Friday, May 30, 2014

Kickstand Fixedstand Out of the Way


There is a problem that seems to be prevalent on the first generation -- 2006, 2007, and 2008 model years -- Kawasaki Ninja 650R like mine.  

The problem is that the kickstand pivot becomes worn enough that the foot of the stand contacts the drive chain when in the raised position.  That is not good.  It damages the chain, and it wears off the base of the stand. 

Many others apparently have this problem as evidenced in this forum. 
Well, being the tinkerer – er, engineer – that I am, I couldn’t stand by and let it get worse, so I started to look for a fix.  The amount of play, measured side to side at the bottom end of the stand had grown to almost an inch, and the return spring caused the stand to become closer and closer to the chain, eventually interfering with it.  Although the stand and its bracket are substantial, when leaning the bike over onto it, the stand would scoot out because of the excess clearance, giving a quite disconcerting feeling that the bike was going to topple over.  It never has, but it sure feels like it is going to every time I use the stand. 

I removed the kickstand to take a closer look at the problem.  Naturally, I had to put the bike up on my rear stand, and for that, I have to ask the help of my pretty wife.  As she always does, she dutifully helped steady the bike while I put the muscle into stand lever, lifting the rear wheel a few inches off the ground.  A thank-you kiss, and I am ready to start wrenching.  

It only takes a few minutes to remove the foot peg bracket (Kawasaki calls it a step stay), the stand safety switch, and the stand itself. 

The foot peg bracket has three screws, one of which is partially behind the shift lever.  It is not necessary to remove the lever, only to move it down out of the way, as if downshifting, when removing or installing this screw. 

The stand switch is removed by unscrewing the hex-head cap screw, not the Phillips-head screw that holds the actuator arm to the switch. 

Do note that the fastener for the stand is a shoulder screw.  There is a lock nut on the back of it that must be removed first, but the screw is also threaded into the far side of the kickstand itself.  Remove the nut, then unscrew the shoulder screw.  Carefully relieve the tension on the return sprang as you take the screw out. 

Here are the parts:  

Although I couldn’t see exactly what was worn, I set to measuring the thickness of the frame bracket, and the width of the fork on the stand.  I found a little more than 0.030” of difference.  I am certain that a little clearance is designed in, but something must be worn to cause the stand to be out of position.  The shoulder screw showed some wear, but not enough to cause the problem, it didn’t appear.  

Though you might be tempted to simply bend the sides of the fork together, that won't work for long because of the shoulder-screw design.  

So, I made a washer-shaped shim out of 0.030” steel stock,...
When assembled, the shim washer will be positioned against the inside face
of the lower leg of the kickstand fork in this picture. 
...and reassembled the stand.  After a little trouble making sure the shim was not damaged while inserting the shoulder screw that holds the stand to the bracket, I tried lowering and raising the stand, and it was much better.  Only about a quarter of an inch play now. 

I took everything apart again, lubed up the parts, and reassembled them.  The stand return spring was the most difficult thing to get back on, but a little help from a loop of bailing wire and a screwdriver to apply some stretching force to it saved the day.  (Yes, I removed the bailing wire after it did its job.  I’m a tinkerer, not a hacker, guys.)  A spring hook like this one made for brake and headlight springs is a better tool for removing and replacing the spring.  

The finished product:

Closeup of the shim washer location.  

Ah, that is much better. 

The stand doesn’t fool me into thinking the bike is going to fall over now.  Much more stable. 

Further info:

I do not guarantee that this will fix or, indeed, that this is a good fix at all, for the problem described.  I am not responsible for you and your bike.  You are. 

Specs for the spacer washer
·       0.030” thick steel shim stock. 
·       ½” diameter hole, punched with hole punch. 
·       1-1/8” outside diameter, cut with tin snips. 

The proper shim thickness may be different from mine, depending on the original dimensions and any wear that has occurred. 
The shim goes on the outside of the frame bracket, and inside the near side of the fork of the stand when assembled. 
Make sure the hole in the shim is aligned both with the hole in the stand and the hole in the frame bracket before tightening the shoulder screw. 
Make certain that the stand moves freely, and that the spring holds it both in the raised and in the lowered positions. 
Use the correct torques and thread locking compound (on the peg bracket and stand switch screws) as directed in the service manual on all fasteners. 
Test everything for proper operation before riding. 
If something does work right, take it to a competent serviceman.  

A fellow named Smash also has a tutorial on this repair here

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