IMproper adjustment causes stand problems.
***Quite a few models of BMW Airheads can be 'adjusted' to be self-retracting, or NOT self-retracting.
The adjustment is the spring perch that is between the frame and motor, it can be rotated easily.
BMW center-stands vary by year and model.
46-52-2-301-593 was the center-stand upgrade itself.
Some books say that these are for upgrading 1979 through 1984.
The kit for the R65 was 47-52-9-056-257
and, for the others, it was -256
Both used 10 x 30 grde 12.9 bolts.
The kits fit 1979-1984
The kits are NLA.
Best useage is 1981-1982, as Center-stands were pretty bad those two years.
The stock centerstands WEAR. The stops wear, the bolt fastener areas wear, and the bottom of the feet wear.
ALL are fixable, without replacing the stand.
Bushings, bolts, stops, all rather easily fixed/repaired/replaced, as one's year/model/situation requires.
The bottom of the feet ...that is...the area the stand rests on...is also easy to fix, and if you modify that
area with some welding-up (such as adding a metal piece on both L and R sides), and then grinding to
make it look nice and smoothly blended-in, it works just fine.
That is a fairly good fix, too, for when someone uses a stock stand and then puts a one-step-large-tire-size
on front, because then, without that fix, or whatever, the front tire will also be on the tarmac, not just the rear,
when on the center-stand. There is sometimes abuse with using the Center-stands, as ride-off or use to
put the bike on the C-stand, when seated.
NOTE 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 of steel.
If your center-stand has problems with wear, at the lugs, at the mating parts, etc., often these can be repaired by
welding or making bushings, or both, all sorts of various things are easily possible.
***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.
Install 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 do wear. 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 refer to on-line fiche for your particular bike, but that fiche might be wrong, or very misleading.
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.
Why the confusion? Bikes had different depths (height) of oil pans. Crossover's on the center-stands varied in position
because of the pans. Other reasons too.
BMW probably still sells the stand # 46-52-1-234-757. This stand will retrofit to 1980 and earlier. Does not fit R65.
If you are thinking of purchasing a used stand, be SURE it really will fit. For instance, stands for 1977-1980 all fit each
other (not R65). BMW's replacement fits all the way back to 1970. A /5 or /6 stock original type of stand will
NOT FIT a 1977-1980 bike. The stand crossbar will interfere with the pan, no matter what the fiche or 'books' seem to say.
1970-1980 original type center-stands, had a welded-in plug on the right leg.
The -757 replacement stand comes with a CAP, that cap is part
number 46-52-1-236-522. yes, you can use it for others.
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 a digit in that
number.....what is in red..... to -1-. The bolt used is M12 x 30.
They came in quite a few types, at least 7 types up through 1984, to fit most all of the bikes.
These stands from Reynolds were called Reynolds RIDE-OFF stands. Airhead folks just called them
RideOff Stands. I HIGHLY recommend you do NOT use them for actually 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 with them or without them.
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.
There is an article on this website dealing with ONLY the Reynolds' products.
This includes the Ride-Off center stands; luggage racks, rear racks, etc.
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
09/04/2013: Update information on FlyingTpot
11/04/2013: Add information on adjusting the retraction feature, add hyperlink to article
on raising a downed bike, minor other changes.
11/17/2013: Expand information on stock CENTER-stands. Add hidden code for spacing under head,
12/19/2013: Add note and link to my new Reynolds article.
06/19/2015: Re-arrange for clarity and slightly smaller monitor screens.
12/17/2015: Add Migsel link; clean up article some. Fix meta-codes.
© Copyright, 2013, R. Fleischer
Return to Technical Articles LIST Page
Return to HomePage