Centerstand Pivot Bolts

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Emoto, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    On the morning of July 19th, I was going to head out on a little tour to the MOA national on my R1200GS. Got everything packed and ready, and started off. Went to the gas station to fill up, and when I put the bike up on the centerstand, it wobbled a little before coming to rest.

    After gassing up, I took a good look at it, and it turned out that I had a broken centerstand pivot bolt. At first, I thought "oh, it has loosened up and fallen out" which was alarming, but as I looked closer, the head was still there. I figure that when riding two-up going around a fast bumpy corner leaned way over, we must have bumped the centerstand pretty hard a few times, and that weakened it, and then it let go the rest of the way gradually.

    The gas station was close to home, so I turned around and went home to my garage to sort out the problem. I didn't really want to go away on a 2 week tour with NO centerstand, so fixing it was important. I went to drill out and ez-out the broken off part, but my left-handed drill bit actually unscrewed the broken part for me, so I never had to use the ez-out (this is exactly why you want lefty drill bits, BTW).

    Next, I had to find a replacement. The bolt in question was 10mm in diameter and had a head shaped like a counter sunk screw, which fit perfectly into a recess as it held the centerstand to the frame. I first called the nearest dealer. They are an MSRP kind of shop and no, they didn't have one, but could order me one and it would cost about THIRTEEN DOLLARS FOR ONE LOUSY BOLT. Not wanting to wait for an order OR pay that much, I rummaged around my toolbox and came up with a regular allen bolt of the correct diameter and thread pitch. I reasoned that a large washer under the head would be forced into a cone shape as the bolt was tigtened, and that ought to work for the tour. So, I tried it, and it worked. However, the bolt I had found wasn't marked for hardness and I was a little concerned, so I took a chance and called my local hardware store (an Ace affiliate). Now, this is not a huge place, so I was not terribly hopeful, but I described what I was looking for and held the line while the man went off to look at the hardware.

    Amazingly enough, they had what I needed!!! They had various lengths, too! I think they were about a buck a piece or a little bit more. Definitely under $2.00 each. So, I ran down and grabbed a few so I'd have spares. I now carry one in the tool kit and have a couple of extras in my collection at home.

    As I thought about it, I decided to use a replacement that was longer than the stock bolt so that it would protrude out the other side. This way, if it ever broke, I could grab the protruding end with a pair of pliers and unscrew it, instead of having to drill it out.

    So, you might want to check your centerstand bolts, and replace them with long ones if they show any signs of distress.

    Oh, one other thing. To get everything lined up for bolt replacement, you will be fighting the centerstand spring. Sit down in the floor next to the bike facing backward (so you're looking at where the bike has just been) and use a foot on the centerstand to push it into alignment as you thread the replacement bolt.

    I will post a pic of what these bolts look like when I get a chance.
    #1
  2. SQD8R

    SQD8R Eat squids and be merry

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    Weird, Very weird Emoto.

    Not your story but where you found it. I was just relating the exact same experience to BV yesterday about my bolt shearing and I never have heard of that happening before. IMO, I think it was me rocking it off the centrestand repeatedly which might have caused some sway left ot right and stressed the bolt. I rarely ride two-up so this isn't a factor but it did occur on my aborted BYOB trip this year on my way home from Deal's Gap. I was loaded up with all my camping gear and it was repeatedly difficult ot get off the centre stand. I should add those to my list of stuff to carry.

    I used a rachet tie-down strapped against a parking post to stretch the spring to fit back in. It was easier than any other method I've seen.
    #2
  3. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Well, I do manage to inhabit the weird zone frequently. :D

    To me, it seems unlikely that rocking the bike would do it, but I have nothing objective to back that thought up.

    The thing I was impressed with was that the design allows the centerstand to be used even with a broken bolt.
    #3
  4. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    So, here I am, a year later. Yesterday, a mere 364 days after the right-hand centerstand bolt broke, as I was on my way home from this year's MOA national, I found that the left-hand centerstand pivot bolt had broken! This means that BOTH STOCK BOLTS have now broken. In both cases, the bolts sheared off inside the threaded bushing that they screw into. :baldy

    I urge all 1200GS owners to carry spare bolts, and/or a roadside fix-it kit (see below) in case the bolt breaks inside the bushing, like mine both did.

    Ok, so there I was, about to buy gas in a small Ohio town 500 miles from home, and as I leaned the bike toward vertical so that both centerstand feet would touch before I raised it onto the stand, I noticed it felt "funny". I bent down to examine what was going on, and found the bolt broken. :baldy. Nothing to do but gas up on the sidestand and see about fixing it later when we stop for the day. A little later in the ride, I saw an Ace Hardware store and pulled in, so that I could buy a new bolt.

    Unfortunately, like before, the bolt sheared off in the bushing like so - no way to grab it and get it out, so I couldn't use the spare bolt I had :baldy
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, I went without the bushing and used a bolt, nut, and two big washers to re-attach the left side of the stand. Although one would think this would be a bad and sloppy fit, it worked. When sufficiently tightened, it actually allowed me to put the bike up on the centerstand several times to buy gas, and was not wobbly. Note that the centerstand did not rotate as freely as it normally would, so you had to push it all the way into the up position with your foot. I call this bolt/nut/washers combo the roadside fix kit:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In order to re-use the bushing, I pulled the broken bolt section out of it. Unlike the other one, this time my left-handed drill bit did not do anything more than drill a hole, so I had to use the extractor.

    First, I dimpled the center of the bolt so that the drill bit wouldn't skip all over the place. You want to drill down the center of the bolt so you don't hit any threads.

    [​IMG]

    Then you drill...

    [​IMG]

    Then twist it out with the extractor:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then, I cleaned up the bushing with some contact cleaner and then greased the outside of it.

    [​IMG]

    Then, back it went with the new bolt:

    [​IMG]

    A trip to the local Ace Hardware netted me some better replacement bolts than what I bought a year ago. The new ones are stainless. M10 x 35mm.

    [​IMG]

    I bought 35's because I want the new bolts to stick out the end of the bushing. That way, if another one ever breaks, I should be able to grab the protruding end of it with pliers or vise grips and spin it out of the bushing, rather than resorting to drills and extractors. A 40mm length would maybe be a little better, since it would give you additional protruding threads, but I bought 35's, so that's what I used.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Devil Dog

    Devil Dog Q-Tip With Ears

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    Nice tech tips. Where in Ohio were you? :ear
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks for the tips Bob.. I'll keep an eye on those bolts.. :thumb
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  7. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    You're welcome guys.

    As I look over my track that I pushed into MapSource, I think it was actually in PA; somewhere east of Smethport.
    #7
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Nice!:thumb

    Though I doubt my bike has been on the centerstand more than 30 times in 36K miles, I am interested in the durability of the bolts.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Jim :brow
    #8
  9. yankee270

    yankee270 Las Vegas, NV

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    Great thread but 2 weeks to late. My bolt also snapped on me but I was 200 miles away from home in the middle of the Nevada desert. No extra bolt. Had to remove it and have it ride shotgun behind me on the way home. I have an extra bolt and it'sn now part of my tool kit
    #9
  10. BobFV1

    BobFV1 Long timer

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    Emoto - thanks for focusing us on this potential issue, and good work on your improvised repair!

    You gas your bike on the center stand? Is that to get the "last drop" in? I used to do that but then I realized that my tank is so much bigger than my bladder that it wasn't neccesary!

    Glad this worked out for you.
    #10
  11. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Thanks. Yes, I always gas it up on the center stand, and yes, it is to get a full tank. I usually don't need every last bit of range, but I figure that if I am going to fill the tank, I might as well really fill it. I also always park it on the center stand unless I am backing it into a curb at a lunch stop or similar where the centerstand wouldn't make sense.

    So, maybe I use the centerstand more than most people? :scratch :dunno

    The thought occurs to me that if a bolt broke and one didn't want to keep using the center stand, a simple zip tie (cable tie) could serve to hold the stand in place. Simpler than carrying the bolt, nut, and 2 washers.
    #11
  12. webwalker

    webwalker Monitor monitor

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    I ran into the same problem a year ago just as I was about to leave on a trip. The bolt looked very familiar. Sure enough, it's the same (or damn close) as my 82 R100RS uses. This won't help when I'm not home, but if there's a airhead around, you may be able to scrounge the bolt while on the road. However the bushing is not the same.

    I, too, now carry a spare in my tool kit, as well as a spare bushing.
    #12
  13. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    That is the sound of my teeth grinding...is this not a poor design and a warranty issue?

    I put mine on the center stand in my shop, never sit on it when on centerstand and still it feels very flimsy when I roll it up on stand and roll it off stand...way too much side flex..

    Anyone contact BMW?

    Phil::
    #13
  14. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Phil asked me a little while ago about the length of the bolt I used with the 2 washers. It was 45mm (just under 2"). You can use a longer bolt without a problem, though, as there is really nothing on the outer side of the pivot location for it to interfere with.
    #14
  15. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    And while you had it apart, you should have drilled each leg at the pivot with a 1/16" drill so that it can be greased like the sidestand.

    Now I don't know the details of the R1200 GS centerstand, but the pivot was showing signs of wear and it was dry on my R1150 GS, despite being sealed by 2 O-rings at each pivot.

    Now a quick squirt with a cone tipped grease gun and I'm good for a few months...same goes for the sidestand which already had a hole for greasing purposes.
    #15
  16. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Excellent idea. :thumb
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  17. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    I started drilling my centerstand parts over ten years ago on my R100 GS, although there are a few more items to drill and cross drill on that model.

    On the R1150 GS (maybe the R1200 GS is similar) you also need to drill both bearing bolts (PN: 46-52-2-314-427 on my model). Drill a 1/16" hole between the two O-rings so that is exits the threaded center hole. Due to the O-rings sealing everything up so well, without doing that, the grease has nowhere to go and you'll build up nothing but pressure if you don't drill those holes. The filister head screws at the end of the bearing bolts seals everything up after you are done greasing.

    The holes I drilled in the centerstand pivot are located such that the holes point rearwards so as not to collect more dirt than necessary when the stand is up. Besides, they're filled with grease. Don't forget to debur the holes you drilled.

    The R1200 GS set-up looks quite different, but it looks like it can be done. You'll come up with something.
    #17
  18. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    As I think about it, I don't think adding zerk fittings would help the bolt breakage. The bolts are shearing off in the non-threaded part of the bushing. Grease won't do anything to lessen the shearing forces being applied. Don't get me wrong; I like keeping things nicely lubed, but in this case I do not believe it would have any impact on bolt breakage.
    #18
  19. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    Not what I was implying, but since you already had it apart, why not.

    My pivots were dry and the metal was galled to some extent. Greasing prevents that and having to take things apart to grease them only puts off doing that.
    #19
  20. ZONKR

    ZONKR Been here awhile

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    Happened to me last year on a cross country ride (Arizona to Pennsylvania, down to Florida and back across the gulf coast and Texas to home). The center stand wouldn't stay up at speeds less than about 55mph. I thought it was a bad spring and stopped at Lone Star in Austin to get a new one. When I finally got down and looked I saw that the bolt had sheared off. Lone Star drilled the old one out and replaced it on warranty even though I was over 40,000 miles at the time on the '05 R1200GS. They said it shouldn't have broken. They worked me in without an appointment and updated the software at the same time. Great shop.
    #20