Side Stand vs Center Stand In Motorcycles: Advantages And Uses

Side Stand vs Center Stand In Motorcycles: Advantages And Uses

Side stand and center stand are the two typical stands found in a motorcycle. Both come with their own set of advantages and uses.

Side stand is preferred for easy and quick parking. It is lighter and easier to deploy and can be used while sitting on the bike. Center stand is preferable while parking on soft or irregular ground and during motorcycle servicing, repair and maintenance work.

In the recent years, many modern motorcycles have done away with center stands. They have removed center stand from their model and are made available as aftermarket accessories.

Let us discuss the pros and cons of both side stand and center stand along with reasons for removing center stand from some motorcycle models.

Side Stand – Pros And Cons

Side stand or a kick stand in a motorcycle is usually designed for easier parking of the bike.

The bike rider can use the side stand to park the motorcycle in a quick and easy manner.

The side stand acts as a tripod along with the front and rear wheels, which together helps in preventing the motorcycle from falling down.

Side stand is typically located on the left side of the bike, down near the rear wheel. It is positioned in a such a way that the rider can park the motorcycle while sitting on it by just using the left leg.

Side stand is easily accessible through the rider’s left leg. The bike rider has to just push the side stand lever down so that the side stand touches the ground surface.

Once the side stand touches the ground, the motorcycle is parked conveniently and won’t fall down.

While side stand is easier to use, lighter and simpler to deploy for parking the bike, it is not the most suitable way of parking while maintenance of repair.

During the motorcycle servicing, repair or maintenance, you would ideally want the rear wheel to not touch the ground so that it can rotate freely.

In addition, the motorcycle is not completely straight when you use side stand. It is parked but tilted at an angle. If the ground surface is not smooth, there is a chance that the motorcycle might fall down.

Pros

  1. Easy to park the motorcycle
  2. Lighter and don’t require much efforts
  3. Rider can park while sitting on the bike

Cons

  1. Not suitable during motorcycle servicing, maintenance or repair
  2. Bike is not parked completely straight, slightly tilted at an angle
  3. If the surface is not flat, the motorcycle might fall down

Center Stand – Pros And Cons

Center stand is mainly used while parking on irregular surfaces or soft ground and while servicing and repairing the motorcycle.

Center stand is typically located on the lower part of the motorcycle near the rear wheel. The rider has to get down from the bike to park with the center stand.

Center stand is much difficult to park when compared to side stand. It requires much more energy and efforts from the bike rider to park.

Also, when the motorcycle is parked on center stand, the bike stands entirely on this stand. The complete entire weight is carried by the center stand.

Unlike in side stand, where the weight is shared between the side stand, front wheel and the rear wheel, the center stand allows the rear wheel to lift above the ground. This arrangement helps in bike servicing, maintenance and repair where the rear wheel is free to rotate.

In addition, center stands are more stable and reliable. The chance of motorcycle falling down with center stand is very low. The motorcycle is parked much ore straighter as compared to the slight tilt in motorcycle when parked with side stand.

However, on the downside, the center stand is not at all easy to deploy as it requires the rider to get down from the motorcycle and use significant energy and efforts while pushing down the center stand.

The typical procedure for using the center stand is to push down the center stand lever till it hits the ground. Then pull the motorcycle weight back while continuing to hold the center stand lever on the ground. Once the rear wheel is comfortably off the ground with the bike weight resting on the center stand, the motorcycle is parked.

Pros

  1. Suitable during motorcycle servicing, repair and maintenance work
  2. Motorcycle is parked straight without much tilt
  3. Bike won’t fall down even if the surface is irregular

Cons

  1. Difficult to deploy, requires significant effort
  2. The rider has to get off from the motorcycle
  3. Not suitable for quick and easy bike parking

When To Use Side Stand And When To Use Center Stand

Both side stand and center stand as its own set of uses and advantages.

Side stand is useful when you want to quickly park your motorcycle without wasting much time and effort. The light weight and easy to use nature of the side stand comes in handy here.

Also, parking using side stand don’t take time and can be done while sitting on the bike as well.

On the other hand, center stand is more useful when you are parking motorcycle for servicing, repair or maintenance work. Especially when you are cleaning and lubricating the chain, changing the tyre, repairing the wheel etc.

Center stand is the preferable stand when you are parking on a soft ground. It makes the motorcycle parking more stable and reliable.

Both these stands – side stand and center stand come with their own set of advantages and uses. While side stand is preferred for easy and quick parking, center stand is preferable while parking on soft ground or during bike servicing and repair.

Why Center Stand Is Not There In Some Motorcycles

In the recent years, many modern motorcycles have done away with center stands. They have removed center stand from their model and are made available as aftermarket accessories.

So, why do center stand is not available in some motorcycles then?

First, removing center stand increases the ground clearance of the motorcycle. The center stand lowers the ground clearance since it is a component attached at the bottom potion of the bike.

When the ground clearance is low, there is a chance of motorcycle touching the road bumps easily. Also, higher ground clearance is essential if you add load to the motorcycle or for easy cornering.

Second, removing center stand reduces the cost for manufacturer. In this age of competitive motorcycle market, where for each engine cc, there are multiple motorcycle models from multiple manufacturers, the cost cutting becomes an increasingly important aspect.

Removing center stand has become easier since the buyer rarely gives importance to center stands. Despite their practical advantages, center stands are often overlooked when making buying decisions by the consumer.

Third, center stand is sold as an aftermarket accessory by the dealer to make more profits. Rather than adding it in the motorcycle in the beginning, selling it as an accessory will bring in more money to the bike manufacturer.

For bike riders who do not care much about center stands, the removal of center stand will never be an issue. And for the riders who do care and want center stands will eventually buy them as accessory to fit in, thus, adding profits to the manufacturer.