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Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics

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Overnight Parking
Side-stand or center-stand? Cover it or not?

By: James R. Davis

You are out on an overnighter and are parking the bike for the evening. The winds are up. Do you use a cover or not? Put it up on the center stand or leave it on the side stand?

Let me deal with the second question first - it is the easiest. Rule-of-thumb: Unless you are parked inside a garage on concrete, use your side stand!

Your side stand provides a WIDE tripod as compared to your center stand. As such, it provides far more stable parking for your motorcycle. The sole exception to this is if you are unable to park such that the bike leans firmly on the side stand. For example, if your shocks or tire pressure are low, your luggage weight is high, or the ground slopes to the right. If the bike is not leaning firmly on your side stand it can rather easily be pushed over to the right side.

Though high winds and bike covers do not go well together, I always use mine when I'm out on an overnighter. This, to tend to minimize the risks of theft and curiosity seekers taking liberties (even good natured parents have taken the liberty of placing one of their children in a bike's saddle they were walking by without getting the bike owner's permission.) Further, I'd rather the cover get damaged from windblown sand and other debris than the finish on my bike.

Remember to use some form of fastener to cinch together the bottom edges of your cover under the bike to keep it from flying off (and to further deter someone who might even think about stealing the bike.)

Copyright © 1992 - 2018 by The Master Strategy Group, all rights reserved.

(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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