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Old 01-07-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
TN3Sport OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Shorten Kickstand

My stock XR650L seat height was close to 37.5 inches with D606 tires mounted. To add to this, the seat is wider than a true mx bike. The riding was great but I was dropping the bike on low speed turns in technical terrain because I could not get a food down on the low side of hills.

I decided to lower the bike using an aftermarket lowering link. This dropped the seat down to about 35.5 inches. First ride at this height was great. However, the bike stands nearly 90 degrees with the kickstand down. It falls over when the wind blows. You have to actually lean the bike to the right to create enough clearance for the kickstand to go down. Its a drag to wrestle with your bike just to get the kickstand down after a long day of riding.
The final straw for me was it falling over while washing. This, just from water pressure coming out of a hose while hosing it down.

Only option here was to cut an inch out of the kickstand. BTW, this will be my first welding project...
I bought a cheapo wire welder from Harborfreight and practiced for a couple weeks.

Here's a before shot of the bike standing on stock length kickstand:


Factory weld on the unmodified kickstand:


Marked 1.25 inches around the kickstand. The pad is .25 inches and I plan to cut out about an inch.


First cut, with a sawsall, off the foot.


Then, cut an inch off. (At the pencil mark.) Important to keep the cut angle parallel to the ground so that when I reattach the foot, it also sits parallel to the ground.


Grind off excess off foot material:


Test fit the newly shortened kickstand to the pad.


Put a couple tack welds to hold it in place. Rechecked to verify footpad was parallel to the floor/ground.


Welded, grinded smooth, and cleaned up with wire brush.


Painted up with a chip brush and rust inhibiting paint.


Finished product. The lean is just were I want it now.


Other notes:
The $100 cheapo wire welder worked great. I did upgrade the welding wire to Lincoln wire and got an auto-darkening helmet. I also disconnected both battery terminals before powering up the welder as a precaution.




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Old 01-07-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
Beezer
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as you may have noticed, the angle changes when you cut off the bottom of the stem. sometimes you can just fill in but the fit is better if you re-cut after shortening.

I always put on a bigger foot. I just cut one out of steel plate.

I always leave the battery connected because it acts a a spike suppressor to soak up transients. removing the battery does not disconnect or remove all the important electrical parts from the structure. the battery can soak up huge transients with no damage. the most important part is to have a good ground from the welder as close to the work as possible.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:13 AM   #3
TN3Sport OP
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yeah, Thanks. I did a little more grinding to ensure the angles were correct after removing the 1 inch sections. I just wanted to keep this write up brief.
I thought about putting a larger foot on the stand but haven't really had an issue with the one that is on there in the environments I ride in. If was in a sandy area like FL or the coast, yeah, but its mostly rocky and hardpack surfaces around here. That's an easy mod if I ever need to make it.
I sanded off the paint about midway up the kickstand and attached my ground at that point. Thus, providing a close ground connection.

Disconnecting the battery when welding seems to be one of those hotly debated issues with two divided opinions. I figured the battery would be ok leaving connected figuring automobiles and bikes are welded on all the time w/o disconnecting the battery. However, I got the suggesting to remove the battery from a welding video. Figured it wouldn't hurt to remove it. On these bikes, its literally a two minute disconnect. Plus, these bikes are known to have very sensitive CDI units that are prone to failure and know one seems to know why. I didn't want to take any chances. I disconnected it.

The reason I wrote this up is that there are numerous lowering links in aftermarket. I had 5 different brands to choose from. Seems like they all suggest lowering the kickstand after the install, but none suggest how.
It was a fun little project on a day when the weather was no good for riding.

TN3Sport screwed with this post 01-08-2013 at 05:26 AM
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
3DChief
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Nice job!

I have the same welder and have done easily $1k worth of welding with it if I had to shop it out. Best kept secret out there! Kickstand mods, 2 rear racks, spare gas can rack, brackets, mobile hitch mount for my HF tire changer, metal repairs, and some custom tools all made on the cheap!

I have added a bigger pad to all my bikes, plus a few other FF's bikes, so about 10 now. I would recommend removing it from the bike next time, it is much easier to work with and you don't have to worry about electrical or heat/spark/fire damage to the bike. A piece of 3"x1/8" flat stock works perfect and a 3' chunk will make a bunch of pads. It is nice to have since if it saves the bike dumping one time, it is well worth it. Soggy ground, really hot asphalt, heavy luggage, sand, and mud are all times you will wish you had the bigger pad. There is no downside to having it on there that I have found yet.


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Old 01-08-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
Beezer
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I offered reasons why the battery should be left in & have never heard a good reason why it should be disconnected. I throw this out there when ever I get the chance because I'm still waiting to hear a good explanation. I contend that the battery might save a system from damage rather than make it more vulnerable.

as for the long way 'round guys.... the welder melted some wires
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #6
TN3Sport OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
I offered reasons why the battery should be left in & have never heard a good reason why it should be disconnected. I throw this out there when ever I get the chance because I'm still waiting to hear a good explanation. I contend that the battery might save a system from damage rather than make it more vulnerable.

as for the long way 'round guys.... the welder melted some wires
Yeah, what your saying make sense. I honestly didn't spend much time on that battery disconnect decision.
The decision I'm second guessing is adding a larger foot to the kickstand when I had the chance...
But, it seems easy enough to do as a future endeavor. Next time I buy flat bar stock for a project, I'll likely add it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
I offered reasons why the battery should be left in & have never heard a good reason why it should be disconnected. I throw this out there when ever I get the chance because I'm still waiting to hear a good explanation. I contend that the battery might save a system from damage rather than make it more vulnerable.

as for the long way 'round guys.... the welder melted some wires
I would not be too worried about leaving a battery connected during welding, I think the main thing is keeping the ground connection very near where you are welding and keeping the two wires from the welder close to another to reduce the loop area.

However, I think there is some logic to disconnecting a battery. This is just based on thinking about the problem, I have never done any measurements to determine how true this is in the real world. When you are welding you are causing large transient currents which will cause large transient magnetic fields. If there is a wire loop from the battery to some electronics and back to the battery this changing magnetic field will cause a current in this loop which could cause a higher voltage than normal across the electronics. The low impedance of the battery will not prevent this voltage from being generated.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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To determine how much to cut off the kickstand to achieve the lean I wanted, I tried a 1 1/2 inch board under f&r tire with stand on ground. That lean looked good, so I shortened stand by 1 1/2 inches. Using different thickness boards, you can see what your lean will be before you cut,weld,cut,weld.

wee-twin screwed with this post 01-09-2013 at 11:28 AM Reason: Better explanation, I hope.....
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #9
ParaMud
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Looks good. I need to do the same thing!

http://www.harborfreight.com/90-amp-...ODQ5NCJ9%0D%0A

so this is what you bought?
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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Simple fix is for a too long kickstand is to just grind 1/16" or 1/8" from the pivot stop point. This lets your kickstand swing a bit farther forward... Quick and easy ! ! !
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:46 AM   #11
TN3Sport OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaMud View Post
Looks good. I need to do the same thing!

http://www.harborfreight.com/90-amp-...ODQ5NCJ9%0D%0A

so this is what you bought?
Yep. Same one. Looks like its at $89 bucks. That's a heck of a deal.
The wire and mask that come with it need to be upgraded asap. You'll notice a difference with decent Lincoln wire.
I got an auto darkening mask from HF too. Works great.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:51 AM   #12
TN3Sport OP
East TN DS Rider
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefadv View Post
Simple fix is for a too long kickstand is to just grind 1/16" or 1/8" from the pivot stop point. This lets your kickstand swing a bit farther forward... Quick and easy ! ! !
Agree. I did that about 6 months ago. Its a quick and easy fix. However, the length of the kickstand's swing arc is still an issue as it will not clear the ground when the bike is at 90% to the ground. You have to lean the bike over to the right to get the kickstand to clear the ground as you swing it down or up. This is a pain on a loaded bike on a long day of riding when you are tired. Plus, its a hassle if you are parked on any kind of incline. Best fix is to just shorten the kickstand.
But, I agree, for a quick and simple compromise, you can grind off the KS stop.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
TN3Sport OP
East TN DS Rider
 
Joined: Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wee-twin View Post
To determine how much to cut off the kickstand to achieve the lean I wanted, I tried a 1 1/2 inch board under f&r tire with stand on ground. That lean looked good, so I shortened stand by 1 1/2 inches. Using different thickness boards, you can see what your lean will be before you cut,weld,cut,weld.
Great suggestion. I actually did the same thing. That's how I came to the conclusion to cut off an inch. I just laid out a couple layers of 1/2 inch plywood under the tires, with the kickstand resting on the ground. The lean looked about right using that test.
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