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Installing a Triumph Center Stand Spring

Safety First

Take all necessary precautions to prevent
your motorcycle from falling on you!
In the accompanying photos the bike is supported with
chain hoist and cable.

How hard can it be, installing a center stand spring, right? Hook one end on, stretch the spring, and slip the other end over the hook. Nothing to it!

But wait. This isn't your screen door's spring, this is the Triumph center stand SUPER-SPRING!

Triumph center stand spring

Getting Bent

Advice abounds on techniques. There's the old use a "bar of some kind", or, a "long screwdriver", to lever the spring over the hook. This method lets you easily get so close! So-oo close! But the cigar is elusive, and what a terrific way to mar your newly powder-coated frame!

My favorite was gripping the spring's loose end with vice-grips and pushing until I went bug-eyed. I succeeded that way once, but nearly blew a gasket in the process. Someone could hurt themselves like that!

Both these methods can probably succeed eventually, but they entail lots of strain accompanied by much un-flattering grunting. And sometimes your super-spring ends up getting bent. Need I say more?

Despair not! Here are two easier ways to put the spring back into your center stand!

The Penny Trick

The "penny trick" has been around for years. It goes like this: put one end of the spring in a bench vise and then bend the spring back and forth while you insert pennies or washers between the coils until it's long enough to drop it over the hooks. Remove the pennies with pliers, and Bob's your uncle.

Sounds perfect, but many find it easier said than done because as more pennies are added, the back-and-forth motion makes already installed ones begin falling out. Nevertheless, reliable sources say it works, and advocates frequently produce photos as proof that it does.

Update, April 2021

A while back, I asked for your experiences.

Jim responded with an idea that is both novel and brilliant - using one's body weight to spread the coils while inserting the washers. For this, Jim used a climbing strap with a hook, but some strong cord should work too.

Fix one end of the spring so that it's hanging down, say from a bench vise, or another hook. Make a loop of strong cord to attach to the bottom of the spring. Make the length of the loop such that when you put your foot through it and stand, the spring expands just enough to place the washers - Jim says 20 (50-60 thou) washers should do it for the Triumph spring.

Big handlebar wag going out to Jim!

The String Theory

The second easier way to install the Triumph center spring relies on the fact that it is easier to pull the spring on than it is to push it.

With the bike on the side stand and its wheels blocked to prevent movement, attach one end of the spring to the center stand in the up position. Take three feet of strong twine and fold it in two. Pass the looped end of the string from front to rear between the bottom of the primary chaincase and the top of the frame cross-member where the spring hooks. Place the loop of twine over the free end of the spring.

Hooking string over spring

Sitting next to the bike on the floor and facing the rear, grasp the string's loose ends, brace a boot against the center stand's operating arm, and stretch the spring until you can guide it onto the hook.

It may take a couple of tries to slip the spring over the hook, but stretching the spring is pretty easy.

Pulling spring on

Once the spring is installed, just tear out the string

These photos were made with the engine removed, but the method works just as well with the engine installed.

Spring installed

An assistant is always helpful, whether using the penny trick or the string theory.

The Deluxe

Finally, if none of these methods seem to work for you, consider fabricating a "spring stretcher" like the ones described by Hans Muller.

Homemade center stand spring tool

Do you have a good tip on conquering the mighty Triumph center spring?
Shout it out!