TEC Bike Parts Centerstand Installation and Review
Installing the TEC Bike Parts Center Stand
I have a 2011 Triumph Bonneville T100. My particular bike has the optional Arrow two-into-one exhaust system installed, and while for performance and sound it can't be beat it does pose some problems for installing accessories on this bike. Triumph's own engine bars won't fit with the Arrows on (I tried Renntec as an alternative, but had to send them back as they also would not fit. I am still looking for a solution to this add-on. If you have two-into-twos or stock exhaust, however, the Renntecs are beautiful bars.) [Edited to add: I found a set of bars that look like will fit: Hepco Becker, $264 from New Bonneville] and Triumph's center stand won't fit either.
After searching and searching for an aftermarket solution I came across TEC Bike Parts' stand, which I was told would fit. TEC also make an almost identical two-into-one exhaust for this bike and they knew it would fit, so the Arrrows should be OK.
The TEC stand was very reasonable: just $116 delivered. It is nicely made with a black powdercoat finish. For those with stock pipes, the T100 version will work as a straight bolt-on, using a bumper on the bottom of the left pipe for the center stand to rest against. I bought the T100 kit and received what is shown in the picture below.
I went though the instructions, but found they weren't very clear when it came to the bumper installation. It mentioned a bracket if you had a Scrambler (Scrambler's also have the exhaust on the right side only, like the Arrow two-into-ones.) but it was nowhere to be found. After some e-mails back and forth with TEC, I found out I needed a bracket that would attach to the left passenger peg, and extend down, where a rubber bumper (the round black disk in the picture above) would go and against which the stand would then rest. So, what I should have done was order the Scrambler kit, which included this bracket, instead of the T100 kit. You do not want the kits for the cast wheel versions of the bike (Bonneville and Bonneville SE) which have different sized wheels; but the Scrambler has the same sized wheels as the T100. My advice is to call and tell them specifically what you are trying to do so you are sure to get everything you need.
With some help with instrctions from TEC's representative I figured out what I had to do and TEC quickly shipped me the missing bracket.
One thing the TEC representative said is that he didn't like how low the stock bracket went on the installation on his own bike, so he had cut his down an inch or two. One thing I had been concerned with with any center stand was lean clearance (I've read that the Triumph senter stand will touch down early.), so I thought I would do the same and maximize my lean clearance as much as possible.
The stock bracket is six inches long and has a couple of bends in it.
I cut mine down to five inches and removed the bends. These didn't prove to be necessary and the stand stop-bolt hit the end square on the bracket without the bends.
This does increase clearance quite a bit, but be aware the foot on the right side will ride close underneath the chain on the right side, so make sure you adjust the stopper so the chain doesn't drag across the stand tip. Also, stay up on your chain tensioning or as the chain droops it may drag across the stand tip. Also, keep in mind when you adjust your stopper for clearance that when you sit on the bike the chain will move away from the stand foot.
I mentioned lean clearance, and in the two pictures below you can see that the peg feeler will touch down well before the centerstand with this arrangment. When I took this picture, I laid a straightedge between the two wheels, in line with their centers, and then held the broomstick at the straightedge and just touching the tip of the center stand and the peg feeler. The angle from the centerstand tip to wheel-center is substantially steeper than the angle from the peg feeler to the wheel-center.
Angle to peg feeler
Angle to tip of center stand
So, my fears of touching down the center stand first were allayed, but there is a caveat: with the bracket stock length the arc of the kickstand in relationship to the center stand in up position allows the kickstand to clear the centerstand and rest on the stock kickstand bumper. Shortening the bracket changes this relationship and I found the kickstand would just barely hit the center stand, preventing it from going all the way up and resting on its bumper. Below you can see where the two collide.
It took me a little time with the grinder to shorten the foot minutely, but when I did it cleared the centerstand. I rattle-canned it black and you couldn't tell the foot had been messed with.
In this installation, I was able to use the stock kickstand bumper. This did, however, mean that the pivot bolt didn't reach as far out past the metal bracket base. I removed the washer that came with the kit to be installed under the nylon lock-nut to get more threads in the nut. I also added medium strength thread locker as further insurance. One could, if they wanted, replace the pivot bolt with a slightly longer one and keep the washer, but I am confident the stand is secure as I installed it.
Below is a picture of the pivot area from the right side.
The hardest part of this install was getting the bolt that holds the spring in its hole and tightened up behind the exhaust pipe. It is very awkard getting tools up in that area and getting the thing tightened down, but eventually it was done. Here's another tip I learned back when I was putting a new spring on the center stand on my CB350: put pennies in the spring until it is sufficiently stretched to reach the attachment hole on the stand. Once in the hole, simply pull out the pennies—no having to grab the end of the spring with pliers, pull for your life, and hope the spring doesn't come flying back at you.
For those of you who would prefer to keep the bracket length stock, I took a picture of the installation that way (below).
For those of you wanting to do the shortened modification, here is a picture of it installed that way. I rattle-canned the bracket black for looks and to protect the ground surfaces.
Although, in the picture you can see the round rubber bumper in place, that is really a bit of trickery on my part. I wanted to post a picture of how it should look, but in reality I sheared off the little attachment “nub” on the rubber when trying to install mine, in spite of trying to install it in its hole while everything was bathed in soapy water. Be careful.
So, I had to come up with a solution. I didn't want to wait for another bumper to be delivered. I found some small rubber reinforced water hose (I found a short cut off piece at the local auto parts store and they didn't even charge me for it.) that fit over the foot of the bracket beautifully. It just slipped on and is tight enough to stay there without any other fasteners. Because the new “bumper” was not as thick as the stock round bumper, I had to install a longer stop bolt so I could adjust the center stand position properly and avoid interference with the chain on the other side. The foot now sits a half inch under the chain on the right side and provides me much more lean clearance than the stock bracket would have.
Overall, I am happy with the TEC center stand. The issue with the bracket and clearance had nothing to do with the product but with me ordering the wrong thing and then modifying it. It works as advertised and makes the job of chain maintenance much easier, especially when on the road. The only drawback I can find is that the return spring is not strong enough. You have to lift the stand in place into the up position. Once there, however, it stays put.
Getting a bike up on a center stand can be a bit tricky, until you learn the ropes. My CB350 had a nice purpose-built handle right where it was needed to help with this. The Bonnie does not. When putting the bike on a center stand, don't hold the stand down with your foot and then try to yank the bike back and up by pulling back on the handlebars. Instead, put the stand foot down and bear down with your whole weight on the tip of the lever. While doing this, lift the bike straight up. On my Bonnie a handy place to hold and lift is the grab bar behind the saddle and in front of the tail rack. When travelling with all my bike luggage on I cannot get to this, however. In this situation I found the passenger foot peg bracket to be a useful "handle." Doing it this way, the bike pops right up on the center stand, even when heavily loaded with full touring baggage.
The TEC Bike Parts center stand—a good product for a good price. I am pleased.
"Ride Your Own Ride"