MO Tested: SW-MOTECH Centerstand Review
OEM quality in an aftermarket product
To some riders, adding a centerstand to a bike is heresy; to others it makes perfect sense. If you’re a member of the latter group, you’ll want to take a look at TwistedThrottle.com to see what centerstand options they have. As the exclusive U.S. distributor of SW-MOTECH products, TwistedThrottle sells centerstands for more than 75 motorcycle models. Since we’re beginning a project to turn a 2009 Kawasaki Versys 650 into an urban warrior for the mean streets of Los Angeles, our first step was to install a SW-MOTECH centerstand. The ease of chain maintenance that a centerstand offers at the end of a day’s long commute can’t be understated.
The collection of parts that comes with this centerstand appears dizzying when you first open the box, but every item is listed on the instructions. The time you spend organizing the parts will pay off when you’re looking for one of the several spacers included with the kit. At first glance, the instructions for the Versys 650 centerstand look like a tutorial in how to play three-dimensional chess. (You can view the instructions here.) Take a moment to really look at the detailed line drawings, and the concept will gradually become clear. For the Versys, you’ll end up taking off the plastic frame covers and fairing lowers plus the peg mounts and one engine mount bolt in order to install the centerstand hardware.
The installation took about 90 minutes – not because it is exceptionally difficult. Rather, the install requires some fiddling to finesse the parts into place. As with many projects, you’ll want to assemble the brackets finger-tight to allow for some flexibility in mounting all the fasteners. Once the initial installation is complete, go back to torque all the bolts. Also, although not necessary, having a third hand can be quite helpful in a couple places. Plus, it’s always good to have someone around to laugh at you when you drop a nut and it chooses to hide somewhere in the bike rather than falling all the way to the ground.
After the installation is complete, the SW-MOTECH centerstand looks about as OEM as an aftermarket piece can. The semi-gloss black powder-coating appears to be durable, and the centerstand operates with just about the same effort as a stock one would. Yes, it does add weight to the bike and may decrease ground clearance a smidge, but neither of those is a concern for a bike that will have the daily urban bump-and-grind as its primary purpose.
The SW-MOTECH Versys 650 Centerstand retails for $287.95 from TwistedThrottle.com, and if you’re of the inclination to put a centerstand on your bike, take a gander at the model fitment available. You might find it’s exactly what you want for your bike, too.
Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.
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