Difference between revisions of "Supporting Your Bike While Servicing"

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m (Common Mistakes)
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* Forgetting to disconnect the battery or not doing it right and frying something;
 
* Forgetting to disconnect the battery or not doing it right and frying something;
  
* Rocking the bike off the centerstand by accident;
+
* Rocking the bike off the centerstand by accident - front wheel was not blocked;
  
 
* Flipping the bike sideways while using a wrench/breaker bar.  
 
* Flipping the bike sideways while using a wrench/breaker bar.  
 
<i>Make sure you can stabilize the bike somehow while applying brute force. For example, you can sit backwards on the bike while tackling the rear axle nut. Another example is to start loosening the oil drain bolt on the sidestand and then switch to the centerstand.</i>
 
<i>Make sure you can stabilize the bike somehow while applying brute force. For example, you can sit backwards on the bike while tackling the rear axle nut. Another example is to start loosening the oil drain bolt on the sidestand and then switch to the centerstand.</i>

Revision as of 12:42, 1 May 2007

Though covered in the service manual, many people use creative methods to support a bike while servicing it. This often results in tip-over accidents. Below we list methods that are proven to work. And also the ones that aren't.

Disconnecting the Battery

Unless it is something very simple, it is a good idea to disconnect the battery while working on your cycle. Remember that some wires are hot even when the key is in OFF position.

To disconnect the battery:

  • Remove the seat.
  • Unscrew the bolt on the Negative (-) terminal of the battery. Push the wire aside, screw the bolt back in (this way it won't get lost).
  • Put a piece of duct/scotch tape on the terminal.

Supporting the Rear End

Luckily, Ninja 250 has a centerstand, so it can be used to support the rear end.

A few comments about using the centerstand:

  • Some services require pushing rear tire inwards. This can easily result in collapsing of the centerstand and subsequent tip-over. Always block front tire from moving with a brick or something to prevent such accidents.
  • If you need to raise the rear end more than the centerstand does, just put a wooden board in front of the rear tire before putting the bike on the centerstand. In this case blocking the front tire well is vital since the nose of the bike is pointing down and it's very easy to rock the bike off the centerstand.
  • Unfortunately, a bike on the centerstand is not stable enough in the sideway [any better word?] direction. If you are doing something that requires brute force (such as removing the axle nut), be very careful as you can literally twist the bike into the ground. Having another person holding the bike is very useful in this situation.
  • Finally, the centerstand is best used on a flat sturdy surface. If you have trouble putting your bike on the centerstand, visit this link.

Of course, if you are not satisfied with the centerstand, you can always buy a swingarm stand. Pit Bull's one is known to work:

lg_ss_rear2.jpg


Supporting the Front End

Depending on what exactly you need to do it can be done in a few ways:

1) If you need to work on forks you will have to prop the engine. Of course, you will have to remove the lower fairing for that to work. Be sure to put the bike on the centerstand to reduce the weight on the exhaust headers. Examples:

FrontEndSupport1.jpg FrontEndSupport2.jpg Front wheel support.jpg

2) Of course, there is a civilized way of supporting your forks:

Fork seals2-2.JPG

3) If you just need to take the front wheel off, you can

  • put the bike on the centerstand;
  • loosen the axle nut;
  • ask your friend to sit on the back of the bike, thus raising the front a little bit...
  • and take the wheel off and prop the forks on a cinderblock with a piece of wood on top of it (a stack of phonebooks also suffices).

The obvious downside is that it's not very stable. Taking off both wheels with the front end supported in such a way is not recommended. However you don't need to take off any fairings for this method to work.

Working on the Engine

If you plan to work on the engine, read this: I want an engine stand for my 250

Common Mistakes

  • Forgetting to disconnect the battery or not doing it right and frying something;
  • Rocking the bike off the centerstand by accident - front wheel was not blocked;
  • Flipping the bike sideways while using a wrench/breaker bar.

Make sure you can stabilize the bike somehow while applying brute force. For example, you can sit backwards on the bike while tackling the rear axle nut. Another example is to start loosening the oil drain bolt on the sidestand and then switch to the centerstand.