10. Crushed Can Side Stand Support


The foot of most side stands is pretty small, and when you lean 500-plus pounds onto it, the pressure can rise to a surprisingly high level. Now, make the surface that you’ve placed that foot on something soft, like hot asphalt or loose dirt or sand, and you’ve created a prime environment for returning to your bike to find it lying on its side. Most of us would not be too happy about this. If you remember your high school physics class, you know that the same weight distributed over a larger area will lower the pressure delivered from your bike to the ground. Various companies have used this a a great marketing tool by giving away logo-emblazoned squares of plastic at riding events.

But if you’re not at a riding event to grab this piece of swag, it’s time to get creative. A crushed aluminum can will do the trick quite nicely. Center your side stand on it, enjoy your time off the bike, comfortable with the knowledge that it’ll remain upright on its stand instead of sinking into the earth while you’re gone. Even simpler, a wide and flat rock will often suffice. Other creative items that achieve the same purpose which we’ve seen in our travels are: a wallet, a plastic water bottle, and even a helmet (which wore a “This helmet worn under protest” sticker and certainly belonged to someone who doesn’t care that they’re ruining the helmet’s ability to absorb an impact).

  • Old MOron

    Good stuff, Evans.

  • An addendum to the latex gloves: If you don’t have any on hand, the plastic gloves they have for free at gas stations will do in a pinch.

  • Re. using garbage bags as wind block, a tip from hobos: newspaper! Besides being easy to find in a garbage can, newspaper has the added advantage over garbage bags of having more “body”, so it’ll stay in place on your arms, legs etc as you pull on your riding gear.

  • Terry Smith

    The tape strip on the visor is an absolute must for low sun conditions. I added this to my helmet in May and can’t see myself ever taking it off. It feels a bit weird at first (like there’s something hanging over your head!), but after a few seconds you don’t notice. Makes no difference to my vision at all, but if I used a racing crouch it might.

  • Gixxerfan

    For cruise control I just used a 4 inch rubber ‘O’ ring washer that i loop over my mirror and handle bar and when I want to use it I can just slide it down between the grip and the kill switch housing. And viola! Much easier than twisting up a piece of wire and much less obtrusive.

  • Steve VandeKieft

    Good stuff here. I think a couple of these will come in handy when need arises.

  • myassbleedsforyou

    great ideas!

  • Josh Mcdonald

    Put the latex glove over your riding glove instead of under it… Even if you have vented gloves they now become insulation under the weatherproof latex. That cruise control looks like something that could end up in your face in the case of an accident.