Installing a Center Stand Spring

Bruce Miller 2013

Just how hard could it be to install a new center stand spring anyway? Simply slip one end onto the center stand and then stretch the spring far enough open to slip the other end over the hook on the frame. Nothing to it, right?

There's only one problem: this little spring is devilishly stiff!

The Ugly...

I've tried gripping the loose end with vice-grips and pushing or pulling until my eyes started bugging. I think I succeeded that way once, but nearly blew a gasket.

Then there's the old "use a bar of some kind to lever the spring's loose end over the hook". This method mostly succeeds in getting "so close!"... but no cigar.

While both the vice-grips and lever methods will
succeed eventually, they require lots of
strain and grunting, and sometimes
lead to "getting bent"
(as pictured here).

The Bad...

The "penny trick" for installing a center stand spring has been going around for years. It goes like this: simply insert pennies or washers between the coils of the spring until it's long enough to slip right over the hooks at either end and then pull out the pennies with a pair of pliers.

At first glance this method seems to be pure genius. If you actually try it, however, you'll discover as I did how difficult it is to keep those pennies or washers from falling out as you add new ones. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it certainly ain't as easy as it's made out to be and it never worked for me.

The Good

Next time, try the simple trick I discovered that makes the job quick and easy: pull the spring open with a piece of rope. Here's how:

  1. Place the bike on it's sidestand (center stand up)
  2. Block the wheels so the bike does not move forward
  3. Attach one end of the new spring to the center stand
  4. Take six-feet of 1/4 inch nylon rope and loop it in half
  5. From front to rear, pass the rope's looped end between the bottom of the primary chaincase and the top of the frame cross-member where the spring hooks
  6. Slip the loop over the free end of the spring
  7. Sitting on the floor and facing the rear of the bike, grasp the rope's loose ends with both hands
  8. Pull forward on the rope to effortlessly stretch the spring, and guide it onto the hook

It does help to have another person to guide the spring onto the hook, but with a couple of tries it can be done "solo".

The Deluxe

Finally, if you have some time on your hands, you could fabricate a " spring puller" like one of the ones described by Hans Muller.